Eucalyptus leaves. Eucalyptus shoots. Eucalyptus oil
Specification & Spread
Eucalyptus leaves — folia eucalypti
Manna gum leaves — folia eucalypti viminalis
Eucalyptus oil — oleum eucalyrti
Manna gum — Eucalyptus viminalis Labill.
Blackbutt — Eucalyptus globulus Labill.
Ash eucalyptus — Eucalyptus cinerea F. Миell ex Benth.
Myrtle family — Myrtaceae.
Eucalyptus is an evergreen, tall, fast-growing trees with smooth bark. In eucalyptus ball-type periderm exfoliates and hangs with long ribbons. This species reaches a height of 45 m, the other two species are much lower. Due to the ability to absorb a huge amount of moisture and excrete it into the air, as well as the property of the petioles to turn leaves edge to the sun, eucalyptus trees are pumping trees and soil dehydrators. For eucalyptus is characterized by heterophilia.
The young leaves are opposite, soft, covered with a layer of wax, grey, egg-shaped. The old leaves are leathery, short-petiolate, alternate, lanceolate, often curved with sickle, perpendicular to the ground, therefore trees give little shade. The flowers are large, with a large number of stamens and subtle halo. The fruit is a capsule with small seeds.
It blooms in autumn in the 3-5th year of life. The seeds ripen in 1-2 years.
Spreading. The country of eucalyptus is Australia and the islands adjacent to it. It is cultivated on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, in Azerbaijan and Central Asia. Manna gum is cultivated on the Black Sea coast of the Krasnodar Territory, in Western Georgia and Azerbaijan. This is the most common and very cold-resistant form.
Habitat. It is light-loving plants. Mostly it grows on fertilized, fertile soil. It is propagated by seeds that are germinated in greenhouses. The trees are damaged by frost or felled, quickly restored by shoots.
The chemical composition of eucalyptus
Eucalyptus leaves contain:
- essential oil,
- phenol-aldehydes (euglobal).
The oil content varies in different species from 0.26 to 4.5%. The main component of the oil is cineol (at least 60%).
In addition to cineole there are found:
- as well as aliphatic aldehydes - isovaleric, nylon, caprylic.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting. The leaves are formed in this growing season can be harvested no earlier than November, when the content of cineole in the essential oil will be at least 60%, and winters can be harvested at any time of the year, but the best raw materials are obtained during the autumn harvest. The leaves of each type of eucalyptus harvested separately.
Security measures. The harvesting is carried out outside the settlements with the permission of local organizations. The preparation of the raw materials is better to combine with trimming trim. Usually it is cut no more than 50% of the lower part of the crown. Do not break off branches.
Drying. It dried in the open air or in rooms with good ventilation, scattering a layer up to 10 cm thick and stirring occasionally. The heat drying is possible at a temperature not higher than 40 ºС.
Storage. It is stored in a dry room, in a well-sealed container according to the rules of storage of essential oil raw materials. The cut raw materials are stored in multilayer packages, eucalyptus oil - in well-closed flasks. The content of the essential oil in the raw material is checked annually.
External signs of raw materials
Whole raw materials
The leaves of manna gum represent a mixture of two types of leaves: the leaves of the old branches are petiolate, from narrow-lined to sickle-curved, acuminate, dense, 4-27 cm long, 0.5-5 cm wide; the leaves of young branches - sessile, with a rounded base or with a short petiole, oblong-ovate, acuminate at the apex, 3.5-11 cm long, 0.7-4 cm wide (fig. 5.10). There are leaves that have a transitional form from oblong-ovate to lanceolate.
The leaves are bare, with a solid, smooth or wavy edge and numerous dots, translucent in transmitted bright light (containers with essential oil).
The leaf colour varies from light green to greyish-green, sometimes with a violet shade and a faint bluish bloom.
The smell is fragrant, aggravated by rubbing.
The taste is bitter.
The shoots are no longer than 1 m, with a stem diameter at the base of up to 0.5 cm.
Milled raw materials
The pieces of leaves of various shapes, passing through a sieve with 5 mm diameter holes.
The colour is from light green to greyish-green, sometimes with a violet shade. The smell is fragrant.
The taste is bitter.
The ash eucalyptus has juvenile leaves of a broadly ovate form, without a stem; old ones - lanceolate, short.
The colour of the leaves is grey from wax bloom.
Ball-type eucalyptus has juvenile leaves soft, often wide stalk, ovate, with a heart-shaped base or broadly lanceolate; the old leaves are dense, short, lanceolate, sickle-curved, dark green.
Properties and application
Pharmacotherapeutic group. Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
The pharmacological properties of eucalyptus
Essential oil and other substances contained in eucalyptus leaves have
- stimulating effect on mucous membrane receptors, also possess local anti-inflammatory and antiseptic activity.
Application of eucalyptus
Eucalyptus and eucalyptus oil preparations are used as antiseptics for
- rinses and inhalations for diseases of the upper respiratory tract,
- as well as for the treatment of fresh and infected wounds.
Eucalyptus oil is used as
- antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent, for rinsing and inhalation in inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract.
It stimulates sensitive nerve endings, has a distracting and some anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect.
For inhalation - asthma, bronchospasm, whooping cough.