The use of eucalyptus oils in consumer products

Insect repellents As noted in the introduction, Eucalyptus citriodora oil has been used as a ‘natural’ insect repellent. Depending on the product formulation it is used in, Lemon Eucalyptus (known as Quwenling in China) is up to four or five times more effective and longer-lasting than citronella oil (from Cymbopogon nardus), one of the best known natural insect repellents. p-Menthane-3,8-diol is the main active component of Quwenling and this can be isolated and used as a highly effective insect repellent. Eucalyptus citriodora oil contains up to 80–90 per cent citronellal, along with geraniol, both of which are known to have insect repellent activity but tend to dilute the much higher activity of the p-menthane-3,8-diol. The Mosi-guard Natural insect repellent spray produced by MASTA in the UK contains ‘Extract of Lemon Eucalyptus’ and claims on the label: Approved and recommended by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Field trials have shown effective protection for 6 h after a single application in mosquito infected areas. Also protects against many other biting insects. Mosi-guard Natural is made from a natural and renewable resource. It is kind to your skin and has no adverse effects Read more […]

Honduras Mahogany, Broad-leaved Mahogany

Swietenia macrophylla King (Meliaceae) Swietenia macrophylla King is an evergreen tree, up to 30-35 m tall. Bark is grey and smooth when young, turning dark brown, ridged and flaky when old. Leaves are up to 35-50 cm long, alternate, glabrous with 4-6 pairs of leaflets. Each leaflet is 9-18 cm long. Flowers are small and white; and the fruit is dehiscent, usually 5-lobed capsule, erect, 12-15 cm long, grayish brown, smooth or minutely verrucose. The seed is woody, glossy and possesses wing-like structure at the base that aids its dispersion by wind. Origin Native to South America, cultivated in the Asia-Pacific and the Pacific for its quality wood. Phytoconstituents Swietenine, swietenolide, andirobin, khayasin T, swietemahonins E-G, swietenine acetate, swietenolide tiglate and others. Traditional Medicinal Uses The seeds of Swietenia macrophylla are traditionally used in several indigenous systems of medicine for the treatment of various ailments such as hypertension, diabetes and malaria. The local folks of Malaysia believe that the seeds are capable of “curing” hypertension and diabetes. The seeds are usually consumed raw by chewing. A decoction of seeds of Swietenia macrophylla is reported to treat malaria Read more […]

Nelumbo nucifera

Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (Nymphaeaceae) Sacred Lotus, East Indian Lotus, Oriental Lotus Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. is an aquatic plant that grows in shallow waters. Leaves are green, round, 30-60 cm across and with long petiole. Flowers are pink, white or red, 10-30 cm and solitary. Fruits are non-edible and non-fleshy. Origin Native to tropical and temperate Asia, Australia and Eastern Europe. Phytoconstituents Nuciferin, nornuciferin, nelumboroside A & B, nelumstemine, dotriacontane, ricinoleic, roemerin, liensinine, neferine, lotusine, liriodenine, asimilobin, pronuciferine and others. Traditional Medicinal Uses The leaves are used to treat sunstroke, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, dizziness and vomiting of blood. The plant is used as an antidote for mushroom poisoning and for smallpox. In Ayurveda, the plant is used to treat cholera, diarrhoea, worm infestation, vomiting, exhaustion and intermittent fever. The fruits are used in decoction for agitation, fever, heart and haematemesis while the stamens are used to “purify the heart, permeate the kidneys, strengthen virility, to blacken the hair, for haemoptysis and spermatorrhoea”. They are also used to treat premature ejaculation, as astringent for bleeding, Read more […]

Zingiber officinale

Roscoe (Zingiberaceae) Common Ginger Description Zingiber officinale Roscoe is an herbaceous plant that grows up to 1.2 m high and with an underground rhizome. The stem grows above ground and leaves are narrow, long, lanceolate, with distinct venation pattern and pointed apex. Flowers are white or yellowish-green, streaked with purple and fragrant. Origin Originate from tropical Asia, widely cultivated in the tropics. Phytoconstituents Gingerol, zingiberene, farnesene, camphene, neral, nerol, 1,8-cineole, geranial, geraniol, geranyl acetate and others. Traditional Medicinal Uses Ginger is the folk remedy for anaemia, nephritis, tuberculosis, and antidote to Arisaema and Pinellia. Sialogogue when chewed, causes sneezing when inhaled and rubefacient when applied externally. Antidotal to mushroom poisoning, ginger peel is used for opacity of the cornea. The juice is used as a digestive stimulant and local application in ecchymoses. Underground stem is used to treat stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, nose bleeds, rheumatism, coughs, blood in stools, to improve digestion, expel intestinal gas, and stimulate appetite. The rhizomes are used to treat bleeding, chest congestion, cholera, cold, diarrhoea, dropsy, dysmenorrhoea, Read more […]

