EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL (EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS):
Botanical Name: Eucalyptus globulus
Common Method of Extraction: Steam distilled
Part Typically Used: Leaves and twigs
Color: Pale yellow
Perfumery Note: Top
Strength of Initial Aroma: Fresh and earthy aroma. A clear, sharp, fresh and very distinctive smell.
Eucalyptus globulus forms tall, open forests, growing in monospecific stands or with other species of eucalypt. It can grow as a stunted shrub in extreme environments, such as on rock outcrops. It is adapted to temperate environments with winter rainfall and sufficient summer rainfall, and thrives in the cool zones of tropical mountains. It is widely planted across southern Australia. Recently, the species has also been planted in its native Tasmania where it is an important pulpwood source.
The Australian Aborigines calls it ‘kino‘ and they use the leaves to cover serious wounds. Eucalyptus oil was introduced to Europe in 1788, and the first oil exported to England was called “Sydney peppermint“.
The Tasmanian blue gum, southern blue gum or blue gum, (Eucalyptus globulus) is an evergreen tree, one of the most widely cultivated trees native to Australia. They typically grow from 30–55 m tall. The mature leaves are narrow, sickle-shaped and dark shining green. They are arranged alternately on rounded stems and range from 15 – 35 cm in length. The leaves are leathery in texture, hang obliquely or vertically, and are studded with glands containing a fragrant volatile oil.
The first leaves are broad, without stalks, of a shining whitish-green and are opposite and horizontal, but after four or five years these are succeeded by others of a more ensiform or sword-shaped form, 6 to 12 inches long, bluish – green in hue, which are alternate and vertical, i.e. with the edges turned towards the sky and earth, an arrangement more suited to the climate and productive of peculiar effects of light and shade. The flowers are single or in clusters, almost stalkless.
Eucalyptus 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.
Eucalyptus comes from a Latin word “obliquus” meaning “oblique“” referring to the base of the leaf where the two sides of the leaf blade are of unequal length.
Eucalyptus globulus has a pleasing and cool, crisp fragrance. Diffuse it in your home daily to alleviate congestion and to help purify the air.
The yield of oil from the leaves and branches averages from 0,75 to 1,25%. The cineole content is between 60 – 70% and since in many instances the properties of the crude oil do not meet the specifications of most pharmacopoeias, the oil has to be treated to increase the cineole content.
Eucalyptus Oil contains also, after exposure to the air, a crystallizable resin, derived from Eucalyptol.