Grasping the Different Eucalyptus Species

And how to choose the right Eucalyptus...

With over 700 species of eucalyptus, as well as chemotypes, common names and different parts of the plant being marketed, it is no wonder that many people struggle with knowing what is good. Not to mention, most companies are labeling the oil all under the genus of Eucalyptus which is incredibly misleading!

What is a Chemotype?

A chemotype (CT) is a designation that tells you that the species has different chemical constituents. This usually occurs because the plant is grown in a different area under a distinct climate that alters the chemistry. The perfume varieties mostly contain citronellal, while the species that has been studied to support healthy respiratory system function contain 1, 8 cineole.

In order to know exactly what you are getting, always purchase and use essential oils by the common name and genus species. And of course make sure they are therapeutic grade.

This matters because different species (and chemotypes) may have a different purpose, so the uses of eucalyptus will be different. Frankly, some species may not be suitable for all uses.

~The Different Species and Uses of Eucalyptus Species~

As I said previously, there are over 700 species of eucalyptus; however, not all have been studied to support the mind or body.

The most popular Eucalyptus species used are:

  • Eucalyptus globulus – This oil is commonly known as Eucalyptus or Blue Gum Oil. It contains 60-75% 1, 8 cineol. This is the eucalyptus that is known to provide support for a healthy respiratory system and soothe muscles after exercise. It is originally from Australia, however it is also grows in Brazil, China, Corsica and Ecuador. E. globulus has a fresh and earthy aroma that promotes well being. Dilute 50:50. Can be used as a dietary supplement. Approved by the FDA as a Food Additive (FA) or Flavoring Agent (FL), however, not advised for children less than 6 years of age. Commonly found in toothpastes as well.

  • Eucalyptus radiata – This oil is commonly known as Black Peppermint Oil. It contains 60-75% 1, 8 cineol and is native to Australia. You’ll notice that the constituent make up is similar to E. globulus, but there is a distinct difference in the smell. Radiata is less intense and milder, making it sometimes chosen over E. globulus. Only two out of the six known chemotypes are harvested, CT 1, 8 cineol and CR peperitone. Has a sweet and fruity aroma. Dilute at a 50:50 ratio and this can not be used as a dietary supplement.

  • Eucalyptus citriodora – This oil is commonly known as Lemon Eucalyptus Oil. It contains 40-80% citronellal and has several chemotypes. Although originally from Australia, the trees grow in Guatemala, Colombia, Egypt South Africa, India and China. The trees of Madagascar are high in phenols and the Brazilian trees contain a high percentage of aldehydes. Has an ORAC value of 83,000 µTE/100g. This is the highest value of all the Eucalyptus species. Its fresh and lemony aroma is uplifting. Dilute 50:50. Also can not be used as a dietary supplement. Repeated usage can possibly result in contact sensitization. Young Living created a blend that contains eucalyptus citriodora, RC.

  • Eucalyptus dives – This oil is commonly known as Peppermint Eucalyptus Oil. It contains 35-50% piperitone and 23-30% phellandrene. It has three chemotypes that have different uses: CT cineole, CT piperitone has a minty fragrance and CT phellandrene is traditionally used for insect repellant.

  • Eucalyptus polybractea – This oil is commonly known as Blue Mallee Oil. This tree is grown in France, but native to Australia. It contains 85-95% 1, 8 cineol. The chemotype from the French Tree contains cryptone and smells similar to cumin. Its fresh and earthy aroma is uplifting. Dilute 50:50. Can not be used as a dietary supplement.

  • Eucalyptus bicostata – This oil is commonly known as Eucalyptus Blue. The plant is grown in Ecuador (Eucalyptus Blue) and Australia (Southern Blue Gum). It contains the a high amount of alpha-pinene. It also contains eucalyptol (1, 8 cineol). Some botanists consider this a subspecies of E. globulus; however, this does not have global support at this time. Its fresh aroma is very calming to the mind. Dilute 50:50. Can not be used as a dietary supplement.

  • Eucalyptus staigeriana – This oil is commonly known as Lemon Ironbark (not to be confused with lemon myrtle). This oil contains a high amount of aldehydes (about 51%). You will see it in skin care products and it is very calming.

Which should you choose?

Always choose chemistry over anything else, no matter what other may say. Choose dependability over deception as you may expect me to say, choose quality over quantity or price. In the case of essential oils, you truly get what you pay for.

Uses of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus globulus- Eucalyptus comes from a Latin word "obliquus" meaning "oblique"” referring to the base of the leaf where the two sides of the leaf blade are of unequal length.

Did you know that on Cook's 1777 expedition, David Nelson collected a species of eucalyptus to bring back to the British Museum in London? It is most interesting to me to learn historical data along with scientific facts.

Eucalyptus may be supportive of the respiratory system, occasional aches and pain, muscle spasm, tension in head and neck; joint stiffness due to exercise, muscles (over exercised, sore, tension or stiff due to exercise or everyday activities), sports.

The Spiritual Influence is fascinating as the uses of it includes spiritual transformation as well, bringing relationships into the light. This includes the relationship to our self, to others, to our work, and our God.

It will ask us to look at our patterns that hold us back. Or help us see the ones that come forward when we are around our family or if our buttons are being pushed. Triggers, anyone? As we become aware of this, we are able to bring much needed change and harmony to our relationships.


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