Syn.—Eucalyptus; Blue Gum Tree of Tasmania.
P. E.—Leaves from older parts of tree.
Properties: Antimalarial, antispasmodic, tonic, febrifuge, antiseptic.
Physiological action: In very large doses it increases the activity of the kidneys greatly, produces pain in the gastro-intestinal tract, indigestion and at times diarrhea; this is followed by drowsiness, general depression, diminution or loss of power of the lower extremities. Skin becomes pale, cold and sometimes clammy, pupils are contracted, pulse small and feeble, respiration becomes short, interrupted and jerky, and in a few cases death has resulted. Its poisonous effects may be counteracted with belladonna, nux vomica or alcohol.
Use: In malarial conditions it may be given where quinine is contra-indicated. It is not as prompt in its action as the latter, but more permanent in its effects. In low form of fevers, scarlet fever, diphtheria, phthisis pulmonalis, chronic ulceration of the stomach, catarrh in any part of the body, asthma, nephritis, etc., it is of great value if used with other indicated remedies. In ulceration of the cervix of the uterus, catarrh of the uterus and ovaries; the oil should be applied to the cervix 2 to 5 times a week. Castor oil should be used as a menstruum: say 1 part of oil of eucalyptus and 2 parts of castor oil, in this way the medical effects will remain a considerable length of time, which is not possible with any other menstruum. This also serves a good purpose in cancer of the uterus and ovaries as well as the breasts. In influenza, where abdominal symptoms are prominent 2 to 5 drops of eucalyptus oil may be taken before dinner and supper for a few days. This often is very effective. As the oil is not well borne by the stomach and its action on the kidneys too pronounced it should not be given often. For general internal use the specific tincture is to be given only.
The Materia Medica and Clinical Therapeutics, 1905, was written by Fred J. Petersen, M.D.