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Eucalyptus species. What's the difference?

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

eucalyptus species, plant, essential oil

Eucalyptus has been used for decades not only for its aroma but for its respiratory, antibacterial skin, and muscle soothing effects. But did you know that there are over 700 different species of eucalyptus trees?

The most common species sold (that I’ve seen) are E. globulus, E. radiata and E. Smithii. So what’s the difference?

E. Globulus

Chemical composition: 60-75% 1,8 Cineole - made up of a total of 44 different chemicals.

Best uses: Better antioxidant activity (compared to E. Radiata).

E. Radiata

Chemical composition: 68.5% limonene with a total of 72 chemicals.

Best uses: Better antibacterial activity (compared to E. Globulus). Asthma/lung conditions that need an antibacterial component.

E. Smithii

Chemical composition: 72.2% 1,8 Cineole.

Apparently has a more spicy, earthy, woodsy character.

Best uses: same as E. Globulus, but in the case where you want a milder effect - saunas, baths, etc.

E. citriodora

Chemical composition: 50% citronellal

Best uses: mosquito (bug) repellant

Fun Fact!

E. odorata showed the strongest activity against S. aureus, H. influenzae, S. agalactiae, S. pyogenes, S. pneumoniae and against all the tested fungal strains.

Important to note that these are the chemical compositions before any processing occurs. Actual compositions may differ.

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