Talk:Eucalyptus oil

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"Eucalyptus oil" is not "Eucalyptol"[edit]

I noticed that Eucalyptus oil had been redirected to Eucalyptol. Eucalyptol or cineole is the major isolate of standard Eucalyptus oil, but the two are not the same. "Eucalyptus oil" is a generic name for oils specifically from Eucalyptus species only. It would be like saying that citronella oil is the same citronellal - which they are not. So I have seperated "Eucalyptus oil" and "Eucalyptol" into seperate headings.John Moss (talk) 05:24, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

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Categories and importance ratings[edit]

Given that citronella oil is in the chemical category, and because some types of eucalptus oil are used as a starting material for synthesis of others, it seems appropriate to include it in the chemical category. Also, because eucalyptus is a widespread decongestant it definitely warrants going in the medicine category. As fas as importance ratings go, I think eucalyptus oil should go in the mid to high range in most categories except food, because it is a widely used and important decongestant and a significant antiseptic, with worldwide use but is especially important in developing countries where synthetic medicines and antibacterials are not as widely available.John Moss (talk) 21:05, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

I noticed that someone removed Eucalyptus oil from the 'medicine' category. If it's not a medicine what's it doing in the British Pharmacopoeia, with a recognized pharmaceutical grade? I think the confusion may be a result of people asuming that eucalyptus oil is alternative because essential oils are typically associated with alternative medicines, but in the case of eucalyptus oil I don't think this is the classic alternative therapy because it has conventional medicine recognition, allbeit more aften self-administered in lozengers etc, but so is aspirin. Anyway, I'm reinstating eucalyptus oil into the medicine category per the Bristish Pharmacopoeia , and please discuss this before changing it. Also, it's going into pharmacology category. Cheers. John Moss (talk) 15:25, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, didn't see this discussion. Removed from chemicals because it is not a discrete compound. It might have a CAS # as a substance, but not as a compound. C.f. Petrol, which is tagged under chemistry, not chemicals. --Rifleman 82 (talk) 15:37, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
No worries Rifleman. I was basing it on the previous inclusion of citronella oil in the chemical category - which seems to have been misplaced, and hence my confusion. I'll check out the chemistry category. Thank you for helping out with putting this into the right category. Cheers.John Moss (talk) 15:45, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

John, you seem to have confused WikiProject banners with Wikipedia:Categories. Project banners do not attempt to replicate the category system. WP:1.0 needs one project to assess any given article. (They take the highest rating and ignore all the rest.) Overtagging is discouraged: it is unhelpful and is a waste of editors' time and effort. See also WP:WikiProject Council/Guide#Article_tagging, particularly "Article editors do not own WikiProjects" and "Overtagging is disruptive".

As to why I removed the WPMED banner previously: This does not appear to be a medication in the normal sense. The fact that it's listed somewhere in BP means nothing. BP lists homeopathic preparations and veterinary medications. Surely you don't expect WPMED to cover those simply because BP names them? (If you do, then please read this page and get back to me.) The fact that conventional medicine does not reject any given alternative therapy does not turn the alt med therapy into either normal medical practice or a pharmaceutical drug.

I will give you time to think this over, rather than removing the banner immediately. If you disagree with my assessment of the oil's status in BP, then I request a demonstration that this oil is listed in BP as a regulated pharmaceutical drug. If you can't do that, or if you disagree with my opinion in general, you can appeal to the doctor's mess or leave a note at WT:WikiProject_Medicine/Assessment. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:36, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

