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Eucalyptus leaves are elongated ovals that taper to a point, growing an average of seven to 10 centimeters in length. Eucalyptus leaves are grey or a bluish-green in color and have a leathery texture. The smell of the Eucalyptus leaf is intensely aromatic with a mix of menthol, citrus and hints of pine. On the palate they impart pungent flavors that are bitter and warm that finish with a cooling sensation. The thin leaves become more brittle as they dry out, much like bay leaves.
Eucalyptus leaves are available year-round.
Eucalyptus is botanically classified as Eucalyptus globalus, and is a member of the Myrtaceae family. The leaves are most commonly used in herbal medicines and for aromatherapy. Eucalyptus leaves are TOXIC if ingested raw. The tree is fast growing and is among the tallest plants in the the world. Eucalyptus trees can live up to more than 250 years in the wild. There are some 700 species of the Eucalyptus plant worldwide.
The main compound in Eucalyptus leaves is eucalyptol.
The Eucalyptus leaf is used primarily in aromatherapy and traditional medicines. Rarely is it used for culinary purposes, although there is documentation of it being experimented with for infusions, jellies, cakes and purees. Fishermen in Portugal are said to use Eucalyptus leaves to lend a smoky flavor to grilled fish. However, ingesting large quantities of Eucalyptus can be harmful. You're likely to find Eucalyptus leaf oil or extracts being used in modern mouth washes, toothpastes, cough medications and cough drops. Topically, Eucalyptus oil has been used to ward off insects. Children are never advised to be treated with Eucalyptus, as they would be at the highest risk for an overdose. The daily recommended dosage for the oil is 0.05ml and lower, while not more than two or three leaves are recommended to be used in tea.
In Australia, the Eucalyptus leaf is used in dried and fresh forms. The Eucalyptus itself is far-ranging in the Aussie landscape, so much so that it has been immortalised in art, music and literature there. The Eucalyptus is integral to the Australian identity. Sydney's Blue Mountains are named for the Eucalyptus. On warm days, mist rises from the forest of the Eucalyptus trees. The blue-tinged mist is a product of oils in the Eucalyptus leaf, released when the temperatures climb. Australian aboriginals used Eucalyptus oils in their medicines, extracting it from the Eucalyptus leaf. Or, the Eucalyptus leaf can be dried to be used in teas. Eucalyptus oil has been used to treat coughs, colds, fevers, and other forms of infections and inflammations and aches and pains.
Eucalyptus is native to Australia and Tasmania. The tree has since spread worldwide due to its rich medicinal qualities. Eucalyptus leaves are used in traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic, Greek and European treatments. Eucalyptus is now cultivated in India, China, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. The Eucalyptus tree is also used for its wood. The Eucalyptus does not tolerate more than a light frost, and grows best in temperate climates.
Recipes that include Eucalyptus Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Georgia Pellegrini||Eucalyptus Tea|
|The Food in my Beard||Eucalyptus Pesto|