Composition. The leaves of Eucalyptus globulus, or Blue Gum-tree, (nat. ord. Myrtaceae), a native of Australia, now grown in California, Italy, etc. It contains Tannic Acid, a Volatile Oil, a fatty acid, and a resin which is resolvable into Turpene, Cymol, etc. The oil consists of three oils, which distil over at different tempetatures, the first product being called Eucalyptol.
- Extractum Eucalypti Fluidum,—has three-fourths alcohol. Dose, ♏x-ʒj.
- Oleum Eucalypti,—Dose, ♏v-xx, in emulsion or capsules.
Physiological Action. It promotes appetite and digestion, stimulates the flow of saliva, gastric juice, and the intestinal secretions; increases the heart's action, and lowers the arterial tension. In large doses it causes great muscular weakness, lowered temperature, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, diarrhoea, and if continued will irritate and congest the kidneys. It reduces the size of an enlarged spleen, and has anti-malarial properties, absorbing noxious germs, as well as enormous quantities of water from the soil, and by its emanations purifying the atmosphere in its vicinity. It is largely cultivated in malarial districts for these properties, and has rendered habitable a portion of the deadly Roman Campagna. It is destructive to low forms of life.
Eucalyptus is diaphoretic, and a stimulating expectorant. It is eliminated by the skin, bronchial mucous membrane and kidneys, imparting its odor to the breath and urine, being more or less irritant at the points of elimination. The Oil and its derivatives are described under Antiseptic Oils.
- Therapeutics. Eucalyptus is well administered in—
- Chronic Catarrhal Affections—of the genito-urinary organs, the broncho-pulmonary mucous membrane, and the bladder, especially the latter.
- Bronchitis, acute and chronic—in the former after the most acute stage.
- Asthma,—the leaves smoked in combination with Stramonium, Belladonna.
- Chronic Gastric Catarrh,—and other conditions of the intestinal canal which favor the development of parasites.
- Cachexia, and Convalescence,—as a tonic and stimulant.
- Stomatitis and Tonsillitis—a decoction of the leaves, locally.
- Ulcers,—as a disinfectant, it destroying low forms of life.
- Hysteria, Chorea, etc.,—in debilitated persons.
- Malaria,—as a reconstructant, Eucalyptus is better than Quinine.
- Intermittent Fever,—in which Eucalyptus has some utility, especially in obstinate cases, where it is desirable to stop the use of Quinine.
A Compend of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Prescription Writing, 1902, by Sam'l O. L. Potter, M.D., M.R.C.P.L.