Eucalyptus tea is a herbal tea made from the leaves of the Australian eucalyptus tree. Usually served hot, this tea is commonly used to treat cold and flu symptoms. However, you can combine this with other teas as a calming tonic. Science has examined the health benefits of eucalyptus tea through several researches, however, with 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 species is native to Australia, it now grows in many regions of the world. Their bark is naturally enriched with gum, while the long stems and circular leaves are hard to digest if you were to eat these whole. However, you can process eucalyptus leaves into a tea that is safe for consumption. Additionally, you can benefit from the leaves for topical application or for inhalation as an essential oil. The tea is light green in color and has a strong odor that some people describe as woody. The scent of eucalyptus is clean or fresh to others too. Since many types of lip balms and skin creams are also made from eucalyptus, the scent is familiar to many consumers.
There are several varieties of the eucalyptus tree that you can use to make eucalyptus tea and eucalyptus oil. Botanists usually refer to the most common variety as the 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, accordingly known as eucalyptus oil. However, the tea should mainly consist of crushed leaves from the tree and not the oil that is extracted from the leaves. So the warm drink is sometimes called eucalyptus leaf tea to avoid confusion.
Most of the scientific research focused on the health benefits of eucalyptus is done using 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. According to a published in 2016 study however, the leaves are known to contain flavonoids and tannins, which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Eucalyptus tea is commonly used as a means of relieving cold or flu symptoms. The fumes are often thought to be curative as inhaling helps to open clogged airways.
In addition to treating a common cold, people use eucalyptus for a number of other health benefits. These would be, for example, the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and even diabetes. Furthermore, the consumption should reduce dental plaque and bad breath, as well as eliminate head lice and avoid insect bites. Other health benefits would include headache relief and treatment of liver and gallbladder problems. The strong scent of eucalyptus is also used in the manufacture of household products like candles and potpourri because people enjoy the scent. Toothpaste, mouthwash, bath products, and eucalyptus body creams are also commonly found in household goods.
How can you make eucalyptus tea?
Eucalyptus tea bags or loose leaf tea can be purchased from many grocery stores, health markets, and online. It is best to follow the instructions for making tea on the packaging. However, 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. The use of the essential oil can cause harmful side effects.
Use a dried leaf of eucalyptus (about a teaspoon) to make your tea. Put the crushed tea leaf on 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, then let it sit for a minute to lower the temperature just slightly. Then pour about 200 ml of water over the tea leaves and let them steep for up to 10 minutes. You can inhale the fumes while the tea draws, if necessary. However, strain the loose leaves from the cup before drinking.
Adding honey to your eucalyptus tea will make it sweeter, which can help relieve sore throat symptoms. You can also mix eucalyptus tea with peppermint or chamomile to enhance the soothing properties of the drink. 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 does not contain caffeine, are brewed. As a result, 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 generally recognized as safe for adults. However, children are at high risk for toxicity and should get approval from a healthcare professional before drinking this tea. The leaves of the eucalyptus tree have many impressive benefits. They can help relieve pain, promote relaxation, and relieve cold symptoms. Many over-the-counter products also use eucalyptus extract to freshen your breath, soothe irritated skin, and repel insects.
Such tea is usually considered drinkable, but ingestion of eucalyptus oil in relatively small doses can be toxic. The eucalyptus tea is likely to be safe to consume if consumed in small quantities. However, there isn’t enough information to know for sure whether supplements containing larger amounts of eucalyptus are safe to take orally. It is always safest to speak to your doctor before using this or any other herb treatment.