It has been a long time since Eucalyptus is known as one of the medicinal plants in which Indonesian usually used. Some people even assume that this plant can kill the coronavirus.
UGM researcher, Rini Pujiarti, Ph.D., shared that this claim cannot be entirely accurate. It is because there has been no clinical proof for its validation as a Covid-19 drug even though this plant does have potential antiviral due to the active ingredient in the essential oil of Eucalyptus.
“Eucalyptus does have potential as an antiviral due to the active ingredient in eucalyptus essential oil. However, if we claimed that Eucalyptus could kill the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, there should be further research conducted, ” said the lecturer in the Faculty of Forestry.
Eucalyptus research as Covid-19 antivirus, he explained, is still limited to in vitro research and molecular docking research or computer simulations conducted by equating the active substance molecules in Eucalyptus with the SARS-CoV-2 virus protein molecule.
However, he considers this an excellent breakthrough to use natural ingredients as anti-Covid-19 such as from eucalyptus plants.
The active ingredient in Eucalyptus which has potential as anti-covid-19 is 1,8-cineole or eucalyptol. It is the main chemical component of eucalyptus essential oil which has bioactivity as an antiviral.
“However, it does not rule out the effectiveness arising from the synergy effect of some of the compounds present in the essential oil of eucalyptus,” she explained.
He revealed that ordinary people often consider Eucalyptus and wood as the same plant, even though these plants are different also though they are still in one family. Eucalyptus oil obtained from the distillation of leaves of Melaleuca spp., While eucalyptus oil obtained from distillation of leaves of Eucalyptus spp.
Eucalyptus itself has good potential in Indonesia because its development fits to in the tropics. In Indonesia, many people generally use these plants as raw material for paper pulp. In contrast, people have not used the leaves optimally so that they have an excellent opportunity as essential oils.
In traditional medicine, people have usually used Eucalyptus plants and eucalyptus essential oils. Eucalyptus leaf extract can be applied directly to relieve colds, asthma, and other respiratory problems. Besides, it can also relieve body aches, overcome the problem of dental plaque and bleeding in the mouth, gums, and teeth, as aromatherapy to reduce stress, overcome insect bites, and anti-mosquito.
“The development of this plant as a health product and others is very prospective, some of the studies I have done on eucalyptus essential oil show that eucalyptus has bioactivity as a repellant to insects, termites and anti-fungi,” said Rini.
Other studies have revealed that eucalyptus essential oil can also be used as an antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and relieves joint pain, as well as breathing relief/cough relief.
Translator: Natasa A