WhatamIdoing, thank you for your patience, and I'm sure we will find a resolution.
It's true that I don't usually involve myself with banners and categories, rather concerning myself with text editing. As to whether eucalyptus oil should be considered conventional medicine, that's another issue. And fresh eyes can be a good thing sometimes.
As to regulation of standards for eucalyptus oil, there certainly is a standard referred to in the BP supported by conventional pharmacology. The eucalyptus oil standard in the British Pharmacopaeia is in-fact cited in the peer-reviewed Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmocology [1]. It clearly implies acceptance as a pharmaceutical.
Also, eucalyptus oil is sold in standard over-the-counter preperations as a component in topical analgesic/rubifacients, and antibacterial/analgesic throat lozengers. If it's accepted by the pharmaceutical industry as a pharmaceutical with a pharmaceutical grade, with recognized activity, to be objective - this is medicinal.
It's an over the counter pharmaceutical, but that doesn't debase it as a medicine, as it doesn't debase aspirin or paracetemol as a medicine.
Also, the history of use of eucalyptus oil is well established within conventional medicine, and not herbal medicine. It is a traditional medicine in a sense because it has a long histoy of use, initially used by surgeons, but of course, some usage has been displaced by steroidal type anti-inflammatory medication, synthetic analgesics and modern antibacterials. But eucalyptus oil is still widely used in conventional pharmaceuticals, so I find it hard to see how it could be not recognized as conventional medicine.
But what I found really interesting: when I checked out other conventionally used essential oils to look for a wiki precedence on this issue, I was very surprised that none of the widely used pharmaceutical essential oils are listed under the medicine banner, despite their clear medicinal usage - especially methyl salicylate and menthol which are widely and generally used in conventional topical pharmaceutical preperations, especially as anti-inflammatorys.
I was very curious as to why these are excluded from a medicine banner. It's notably incongruous.
The issue is broader than eucalyptus oil. It seems that all essential oils used in pharmaceutical preperations are excluded from recognition under the wikipedia medicine banner.
I'm quite open to discussing this in a broader medicine circle. It's interesting.John Moss (talk) 09:40, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
As for the J Pharm Pharmacol paper, it might help if you actually read the paper; the mere fact that medicinal chemistry techniques are useful for standardizing herbal and other alternative therapies is not proof that those herbs are properly registered pharmaceutical compounds. Did you perhaps notice that nine of the samples tested in this paper were specifically labeled for sale as aromatherapy agents? Can we at least agree that aromatherapy is not conventional medicine?
As for your argument that it is a pharmaceutical medication because it is included as an inactive[2][3][4] ingredient in some brands of cough drops: Many things are commonly used in pharmaceutical medications without actually being themselves medications. Consider the artificial cherry flavoring that is also available in many of the same brands of cough drops. Or the sugar. Or the ethanol.
WPMED generally declines to support articles on essential oils. Essential oils are generally accepted as alternative medicine. The fact that something is within the scope of AltMed doesn't mean that the therapies are worthless: it only means that they're not generally accepted as conventional medicine.
BTW, the European Pharmacopoeia lists eucalyptus oil specifically (and solely) as a homeopathic preparation. I therefore think that I have properly identified this plant extract as not being a conventional pharmaceutical medication. I have therefore removed the WPMED banner. If you disagree, then please take it up on one of the WPMED pages listed in my previous note. Please keep in mind that it is the right of a WikiProject to define its own scope, so you (and I) will necessarily be bound by their decision, whatever it is. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:37, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, you seem to confuse homeopathics and pharmaceutical essential oils. But also what made sense out of everything you said is: "WPMED generally declines to support articles on essential oils." And everthing in your argument seemed selected to support that underlying premise, despite this being contradicted by the fact that essential oils are used as active ingredients by the pharmaceutical industry, which inherently implies that this is at odds with what you consider "conventional". Since when has pharmacology not been part of conventional medicine?
Also, if I may correct you on several points:
1. Eucalyptus oil is clearly labelled as an active - and not just inactive - in pharmaceutical style decongestant products [5] [6], and further, this is supported by empirical pharmocological research [7][8]. Sure, eucalyptus is also a flavouring in some decongestants, but is also without argument a conventional active pharmaceutical ingredient in decongestants as well. It's strange that you didn't see that when you were doing your product search.
2. Your reference to European Pharmacopaeia is not relevant. It's not the reference cited in the paper in the J Pharm Pharmacol. Your reference in the European Pharmacopaeia is for "Eucalyptus leaf" homeopathics[9], and not for eucalyptus oil standard per the paper[10], and per this article topic. To cite a homoeopathic reference for an article topic on an essential oil is irrelevant. This highlights your ignorance and flawed assumptions on the subject matter, because essential oils and homeopathics are completely different products, with different modes of action.
3. Also, you seem to assume that if something is used as an alternative therapy, or as a flavouring, it excludes it as a conventional pharmaceutical. It's clearly not mutually exclusive because the pharmaceutical industry uses eucalyptus oil as an active ingredient, as it also uses other essential oils: menthol and methyl salicylate. These essential oils are mult-use and multi-banner, but it does not debase the fact that they are labelled as actives in conventional pharmaceutical products.
