Medicinal Monday: Eucalyptus globulus
You probably know eucalyptus from lots of bath products and toiletries, but there's more to this plant than just a calming scent in your bubble bath.
Eucalyptus--also known as Blue Gum or Fever Tree--is native to Australia, where the water stored in its roots helped stave off dehydration for aborigines and settlers alike. In America, Eclectic physicians from the 1800-1900s used it to treat respiratory infections.
But what gives eucalyptus its power? Eucalyptus contains a chemical called cineole or eucalyptol. Scientific studies show that it relieves nasal and bronchial congestion and can ease sore throats and coughs. It also works as an expectorant, helping to loosen and eject mucus.
This means eucalyptus tea can be extremely helpful in fighting bronchitis and throat inflammation. You can even gargle the tea to leave the throat refreshed, strengthened, and clear of infection and inflammation.
Its oil is often a common ingredient in cough drops and nasal sprays/inhalers. One way to use eucalyptus to open your nasal passages and lungs is to add a few leaves to boiling water and inhaling the steam.
The oil can also be used as a powerful antiseptic and disinfectant to kill bacteria and germs. It's even been used as a local anesthetic.
However, too much eucalyptus can cause nausea so be careful not to overdo it. And make sure not to apply eucalyptus oil to your face.
As a magical herb, eucalyptus is used for healing and protection. You can stuff the leaves of the eucalyptus plant into healing poppets to carry around to maintain good health.
If you're already sick you should hang a small branch of eucalyptus over your bed or tuck it under your pillow.
String green eucalyptus pods on a green thread and wear it around your neck to heal a sore throat.
You can also carry it with you for general protection.