Eucalyptus toxicity


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 below.

What are the eucalyptus components?

Eucalyptus honey

Photo of eucalyptus honey

  • Organic acids: caffeic acid, ferulic acid and gentisic acid
  • Essential oils (from 1 to 3.5%): cineol (7085%), alphapinene, dlimonene, pcymene, alphaphellandrene, camphene, gammaterpineol. 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.

Eucalyptus dose

  • 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.

In some sensitive individuals, the essential oil can cause intestinal disorders such as diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, tachycardia, headache and dizziness.

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.

Applied to the skin, eucalyptus oil can cause dermatitis, itching and eczema in some people. If used undiluted, it is very irritating and can cause blisters or burns.

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.

* More information on the contraindications of eucalyptus.

Is eucalyptus good during pregnancy or lactation?

Eucalyptus appears to be safe during pregnancy and lactation in established food quantities.

* More information: Plants and pregnancy and plants for lactation.

Eucalyptus oil has many dangers and should not be used by during pregnancy or lactation

punto rojoMore information on eucalyptus.

This article was endorsed by Vicente Martínez Centelles - Founder of the web and director. Teacher of natural sciences, expert in plants, natural remedies and botanical photography.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

28 July, 2021

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical-online" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.