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Family Myrtaceae
Spiral eucalyptus

Eucalyptus cinerea
Muell. ex Benth

Scientific names Common names
Eucalyptus cinerea F. Muell. ex Benth Argyle apple (Engl.)
  Mealy stringybark (Engl.)
  Silver dollar eucalyptus (Engl.)
There are over 500 different species sharing similar medicinal properties.
This Philippine compilation includes several species of Eucalyptus, a few with a sharing a confusing crossover of color-referring common names: (1) Eucalyptus globulus, blue gum eucalyptus (2) Eucalyptus deglupta, bagras, rainbow gum (3) Eucalyptus camaldulensis, red gum eucalyptus (4) Eucalyptus tereticornis, red gum tree, forest red gum. (5) Eucalyptus robusta, beakpod eucalyptus, brown gum, red gum.(6) Eucalyptus cinerea, silver dollar eucalyptus.


Spiral eucalyptus is a small tree with reddish brown, drooping branches. Leaves are opposite, stiff, leathery, silvery green to grayish blue, rounded, up to 7 centimeters across when young, becoming ovate to lanceolate, with a yellow midrib when mature.

- Native to New South Wales and Victoria, Australia.
- Recently introduced with limited distribution and cultivation.
- Usually planted as a garden plant.


- Yields essential oils, most effective is 1,8-cineole and anisole.
- Study evaluated the essential oil from different plant parts - leaves, flowers, and fruits. 1,8-Cineole was the main compound from leaves in spring, and flowers and fruits in winter. Other compounds in the aerial parts were a-pinene, limonene, a-terpineol, and a-terpinyl acetate.

Astringent and antiseptic.

Parts used

- Not widely used as a medicinal plant in the Philippines. But as with other eucalyptus pants, is
used as an antiseptic and deodorant.
- Used for infections, colds, sore throats, flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, neuralgia and variety of skin infections.
- Decoction of leaves as tea for cough, asthma, hoarseness, fevers.
Extraction of oil
Boil mature leaves in water, condensing the vapor to recover the oil. Eucalyptus globulus yields less oil than the other varieties used for commercial production of medicinal grade oils.

• In South America, being studied for its use as a fumigant and repellant and head lice control. (Journal of Medical Entomology / Article: pp. 889–895)
Chemical composition of the essential oil of nine Eucalyptus species growing in Morocco:
The species studied included E. cinerea. All species were found to possess an oil rich in 1,8-cineole, exceeding 80% in E. cinerea.
Fumigant / Repellent / Anti-Lice : In an Argentinian study of the fumigant and repellent properties of 16 essential oils and 21 chemical components against permethrin-resistant head lice, from 16 plants in Argentina, the most effective oil was the native M cisplatensis followed by E cinerea.
Insecticidal Activity: In a study in Argentina of 12 essential oils and 17 individual terpenes for insecticidal activity against the house fly Musca domestica, Citrus sinensis was the most potent insecticide followed by C aurantium and Eucalyptus cinerea.
Larvicidal / Aedes Aegypti: Study evaluated the homeopathic and larvicide effect of E. cinerea essential oil on Aedes aegypti. It showed a high larvicide effect. Results showed the essential oil was highly promisng for a public health system for control of A. aegypti.
Essential Oil from Different Plant Parts/ Antimicrobial: Study showed 1,8-Cineole was the main compound from leaves in spring, and flowers and fruits in winter. Other compounds in the aerial parts were a-pinene, limonene, a-terpineol, and a-terpinyl acetate. The essential oil showed antimicrobial activities against bacteria (Strep pyogenes, Staph aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and yeasts (Candida albicans). E. cinerea can be employed as a source of 1,8-cineole, since the aerial parts (leaves, flowers, and fruits) show to be rich in these compound in al seasons of the year.


Last Updated January 2012

Photo ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
IMAGE SOURCE: Eucalyptus Cinerea, F.v.M. Argyle Apple / Plate XXVI / Chest of Books

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Chemical composition of the essential oil of nine Eucalyptus species growing in Morocco / S Zrira, J M Bessiere et al / Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Vol 19 Issue 2, Pages 172 - 175, Published Online: 4 Feb 2004 / DOI 10.1002/ffj.1289
Fumigant and Repellent Properties of Essential Oils and Component Compounds Against Permethrin-Resistant Pediculus humanus capitis (Anoplura: Pediculidae) from Argentina / Ariel Ceferino Toloza et al / Journal of Medical Entomology 43(5):889-895. 2006 / doi: 10.1603/0022-2585(2006)43[889:FARPOE]2.0.CO;2
Essential Oils from Edible Plants as Insecticides Against the House Fly / Natural Product Radiance, Vol 8 (6), November-December 2009
Homeopathic and Larvicide Effect of Eucalyptus cinerea Essential Oil against Aedes aegypti
/ Patrícia Aparecida Mançano Cavalca, Maria Isabel Gomes de Assumpção Lolis, Bruno Reis and Carlos Moacir Bonato / Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, Vol.53, n. 4: pp.835-843, July-August 2010 doi: 10.1590/S1516-89132010000400012
Essential Oils from Different Plant Parts of Eucalyptus cinerea F. Muell. ex Benth. (Myrtaceae) as a Source of 1,8-Cineole and Their Bioactivities / Sayonara Mendes Silva, Simone Yae Abe, Fábio Seigi Murakami, Gustavo Frensch, Francisco A. Marques and Tomoe Nakashima / Pharmaceuticals 2011, 4, 1535-1550; doi:10.3390/ph4121535

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