Type of plant: Tree growing to 60 feet in height with a furrowed gray bark and broader leaves than other eucalyptus varieties, with small fluffy flowers
Part used: Leaves and twigs
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Data: Two species of Australian eucalyptus are known as eucalyptus peppermint, and the oil most commonly used in aromatherapy is Eucalyptus dives. The other, Eucalyptus piperita, was known as the Sydney Peppermint and is native to New South Wales. In 1790 the British “Surgeon to the First Fleet,” Dr. John White, published his Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales, in which he states that he personally distilled essential oil from Eucalyptus piperita in 1788, making it the earliest known eucalyptus distillation. Eucalyptus dives is native to the coastal regions of New South Wales and Victoria and can flower and fruit when only six feet in height. Known as broad-leafed peppermint, this species was used by native Aborigines as a medicine, especially in cases of fever, when the smoke is wafted over the person. It’s in some pharmaceutical preparations, mouthwashes, and veterinary medicines.
Principal places of production: Australia, Tasmania
When buying look for: A thin, pale-yellow liquid with a woody, balsamic aroma and a characteristic peppermint note
Therapeutic properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antineuralgic, antiseptic, expectorant, mucolytic, pectoral, spasmolytic, stimulant, vasodilatory
Therapeutic uses: Respiratory infection, sinusitis, sinus headache, influenza, fever, headache, migraine, rheumatism, arthritis, muscular aches and pains, leg cramp, abdominal cramp, menstrual cramp, neuralgia, inflammatory conditions, candida, cellulite, parasitic infections, head lice, fatigue, exhaustion, acne, pimples
Blends well with: Bay laurel, bergamot, black pepper, chamomile german, cypress, elemi, fennel (sweet), frankincense, geranium, immortelle, lavandin, lavender, lemon, manuka, myrtle, ravintsara, tangerine, thyme linalol, yuzu
Precautionary advice: Those prone to allergic skin reactions are advised to carry out a skin patch test. Best avoided during pregnancy and while breast-feeding.