Raspberry: The Astringent Leaf

From the 19th century, the authors recommend use of raspberry leaf and for this we need to discuss the concept of astringency. Samuel Thomson (1832) recounts how he was in Eastport, Maine looking for an astringent herb and discovered raspberry by taste. He describes suitable astringents if chewed as leaving the mouth feeling clean, but not rough and dry. Raspberry is native throughout North America and Thomson later made it his main astringent. Astringents were the basis of No. 3, the third stage in a Thomsonian course of treatment. The sequence in the course of treatment was to use lobelia Lobelia inflata as an emetic, followed by cayenne Capsicum annuum to heat and then astringents to heal the tissues. The third stage was designed to cleanse the stomach and bowels of ‘canker’, thus fully resolving the disease process. The aim was to ‘scour the stomach, promote perspiration, repel the cold’. Thomson defined canker as ‘the coating which prevents the resolution of disease as it prevents the little vessels working’ which is caused by cold overcoming the natural heat of the body. Haller (2000) describes canker as ‘the term both regulars and sectarians used to refer to the hard, greyish substance that lined the stomach Read more […]

Goldenseal: Background. Actions

Historical Note Goldenseal is indigenous to North America and was traditionally used by the Cherokees and then by early American pioneers. Preparations of the root and rhizome were used for gastritis, diarrhea, vaginitis, dropsy, menstrual abnormalities, eye and mouth inflammation, and general ulceration. In addition to this, the plant was used for dyeing fabric and weapons. Practitioners of the eclectic school created a high demand for goldenseal around 1847. This ensured the herb’s ongoing popularity in Western herbal medicine, but unfortunately led to it being named a threatened species in 1997. Today, most high-quality goldenseal is from cultivated sources. Common Name Goldenseal Other Names Eye root, jaundice root, orange root, yellow root Botanical Name / Family Hydrastis canadensis (family Ranunculaceae) Plant Parts Used Root and rhizome Chemical Components Isoquinoline alkaloids, including hydrastine (1.5-5%), berberine (0.5-6%) and canadine (tetrahydroberberine, 0.5-1.0%). Other related alkaloids include canadaline, hydrastidine, corypalmineand isohydrastidine. Clinical note — Isoquinoline alkaloids Isoquinoline alkaloids are derived from phenylalanine or tyrosine and are most frequently found Read more […]


ANTICOLITIS AGENTS are used to treat inflammation of the colon. This inflammation can be due to many things, and is usually characterized by pain in the lower bowel, diarrhoea, sometimes with mucus and blood in the faeces. The treatment depends on diagnosis and severity. Aminosalicylates contain a 5-aminosalicylic acid component and these drugs are used primarily to treat active Crohn’s disease, and to induce and maintain remission of the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Drugs in this group include mesalazine (which is 5-aminosalicylicacid itself), olsalazine sodium (which links two molecules of 5-aminosalicylic acid), balsalazide (a prodrug of mesalazine) and sulfasalazine (which chemically combines 5-aminosalicylic acid with the antibacterial sulphonamide sulfapyridine). Antiinflammatory CORTICOSTEROIDS, especially prednisolone, are also effective in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, rectal or anal inflammation and haemorrhoids. Azathioprine is a powerful cytotoxic agent, an IMMUNO-SUPPRESSANT used to treat ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune diseases. Administration is oral or by injection. Colitis may result from various gut infections, especially amoebic Read more […]


ANTIDIARRHEAL AGENTS are drugs used to prevent the onset of diarrhoea, or assist in treating it if the symptom is already present. The main medical treatment while diarrhoea lasts should be the replacement of lost fluid and electrolytes, OPIOID RECEPTOR AGONISTS, such as codeine, morphine, diphenoxylate and loperamide, are efficient as antidiarrhoeals: they are essentially antimotility agents, reducing peristalsis of the intestine, which slows down the movement of faecal material and also promote reabsorption of electrolytes and water. Other agents are adsorbent materials that work in to bind faecal material into solid masses. Such mixtures include those containing kaolin or methylcellulose; preparations which may also be useful in controlling faecal consistency for patients who have undergone colostomy or ileostomy. Diarrhoea is also part of some inflammatory disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These may best be relieved by treatment with corticosteroids and aminosalicylates. Diarrhea is commonly associated with bacterial or other pathogenic infections (e.g. food poisoning) and these may require treatment with antibiotics or other antimicrobials. Read more […]

Raspberry leaf: Background. Actions

Common Name Red raspberry Other Names Framboise, Rubi idaei folium, rubus Botanical Name / Family Rubus idaeus (synonym: Rubus strigosus) (family Rosaceae [roses]) Plant Part Used Leaf Chemical Components Raspberry leaves have a tannin content of between 13% and 15%, as well as flavonoids such as rutin and quercetin, volatile oils, organic acids and vitamin C. Historical Note Although the fruits of the raspberry are used asa luxury food source, midwives have used raspberry leaves since ancient times to prepare the uterus for childbirth. Raspberry has also been used as an antidiarrheal and an astringent to treat inflammations of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. It has also been used for disorders of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts and as an ingredient in dietary drinks. Raspberry leaf: Main Actions Raspberry leaf contains a number of active constituents and their therapeutic actions have been reviewed. Currently, evidence of activity comes from in vitro and in vivo studies. UTERINE EFFECTS Raspberry leaf has demonstrated a variable effect on uterine muscle tone. It contains a smooth muscle stimulant, an anticholinesterase and an antispasmodic. The results of animal studies indicate Read more […]