About Eucalyptus globulus and 1,8 cineole

Eucalyptus, Blue Gum
Eucalyptus globulus Labill.

We often think of Australia as the place where most of our Eucalyptus oils come from, however, the cost of producing eucalyptus oil in Australia increased so much that it could not compete with overseas oil markets, and thus lost its leading position in the world market.  Currently, the leading producers are China, Portugal, Spain and Southern Africa.  (FOA, 1995)

Taxonomy
Botanical Family:  Myrtaceae
Common names: Blue gum Eucalyptus, Australian fever tree leaf, fever tree leaf, Tasmanian blue gum leaf

Botany and History
Botany: Eucalyptus globulus is a medium-sized evergreen woodland tree that can grow up to 60m. It is native to Australia. Mature woodland trees usually have extensive roots that are frequently deeply penetrating, but in plantations the roots are often more shallow.  There is usually a single trunk, much branched.  The lower bark is rough, grayish or brownish, the upper bark smooth, pale, and often with a bluish tinge, decorticating in long strips.  The mature leaves are dark glossy green and firm. It bears fragrant white flowers as it matures.

History and Myth: Eucalyptus species have a history of traditional use by the Australian aboriginal people who refer to it as ‘malee’. The genus name Eucalyptus comes from Greek eukalyptos, meaning ‘well-covered’, and refers to its flowers that, in bud, are covered with a cup-like membrane that is thrown off when the flower expands.  Eucalyptus has been integrated into traditional medicine systems of the Chinese, Indian Ayurvedic, and Greco-European.

It is utilized for its counter-irritant and expectorating activity in India and for its ability to relieve nerve pain in China. The present Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia indicates its topical application for headache due to colds.  Eucalyptus oil is used extensively in the United States and Germany as an expectorant component of cough and cold compounds in various oral dosage forms, including lozenges and syrups, and as an inhalant in vapor baths.

Regulatory Information
CAS #: 8000-48-4 (TSCA) and 84625-32-1 (EINECS)
EINECS No: 283-406-2
FEMA #: 2466
GRAS:yes
INCI Name: Eucalyptus globulus oil

Extraction Information
Country of Origin:    Australia, South Africa
Part of Plant used:    Leaves and mature branches
Extraction method:    Distillation
Oil yield:              1-3%
Color of Oil:        Pale yellow to clear

Blending Information
Odor Description:  Strong, camphor like, balsamic, fresh
Blending Factor:    1
Note:   Top note

Safety Information
•  May antidote homeopathic remedies, generally safe to use
•  Avoid applying near the nostrils of infants due to risk of spasm of the glottis, due to the cooling effect on the respiratory system, use Eucalyptus smithii or radiata with children
•  Keep essential oil out of reach of children.  Ingestion of the oil is toxic and can affect the central nervous, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems. (Blumenthal, et al 1996)

