TOXICITY OF EUCALYPTUS
Is eucalyptus poisonous?
No, Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is not a toxic plant. It is generally safe when used at recommended doses.
The plant may have adverse effects by the high content of cineole (80%) present in their essential oils.
Eucalyptus essential oil should always be diluted before being used in treatments.
* Learn about Side Effects of eucalyptus in the listing above.
What are the eucalyptus components?
- Organic acids: caffeic acid, ferulic acid and gentisic acid
- Essential oils (from 1 to 3.5%): cineol (70-85%), alpha-pinene, d-limonene, p-cymene, alpha-phellandrene, camphene, gamma-terpineol. Sesquiterpenes: aromadendrene, globulol, ledol, viridiflorol.
Eucalyptus is very rich in cineol (also called eucalyptol), a component of eucalyptus essential oil responsible for its smell. Numerous properties have been demonstrated for this component: expectorant, softens and reduces the sputum, stimulates saliva production (effective for treatment of cough), besides having antiseptic properties. An overdose of this component is neurotoxic and can cause digestive disorders.
- Flavonoids: eucalyptin, hyperoside, quercetin, quercitrin, rutin.
- Dry leaves: infusion of 5 - 12g. in 200ml. of water.
- Essential oil: 0,02 - 0,2 ml.
- Essential oil overdose can be fatal. Bibliography notes that the intake of 3.5 ml. of eucalyptus essential oil has been known to cause death. Children are more sensitive to these effects.
Eucalyptus toxic principles and possible risks
- Infusions of dried eucalyptus leaves are harmless when consumed in recommended doses. In high doses can cause side effects that presents the essential oil:
- Eucalyptus essential oil is classified as a narcotic, nephrotoxic (toxic to the kidneys) and phototoxic oil. This oil is used in doses always very controlled and diluted.
Eucalyptus essential oil, which is rich in eucalyptol, is present in many drugs, pills and cough drops. In these formats, the oil is safe in recommended doses. They are safe eucalyptol treatments for 12 weeks.
Children are more susceptible to the essential oil of eucalyptus, so it should not be taken by children under 2 years or children with some kind of respiratory allergy.
- Essential oil overdose is very dangerous for their neurotoxic effects. The essential oil poisoning includes the above symptoms, and can also cause severe epigastric pain, muscle weakness, pinpoint pupils, hematuria (blood in urine), breathing difficulties or choking sensation. At high doses (3.5 ml.) Eucalyptus essential oil has been fatal.
Pregnancy and lactation
- Eucalyptus oil has many dangers and should not be used by during pregnancy or lactation
More information on eucalyptus in the listing above
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.