Botanical Name:Eucalyptus globulus
Species: E. globulus
Common Name:Blue Gum
Synonyms—Blue Gum Tree. Stringy Bark Tree.
Part Used—The oil of the leaves.
Habitat—–Australia. Now North and South Africa, India, and Southern Europe.The bark shreds often, peeling in large strips. The broad juvenile leaves are borne in opposite pairs on square stems. They are about 6 to 15 cm long and covered with a blue-grey, waxy bloom, which is the origin of the common name “blue gum”. The mature leaves are narrow, sickle-shaped and dark shining green. They are arranged alternately on rounded stems and range from 15 to 35 cm in length. The buds are top-shaped, ribbed and warty and have a flattened operculum (cap on the flower bud) bearing a central knob. The cream-colored flowers are borne singly in the leaf axils and produce copious nectar that yields a strongly flavored honey. The fruits are woody and range from 1.5 to 2.5 cm in diameter. Numerous small seeds are shed through valves (numbering between 3 and 6 per fruit) which open on the top of the fruit. It produces roots throughout the soil profile, rooting several feet deep in some soils. They do not form taproots.
The Tasmanian Blue Gum, Southern Blue Gum or Blue Gum, is an evergreen tree, one of the most widely cultivated trees native to Australia. They typically grow from 30 to 55 m (98 to 180 ft) tall. The tallest currently known specimen in Tasmania is 90.7 m tall. There are historical claims of even taller trees, the tallest being 101 m (330 ft). The natural distribution of the species includes Tasmania and southern Victoria. There are also isolated occurrences on King Island and Flinders Island in Bass Strait and on the summit of the You Yangs
The leaves are leathery in texture, hang obliquely or vertically, and are studded with glands containing a fragrant volatile oil. The flowers in bud are covered with a cup-like membrane (whence the name of the genus, derived from the Greek eucalyptos well-covered), which is thrown off as a lid when the flower expands. The fruit is surrounded by a woody, cupshaped receptacle and contains numerous minute seeds.
Eucalyptus trees are quick growers and many species reach a great height. Eucalyptus amygdalin (Labille ) is the tallest known tree, specimens attaining as much as 480 feet, exceeding in height even the Californian Big Tree (Sequoia gigantea). Many species yield valuable timber, others oils, kino, etc.
There are a great number of species of Eucalyptus trees yielding essential oils, the foliage of some being more odorous than that of others, and the oils from the various species differing widely in character. It necessarily follows that the term Eucalyptus oil is meaningless from a scientific point of view unless the species from which it is derived is stated.
The oils may be roughly divided into three classes of commercial importance: (1) the medicinal oils, which contain substantial amounts of eucalyptol (also known as cineol); (2) the industrial oils, containing terpenes, which are used for flotation purposes in mining operations; (3) the aromatic oils, such as E. citriodora, which are characterized by their aroma.
Many botanists treat The Tasmanian Blue Gum as a subspecies of a broader species concept. This broader E. globulus includes the following subspecies:
*E. globulus subsp. bicostata = E. bicostata – Southern Blue Gum, Eurabbie, Victorian Blue Gum
*E. globulus subsp. globulus = E. globulus – Tasmanian Blue Gum
*E. globulus subsp. maidenii= E. maidenii – Maiden’s Gum
*E. globulus subsp. pseudoglobulus = E. pseudoglobulus – Gippsland Blue Gum, Victorian Eurabbie
The broader E. globulus concept is supported by Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne and the Tasmanian Herbarium , but not by Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney where the four taxa are considered distinct species.
Constituents-–The essential Oil of Eucalyptus used in medicine is obtained by aqueous distillation of the fresh leaves. It is a colourless or straw-coloured fluid when properly prepared, with a characteristic odour and taste, soluble in its own weight of alcohol. The most important constituent is Eucalyptol, present in E. globulus up to 70 per cent of its volume. It consists chiefly of a terpene and a cymene. Eucalyptus Oil contains also, after exposure to the air, a crystallizable resin, derived from Eucalyptol.
Timber and Fuelwood
Blue gum is renown as a fast growing timber tree. It comprises 65% of all plantation hardwood in Australia with approximately 4,500 km² planted. The tree is widely cultivated elsewhere in the world. It is primarily planted as a pulpwood, and also as an important fuelwood in many countries. It has poor lumber qualities due to growth stress problems, but can be used in construction, fence posts and poles.
