eucalyptus-leaves

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.

camphor-laurel

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!

I may be late in figuring this out, but none of this is a secret. It was published in a book in 1991- Ashurst, P. R (1999-07-31). Food FlavoringsISBN 9780834216211.

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