Nat. ord., Myrtaceae.
Fever-tree. Australian Gum-tree.
The Eucalyptus is a large Australian and Tasmanian tree, some specimens being 200 feet high and 15 in diameter.
Characters. - The leaves, which are the officinal part, are green, growing on a short stern; they are thick and leathery, spear-shaped, with a curve like a scythe-blade, and have a well-marked nervule through the centre.
The wood is hard, and is used in ship-building. The tree has the property of absorbing large quantities of moisture from the ground, and is highly spoken of as a means of rendering swampy, aguish districts healthy. Its powers in this respect may have been exaggerated, but the truth will probably soon be known, as the trees have been planted in damp ground where intermittents have prevailed. If only a portion of what has been said is true, the discovery of such a healing tree will be a great blessing to those localities where it will grow. Much has also been said of it as an internal remedy for ague and some other complaints. It has been administered in the shape of infusion or tincture of the leaves; these, dry and powdered, have also been given with success. It has been found in allopathic practice to cure ague in some cases where Quinine has failed, but it in turn has sometimes failed; it will be well, therefore, for homoeopaths to endeavour to find the key to those symptoms that show the cases in which it should be given in preference to Quinine and similar medicines. It probably owes its virtues to the presence of Eucalyptol, a fixed oil.
A notice of Eucalyptus will be found in Hale's New Remedies.
Parts employed. - The dried leaves.
Preparation. - Tincture.