Also, you ignored the widespread use of eucalyptus oil as an active rubefacient in topical pharmaceutical applications.
The underlying premise of your argument is therefore incorrect. But the real issue here is not about whether eucalyptus oil is used as a conventional medicine or not - because clearly eucalyptus oil is a pharmaceutical by virtue of its use as an active in pharmaceutical products and underpinning supporting empirical research. Going from what you are saying, it seems more about whether essential oils are accepted by you as conventional medicine, and you claim WPMED (something I'm yet to test) - and not whether it's used by the pharmaceutical industry as an active.
Of Course it's totally silly, because at the end of the day, these are just chemicals like any other conventional medication, and are used in much the same way as other synthetic medications with similar modes of action.
Hence, your argument for defining what is a conventional medicine is nothing to do with active ingredients in pharmaceutical grade conventional style products, but rather an arbitary perception or misplaced 'branding'.
Given that your underlying arguments are clearly flawed, I certainly have the right to re-instate the medicine banner on this eucalyptus article. But rather than taking a tit-for-tat unilateral approach of re-instating the banner and then you taking it off, I would prefer that you come in and discuss this more honestly. I think it's time for due acknowledgement of inherent bias against accepting some essential oils as pharmaceuticals despite the evidence to the contrary. Cheers.John Moss (talk) 06:06, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I seem not to have been clear. I have already reviewed the available evidence and given you my decision. We can talk about the reasons that I made this decision, but that discussion will not actually change my decision. If you want a changed decision, then you need to contact WikiProject Medicine directly. Perhaps we will learn from the UK physicians there that eucalyptus oil is considered a conventional pharmaceutical medication in the UK.
If, on the other hand, you want a general discussion of why the application of scientific approaches (such as methods of measuring chemical purity and controlled trials) to alternative medicine therapies does not magically turn those therapies into conventional medicine, or why its inclusion in a list of treatments such as Friar's Balsam, Olbas oil, and Saltpipe does not make me think that it's a conventional pharmaceutical medication, then perhaps we could take this discussion to a user talk page, since this discussion really has nothing to do with improving this article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:38, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Part of the problem here is about definitions. The Wikipedia article on "Medication" states "Medication, also referred to as medicine, can be loosely defined as any substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease." Should we consider "water" a "medication" when it is used to prevent dehydration? Is "chocolate" a medication when used to treat hypoglycemia? This is, to some extent, a subjective matter. I have never referred to the British Pharmacopoiea. It's not relevant to me or to these definitions. Far more helpful (to me as a British physician) is the British National Formulary. A far more useful definition (for me) is: if I (or another doctor) can prescribe a substance and reasonably expect our pharmacist to provide it, I will consider it a medication. Some substances (e.g.St. John's wort) have genuine pharmacological actions, but I cannot prescribe them (for a variety of reasons). Such treatments lie outside conventional medicine; these are alternative medicines. Thus I regard eucalyptus oil as an alternative medicine. It has genuine pharmacological effects, but it not available as a conventional treatment (at least in the UK). From the WikiProject guidelines, WikiProject Alternative Medicine is more appropriate rather than WikiProject Medicine. Axl ¤ [Talk] 08:33, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Axl, thank you for the well considered comment. You raise a great point: where is the line is drawn? As you say, water could be considered as a treatment for dehydration, but I would suggest that there is definitive difference: water is not an active ingredient in a pharmaceutical product - whereas eucalyptus oil is an active ingredient. So EO is specifically medication and not like chocolate or water.
I take your point about St. John's Wort, and I would concur - St. John's Wort is alternative medicine because it comes from the tradition of herbalism, and as far as I'm aware is not recommended by doctors.
So I take your point about a product needing to be prescribed/recommended by a doctor to be considered conventional medication, as it also implies a body of pharmacological research that supports the efficacy of that treatment.
To that end, I approached the local pharmacist (in Australia) on these questions today, and he told me that patients come into his pharmacy to purchase eucalyptus oil decongestants on the recommendation of doctors, and that he considers it a conventional pharmaceutical. So by your definition that a conventional medication needs to be recommended by doctors, eucalyptus oil is a conventional medication (at least in Australia). And it seems, based on your comment, that you don't recommend pharmaceutical products containing eucalyptus oil as an active (UK context). But also, it's fair to say that doctors do have their preferred medications of course, and given that decongestants containing eucalyptus oil are marketed alongside other pharmaceutical decongestants in the UK, is it possible that these products are also recommended by other physicians in the UK?
My local pharmacist is originally from Canada, and he said that eucalyptus oil is used there pharmaceutically in the same way as it is in Australia. His opinion was that eucalyptus oil is a conventional medication because it is an active ingredient; has a standard in the BP; and is recommended by physcicians.
Even if we are in contradiction, thank you very much for your comment. I really appreciate other parties coming into the discussion. I hope everyone is enjoying the discussion, as much as it maybe vigorous. :) John Moss (talk) 09:29, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your response John.

