Did you know that eucalyptus leaves are the favourite food of koala bears? Having a pungent scent and antimicrobial properties, eucalyptus is a well known remedy for sinusitis and other respiratory ailments. It is also used successfully in aromatherapy.
About Eucalyptus Tea
Eucalyptus is one of the quickest growing tree species on the planet and it is derived from the grayish-green, leathery leaves of the tree botanically known as Eucalyptus globulus, also called the “blue gum tree” or “Australian fever tree.” Native to Tasmania, the eucalyptus tree grows in subtropical zones worldwide. The leaves contain eucalyptol, as well as tannins, caffeic and gallic acids, also found in green tea, along with flavonoids and antioxidants.
Eucalyptus is antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal and antispasmodic with expectorant and decongestant properties.
Eucalyptus is primarily valuable for its leaves, which are used to make an essential oil, eucalyptus tea and compresses. If you want to enhance the scent of the leaves, due to the aromatic oils that are contained inside, all you have to do is break or crush them, and then this will be released.
You can prepare eucalyptus tea either using dry or fresh leaves. However, Eucalyptus tea made of dried eucalyptus leaves has lost most of its healing power. Instead, it’s best to cut small branches with a few dozen fresh leaves and keep them in a vase with water to prevent drying.
How to make Eucalyptus Tea
To make eucalyptus tea, pour 1 cup of boiled water over up to 1/2 teaspoon of the dried eucalyptus leaves. Cover and steep for 10 minutes, then strain. You can sweeten with honey and drink up to 2 – 3 cups a day.
If you want to use fresh leaves, take a single one, chop it, add hot water and let it steep for about 4-6 minutes – then add honey or brown sugar. The bits of leaf should then be strained and discarded. Take care not to ingest the eucalyptus oil directly, as it is extremely strong and somewhat volatile. Then drink in small sips while hot.
Benefits of Eucalyptus Tea
Some studies pointed out that drinking eucalyptus tea may help increase insulin production and lower blood sugar level.
You can gargle this tea when you have throat infections, or use it as a mouthwash as its antiseptic and antibacterial properties fight bad breath.
Eucalyptus tea, when rubbed in the chest area, may relieve bronchitis, asthma and colds.
When inhaled, the steam from the eucalyptus tea can help alleviate chest infections and a host of respiratory and pulmonary ailments like colds, emphysema, whooping cough and asthma.
Applied topically, the tea may produce healthier looking skin.
A compress with eucalyptus tea is effective in treating painful joints, minor burns and sore muscles.
Side effects of Eucalyptus Tea
Side effects from eucalyptus tea are rare; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have been reported. Consult your doctor before using eucalyptus tea. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, if you have inflammation of the kidneys or that of the gastrointestinal tract, bile duct disease, liver disease or low or high blood pressure, don’t drink eucalyptus tea.
Eucalyptus is a tree with many benefits and uses. Eucalyptus tea can easily be included in a healthy life style, especially when it is used to treat certain ailments.