Eucalyptus trees are mostly found in Australia since it is their natural habitat. They are similar to pine trees. However, there are several visible traits to distinguish eucalyptus from pine trees, such as its slick rod, leaves, flowers. The flowers of eucalyptus are similar to edelweiss. They likely to blossom twice a year when they are three years old. The first blossom season is in March-June whereas the second one is in October-December.
Eucalyptus can grow until 30-55 m. Even though there are more than 700 species of Eucalyptus can be found mostly in Australia, several of them exist in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Phillipines. It is indeed Eucalyptus trees is very tall since they are also considered as one of the highest tress in the world. But there are kinds that are small and grow circlingly. This lattest mentioned tend to grow propagately on barren soil. Eucalyptus is a multifunctional trees as almost all of their parts are beneficial. The benefits can be found in industrial, health, and reforestation area.
Among all 700 species, there are 5 kinds of Eucalyptus trees that are cultivated seriously since every part of those 5 kinds offer different benefit in industrial area. Those are:
- Eucalyptus Alba. Its fruit is potentially useful for belly salve. We can also use the oil produced by its leaves for another medical purpose, for example rub medicine and cough medicine.
- Eucalyptus Urophylla. The young wood from this species benefits for firewood and charcoal. Since its wood has an excellent property, another important function are also for guild and pulp basic material.
- Eucalyptus Camadulensis. The same as Urophylla, Camadulensis is useful for firewood and charcoal. In some Europe countries, it is used as a charcoal for iron and steel factory.
- Eucalyptus Grandis. It is mostly used for construction, plywood, pole, wood panel and pole for sailboat, and pulp basic material.
- Eucalyptus Deglupta. It is used for firewood, charcoal, particel board and hardboard as basic material for furniture.
However, eucalyptus does not only functional for factory requisite. It is also contributive for human health, especially its leaves since it contains tanin and cineole that later used for producing Eucalyptus oil. The Eucalyptus benefits are:
1. Rub the swollen area with Eucalyptus oil regularly. The natural substance like sitronelol and cineole helps to reduce skin infection.
2. A natural antiseptic.
3. Countering sinus infection. Cineole is one of the substances in Eucalyptus oil to counter sinus infection. Besides, it has expectorant that facilitates in cleaning respiratory tract from its mucus. Eucalyptus oil helps sinus treatment at home by inhalation.
4. Elevating heart activities. Moreover, its unique aroma functions as a stress reliever and fatigued.
5. Easing fever resulted from infection. Applying a small amount of eucalyptus oil on a cloth and putting it to forehead, nape and pelvis will help releasing fever.
6. Minimizing the pain in muscles and joints because it stimulates blood flow and sends warm sensation around the painful area.
7. Protecting our skin can protect it from sun ray. Add several drops of eucalyptus oil to our sunblock with low SPF.
8. Massaging our scalp with Eucalyptus oil will help preventing it suffer from lice.
9. Belly reliever. The fruit of Eucalyptus Alba is beneficial for belly reliever. Take ± 10 grams of Eucalyptus Alba fruit, wash and boiled with a glass of water for 15 minutes, then drink it.
10. Mosquito repellant. Eucalyptus aroma is very strong for mosquito to bear.
11. Minimizing plaque cumulation in our teeth and preventing bleeding gum. After brushing teeth, we should mouthwash with eucalyptus oil.
12. Reposing flu. Eucalyptus oil functions as a strong anti decongestans when we are suffer from flu. Several drops of Eucalyptus oil in warm water will reposing our suffer as we inhale its aroma.
13. Curing sore throat. Rather than consuming chemical medicine, mouthwash with Eucalyptus oil will cure our pain.
14. Increasing immune system. Drinking a glass of Eucalyptus oil once a week with warm water beneficial for responding makrofan which finally increasing our immune system.
Last but not least benefits gained from Eucalyptus is its magical function for reforestation. In 1880s, Menelik Emperor II of Abyssinia, now Ethiopia, demanded shady trees for his arid land of its capital city, Addis Abab as well as for firewood source. Their searching ended up in Eucalyptus which later becomes one of the important factors in economy area of Ethiopia.
Besides Australia as its biggest growing area, Brazil is also populated by eucalyptus since Dr.Edmundo Navarro de Andrade migrated that tree in 1910. It is said that back then he planted 38 million of eucalyptus. Nowadays, we can find more than two billions of eucalyptus that are being cultivated in Brazil.
Aboriginal people survived in arid inland by harnessing underground water pockets that are produced by mallee, one of the Eucalyptus species, that keeps water in their roots. Meanwhile, another species of Eucalyptus that grows well in swamps area marshes water massively from loose land. Italian is happy with that condition since the plant help them to dry Pontine swamp land that occupied by mosquitos. Nowadays this area becomes a valued farm land.
In Australia itself, as its homeland, Eucalyptus is designed to strongly survive from forest fire disaster. There is a non-active leaf buds exactly under its trunk and branch. This leaf buds starts to develop when the tree bark burnt due to fire. They cover tree bark that has already turned into black color because of fire with fresh green leaves. As a result, the core tree still survives after the fire disaster.