My experience with Eucalyptus oil was steeped mainly in my use of it in the US. I was used to the smell, flavor, and viscosity of Eucalyptus oil – as I knew it. While on a trip to Oozy India, I was watching Eucalyptus leaves (picture above) being steam distilled to extract the oil. When I applied the Eucalyptus oil to my skin, I found it slightly more viscous and it had a softer, more pleasant flavor than the Eucalyptus oils I was used to using in the States. It also soothed my senses significantly.
I then travelled to China where I met Shanghai Shindig International Trading Co., one of the largest exporter of “100% pure natural Eucalyptus essential oil” into the US. I was surprised to find what they called “100% pure natural eucalyptus essential oil” was not made from Eucalyptus leaves. They were made from the leaves of the Camphor Laurel tree (see below), which grows abundantly in China.
Eucalyptus oil is primarily made up of eucalyptus – also known as cineole, cineol, eucalyptole, etc. The Chinese manufacturer fractionate cineole from the Camphor Laurel tree and pass it off as Eucalyptus oil. I find the real Eucalyptus oil a lot more effective as a treatment for bronchitis and asthma. I am also more partial towards authentic Eucalyptus oil as an anti-inflammatory agent, and as a topical analgesic.
Am I being biased towards the real Eucalyptus oil? Is the cineole extract from the Camphor Laurel tree the same as Eucalyptus oil? We can fuzz facts all we want but I think it is wrong for major US retailers to sell “Natural essential Eucalyptus oil”－when it is not!