Eucalyptus gum

Kathrine Clarke (b.1988)
Eucalyptus is best for fevers, laryngitis, asthma, chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, gonorrhoea, ulcers, gangrenous tissue, oedema and gastro-intestinal disturbances. The leaves contain a fragrant, volatile oil that has antiseptic, expectorant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, diuretic and antispasmodic properties. You can infuse the leaves in hot boiling water and inhale to assist with respiratory functionality—the steam removes the oil from the fresh, mature leaves and branch tips of older trees. Eucalyptus leaves were often made into cigars or cigarettes and smoked to relieve asthma and bronchial
congestion. The oil has medicinal, industrial and aromatic uses. Walking through the city in the colder season it’s rare to see any appreciation of the gum trees, but I think that’s when they’re most beautiful: you can see the many colours in its bark and smell the richness of the eucalypt in the air. That always resonates and brings me back to my homeland in the bush.

© Kathrine Clarke
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Object detail

acrylic and pencil on canvas
20.4 x 14.4 cm
Accession Number
Credit line
Purchased 2018
Object Type
Named Collection
Medical History Museum Category


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