Aromahead Euca Glob med

Chemical Constituents

Chemical Feature:  Rich in the oxide 1,8 cineole syn eucalyptol and monoterpenes

Research on 1,8 Cineole and Eucalyptus

  • 1,8 cineole syn. eucalyptol or cajeputol is an oxide and an ether. The name 1,8 refers to the fact that the oxygen atom is bonded to the first and eighth carbon atoms. 1,8 cineole is found in high concentrations in such essential oils as: Eucalyptus species, Laurus nobilis, Lavandula latifolia, Melaleuca quinquenervia, Myrtus communis, Rosmarinus officinalis ct. cineole and Elettaria cardamomum.
  • 1,8 cineole possesses noted antiviral activity, antitussive effects (relieves coughs), bronchodilator effects (help open the bronchial tubes (airways) of the lungs, allowing more air to flow through them), mucolytic and mucociliary effects (mucolytics break down or dissolve mucus and thus facilitate the easier removal of these secretions from the respiratory tract by the ciliated epithelium, a process known as mucociliary clearance) and anti-inflammatory activity.   1,8 cineole also has positive effects on lung function parameters whether for the common cold or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (Harris, 2007)
  • 1,8 cineole has been used in traditional medicine as a secretolytic remedy for bronchitis, sinusitis, and colds. (Juergens, et al. 2003)
  • 1,8 cineole acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. (Bastos, et al. 2010 and Juergens, et al 2003)
  • 1,8 cineole has clinically relevant anti-inflammatory activity in the treatment of bronchial asthma.  This study had patients receiving 200mg t.i.d. orally. (Juergens, et al. 2003)
  • Concomitant therapy with 1,8 cineole reduces exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In a placebo-controlled double-blind trial, patients receiving 200mg of cineole internally 3 times a day experienced a reduced frequency, duration and severity of exacerbatioins associated with COPD. Secondary outcomes included: improved lung function, reduced dyspnea (shortness of breath) and increased quality of life. (Worth, et al. 2009)
  • 1,8 cineole showed bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity. (Sokovic, et al.) **Note: A bacteriostatic agent is a biological or chemical agent that stops bacteria from reproducing, while not necessarily harming them otherwise. A bactericidal, on the other hand, actually kills the bacteria.
  • Eucalyptus globulus has growth inhibiting activity against bacterial strains which have been isolated from respiratory infections such as: Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, S. pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae, H. parainfluenzae, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. (Cermelli, et al. 2008)
  • Eucalyptol oil used in respiratory diseases has strong bactericidal activity and also anti-inflammatory, expectorant and stimulating secretions of bronchial challenge properties. (Sienkiewicz, et al. 2011)
  • Eucalyptus essential oil, due to its highly antibacterial activity, is used in combination with tea tree and grapefruit essential oils to treat the malodor of necrotic ulcers. (Warnke et al. 2004)
  • Eucalyptus oil is thought to increase the motility of the ciliated epithelium in the bronchia, thus explaining the expectorant effect of this oil. (Grassmann and Elstner, 2003)
  • Eucalyptus globulus is able to implement the innate cell-mediated immune response and may serve as a new class of immuno-regulatory agents useful as adjuvant in immuno-suppressive pathologies, in infectious disease as well as in tumor chemotherapy. (Serafino, et al. 2008)
  • Eucalyptus citriodora and Eucalyptus globulus demonstrated analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity. (Silva, et al. 2003)
  • • Eucalyptus globulus leaves taken internally showed a considerable inhibitory effect on the growth of Candia albicans in both normal and diabetic rats. (Bokaeian, et al. 2010)
  • Eucalyptus globulus essential oil showed anti-candidal activity and inhibited filamentation of these fungi. (Noumi, et al. 2010)

According to the German Commission E report:
The Commission E reported secretomotory, expectorant, mildly antispasmodic, and mild local hyperemic activity for cineole rich Eucalyptus species. In Germany, eucalyptus leaf is licensed as a standard medicinal tea, used for bronchitis and inflammation of the throat. In the United States, it is used mainly as a component of decongestant compounds, available in galenical dosage forms including aqueous infusion, alcoholic fluid extract or tincture, inhalants, essential oil, and native extract in solid dosage forms. In both the United States and Germany, eucalyptus oil is used extensively as an expectorant component of cough and cold compounds in various oral dosage forms, including lozenges and syrups, and as an inhalant in vapor baths.

The Commission E approved the internal use of eucalyptus oil for catarrhs of the respiratory tract and its external use for rheumatic complaints.

Interactions with Other Drugs
The Commission E notes that eucalyptus oil induces the enzyme system of the liver involved in the detoxification process. Therefore, the effects of other drugs can be weakened and/or shortened when taken internally.

Dosage and Administration

External:
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 a base of paraffin, petroleum jelly, or vegetable oil) 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.

The German Commission E report information was obtained from: http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/Eucalyptusoil.html

Therapeutic Actions:
Analgesic (Silva et al., 2003), antibacterial (Ghalem and Mohamed, 2008), anti-inflammatory (Silva et al. 2003), antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitussive, antiviral, balsamic, decongestant, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, insecticide, rubefacient, stimulant, vermifuge, vulnerary

Keywords: Cooling, stimulating, clearing, antibacterial, expectorant

Core Aromatic Applications

Circulatory system: stimulating, good support oil for the stimulating properties of black pepper or juniper, can support detoxification programs

Digestive system: Diarrhea (caused by viral infection), intestinal parasites, candida albicans

Musculoskeletal system: muscular aches and pains, arthritis, rheumatism, plantar fasciitis, sprains

