Eucalyptus tea – health benefits and possible side effects
Eucalyptus tea is a herbal tea made from the leaves of the Australian eucalyptus tree. This tea, which is usually served hot, is usually used to treat the common cold and flu symptoms. However, you can also combine it with other teas as a soothing tonic. Science has researched the health benefits of eucalyptus tea through several researches, but these are mixed results.
What is eucalyptus tea made of?
The eucalyptus is an evergreen tree that is widely used for its medicinal properties. Although this popular plant is native to Australia, it grows in many regions of the world today. Your bark is naturally enriched with rubber, while the long stems and circular leaves are hard to digest if you would eat them whole. You can, however, process eucalyptus leaves into a tea that is safe for consumption. In addition, you can benefit from the leaves for topical use or for inhalation as an essential oil. The tea has a light green color and a strong smell that some people describe as woody. The scent of eucalyptus is also clean or fresh for others. Since many types of lip balm and skin creams also consist of eucalyptus, the fragrance is known to many consumers.
There are different varieties of the eucalyptus tree that you can use to make eucalyptus tea and eucalyptus oil. Botanists usually refer to the common variety as a blue rubber tree or common fever tree. This fast growing tree produces long, leathery gray-greenish leaves. The leaf glands contain a volatile, essential oil, which is accordingly known as eucalyptus oil. However, the tea should consist primarily of crushed leaves of the tree, and not of the oil that is extracted from the leaves. For example, the warm drink is sometimes called leaves of eucalyptus tea to avoid confusion.
Most scientific research that focuses on the health benefits of eucalyptus is done with eucalyptus oil instead of eucalyptus tea. The oil is much more concentrated than the tea, so you probably won't get the same benefits from drinking the tea. However, according to a study published in 2016, the leaves are known to contain flavonoids and tannins, which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Eucalyptus tea is commonly used as an agent to relieve cold or flu symptoms. The vapors are often considered to be healing, as inhalation helps open clogged airways.
In addition to treating a cold, people use eucalyptus to achieve a number of other health benefits. These would be, for example, the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and even diabetes. Consumption should also reduce plaque and bad breath, as well as eliminate head lice and avoid insect bites. Other health benefits include headache relief and treatment of liver and gallbladder problems. The strong scent of eucalyptus is also used in the manufacture of household products such as candles and potpourri because people enjoy the scent. Toothpaste, mouthwash, bath additives and body creams made of eucalyptus are also often found in household goods.
How can you prepare eucalyptus tea?
Eucalyptus tea bags or loose leaf tea can be bought in many grocery stores, health markets and online. It is best to follow the instructions for making tea on the packaging. You can also make eucalyptus tea yourself at home. It is especially important that you prepare the tea with leaves and not with eucalyptus oil, as already mentioned above. Using the essential oil can cause harmful side effects.
Use a dried leaf of eucalyptus (about a teaspoon) to make your tea. Add the crushed tea leaf to the bottom of a tea cup. Then heat water to 90-95 degrees Celsius. If you don't have a temperature-controlled teapot, bring the water to a boil and then let it rest for a minute to slightly lower the temperature. Then pour about 200 ml of water over the tea leaves and let them steep for up to 10 minutes. You can inhale the vapors if necessary while the tea is soaked. However, strain the loose leaves from the cup before drinking.
Adding honey to your eucalyptus tea will make it sweeter, which can help relieve the symptoms of a sore throat. You can also mix eucalyptus tea with peppermint or chamomile to enhance the drink's calming properties. However, this is not an ordinary tea, in the traditional sense of the word, and is not made from tea plants, as is the case with black or green tea. So only the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, which contains no caffeine, are brewed. Therefore, eucalyptus tea is completely caffeine free, although the vapors are sometimes described as invigorating.
Health risks and possible side effects
Eucalyptus tea is a good source of antioxidants and is generally recognized as safe for adults. However, children are at high risk of toxicity and should seek medical approval before drinking this tea. The leaves of the eucalyptus tree have many impressive advantages. They can help relieve pain, promote relaxation, and relieve cold symptoms. Many over-the-counter products also use eucalyptus extract to refresh your breath, soothe irritated skin and repel insects.
Such tea is usually considered drinkable, but taking eucalyptus oil can be toxic in relatively low doses. Eucalyptus tea is probably safe to consume if you consume it in small quantities. However, there is not enough information to know exactly whether supplements containing large amounts of eucalyptus are safe when taken orally. It is always safest to speak to your doctor before using this or any other treatment with such herbs.
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