Botanist's Glossary

Eucalyptus - Eucalyptus globulus

  • Description
    • Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae family) is an evergreen tree with aromatic leaves. There are some 500 species, most of which are Australian. Eucalyptus globulus (or "Tasmanian blue gum") is one of the most widely grown species in the world. It grows very fast, sometimes reaching a height of 40 meters in Europe, and 60 meters in Australia. Eucalyptus wood is hard, strong and durable and the tree is extensively planted in Atlantic Spain and Portugal. Its essence is highly combustible, while the tree can deplete the soil.
  • Traditions
    • Once it had become acclimatized in Europe, in the 19th century, eucalyptus gained a strong reputation as a remedy for respiratory conditions. Its antiseptic essences are expelled from the bronchi, producing an antitussive effect. It is popularly used in inhalants and infusions, but these days there is a preference for the essential oils, whose properties vary according to the species. In its country of origin, eucalyptus is considered to be an antipyretic.
  • Properties
    • When eucalyptus leaves and branches are steam distilled, they yield an essential oil with a distinctive, fresh, balsamic scent that has well-known bactericidal, anti-inflammatory and deodorizing properties.