Eucalyptus oil CAN be taken orally!
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Like, I suppose, most Jamaicans (judging by comments on the talk shows), I was surprised at the claim by Prime Minister Holness that his grandmother had administered eucalyptus oil to him orally. My experience has certainly been that it was customarily used to rub on the affected areas of the body and I am aware of it also as an inhalant.
On being told by a friend who grew up in northern St Elizabeth that she had experience of its oral application, I was prompted to check to see what I could find on the Internet. I share with your readers the essence of what is reported by Medline Plus, a health information source from the US National Library of Medicine (National Institute of Health).
"The eucalyptus leaf is used for infections, fever, upset stomach and to help loosen coughs." The report also lists a number of other medical conditions for which it is an accepted treatment. Eucalyptus oil, the report continues, should not be taken by mouth at full strength but THE DILUTED FORM MAY BE TAKEN ORALLY "for pain, and swelling (inflammation) of respiratory tract mucous membranes, coughs, bronchitis, pain and inflammation, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory infections."
Details are then given as to its uses for treatment of wounds and its application directly to the skin for various conditions, which include pain and swelling of respiratory tract mucous membranes, joint pains and nasal stuffiness.
wide range of uses
Further details are also given indicating an impressive range of uses as an ingredient in various health aids and in cosmetic preparations.
It would appear that my informant with a St Elizabeth background has the impressive support of the prestigious American NIH in contending that eucalyptus oil is used orally and, therefore, those who have bad-mouthed the PM's grandmother must "eat their words".
The Gleaner and RJR truth monitors and News Talk's 'Dr Herbs' of the 'Complete Story' should find this information helpful.