Eucalyptus 101

 

The dictionary defines the eucalyptus family as… Just kidding, we won’t do that to you. We know how long the average attention span is, so we’ve condensed crucial information about this ancient plant into a blog post. You’re welcome.

 

Eucalyptus oil plant

 

There are more than 900 species of eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus comes in a variety of scents, shapes, and sizes, with the majority being native to Australia. The eucalyptus oil Chariot uses is eucalyptus radiata (narrow leaf eucalyptus) that is wild grown in South Africa and USDA Certified Organic. We love the radiata species because it smells refreshing and clean and has a less medicinal smell than eucalyptus globulus.

In laymen terms, the eucalyptus you see in the grocery store or farmer’s market is usually silver dollar gum eucalyptus or ‘Silver Drop’ eucalyptus.

The pleasing fragrance of the eucalyptus plant has led to common use in homes, as a small household plant can help to purify the air and eucalyptus oil can assist in odor control.

Eucalyptus made its world debut in the late 1700s.

While the plant has existed for millennia, it gained popular recognition in the 1700s. Captain James Cook introduced eucalyptus to the rest of the world from Australia in 1770 when it was collected by botanist Sir Joseph Banks on the same journey.

Eucalyptus essential oil eventually became more well known in the 1900s, when the oil was used during the 1919 influenza epidemic, and later as a treatment for respiratory ailments.

Eucalyptus plant

Eucalyptus leaves have a long history of use.

Australian Aborigines have used eucalyptus oil as antiseptic and gastrointenstinal tonic for hundreds of years while many other cultures have adopted it to provide respiratory and immune support via the rich oil in its leaves.

Research has shown that eucalyptus oil acts as an antiseptic and an insect repellant among other uses.

Speaking of which – eucalyptus helped stop malaria.

A eucalyptus plant loves water – like, really loves water. A eucalyptus plant needs a huge amount of water to survive, which is why groves of the trees were planted in swamps in North Africa in the 1800s. They sucked up the excess water, which in turn reduced the habitat for mosquitoes carrying malaria and eliminated the spread of the disease.

Damn, Eucalyptus, you don’t have to work that hard.

 

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Additional Sources:

“Biological, medicinal and toxicological significance of Eucalyptus leaf essential oil: a review.” National Library of Medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28758221/

“SPECIES: Eucalyptus globulus.” Fire Effects Information System Index of Species Information. https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/eucglo/all.html