By your definition that a conventional medication needs to be recommended by doctors

— John Moss

That's not quite what I said. It should be prescribed by doctors. On the basis of the prescription, the pharmacist should make the treatment available. I do not require prescription as essential; this would exclude treatments like paracetamol. I accept that the use of eucalyptus oil, St. John's wort, etc. may have different status in other countries, where a pharmacist would act directly upon a doctor's prescription. I have indeed heard of doctors who recommend eucalyptus oil, homeopathy, etc.. However the absence of legal use of prescription prevents these from being "medication". (Just my opinion, of course.) Axl ¤ [Talk] 09:57, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

By the way, the article on "St. John's wort" indicates that it is prescribed by doctors in Germany for the treatment of depression. Axl ¤ [Talk] 10:00, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Axl, once again, thank you for your response. It's great to have a physican involved in the discussion. And I certainly didn't mean to put words into your mouth - my apologies for any offence.
Of course there is a difference between a doctor recommending something and prescribing it. But it's also a fine difference in this argument, because as you say, paracetamol (and aspirin) don't require prescriptions, and of course they are indisputably medication. Surely, more the point (in my opinion), is that a physician has to be confidant in the efficacy of the medication that they prescribe, or recommend, and that it will treat the illness. And conventional is whether there is a clear history of recommendation by physicians.
Yes, I heard that herbs are much more part of conventional medicince in parts of Europe, and who knows maybe St. Johns Wort is under the Wiki Medicine banner is German language wiki (?) And maybe also one day St. Johns Wort will reach a level of acceptance where it is recommended/prescribed by doctors to a point where it would be considered conventional in Engslish speaking countries. Who knows?
But I think this point also highlights another issue here: the school of medicine that the medication originates from. From the Australian perspective (and probably UK as well) St Johns Wort originates in the herbalism school of medicine, rather than conventional medicine. Whereas, when considering eucalyptus oil, it originates from conventional medicine and conventional pharmacology. Having researched eucalyptus oil products, my impression is that the historical continuation of certain eucalyptus based brands is actually indicative of the efficacy of the product and the fact that products have a continued history of being recommended by physicians.
That's the rub: eucalyptus oil very much originated in the school of conventional medicine - and not in alternative therapies.
Pharmaceutical grade eucalyptus oil is no different than any other pharmaceutical chemical. It has a mode of action and well defined standards to meet medical requirements.
I would suggest, that the only reason eucalyptus oil might be excluded from conventional status by some is primarily due to an arbitrary perception around branding issues and confusion with herbalism because it's a plant extract. But the reality doesn't change: physcicians do recommend eucalyptus oil based products as a medication, and its origins are in conventional medicine. Cheers.John Moss (talk) 11:32, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I see your point. We disagree on the matter, but that's okay. Hopefully we'll get some other opinions. {By the way, Wikipedia's St. John's wort article is currently listed under both WikiProject Medicine and WikiProject Alternative Medicine.) Best wishes. Axl ¤ [Talk] 11:58, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your perspective Axl. I'm also fine with agreeing to disagreee, and I appreciate that you understand where I'm coming from as well, and yes, perhaps we may be able attract other opinions. I flagged the discussion in the doctor's mess. And hey, that's interesting about St Johns Wort being in WikiProject Medicine. Great to chat. Cheers.John Moss (talk) 14:11, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I think it's important to note here that while it's not normally necessary to have a prescription for aspirin or paracetamol, formal prescriptions are routinely written for these drugs for patients admitted to hospital. It's only when you're out of the hospital that you can get these drugs without a prescription. By contrast, I rather doubt that any hospital patient gets a prescription for eucalyptus oil. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:57, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Good point. That would separate eucalyptus oil (and many, many other nostrums) from medicines, putting them in the relatively harmless but also relatively useless category. Then the question is: is eucalyptus oil a notable nostrum? --Una Smith (talk) 07:08, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't be too hasty in assuming that pharmaceutical products containing eucalyptus oil are not prescribed, because I have read references attached to literature that say they are prescribed - unfortunately I couldn't download it easily because it was in a medical paper requiring payment.) Also, it's a bit beside the point, because if a physician recommends a pharmaceutical product with an active ingredient, they are professionally obliged to ensure that it's effective, regardless whether it's prescribed or recommended. And also the literature [11] [12] [13][14][15]clearly indicates that this is a pharmacological ingredient and not in the "useless category", and with Wiki editing it's evidence based - not just opinion.John Moss (talk) 09:41, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Axl, just thinking about it, it's so ironical that St Johns Wort, a product from the school of herbalism, is accepted in WikiProject Medicine, when eucalyptus oil with a 220 year history of application within conventional medicine, and is still recommended by physicians as an active, struggles to be accepted by WikiProject Medicine. It's a bit of a twist.)John Moss (talk) 14:52, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Eucalyptus oil does have medicinal uses, so this article unquestionably is within the scope of WikiProject Pharmacology. I am not convinced that it is within the scope of WikiProject Medicine. The article mentions medicinal uses (with sources) of Eucalyptus, not eucalyptus oil per se. That may seem like a fine point, but eucalyptus oil is not the only possible active ingredient produced by Eucalyptus. --Una Smith (talk) 20:17, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Una for your contribution. Great to have your input. The article does indeed cite the use of leaf infusions by indigenous Aboriginal people - which the essential oil is just one component thereof.
However, in regards to the medicinal use of eucalyptus oil, you may have missed the section on "Medicinal and Antimicrobial" under "Uses", which has over six references (mostly pharmacological) citing medicinal applications of eucalyptus oil. Cheers.John Moss (talk) 20:56, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
The article could use some cleanup to remove tangents, eg those non-specific uses of Eucalyptus. Re those uses, say here merely that Eucalyptus has uses in folk medicine, which may be related to eucalyptus oil. Where do you draw the line between pharmacology and medicine? --Una Smith (talk) 21:59, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Una, I've tightened-up that history section. Thank you for that.
Coming back to your query where is the line between pharmacology and medicine. I think the general understanding is that pharmacology is part of the mosaic of professions that comes under conventional empirical medicine, because pharmacolgy is about the science of medication.John Moss (talk) 23:00, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
That does not answer my question. Think about it some more, because it is at the heart of why some editors may include CAM in medicine but exclude eucalyptus oil from it. --Una Smith (talk) 02:44, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Una, one of the things that is very clear, is that eucalyptus oil has pharmacological activity - as in a defined medicating effect on the body based on empirical evidence.[16] [17] [18][19][20]
It's also worth quoting what has been said in the Doctors Mess about this issue:

I agree that eucalyptus oil is mostly something used in complementary and alternative medicine but also has strict pharmacological and medical applications. Even if that weren't true, CAM is still a part of medicine. --Steven Fruitsmaak

