The aborigines of Australia were the first humans to discover the healing qualities of the eucalyptus tree, but the koala, Australia’s lovable herbivorous marsupial, was actually the first mammal to discover the amazing leaves of the eucalyptus. A koala spends at least three of its five active hours eating the leaves of several varieties of eucalyptus trees because they are low in protein and high in phenolic compounds, which are powerful antioxidants. Eucalyptus leaves are also rich in terpene compounds, which are the primary constituents in the essential oil of the eucalyptus tree. The aborigines undoubtedly noticed the affect of eucalyptus on the Koala, and began to use the leaves in order to benefit health-wise. They used these species for antiseptic, repellent, and flavoring purposes.
Almost three thousand tons of eucalyptus oil is produced every year by China, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Australia, Spain, and Portugal. These countries generally produce three types of oil depending on the end use, but the most popular oil of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is the cineole-based version, which has a spicy, camphor-like smell and a cooling effect. The medicinal uses of this naturally fragrant oil are well known and the fortification it provides to the immune system is considered a vital element in aromatherapy applications.
Eucalyptus oil has the ability to affect monocytes, which are a type of white blood cell that are an important aspect of the human immune system. Monocytes have two main functions: first, they help initiate the defense systems when free radicals attach themselves to cells and begin to damage them, and second, they respond to inflammation and infection in the tissues, so the immune system can identify and divide the cells, and then regenerate new cell growth.
A fortified immune system is the foundation for an active lifestyle, as well as for an extended life cycle, so take a hint from the happy, healthy koala bear and make the benefits of pure eucalyptus oil a part of your daily life!