Respiratory system: chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, antiseptic qualities good for sore throat and infections, laryngitis, clears the head especially when used with rosemary and peppermint, nasal congestion, coughs, cold, flu, pertussis

Skin: herpes simplex (Schnitzler at al, 2001), shingles, chickenpox, measles, acne, ulcers, wounds, boils, burns, cuts

Psyche and emotion: uplifting, refreshing, can have a “cooling” emotional effect, clears and stimulates the mind, aids concentration, good for exhaustion, balancing when there is an energy imbalance, purifying and cleansing to negative energies, especially after an argument

Subtle/energetic aromatherapy:  can be used as an emotional and energy balancer and is useful for individuals who lack concentration or have cluttered or irrational thoughts

Ayurveda: Useful for Kapha excess conditions presenting as mucus or lethargy. Cooling and light. According to Lad and Durve (2008), ‘Eucalyptus globulus has a pungent rasa and vipaka. In moderate does it is cooling, but it is heating in large quantity. Pacifies vata and kapha, it primarily acts on the lungs and sinuses (decongesting and bronchodilator). Eucalyptus has a cooling effect on the surface of the skin, but is heating on the mucus lining’.

Traditional Chinese Medicine: Eucalyptus is unparalleled in its ability to clear Lung-Phlegm for TCM work and as a general tonic to Lung-Qi; is suited to the individual who feels emotionally “hemmed-in” or constricted by their surroundings and can help to provide “room to breathe”.

 

Sample Blends with Eucalyptus globulus:

Respiratory Salve
1 ounce jojoba oil and 1 ounce of beeswax. Melt down beeswax in double boiler and slowly add in jojoba oil. Stir well.  While this is heating and melting, prepare jars.

For each 25ml jar add:  10 drops Eucalyptus globulus, 4 drops Melaleuca alternifolia, 3 drops Citrus limon, 7 drops Mentha x piperita, and 10 drops Rosmarinus officinalis (either camphor or cineole chemotype).

Once the salve is completely melted add to jars. Cap quickly, shake and then set aside to harden.  Once hardened, the salve is ready for use.

 

Eucalyptus muscle rub

  • 1 ounce jojoba or other organic vegetable oil
  • 14 drops Eucalyptus globulus
  • 7 drops Mentha x piperita
  • 12 drops Lavandula x intermedia

Combine all ingredients in glass container, shake well. Apply to muscular aches and pains as needed.

 

References
Arctander, S. (1994). Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Carol Stream, Illinois: Allured Publishing Corp.
Baker, R.T.  and Smith, H. G.(1912). A Research On The Eucalypts Of Tasmania And Their Essential Oils.  J. Vail, Government Printer. Downloaded on January 3, 2012 from: http://openlibrary.org/books/OL7237757M/A_research_on_the_eucalypts_of_Tasmania_and_their_essential_oils

Bastos V P D, Gomes A, Lima F J B, Brito T S, Soares P M G, Pinho J P M, Silva C S, Santos A A, Souza M H I P and Magalhaes.  Inhaled 1,8 cineole Reduces Inflammatory Parameters In Airways of Ovalbumin-Challenged Guinea Pigs. (2010). Basic and Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, 108, 34-39.

Blumenthal, et al. (1996). Review of Clinical Effects and Management of Eucalyptus Oil Poisoning in Infants and Children. HerbClip. Retrieved on August 10, 2005, from www.herbalgram.org.

Blumenthal, et al. (1998). Expanded Commission E on German chamomile. Austin: American Botanical Council; Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications. Retrieved on August 10, 2005, from www.herbalgram.org.

Bokaeian, M, Nakhaee A, Moodi B and Khazaei H A. Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) Treatment of Candidiasis in Normal and Diabetic Rats. Iranian Biomedical Journal 14 (3): 121-126 (July 2010).

Bowles, E.J. (2003). The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils. Australia: Allen & Unwin.

Cermelli, C, Fabio A, Fanbio G and Quaglio, P. Effect of Eucalyptus Essential Oil on Respiratory Bacteria and Viruses. Curr Microbiol (2008) 56:89-92.

