Bagras | Rainbow eucalyptus proven benefits and uses

The scientific name of the Rainbow gum is Eucalyptus deglupta Blume.

Scientific names Common names
Eucalyptus binacag (Elmer) Elmer Bagras (Most dialects)
Eucalyptus deglupta Blume Mindanao gum (Engl.)
Eucalyptus multiflora  A. Rich ex A. Gray non Poir. [Illegitimate] Rainbow eucalyptus (Engl.)
Eucalyptus naudiniana F. Muell. Rainbow gum (Engl.)
Eucalyptus sarassa Blume  
Eucalyptus schlechteri Diels  
Eucalyptus versicolor Blume  
Eugenia binacag  Elmer
This Philippine compilation includes several species of Eucalyptus, a few with a sharing a confusing crossover of color-referring common names: (1) Eucalyptus globulus, blue gum eucalyptus (2) Eucalyptus deglupta, bagras, rainbow gum (3) Eucalyptus camaldulensis, red gum eucalyptus (4) Eucalyptus tereticornis, red gum tree, forest red gum. (5) Eucalyptus robusta, beakpod eucalyptus, brown gum, red gum.(6) Eucalyptus cinerea, silver dollar eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus deglupta Blume is an accepted The Plant List
Other vernacular names
FRENCH: Gommier robuste, Eucalyptus des marais.
NEW GUINEA: Komo, Kamarere.


There are about 400 different species sharing similar medicinal properties. The genus deglupta was described and named in 1788 by the French botanist l’Héritier.


Eucalyptus deglupta is a huge evergreen tree that may attain a height of more than 50 meters. Trunk makes up 50 to 70% of the tree height, about 250 cm diameter, with buttresses 3 to 4 meters high. Bark is smooth, yellow, orange or brown, becoming green after flaking. Twigs are 4-sided, often with 4 longitudinal wings. Young leaves are opposite, ovate to lanceolate; mature leaves are opposite to sub-opposite, rarely alternate, and short-petioled. Flowers are in 3 to 7 umbels in terminal or axillary panicles, with many white to pale yellow stamens 2 to 10 millimeters long. Fruit is pedicallate, hemispherical, with 3 to 4 valves, think, deltoid, exserted to 2 millimeters. Mature fruits are brown to dark brown, with 3 to 12 well-formed seeds per valve. Seeds are minute, brown, flattened, with a small terminal wing.


– Mostly found in the lowland primary forests.

– Planted in parks and gardens in urban areas, but not common.

– Occurs in Philippines, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.


• There are more than 300 species. The species with the highest yield of volatile oils are E. globosus, E. tereticornis, E. polyanthemos and E. citriodora.

• Volatile oil: phellandrene, aldehydes and ketone, 33%, phenol, 9%.

• Leaf essential oil is mainly composed of sesquiterpenoids (48%), of which E-nerolidol is the major component. (34.8%).

• Proximate analysis yielded 0.45% volatile oil, light yellow, and slightly acidic, soluble in 80% alcohol, and contains phellandrene, aldehydes, ketones, and phenols.

• Stimulant, antiseptic, antimalarial, antibacterial.

Parts used


Folkloric traditional medicinal uses of bagras or rainbow eucalyptus 

Antiseptic and deodorant: Apply crushed leaves on affected area.

Cough and asthma: Take decoction of leaves as tea.

Insect repellent: Burn leaves.

• In other countries, used to combat malaria.

• Used as antiseptic gargle.

• Used for lung infects and bronchitis.

• Oil used for cough and spasmodic throat problems.

Other uses

• Oil: Used for sterilizing and lubricating urethral catheters.

• Veterinary: In veterinary medicine, the oil used for influenza in horses, distemper in dogs, and for parasitic skin infections and septicimia.

• Wood: The wood works well with machine and hand tools; used for furniture, molding, flooring, construction lumber, boat building, veneer and plywood. Limited use for charcoal. Considered too valuable for firewood.

• Fiber: Globally, most E. deglupta plantations are meant for pulp production. Used for pulp and paper products.

Scientific studies based on bagras or rainbow eucalyptus benefits uses and more

Rich in Terpenoids:

According to study, dichlormethane extract of leaves yielded nerolidol (1), ursolic acid (2), oleanolic acid (3), and squalene (4), while the twigs yielded 2-4.

Pharmacognostical Study:

E. deglupta yields druses of calcium oxalate crystals in the parenchyma of the midrib, petiole and stem, and occasionally in the palisade cells. The oil is of the lysigenous type. Analysis of the oil yielded 0.45% volatile oil.

Good for eye care helps to prevent cataract/ Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors / Cataractogenesis Prevention:

Allopurinol is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor used in the treatment of gout. In a screening study of nineteen plants, two provided varying degrees of xanthine oxidase inhibition. E. deglupta presented the best finding for cataractogenesis prevention.

Inhibition of Aldose Reductase / Prevention of Cataracts:

Study screened plant extracts for aldose reductase inhibition and investigated their influence in diabetic cataractogenesis prevention in normal and diabetic Sprague Dawley rats. The best inhibitors were E. borinquensis, M. indica, E. deglupta and S. malaccense. While all of the extracts had preventive effects on the formation of cataracts, all rats treated with E. deglupta did not develop cataracts.

Essential Oil / Leaves / Antibacterial:

In a study of essential oils from 15 aromatic medicinal plant species in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eucalyptus deglupta leaf essential oil was among one of those that showed good antibacterial activity. No correlation was observed between major constituents and antibacterial activity.



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