CheersJohn Moss (talk) 05:05, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Per Wikipedia:WikiProject_Medicine/Assessment#Is_WPMED_the_correct_WikiProject_to_support_this_article.3F, I withdraw the part of my comment saying that CAM medicines should be assessed under WP:MED. But I still believe that eucalyptus oil has medical applications: the main one seems to be as a mosquito repellent.PMID 16599157 PMID 18437833 It also seems to be studied for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory purposes. PMID 18423004 Finally, it is used as a smoking cessation aid of unproven benefit. PMID 16625649 . --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 09:19, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Steven, I wouldn't say that an insect repellent counts as medication (but certainly important to human health), but yes the anti-inflammatory qualities in pharmaceutical decongestants and for treatments for bronchitis[21] [22] [23], immune system stimulant [24], and in rubaficient topicals [25] in pharmaceutical products is very clearly supported by pharmacological research. The role of eucalyptus oil as an antiseptic as been huge in the past in surgery, and still has a role in dental hygiene, and I'm fairly sure that there are products containing eucalyptus oil as an active that are recommended by dentists. Cheers.John Moss (talk) 09:54, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Steven, the point is that mainstream and alternative banners can co-exist with WikiProject Medicine, and I think you seem to agree that this is a good case for that given that eucalyptus oil is used as an active pharmacological - and that's certainly what the evidence is saying. John Moss (talk) 10:12, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
John, I don't think you realize how weak your "active pharmacological" argument is. Sugar (yes, the white stuff that people put in tea to sweeten it) is an active pharmacological agent. In addition to being effective at correcting hypoglycemia, sugar has also been used (as a topical agent) by many real physicians to treat real, life- and limb-threatening diseases (infections). But WPMED doesn't support the article Sugar: it is primarily a food, not primarily a conventional medication.
You've had several good editors from WPMED indicate that, in their personal opinions and for different reasons, this article is outside the scope of the project. I'm having trouble understanding why you are still so determined to have WPMED's banner on this page. It's not a trophy. The only purpose of the banner is to help WPMED internally (WP:1.0 assessment will ignore WPMED here, because any other project would rate it as higher importance). Surely your time would be better spent improving the article instead of arguing about whether or not WPMED's banner belongs on its talk page. Are you prepared to close this discussion? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:29, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, it's a misuse of analogy to cite sugar for comparison with eucalyptus oil when sugar is not listed as an active ingredient in pharmaceuticals.
Also, not all the editors agreed with you, and none of the editors who disagree with the WikiProject Medicine inclusion of eucalyptus oil have refuted the pharmacological references in peer-reviewed scientific journals which support the efficacy of eucalyptus oil. And these are clearly not CAM journal papers.
My impression of the Wiki editing is that it should always be evidentially based, not down to the personal arbitrary opinion of any editor.
Of course, there is a body of literature that exists supporting the efficacy of euclyptus oil as a pharmacological ingredient - as I've cited - and therefore you are obliged to accept the reality that eucalyptus oil is a pharmacologically active ingredient - regardless of your opinion.
I'll put it to you WhatImadoing: do you deny the existance of empirical based papers in peer-reviewed journals supporting the efficacy of eucalyptus oil?
I have proven very decisively, via the cited papers, that eucalyptus oil indeed has pharmacological activity. If you can cite something of equal value that is current (up-to-date citations) that refutes this, I will backdown. Otherwise your arguments are invalid based on the evidence, and it's time for you to backdown.
It's very straight forward.John Moss (talk) 23:24, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
The very underpinning principle of empirical conventional medicine is that it is evidence based - not opinion based.John Moss (talk) 23:52, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
John, WPMED doesn't normally tag articles like this. The members of the project seem to feel, overall, that this article is probably not within the scope of their project. Not tagging it doesn't hurt the article. I can't begin to imagine why you are making such a big deal out of this.
There are more than five thousand words just in this section. The discussion of whether or not this article about a plant extract should be supported by WPMED is now dramatically longer than the actual article. Imagine what this article would look like if you had put all your time into improving this article instead of haggling over whether this article should be listed in Category:WikiProject Medicine articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:40, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


