Eucalyptus oil, eucalyptol, eucalypti folium
Parts of the plant used: leaves and oil
Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia and consists of 600 different species. They grow in warm climates. Eucalyptus oil, which is made by extracting the oil from the leaves of the tree, contains 60% to 90% eucalyptol, a compound that appears to have an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. This essential oil is used in many day to day health and beauty care products.
Eucalyptus has not been proven effective for any indication. Usual doses however, have been established for certain common uses.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
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