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About Bosisto's

Bosisto’s is FGB’s flagship brand and Australia’s number 1 selling eucalyptus oil.


Click on video above to view Landline's feature story on FGB Natural Products

 

Founded in 1852 by Joseph Bosisto, it is the oldest and most respected heritage brand that remains 100% Australian owned. The market leader in quality, experience and innovation. Bosisto's has always been, and will remain, 'first in eucalyptus'.

Ways Bosisto's can help

History of Bosisto's

Essential Oils through Histoy

Eucalyptus Oil - What you need to know

Bosisto’s has continued to innovate over the years, creating natural products which help make life easier at home, for your health and beyond.  Here are just some of the ways Bosisto’s can help you.

Cold and Flu Remedies

Got the sniffles?  Bosisto’s offer a range of natural solutions to help whole family feel better.  Bosisto’s remedies work in harmony with the body to help boost immunity, increase wellbeing and comfort and soothe symptoms until you’re back on your feet again.

Home Cleaning

Essential oils are a powerhouse of natural cleaning, freshening and germ-killing abilities - and Bosisto’s is Australia’s original home essential oils!  Find it all here, from Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Lavender Oils, to handy aerosol sprays and water-soluble solutions for every cleaning task from kitchen to bathroom & beyond.

Commercial Cleaning

Now available direct to public, Bosisto’s high-cineole eucalyptus blends can help you clean large areas with confidence without harmful chemicals – or spending a fortune.  Eucalytpus oil’s natural solvent properties are the star with various strengths and blends for industrial, commercial or household needs.

Laundry

If you’re concerned about your environmental footprint, one of the best places to make a change is in the laundry.  Bosisto’s laundry range is not just eco-friendly (with no fillers, minimal phosphates and no synthetic fragrances or dyes), it’s perfect for families with allergies, because the whole range is tested and proven kind to sensitive skin. 

Dust Mite Control

Dust mites are microscopic creatures which live in nearly every Australian home, and feed off dead skin cells shed by humans. Millions can live in the cleanest of homes. Dust mites are also one of the most common allergens found in Australia and 1 in 3 Australians will suffer from allergies in their lifetime. Our Bosisto's Dust Mite Control products, found in our Laundry section are clinically proven to help kill dust mites and remove their allergens, leaving your home fresh and healthy without added toxins. Read more in our Dust Mite Handy Hints brochure.

Therapeutic Care

Scrapes, strains and sprains are part of life, especially if yours is a sporty or outdoorsy family.  Luckily Bosisto’s have a great range of antiseptics, muscle rubs and essential oils to soothe and care for those little injuries the natural way.

 

History of Bosistos

1788 -  Surgeon-General John White arrives on the First Fleet; he notes in his diary the presence of ‘olfactory oil’ in the native eucalyptus, named by French botanist L’Heritier in the same year.

1789 – A quart of oil distilled from the so-called “Sydney Peppermint”, Eucalyptus piperita Sm., is sent back for testing in England.  It is, according to reports, “much more efficacious in removing all cholicky complaints than the English Peppermint…. less pungent and more aromatic.”  Despite this flurry of official interest nothing much is done with it for the next several decades.

1848 – Yorkshire pharmacist Joseph Bosisto arrives in Adelaide aged 21.  He moves to Victoria in search of gold but instead opens a pharmacy in Richmond, where he builds a lab specifically to investigate the medical and pharmaceutical properties of Australian plants.

1850 – Joseph strikes up a friendship with Government Botanist Baron Ferdiand von Meuller, a founder of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Victoria.  The Baron is an avid fan of the eucalypt and encourages Joseph to investigate its medicinal properties and exploit it commercially.

1852 – Bosisto opens Australia’s first commercial distillery, at Dandenong Creek in Victoria, followed by others at Emerald, Menzies Creek and Macclesfield.  He begins selling the oil locally.

1865 – Businessmen Alfred Felton and Frederick Grimwade see the possibilities of the trade and their firm, Felton Grimwade & Co. become the distributors of Bosisto’s “Oil of Eucalyptus”. They form a new firm, the Eucalyptus Mallee Company and purchase Antwerp Station near Dimboola, Victoria, full of low-growing Mallee eucalypts perfect for cropping.

1882 - By June 1882, 40 pounds of oil had been produced for export to England and Germany.

1885 - the Antwerp Company was merged with Bosisto’s original business and a firm called J. Bosisto and Co. was formed.

