Last month I went to visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona. Nestled next to the Superstition Mountains in a remote area about 90 minutes north of Tucson, this park is a pleasant surprise. The park grounds were larger than I expected with beautiful nature trails, theme gardens and historic buildings. I went with a friend for a talk and tour of some local plants used medicinally by Native Americans. The talk was fantastic, I'll share more about that in a future post. Wandering along the trails I enjoyed looking at all of the different plant species and just taking in the tranquility of it all. There were lots of birds too, I even saw some Orioles! I took this as a welcoming sign since I just moved to Arizona from Baltimore, Maryland.
One of my favorite areas was a wooded section with HUGE Eucalyptus trees. It was humbling how small I felt standing next to the massive trunks and towering treetops. I thought these trees must be pretty old to be so big - but I learned that they are really fast growers. The bark was interesting, it was so variegated that it looked like several different trees' bark all within one tree. Some parts were smooth and a pale color, some were smooth with puddles of tans, browns and grays, other areas were highly textured and darker like oak trees. The leaves were smooth and a little hard, if you tore a piece off you could smell that medicinal Eucalyptus aroma. Mmmm, clean & fresh.
I have always felt a sense of peacefulness around trees. To me their energy is earthy, grounding, strong and stable. These were no different, it felt good to be in their presence and I didn't want to leave. Next visit I'll take a chair, a picnic lunch and a sketch pad or a book and spend more time hanging out under those trees.
Here are some fun aromatherapy facts about Eucalyptus...
Did you know there are several hundred species of Eucalyptus? Native mainly to Australia, the genus Eucalyptus is part of the Myrtaceae family and encompasses a huge variety of flowering trees and shrubs. It is said that some of the trees can grow hundreds of feet tall, WOW. Eucalyptus smells familiar to many of us because extracts of it are used in some cough drops, vapor rubs and cold remedies.
Some of the species used medicinally and in aromatherapy include...
Common name: Eucalyptus globulus
Botanical name: Eucalyptus globulus
Main Properties: expectorant, antibacterial, antiviral
Uses: cold & flu, sinus infections
E. globulus has a clean, fresh medicinal aroma. Not to be used with small children.
Click here to buy Eucalyptus globulus essential oil from the shop
Common name: Eucalyptus radiata
Botanical name: Eucalyptus radiata
Main Properties: strong antiviral, anti-inflammatory, expectorant
Uses: cold & flu, sinus infections, acne
E. radiata has a softer, gentler aroma than E. globulus. An aromatherapist's favorite for it's soft scent yet powerful actions.
Click hereto buy Eucalyptus radiata essential oil from the shop
Common name: Lemon Eucalyptus
Botanical name: Eucalyptus citriodora
Main Properties: Calming, sedative, analgesic
Uses: Stress & anxiety, pain, bug repellant
E. citriodora is one of several plants that contains a high content of citronellol, which is an insect repellant.
Click here to buy Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil from the shop
Here are a couple of really easy ways to use Eucalyptus essential oil...
Inhalation: Put a drop or two on a cotton pad or tissue and take a few deep breaths.
Diffuser: Put several drops in a diffuser to purify the air in a sickroom or to enjoy the cleansing aroma.
In the bath: Add 3-5 drops to a full tub & swish to distribute just before entering the water. Soak and relax for 15-20 minutes.