Cheng S-S, Huang C-G, Chen Y-J, Yu J-J, Chen W-J, and Chang S-T.  Chemical compositions and larvicidal activities of leaf essential oils from two eucalyptus species. Biorescource Technology 100 (2009) 452-456.

FAO. (1995). Beyond timber: social, economic and cultural dimensions of non-wood forest products in Asia and the Pacific. Retrieved on January 23, 2012 from: http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5336e/x5336e0n.htm

Ghalem, B R and Mohamed B. Antibacterial activity of leaf essential oils of Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus camaldulensis. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology Vol 2(10). pp.211-215, December, 2008.

Goeb, P. (1996). Properties and Indications of Rosmarinus officinalis. Les Cahiers de lAromatherapie—Aromatherapy Records, 2, 45–51.

Grassmann J and Elstner E F. Essential Oils: Properties and Uses. Elsevier Science Ltd. 2003.

Grieve, M. (1996). A Modern Herbal. Kent, U.K.: Barnes and Noble.

Haas, M. (2004). Quick Reference Guide for 114 Important Essential Oils. San Rafael, CA: Linda Scent and Image Books.

Harris, B. (2007). 1,8 cineole – a component of choice for respiratory pathologies. International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy Vol4 (2), 3-8.

Juergens, U R, Dethlefsen U, Steinkamp G, Gillissen A, Repges R, and Vetter H. Anti-inflammatory activity of 1,8-cineol (eucalyptol) in bronchial asthma: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Respiratory Medicine. Vo 97 (2003) 250-256.

Lad, Vasant and Durve, Anisha. (2008). Marma points of Ayurveda. Albuquerque, N.M.: The Ayurvedic Press.
Leigh, I. (2001). Aromatic Alchemy. Winchester, MA: Mansion Publishing Ltd.

Lu X Q, et al. (2004). Effect of Eucalyptus globulus oil on lipopolysaccharide-induced chronic bronchitis and mucin hypersecretion in rats. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 29 (2): 168–171. PMID: 15719688, Retrieved August 10, 2004, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Mojay, G. (1997). Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Noumi E, Snoussi M and Bakhrouf A. In vitro effect of Melaleuca alternifolia and Eucalyptus globulus essential oils on mycelia formation by oral Candida albicans strains.  African Journal of Microbiology Research Vol 4 (12), pp. 1332-1336.

Sato K, Krist S, Buchbauer G (2006) Antimicrobial effect of trans-cinnamaldehyde, (-)-perillaldehyde, (-)-citronellal, citral, eugenol and carvacrol on airborne microbes using an airwasher. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 29(11):2292-2294

Serafina A, Vallebona P S, Andreola F, Zonfrillo M, Mercuri L, Federici M, Rasi G, Garaci E and Pierimarchi P. Stimulatory effect of Eucalyptus essential oil on innate cell-mediated immune response. MBC Immunology 2008, 9:17.

Schnitzler P, Schon K, and Reichling Antiviral activity of Australian tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil against herpes simplex virus in cell culture. J. Pharmazie 2001 Apr;56(4):343-7.

Silva, J., Abebe, W., Sousa, S. M., Duarte, V. G., Machado, M. I., and Matos, F. J. (2003). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of essential oils of Eucalyptus. J Ethnopharmacol. 89 (2003): 277–283.

Sokovic M, Glamoclija J, Marin P D, Brkic D, and van Griensven L J L D. Antibacterial effects of essential oils of commonly consumed medicinal herbs using an In Vitro model.  Molecules 2010, 15,7532-7546.

Su Y-C Ho C-L, Want E I-C, and Chang S-T. Antifungal activities and chemical compositions of essential oils from leaves of four Eucalypts.  Taiwan J For Sci 21 (1): 49-61, 2006.

Tisserand, R. & Balacs, T. (1995). Essential Oil Safety. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone.

Warnke P H, Terheyden H, Acil Y, Springer I, Sherry E, et al. (2004). Tumor Smell Reduction with Antibacterial Essential Oils. Cancer February 15, 2004, Vol. 100 No 4 (Correspondence)

Worth H, Schacher C, and Dethlefsen U. Concomitant therapy with cineole (eucalyptole) reduces exacerations in COPD: A placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Respiratory Research 2009, 10:69.

Comments

  1. Very informative! Thank you for this concise information about Eucalyptus globulus

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