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  • Writer's pictureJon Mychal Heatherly

Feed a Koala and Open Your Breath

Intense menthol aroma

Eucalyptus represents a family of evergreen shrubs and trees native to Australia, and Koalas love it. However, it poisons most other creatures who ingest it, including humans. The leaves have long been used as an expectorant and cough suppressant, and it’s the active ingredient in Vicks vapor rub.

For several reasons, farmers highly value eucalyptus as a cash crop. This sturdy hardwood grows fast. It also makes the best didgeridoos within Aboriginal cultures. It loves a marshy, wet environment and produces a compound called cineole — which reduces mosquito populations. Most forests in Australia consist primarily of eucalyptus.

Nomenclature: Eucalyptus cinerea Smells: menthol, citrus, pine Uses: Tea, aromatherapy, insect repellant, topical.

Recipe: Vapor Rub

Ingredients: Coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, clove. See above link for directions.

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