THE ESSENCE OF EUCALYPTUS
Unique Uses + Benefits of 9 Eucalyptus Species for medicinal, cosmetic or therapeutic formulations, and what's the difference between them?
Unlike this species’ ancient Greek meaning, “beautifully concealed,” Eucalypts are no secret. With over 700 different species in the Eucalyptus genus, they are the most widely planted type of tree in plantations around the world1, and they are one of the most commonly valued essential oils across aromatherapy, skin and hair care.
DIFFERENTIATING SPECIES - TO HAVE OR NOT TO HAVE EUCALYPTOL
We at Naturally Australian Products (NAP) source 9 unique species of Eucalyptus Essential Oils, which all have varying compound constituents that offer something unique. To help you choose the right one, we’ve started by organizing them into two groups –
1. Eucalypts that HAVE 1,8-cineol (aka Eucalyptol, cineole, 470-82-6 or 1,8-Cineole)
Eucalyptol is a potent compound, shown to relieve respiratory issues, act as an anti-inflammatory, inhibit candida growth and show bactericidal and bacteriostatic activity.2 Most medicinal applications seek over 70% cineole, thus requiring species with high eucalyptol content. Insect repellants, bio-pesticides, and pharmaceutical preparations (such as flu, cold, cough treatments, ointments, inhalants, etc.) all require this unique compound as well.
2. Eucalypts that DON'T HAVE 1,8-cineol
The other species without cineole have many other compounds (ie. piperitone, citral, methyl cinnamate, etc.), which are used for a range of purposes – as an antimicrobial, antiseptic, aromatic natural perfume and more. To put it all in perspective, about 2/3 of global Eucalyptus Oil production is for medicinal purposes, while the remaining 1/3 is for aromatics.
But before we go any further, there’s one thing we have to ask…
IS YOUR “EUCALYPTUS OIL” REALLY FROM EUCALYPTUS?
Although Australia is known for producing high-grade Eucalyptus oils, the majority of commercial eucalyptus oil is produced by China - taking about 3/4 of the market. However, most of this oil is “derived from the cineole fractions of camphor laurel rather than being true eucalyptus oil.”3
Whether your oil’s origin is traceable and true source, or not, there’s typically some dead giveaways if it has been standardized with another extract. If the supplier doesn’t specify the unique species name, the extraction process or any details about the origin, you can almost be sure it’s not purely a Eucalyptus Oil. While synthetic imitations of oils may not be harmful, they can be deceiving. Each species’ unique origin, combination and balance of compounds is what makes each oil so unique. Request a data sheet or sample if you’d like to compare the purity of your Eucalyptus oil to our documented ingredients.
NATURE’S MEDICINE. PROVEN BY ANCIENT PRACTICE.
Aboriginals have used all Eucalyptus species as various bush medicines for thousands of years. Infusions made of E. citriodora leaves were taken internally to reduce fevers and ease gastric conditions, and applied externally as a wash for analgesic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Some species were used in a poultice to ease joint pain and speed up the healing of cuts, skin conditions, wounds and infections. Respiratory infections, colds and sinus congestion were treated by inhaling the vapours of steamed leaves, and to treat rheumatism the leaves were made into beds or used in steam pits heated by fire.
The oil’s therapeutic qualities were eventually introduced and integrated into many traditional medicine systems. In fact, the eucalyptus oil industry was commercialised in 1852 by a Melbourne pharmacist, Joseph Bosisto, who’s original brand still exists today. Today, most cosmetic formulations use Eucalyptus Oil in the following ways…
HAIR / SCALP
- Stimulate Hair Growth - promotes blood circulation to stimulate hair growth, reduce stress to prevent hair loss4 (see more ingredients to consider for hair and scalp here - link!)
- Calm Scalp Irritation - methanol content has a cooling effect that may relieve itchiness and antiseptic properties may even combat dandruff.4
- Soothe Sunburn - calming anti-inflammatory constituents reduce the effects of sunburn.
- Moisturize dry skin - increases the skin’s ceramide content, which is the fatty acid that helps to withhold moisture.
- Reduce Acne - cleansing, antifungal and anti-inflammatory compounds help prevent and calm acne breakouts.5,6
- Lower blood pressure and anxiety. Activating the parasympathetic nervous system and increase relaxation, clearing the mind.7,8
- Supports a healthy respiratory system and may Relieve cold symptoms like cough, congestion, headache, and mucus buildup. 9
- Soothe muscles after exercise.
- Natural Oral care – mouthwash, toothpaste, balm and ointment and soap.
Below is a brief introduction to the species we procure in various formats. Click through to learn more about each, or CONTACT US to request an NPD Innovation Map for unique oils & extracts tailored to your formulation!
