Eucalyptus (An Shu and An Ye)
Botanical Name: Eucalyptus globulus
Eucalyptus has diverse applications, including as an insect repellant, an expectorant, and a mouthwash. The Aborigines used it to heal wounds. It is also a tree that has been planted to transform swampy environments infested with malaria into habitable neighborhoods.
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Below is an overview of eucalyptus, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of eucalyptus.
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Western Name: Eucalyptus
Also Known As: Blue Gum Tree, Stringy Bark Tree, Strawberry Gum, Fever Tree Leaf
Organs/Systems: Respiratory, Immune
Key Actions: Stimulant, Antiseptic, Disinfectant, Analgesic, Anodyne, Antibacterial, Anti-cancer, Antispasmodic, Expectorant, Febrifuge, Bitter, Depurative, Refrigerant, Vulnerary, Diuretic, Astringent
Medicinal Uses: Mouthwash, some antimalarial action, tuberculosis, bronchitis, croup, allergies, arthritis, burns, cuts and wounds, herpes, and sore throats. Opens the lungs and encourages breathing. It also treats respiratory infections, expels worms, and reduces blood sugar levels.
Pin Yin: An Shu (whole tree) and An Ye (leaf only)
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Lung, Bladder
Key Actions: Promotes Sweating, Releases to the Exterior, Relieves Wind Heat, Soothes Lungs, Expels Phlegm, Clears Toxins, Supports Immunity, Reduces Inflammation, Expels Parasites, Repels Insects
Medicinal Uses: Sore throat, cold, aches, pains, sinusitis, headaches, acute rheumatism, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, lung infections, urogenital infections, skin eruptions, relieve nerve pain, neuralgia, wounds, burns, roundworm, pinworm, lice, insect repellant.
Basic Habitat / Botany:
About 300 species, the leaves are leathery in texture and are studded with glands containing fragrant volatile oil. The flowers in the bud are covered with a cup-like membrane. The trees grow quickly and reach a great height, some as tall as redwoods. The lower bark is rough, grayish, or brownish, the upper bark smooth, pale and with a bluish tinge, decorticating in long strips.
Indigenous to Australia and Tasmania. Thrives well in many environments, but will not endure a temperature lower than 27 degrees Fahrenheit.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Oil of the Leaves, Leaf
Flavors/Temps: Aromatic, Pungent, Slightly Bitter, Cool, Dry, Moist
Caution: Considered safe. The essential oil should never be ingested and only used externally or as an inhalant.
Key Constituents: Eucalyptol (also known as Cineol), Pinenes, Sesquiterpene alcohols, Aromadendrene, Cuminaldehyde, Bitter, Flavonoid Pigment, Tannin
History/Folklore: The name of the tree derives from the Greek word “eucalyptus” meaning “well covered,” referring to the tree’s membrane-covered flowers. Known to be used by the Australian Aborigines to heal wounds and fungal infections. They refer to it as “malee.” It is the main food for the Koala Bear.
Some seeds, having been sent to France in 1857, were planted in Algiers and thrived exceedingly well. Trottoir, the botanical superintendent, found that the value of the fragrant antiseptic exhalations of the leaves in treating fevers associated with marshy districts far exceeded the amazingly powerful drying action of the roots on the soil. Five years after planting the eucalyptus, one of the most marshy and unhealthy districts of Algiers was converted into one of the healthiest and driest.
As a result, the rapidly growing eucalyptus trees are now largely cultivated in many temperate regions with the view of preventing malarial fevers.
Eucalyptus is high in antioxidants that can help stimulate the immune system. Added to its impressive anti-inflammatory properties the herb or its oil, are often used to ease congestion, soothe arthritic pain, heal wounds, ulcers, and burns and help to treat bladder infections.
As an antifungal, a study, using undiluted eucalyptus oil topically, found it was effective in treating toenail fungus. Not only did it work quickly, but it also killed the fungus acting inside the nail bed and on the toenail as well.
The essential oil of eucalyptus used in medicine is obtained by aqueous distillation of the fresh leaves.
It is the ingredient of ‘catheter oil’ that is used to sterilize and lubricate urethral catheters.
In 1890, eucalyptus was introduced into China by the Italians and the French as an ornamental tree. China now has the second-largest planting of eucalyptus in the world.
Eucalyptus is used in Ayurveda for its expectorant and topical applications to relieve headaches due to colds.
Treats Distemper in Dogs
Excellent Cold Remedy
Eucalyptus is one of the best-known cold remedies.
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Connecting Eastern and Western perspectives on HOW and WHY this herb works. Find out how to safely and effectively use this healing herb for treating conditions and for your Body, Mind, and Spirit. Find True Health. Explore uses, safety information, benefits, history, recipes, gardening tips, essential oil information, if it applies, and much, much more in this online course.
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