Are Eucalyptus Leaves Toxic?
I heard from a friend who lives down the road, that she had observed people picking eucalyptus leaves. When asked what they were going to do with them , she was told they would be steaming themselves with the leaves in hot water. So of course that information got me researching and here is some awesome information on Eucalyptus leaves.
Did you know that there are over 700 different varieties of Eucalyptus trees? The majority of them are found in Australia. The most commonly used variety is the Eucalyptus globulus for distilling to abstract the essential oils. The Australian aboriginals and early European explorers and collectors have been using the oily leaves, bark and roots for medicinal purposes for centuries.
We are living in times where we have been told that our lungs are at risk more than normal and of course Eucalyptus Essential Oil is known to help with lung functioning. So placing a bunch of Eucalyptus leaves in hot water with a towel over your head and breathing in the steam sounds like a good idea to assist with congestion,it will loosen phlegm, relieve headaches due to sinus pressure, help relieve coughs and sore throats,just to name a few.....
You can also use the leaves in a herbal infusion. A "tea" made with leaves that have been placed in a glass bottle with hot water poured over it. Leave it to soak for approx 8 hours to allow all the ingredients to be released in the water. Take all the leaves out and you can sip small quantities at a time over a 24 hour period to help with a sore throat or a cough. The infusion can also be used as an antiseptic wash for wounds or as a mouth wash for mouth ulcers or to assist with other periodontal infections. Don't swallow if used as a mouth wash.
Tinctures can be made easily with Eucalyptus leaves and one or two drops can be used in tea. ( Don't use more than two drops at a time, as too much can become toxic). You can add a few drops in the bath, or in bowl of hot water to steam your upper respiratory system. See directions below on how to make a tincture.
A chest rub can be made from beeswax and a few drops of tincture or essential oil, then rub it on your chest to assist with coughing, and other chest complaints.
You can make your own massage oil to help with joint pain and arthritis.
Fill a glass jar with dried eucalyptus leaves and any other dried material of a medicinal plant that has anti inflammatory properties such as Lavender, Rose Geranium, Rosemary, Calendula etc, and then cover it with either olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or sweet almond oil. Leave it in direct sunlight for approximately two weeks, drain the leaves and then you can use the oil.
To dry leaves; place clean leaves on a paper towel in a dry spot, out of the direct sunlight and where there is good airflow for a few days. Once they have a crispy "leathery " appearance, you can store then in a dry dark glass bottle till you need to use them.
You can also hang a bunch of tied up leaves on the shower head and let the warm shower water flow over the bunch of leaves for a lovely refreshing shower.
Eucalyptus leaves are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral. They have pain killing properties, are anti-microbial, reduces anxiety and can assist in helping to reduce blood pressure. It increases ceramide production in the skin, which increase moisture content to counteract dry skin.
So can Eucalyptus leaves be toxic? YES they can be. Do not take the essential oil internally or eat the fresh leaves. Rather prepare the leaves in ways mentioned above. Seep them in a herbal infusion or dilute them in water so that they are not concentrated if you feel the need to take it internally. It is advisable to rather use the leaves externally in various above mentioned preparations. Toxicity of Eucalyptus leaves can result in the following side effects of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even neurological changes.
So if you can, go ahead and pick yourselves a bunch of Eucalyptus leaves, and have some fun with them.
If you are interested in buying a bottle or two of 10ml of Eucalyptus Essential oil for R42 each, then either contact me via return email or click on the link below.
Keep the good vibes vibing
The Lion Heart Lady
P.S Directions on how to make a tincture.
Clean glass bottle with a tight fitting lid. Fill the bottle with the medicinal plant material, then use vodka or any white spirit alcohol and fill the bottle to the brim. Tightly close the lid, label the bottle with the ingredients and the date. Leave for a minimum of 6 weeks. Periodically turn the bottle over to help the extraction be more efficient. Once 6 weeks is over ( I like to leave for 8 weeks), drain the material through a cotton cloth or filter coffee papers, squeeze the material to get all the extract out of the material. Then put the strained extract in a double boiler or a glass or Pyrex bowl over boiling water for 5 mins. Leave the extract there for approx. 30 mins. This helps to evaporate some of the the alcohol in the extract. One doesn’t want to heat up the extract too much; otherwise it changes the molecular structure of the active ingredients. Once it has cooled down, carefully pour into brown dropper bottles to be used when needed. Extracts prepared in this way can last up to 12 months.