Eucalyptus – so bite me!

Fuck you, asshole!

I’ll be back

I furiously scribbled this post sitting on my sofa watching a wasp headbutt my window. It’s that time of year again when these minions of the devil little insects lay seige to my flat, determinedly trying to find a way in so they can exhaust themselves attacking my light bulbs.

Time to bring out the big gun – eucalyptus globulus.

Eucalyptus is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of essential oils. It is the best wasp deterrent I’ve found. The first summer I moved into my flat and it was laid siege by wasps, I burned eucalyptus by an open window. Smugly, I watched as wasps were frustrated by a seemingly invisible forcefield that rendered their attempts to enter futile. Wasps hate the smell of eucalyptus.

You can also apply the oil as a deterrent by dropping it onto tissue paper strips or ribbons and securing to your window to blow in the breeze. Brilliant stuff.

Hasta la vista, baby

This is not an oil to be underestimated. Its actions are very powerful and best not used with those people who are sensitive of skin, body or mind. For most, it is not an aesthetically pleasing oil. I’ve never used it in beauty treatments and rarely in massage, even during my aromatherapy studies. But for its therapeutic effects see the summary profile below.

I personally prefer to substitute this oil in aromatherapy for the more subtle-acting ravensara and myrtle (the latter especially for babies and children). I once gave a client with a stuffy head and blocked nose – on verge of full-blown cold – a facial massage with 3% ravensara oil. It has the same decongesting and expectorant effects as eucalyptus but with a less offensive and obtrusive scent, and its aroma is slightly sedative rather than overly stimulating.

Besides I know how I’d rather use my eucalyptus oil …

So Mr Wasp, ‘Did you call *moi* a dipshit?’…

This post is dedicated to Deano, ‘cos he’s the toughest dude I know.

Profile of eucalyptus globulus:

Latin name: Eucalyptus globulus 
Plant family: Myrtaceae
Plant type: medicinal/herb
Perfume note: top
Botany and origins: tall evergreen tree of about 90m with long yellow-green leaves, cream-white flowers and a smooth grey bark, it is native to Australia and Tasmania, but also produced by Spain, Portugal, Brazil, California and China
Extraction: steam distillation of the leaves and young twigs
Chemical properties/active components: primarily oxides (76%) which are thought to contribute to its therapeutic properties
Blends with: thyme, rosemary, lavender, marjoram, pine, cedarwood and lemon
Key actions: antiseptic, antibacterial, analgesic, antiviral, antispasmodic, deodorant, decongestant, expectorant, parasiticide, stimulating
Common conditions: colds, flu, catarrh, bronchitis, coughs, sinusitis, chickenpox and measles (anecdotal reports in my own experience); muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, sprains; insect repellent and bites, lice, skin infections and wounds
Contraindications: non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising. However, if taken internally eucalyptus poisoning can have serious and perhaps fatal effects: ‘Under 5ml eucalyptus oil has apparently been fatal in an adult, although this is atypical’. (Robert Tisserand and Tony Balacs, Essential oil safety. A guide for healthcare professionals, 2004)
Further reading: This profile is based on my own experience and knowledge of using this essential oil. Other aromatherapy texts will list a wider range of properties and uses. The most comprehensive essential oil profiles that I have read are given by Salvatore Battaglia’s The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition, published by Perfect Potion, 2003, Australia. ISBN:  0-6464-2896-9

Image © 123RF