Eucalyptus Leaves And Oil

February 21, 2012 by staff 

Eucalyptus Leaves And Oil, Eucalyptus oils are obtained by distillation of the leaves of Eucalyptus and have aromas characteristic of the particular species used.

The oils are classified in the trade into three broad types according to their composition and main end-use: medicinal, perfumery and industrial. Of these, the most important in terms of volume of production and trade is the medicinal type, characterised by a high cineole content in the oil. This, and the perfumery type, are discussed below. The so-called industrial oil, produced from E. dives, now has a very small and diminishing market and is not discussed further.

The medicinal type of oil may be sold as such, neat, in pharmacies and other retail outlets or in the form of sprays, lozenges, cough sweets and ointments or in formulation with other oils. It is used as an inhalant or chest rub to ease breathing difficulties, as a mouthwash in water to refresh or ease the throat, and as a skin rub to provide relief from aches and pains. Anti-plaque solutions in dental hygiene are a recent application. Although employed for medicinal purposes, the pleasant flavour and fragrance properties of cineole-rich eucalyptus oils play an important role in their acceptance and utilization on such a large scale. Eucalyptus oil is also used as a general disinfectant, cleaner and deodorizer about the house.

Of the two principal perfumery oils, that from Eucalyptus citriodora is produced in the greatest volume. It differs from the medicinal oils in containing citrinellal, rather than cineole, as the major constituent. The oil is employed in whole form for fragrance purposes, usually in the lower cost soaps, perfumes and disinfectants, but also as a source of citrinellal for the chemical industry. The citrinellal obtained by fractionation of the crude oil may be used as such as an aroma chemical or converted to other derivatives intended for fragrance use.

The only other perfumery oil produced in any quantity is that from E. staigeriana. No single chemical predominates in the oil and it is used in whole form for perfumery purposes. It has a lemon-type character.

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