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eucalyptus

,

Blue gum

(trade name),

Eucalyptus folium

(trade name),

Eucalyptus fructicetroum

(trade name),

Eucalyptus globulus

(trade name),

Eucalyptus polybractea

(trade name),

Eucalyptus smithii

(trade name),

gum tree

(trade name),

red gum

(trade name),

stringy bark tree

(trade name),

Tasmanium blue gum

(trade name)

Classification

Therapeutic: antiasthmatics
Topical: Rheumatic complaints, nasal congestion, mouthwash, antiseptic, dentifrice Oral: Asthma; expectorant and cough suppressant; antiseptic

Action

The volatile oil, eucalyptol, stimulates secretion of saliva, promoting antitussive effects. It is a mild antispasmodic and antibacterial. It is a counterirritant, providing topical analgesia.

Therapeutic effects

Relief of cough.

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption: Unknown.
Distribution: Unknown.
Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.
Half-life: Unknown.

Time/action profile

ROUTEONSETPEAKDURATION
PO, Topicalunknownunknownunknown

Contraindications/Precautions

Contraindicated in: Inflammation of the GI tract and bile ducts; serious liver diseases; hypotension; kidney inflammation; do not apply to face, especially the nose, of babies and young children; Hypersensitivity.
Use Cautiously in: Pregnancy and lactation (do not use in greater amounts than found in food); children (↑ susceptibility to toxic effects of oil); Ingestion of as little as 2-3 mL of essential oil may be toxic; greater amounts may be fatal. Alcohol-containing products should be used cautiously in patients with known intolerance or liver disease; Diabetes (leaf may have hypoglycemic activity).

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Central nervous system

  • cyanosis
  • delirium
  • drowsiness
  • seizures (overdose) (life-threatening)

Endocrinologic

  • hypoglycemia

Gastrointestinal

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • epigastric pain

Respiratory

  • dyspnea
  • PULMONARY EDEMA (overdose) (life-threatening)

Interactions

May induce liver enzymes and ↓ efficacy of hepatically metabolized drugs ; May interfere with blood glucose control and antidiabetic drugs.Alcohol -containing preparations may interact with disulfiram and metronidazole.↑ toxicity when used with other pyrrolizidine alkaloid -containing herbs, including: alkanna, borage, Crotolaria spp, gravel root, Heliotropium spp, hemp agrimony, Henecio spp, hound’s tongue, petasites, colt’s foot, and Senecio species plants: dusty miller, alpine ragwort, groundsel, golden ragwort, and tansy ragwort.
Oral (Adults) Asthma-200 mg of eucalyptol constituent of eucalyptus oil tid; Oil—300–600 mg eucalyptus oil per day and 0.05 mL–0.2 mL per dose; leaf—steep 2 g of leaf in 150 mL boiling water and strain. One cup of tea can be taken QD-TID; tincture (hydroalcoholic)—3–9 g/day.
Topical (Adults and Children) Avoid use of undiluted essential oil. Essential oil diluted in vegetable oil is preferred (5–20%). Apply as needed to affected area. Do not apply to face, especially the nose, of babies and young children.

Availability

Bulk leaf: OTC
tincture: OTC
essential oil: OTC
diluted essential oil (5-20%): OTC

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess frequency and nature of cough and consistency and color of sputum. Unless contraindicated encourage fluid intake of 1500– 2000 mL per day to decrease viscosity of secretions and facilitate expectoration.
  • Monitor blood sugar in diabetics.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Ineffective airway clearance (Indications)
Deficient knowledge, related to medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)

Implementation

  • Dilute the oral and topical formulations before use.
  • Do not apply the topical formulation on the face, especially the nose, in infants and young children.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Warn patients with chronic respiratory conditions or other medical co-morbidities not to take this herbal supplement without the advice of their health care provider.
  • Caution diabetics that use of this herbal supplement may interfere with glycemic control.
  • Inform patients that some formulations contain alcohol.
  • Instruct patients that if diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or epigastric pain develops to stop this herbal supplement and report this to their health care provider.
  • Advise patient to consult health care professional if cough is unresponsive cough or persistent cold symptoms occur.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Decrease in intensity and frequency of cough.

eu·ca·lyp·tus gum

a dried gummy exudation from Eucalyptus rostrata and other species of Eucalyptus (family Myrtaceae); used as an astringent (in gargles and troches) and as an antidiarrheal agent.
Synonym(s): red gum

red gum