When I discussed this issue with some physician friends, their comment was that vested interest pharmaceutical companies manufacturing products competing with eucalyptus oil and other essential oil products would be keen to downplay the role of essential oils in pharmaceutical products.
The reason why I've thrashed this issue to death, is because I'm trying to understand the underlying reasoning behind exclusion of eucalyptus oil as a pharmaceutical under WPMED banner. As the reasoning by opponents of inclusion is nebulous, one is left wondering what is the real reason. And I have to ask: why would anyone so passionately exclude essential oils as a matter of course given their overt use as pharmaceuticals? As a wikipedia editor I find this very strange and inconsistant with Wiki values of objectivity.
What is concerning, as a friend pointed out, that given the billions of dollars spent on pharmaceuticals vested interests could be playing an active part in excluding competing products in open access processes like Wiki. That's why we need to tease out what the real issues are here.
Because if there is no genuine basis to excluding eucalyptus oil as a pharmaceutical under the WPMED, it raises the potential of vested interests playing a role in an open access process like Wikipedia.
Of course, I have no evidence that vested interests are playing role here, but it shouldn't be ruled out either. That why the role of objective evidence-based references is a better guide over a small sampling of editor opinions - because ultimately we don't know what interests editors represent. John Moss (talk) 04:46, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Let's try this again: Are you aware that a WikiProject is a social group, not a method of organizing information or an imprimatur of acceptance in a particular field? It's a bunch of volunteers that have decided to work together are topics that, in this instance, they choose to describe as medicine. No one can compel them to work on any article that they don't choose to. They have an absolute right, under Wikipedia policies -- not to mention the common understanding of personal liberty -- to include or exclude any article from their project that they happen to feel like including or excluding, for any reason, or for no reason. If WPMED were to say, "We don't choose to support Myocardial infarction any longer; it is hereby declared to be outside the scope of our project", then MI is no longer within the scope of WPMED and this group of volunteers will move on to something else. It does not have to be a rational choice; more importantly, it does not have to seem like a rational choice to you. If it happens to make you happy to think that the decision was arbitrary and capricious, or that the pharmaceutical industry decided to pay a bunch of students (because most WPMED members are students, not professionals) to not bother with this article, then that's fine with me.
The important point is that the volunteers at WPMED do not choose to support this article. That's all that matters. That's all that the absence of the tag means. You made your case, and the people at the project declined to add this article to their very long list of other articles needing support.
If you think that eucalyptus oil -- the actual product, not the article -- has conventional medicinal aspects, then let me direct you to Category:Drugs by type. I'm sure that I've mentioned before that Categories are how you classify topics on Wikipedia. WikiProject banners, by contrast, are only handy notes about where you might be able to find someone willing to help with it. That's why categories are in the article, and WikProject banners are not in the article.
I'm sure that we can agree that it would be stupid to have a "Click here to ask questions" note up on this talk page, when the people at the "here" have directly refused to make themselves available to answer questions about the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:49, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
One more comment: If you want to have a general discussion about why the pharmaceutical industry does or doesn't support essential oils, then this is not the place for it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:53, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, I think this is a good enough place to initiate discussion on why essential oils are excluded by WPMED. Part of your logic for excluding eucalyptus oil was:
WPMED generally declines to support articles on essential oils. Essential oils are generally accepted as alternative medicine.
And a correction: If you want to have a general discussion about why the pharmaceutical industry does or doesn't support essential oils,.. WhatamIdoing.
