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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Sunday - July 10, 2005

From: Chicago , IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Medicinal Plants, Trees
Title: Smarty Plants on women trying to conceive
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

RE: Eucalyptus. Is this bad for women trying to conceive? The smell is very powerful.

ANSWER:

Traditionally, the Australian Aborigines have used the oils and gum from the leaves and wood of different Eucalyptus species to treat a number of ailments; for instance, fever, diarrhea, wounds, aches and pains. Because of the antiseptic qualities of the eucalyptus oil, it is often used as an ingredient in cold lozenges today. Ingestion of large doses of oil of eucalyptus causes severe intestinal irritation and can be fatal. Some people experience contact dermatitis from the foliage. There is no indication that eucalyptus interferes with conception, but pregnant and nursing women are advised not to use it.

You can read more about its Aboriginal use and about past and current uses. You can also read more about one eucalyptus species of Eucalyptus globulus in the Purdue University Horticulture database.

 

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