What is Eucalyptus?


11:27 AM

1 min read
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The Kerala government recently issued an order allowing the Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) to plant eucalyptus trees for its financial sustenance in 2024-2025.

About Eucalyptus:

  • It is a large genus of more than 660 species of shrubs and tall trees of the myrtle family (Myrtaceae).
  • Some of the tallest trees in the world are eucalypti.
  • It is native to Australia, Tasmania, and nearby islands.
  • In Australia, the eucalypti are commonly known as gum trees or stringybark trees
  • Many species are cultivated widely in many areas of the world as shade trees or in forestry plantations. 
  • Features:
    • It has a gum-infused bark, long stems, and circular leaves that are hard to digest if eaten whole.
    • Small flowers grow on eucalyptus trees. They come in many colors, including white, yellow, and shades of red. 
    • Eucalypti also have small woody capsules. Inside the capsules are seeds.
  • Uses:
    • It is widely used for its medicinal properties.
  • Some eucalyptus leaves contain an oil that has a strong smell.
  • It is useful to treat a variety of common diseases and also works amazingly when applied topically in diluted form.
  • The main compound of eucalyptus oil is cineole, also known as eucalyptol. The oil also contains flavonoids and tannins, which acts as anti-inflammatory and antioxidants.
  • It is known for its ability to relieve congestion and ease breathing in colds.
  • It is also used as a pain reliever for sore and overextended muscles.
  • It is an excellent topical remedy for aching joints and rheumatism. It helps improve blood circulation.
    • Eucalyptus wood is tough and durable. It is used to build things such as furniture and fences. 
  • Eucalyptus Plantations in India:
    • Eucalyptus tereticornis and Eucalyptus hybrid are the two most widely planted eucalypts in India.
    • It is widely grown in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujrat, Haryana, Mysore, Kerala, and in the Nilgiri Hill.
    • It grows well in deep, fertile, well-drained loamy soil with adequate moisture.

Q1: What are flavonoids?

Flavonoids are phytochemical compounds present in many plants, fruits, vegetables, and leaves, with potential applications in medicinal chemistry. Flavonoids possess a number of medicinal benefits, including anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. They also have neuroprotective and cardio-protective effects.

Source: The controversy over eucalyptus planting in Kerala | Explained