Actually, I referred to vested interest pharmaceutical companies i.e. those that manufacture competing products. As some pharmaceutical companies clearly do manufacture pharmaceutical products containing eucalyptus oil and other essential oils as actives.
And it's not just about WPMED. It's a principle that empirical medicines are being erroneously excluded within an arm of Wikipedia - whether it's a social group or whatever - despite the evidence to the contrary, and as an editor I have every right to make a comment as it's very un-Wiki to go against the evidence.
More the question: why are you so obsessed with excluding essential oils from WPMED despite the evidence?
Earlier you said:
If you disagree with my assessment of the oil's status in BP, then I request a demonstration that this oil is listed in BP as a regulated pharmaceutical drug. WhatamIdoing
I took you on good faith that you would concede if the evidence was there to support its standard medicinal use. I think you have behaved in poor form in not acknowledging that it's self-evident that eucalyptus oil has bona-fide medical/pharmaceutical use, beside the alternative use.
John Moss (talk) 10:30, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, you never managed to get a copy of the BP to find out whether it was listed with conventional medications (which I doubt) or with AltMed products (which I suspect). Until you can actually look at the source, please don't bother telling me that the word is mentioned somewhere or another in it. The U.S Constitutions contains the words, "Congress shall make no law", but that doesn't mean that Congress never makes any laws.
As for whether this is the appropriate venue, WP:TALK#How_to_use_article_talk_pages says: "Keep on topic: Talk pages are for discussing the article, not for general conversation about the article's subject (much less other subjects). Keep discussions on the topic of how to improve the associated article."
Is this conversation about improving the associated article? I don't think so. It looks like a general conversation on something only tangentially related to the article's subject. Therefore, according to Wikipedia's guidelines, it belongs elsewhere. You could try the doctor's mess, the WikiProject Pharmacology, the village pump, or other similar pages. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:07, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I gave you a reference that cited the BP standard, which you didn't dispute as existing at the time:
As to regulation of standards for eucalyptus oil, there certainly is a standard referred to in the BP supported by conventional pharmacology. The eucalyptus oil standard in the British Pharmacopaeia is in-fact cited in the peer-reviewed Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmocology [26]. It clearly implies acceptance as a pharmaceutical. John Moss.
Now you want the actual word for word standard. As it is, I did chase-up the BP standard for eucalyptus oil with the local pharmacist. And I can give it to you word for word if you want. (I'm not at home for a few weeks - so I can't access the photcopy of the relevant BP pages.)
And now you pull-out the other issue on the protocols of the discussion page. You have chosen to participate in this dialogue as much as me. In fact when we shifted this discussion to the WPMED page, you insisted that we move the discussion back to here.
As it is, this discussion is relevant to the article content, because pharmaceutical/medical use is cited in the article and the standing of the content is influenced by this discussion, as I've edited the article content as the discussion has progressed. Also acceptance by WPMED of eucalyptus oil and essential oils influences their standing as pharmaceuticals among Wiki editors with implicatons for article content generally.
But it's not the point is it? Why don't you just admit that you were wrong in the first place and be done with it? And we can take it from there. John Moss (talk) 01:04, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not asking for what the standard is; I'm asking for how it is classified. There are BP standards for all sorts of substances that are not conventional medications.
But I'm done with this discussion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:31, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
What you actually asked for was:
...I request a demonstration that this oil is listed in BP as a regulated pharmaceutical drug. WhatamIdoing.
The point of the standard is that it is a regulated 'pharmaceutical drug' which is supported by pharmacological research, and it is used in pharmaceutical products, and is recommended by physicians. In a pharmaceutical context, it's as 'conventional' as you can get.
And just a tip WhatamIdoing, maybe next time, consider doing some research before making assumptions, and save us all the bother. Cheers.John Moss (talk) 01:57, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Additional information[edit]

