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Eucalyptus oil PDF Print E-mail

Eucalyptus oil is distilled from eucalyptus leaves and is used in disinfectants, bactericides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and as a degreaser and spot cleaner. As an insecticide, it is useful for controlling cockroaches, dust mites and common ants in the home, as well as fleas and ticks on pets. It can also be used as an inhalant for colds and to rub stiff muscles.

Health effects
If taken in small doses (e.g. one or two drops in a teaspoon of honey) eucalyptus oil is beneficial and will soothe and clear mild throat infections or it can be inhaled by putting a few drops in hot water. In larger doses (3--20 ml) it can kill. Insect repellents which contain over 25 per cent of eucalyptus oil are listed in Poison Schedule 6. Poisoning symptoms include nausea and convulsions (see Poisons Information in Introduction).

Environmental effects
Because eucalyptus oil can kill many beneficial animals, plants and micro-organisms, it is not recommended for agricultural, horticultural or garden use.

Garlic, soap, white oil or onion sprays are less toxic insecticides. For clearing sinuses, use a saline spray.

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