ESSENTIAL OILS WITH EUCALYPTOL / CINEOL
|The species is widely grown in southern Africa and has a high cineole content, but NAP sources this from its endemic area in Australia.|
|The primary source of Eucalyptus oil around the world. Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties can be helpful in upper and lower airways diseases, such as asthma.10 It also contains tannins and phenolic compounds, ingredients used extensively in disinfectants.|
|Blue Mallee contains one of the highest percentages of eucalyptol. It is energizing, balancing, and purifying.|
|It has the gentlest aroma of the Eucalypts but is still as potent as other oils, thus most recommended for children due to its lower cineole content.|
|This oil has the highest content of cineole (83-94%)|
ESSENTIAL OILS WITHOUT EUCALYPTOL / CINEOLE
|The Peppermint Gum is a significant source of menthol and thymol, with piperitone ranging 39-55%|
|Also used as a dried spice product in bushfood cooking, especially with fruit; and in herbal teas. It has high anti-oxidant activity.|
Has a sweet, fresh, fruity-lemony aroma with a pleasant rosemary-like edge. Lemon scented iron bark oil has traditionally been used for perfumery because of its delicate citrus scent. Has excellent antimicrobial properties and makes an excellent air antiseptic when vaporised.
|This species stands alone with a unique lemon-scent, mainly consisting of citronellal (80%)|
|This aromatic water that is produced during the distilling process. It has similar therapeutic properties to the essential oils, but is far less concentrated.|
CELLULAR EXTRACTS by NATIVE EXTRACTS Pty Ltd
|Contains powerful phyto-compounds that are known for supporting hair conditioning, skin care, anti-glycation, collagen and elastin support and acne care possibilities, such as amino acids, amines, gallic acid derivatives, phenolic acid : chlorogenic acid, flavone glycoside and more.|
|Packed with potential for premature aging, antioxidant, skin, and hair conditioning products, among many others. High in antioxidants and has a range of natural phyto-compounds: gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, ellagic acid, flavonoid glycosides, phenolics, cinnamic acid and methyl-cinnamate.|
Want to dive deeper into eucalyptus oils and extracts?
CONTACT US for individual data sheets, samples, or recommendations for the best ingredients to achieve your objectives!
Essentials oils can be 50-100x more concentrated than natural levels in the plant. Take caution and always follow best practices when using oils. If applying topically, they should be diluted into a carrier oil and ONLY IF they are recommended for ingestion or inhalation, be sure to follow recommended dosage.
Essential oil: Several drops rubbed into the skin. (This may be diluted at 30 ml essential oil to 500 ml of a suitable carrier such as vegetable oil.)
Ointment: Semi-solid preparation containing 5-20% essential oil (in carrier oils, creams, or lotions) for local application. (Salve)
Tincture: Aqueous-alcoholic preparation containing 5-10% essential oil for local application.
Inhalant: Add a few (2-5) drops of essential oil to hot water or to a vaporizer; deeply inhale the steam vapor.
3. Ashurst, P. R (31 July 1999). Food Flavorings. ISBN 9780834216211
6. Nasri H, Bahmani M, Shahinfard N, Moradi Nafchi A, Saberianpour S, Rafieian Kopaei M. Medicinal Plants for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Review of Recent Evidences. Jundishapur J Microbiol. 2015;8(11):e25580. Published 2015 Nov 21. doi:10.5812/jjm.25580
8. Kim KY, Seo HJ, Min SS, Park M, Seol GH. The effect of 1,8-cineole inhalation on preoperative anxiety: a randomized clinical trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:820126. doi: 10.1155/2014/820126. Epub 2014 Jun 16. PMID: 25028591; PMCID: PMC4083598. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25028591/
9. Fischer J, Dethlefsen U. Efficacy of cineole in patients suffering from acute bronchitis: a placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Cough. 2013 Nov 21;9(1):25. doi: 10.1186/1745-9974-9-25. PMID: 24261680; PMCID:PMC3842692. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24261680/
10. Vigo E, Cepeda A, Gualillo O, Perez-Fernandez R. In-vitro anti-inflammatory effect of Eucalyptus globulus and Thymus vulgaris: nitric oxide inhibition in J774A.1 murine macrophages. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2004 Feb;56(2):257-63. doi:10.1211/0022357022665. PMID: 15005885. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15005885/
14. Sharma, A.D.; kaur, I. Eucalyptol (1,8 cineole) from Eucalyptus Essential Oil a Potential Inhibitor of COVID 19 Corona Virus Infection by Molecular Docking Studies . Preprints 2020, 2020030455 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202003.0455.v1)