It would be great if someone that has any idea about the production process could write a paragraph about it in the article. I'd like to know about the process for manufacturing Eucalyptus oil. Presumably it starts with leaves from trees? —Preceding unsigned comment added by M-streeter97 (talkcontribs) 01:22, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Links already integrated into the body of the text are generally not repeated in a "See also" section. I have removed the duplicates, and added a description to the remaining item. Descriptions are particularly helpful for plant names, since they explain to the reader why he might want to click on the link. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:29, 6 October 2009 (UTC)


I feel this article would benefit from the addition of a Composition section (explaining the composition/typical composition) of eucalyptus oil. However, I don't feel I'm competent enough to add such a section. (talk) 18:41, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Medicinal and antiseptic, Immune Response[edit]

I was thinking of completely removing the whole sentence that I edited on 12:24, 13 December 2015‎ because of issues with a primary source, but in vivo immune response is also confirmed orally with rats. In vitro, for humans, it is an innate cell-mediated immune response. Would it make more sense to mention that it has this effect with oral ingestion, or is there evidence to show that eucalyptus oil can also have this effect with topical or aroma inhalation applications (which I believe are more common in higher concentration)? I haven't included an explanation for how eucalyptus oil could be used for the immune response. Something like 5mg of ingesting Eucalyptus oil is toxic, depending on body weight. People may assume that smelling the oil will have the same effects, but there isn't data to explain why this oil has the immune response effect. (talk) 13:17, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

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