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Eucalyptus

February 21, 2012
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In New York, the temperature keeps fluctuating between almost spring and almost winter and I feel like I am always dressing for the wrong day! I failed to wear a second scarf one day last week (I’m always wearing two scarves, as influenced by the Beckerman sisters many moons ago!), and started to feel the itchings of a cold in my throat, but luckily I had a remedy close at hand…

Eucalyptus originated in Australia and is used by the Aborigines as a traditional medicine in an oil infusion form for aches and pains, sinus and congestion, fevers, etc. Modern medicine has also adopted the plant as an antiseptic, and for use in different salves and tinctures. I love the smell of eucalyptus, and bought a bunch of it at the farmer’s market a little while back. I’ve had it hanging from the shower curtain rod and every time the bathroom gets steamy, it emits the familiar herbal scent throughout the apartment. So lovely…

It’s also really nice to use it to open your pores in a face steam. Put some eucalyptus leaves in a bowl (or a cake pan, as I did with one of my most treasured friends Kate during our pajama party Thanksgiving last year!) with boiling water, bring your face with eyes closed about twelve inches from the water with a towel over your head and the bowl, and let the aromatic steam cleanse your face and relax your mind at the same time. I think 10 minutes is a good amount of time to stay under the towel if you can stand it. Then you can follow up with a face mask of your choice.

BUT, my mind has wandered off topic a bit… On this day, I used this potent plant in a tea to sooth my throat and try to ward off any cold before it could take hold. In addition to putting several of the leaves in my tea cup, I like to add a short section of stem with leaves still attached which can act like a little stirrer if the honey starts to drift towards the bottom. And you will need honey. This tea definitely has a medicinal quality, and tastes stronger and stronger the longer it steeps. I’ve grown to love that menthol flavor, so left the leaves in until I finished my brew. And I think its healing powers hit me. I started feeling better just in time for the long weekend, and went off on another excursion into Brooklyn, which I will post about soon!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. kate permalink
    February 21, 2012 10:53 am

    I didn’t know you could drink tea from the leaves! I have some eucalyptus in the bouquet on my desk at work….no honey here but maybe I can figure something out…

  2. March 1, 2012 11:38 pm

    I’ve started to keep a honey bear in my desk at work… You never know when you will need some in your coffee, to add to yogurt, or to make eucalyptus tea 😉

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