The leaves are steam distilled to extract eucalyptus oil. E.globulus is the primary source of global eucalyptus oil production, with China being the largest commercial producer. The oil has therapeutic, perfumery, flavoring, antimicrobial and biopesticide properties. Oil yield ranges from 1.0-2.4% (fresh weight), with cineole being the major isolate. E.globulus oil has established itself internationally because it is virtually phellandrene free, a necessary characteristic for internal pharmaceutical use. In 1870, Cloez, identified and ascribed the name “eucalyptol” – now more often called cineole – to the dominant portion of E. globulus oil.
Blue gum leaves are used as a therapeutic herbal tea.
Blue gum flowers are considered a good source of nectar and pollen for bees.
It was introduced to California in the mid 1800s and is prominent in many parks in San Francisco and throughout the state, where it is currently considered to be an invasive species due to its ability to quickly spread and displace native plant communities.
Stimulant, antiseptic, aromatic.
The medicinal Eucalyptus Oil is probably the most powerful antiseptic of its class, especially when it is old, as ozone is formed in it on exposure to the air. It has decided disinfectant action, destroying the lower forms of life. Internally, it has the typical actions of a volatile oil in a marked degree.
*Best solution for blocked nose & sore throat.
*Effective for acne and boils
*Acne & boils: Mix eucalyptus oil with mustard oil and apply on the affected zone
Eucalyptus Oil is used as a stimulant and antiseptic gargle. Locally applied, it impairs sensibility. It increases cardiac action.
Its antiseptic properties confer some antimalarial action, though it cannot take the place of Cinchona.
An emulsion made by shaking up equal parts of the oil and powdered gum-arabic with water has been used as a urethral injection, and has also been given internally in drachm doses in pulmonary tuberculosis and other microbic diseases of the lungs and bronchitis.
In croup and spasmodic throat troubles, the oil may be freely applied externally.
The oil is an ingredient of ‘catheder oil,’ used for sterilizing and lubricating urethral catheters.
In large doses, it acts as an irritant to the kidneys, by which it is largely excreted, and as a marked nervous depressant ultimately arresting respiration by its action on the medullary centre.
For some years Eucalyptus-chloroform was employed as one of the remedies in the tropics for hookworm, but it has now been almost universally abandoned as an inefficient anthelmintic, Chenopodium Oil having become the recognized remedy.
In veterinary practice, Eucalyptus Oil is administered to horses in influenza, to dogs in distemper, to all animals in septicaemia. It is also used for parasitic skin affections.
EUCALYPTUS GUM or KINO
E. nostrata and some other species ofEucalyptus yield Eucalyptus or Red Gum, a ruby-coloured exudation from the bark (to be distinguished from Botany Bay Kino).
Red Gum is a very powerful astringent and is given internally in doses of 2 to 5 grains in cases of diarrhoea and pharyngeal inflammations. It is prepared in the form of tinctures, syrups, lozenges, etc.
Red Gum is official in Great Britain, being imported from Australia, though the Kino generally employed here as the official drug is derived from Pterocarpus Marsupium, a member of the order Leguminosae, East Indian, or Malabar Kino, and is administered in doses of 5 to 20 grains powdered, or 1/2 to 1 drachm of the tincture.
In veterinary practice, Red Gum is occasionally prescribed for diarrhoea in dogs and is used for superficial wounds.
E. globulus, E. resinifera and other species yield what is known as Botany Bay Kino, an astringent, dark-reddish, amorphous resin, which is obtained in a semi-fluid state by making incisions in the trunk of the tree and is used for similar purposes.
EUCALYPTUS OINTMENTS— A good ointment for the skin, containing antiseptic and healing properties. It produces very satisfactory results in scurf, chapped hands, chafes, dandruff, tender feet, enlargements of the glands, spots on the chest, arms, back and legs, pains in the joints and muscles.
Apply a piece of clean cotton or lint to wounds after all dirt is washed away. For aches and pains rub the part affected well and then cover with lint. Repeat two or three times, taking a blood-purifying mixture at the same time.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.