1891 - Bosisto’s Oil of Eucalyptus is the darling of the international exhibition circuit, awarded prizes in 17 international exhibitions. 

1892 – A elaborate new label was produced as well as a thousand circulars attesting to the powerful properties of oil of eucalyptus for “arts, manfactures, medicine and sanitary purposes”.  Popular Bosisto’s products of the time included asthma cigarettes (with or without tobacco) and Syrup of Red Gum for ‘bowel complaints’.

1900 – By the turn of the century Australia’s eucalyptus oil industry was well established and supplying the world market – including the UK, Germany, USA, Canada, South Africa, India, China, New Zealand and the Far East - with substantial quantities of various high grade oils.

1939 -  World War II arrives, and with it, a new work standard.  The ‘old breed’ of eucalyptus workers – old bushmen and victims of the gold mining bust - make way for a younger generation with designs on a different way of life.  They will no longer accept the prevailing low wages and poor living conditions and this greatly increases labour costs.

1950 – The cost of producing eucalyptus oil in Australia had spiked so much that the oil could no longer compete against Spanish and Portugese oils.  Advances in machinery and technology means wheat becomes more profitable as Australia’s eucalyptus industry, which dominated internationally for 80 years, regresses.

1974 – Current owners the Abbott family purchases the company Felton Grimwade & Bosisto and a new era for eucalyptus oil begins.

1982 – Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Rub was launched, a muscle rub for arthritis and sports.

1984 – The water-soluble Bosisto’s EucoSteam Inhalant was introduced, making eucalyptus oil more suitable (and safer) for use in the water chamber of vaporisers.

1987 – Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Spray is introduced; the ground breaking aerosol format is a first for essential oils.

2001 – Bosisto’s enters the laundry category.  Based on research by Sydney University professors Tovey & McDonald, Bosisto’s Dust Mite Wash is clinically proven to kill 99% of dust mites and remove their allergens in the laundry wash.  Bosisto’s EucoFresh Pre-wash follows shortly after.

2005 – Bosisto’s Tea Tree Oil is launched, soon to be followed by a 100% Spray format.

2006 – Bosisto’s Lavender Oil and Spray also join the Bosisto’s family.

2007 – Bosisto’s launches a natural, eucalyptus-based laundry powder (Bosisto’s EucoFresh) into the competitive laundry category.  It’s accompanied by a liquid detergent, Bosisto’s Allergen Wash, an everyday laundry liquid which also removes allergens from fabrics.

2008 – Full Bosisto’s range available in unbreakable PET bottles – world first.  Bosisto’s also launches its Bosisto’s Lavender Spray and Sugar-free Bosisto’s Lozenges.

2010 – Bosisto’s Antiseptic Spray is launched.   Bosisto’s Wool Wash also joins the laundry range, making a total family of five products in laundry, including the Dust Mite Wash.

2011 – Bosisto’s launches its new water-soluble “Solutions” in Eucalyptus and Tea Tree, to meet the increasing demand for cleaning uses and a budget-friendly alternative to 100% pure oils.

2012 – Bosisto’s celebrates its 160th birthday, as one of Australia’s oldest iconic brands.  It launches Bosisto’s Lavender Solution to complete the Bosisto’s Oil/Spray/ Solution trio in all ranges.

2013- Bosisto’s launches Bosisto’s Dust Mite Spray, to complete the Bosisto’s “Dust Mite Control Program” trio along with Dust Mite Wash and Allergen Wash.

2014 – Bosisto’s launches Bosisto’s Echinacea Throat Sprays, in three delicious flavours:  lemon, eucalyptus and peppermint.

2015 – Bosisto’s Echinacea Throat Gargle, a natural sore throat gargle alternative, joins the growing Cough & Cold range.

 

Essential Oils through History

The beginning

Ancient Egypt was the true birthplace of essential oils, or ‘aromatherapy’ as we know it today.  The Egyptians cultivated plants for their oils and used them extensively in their religion, in cosmetics as well as for medicinal purposes.  Aromatic essence and resins were also used in the embalming process. 

It is thought that most essential oils were produced in Egypt by a type of solvent extraction method (enfleurage) using animal fat – however, distillation “pots” have also been found dating back about 3,500 BC.

Around the same time, China and India were exploring herbs and aromatic plants too, which would become an integral part of the Indian Ayurvedic medical system.

The wisdom of the Egyptians was absorbed by the ancient Greeks: the most well-known physician of that time, Hippocrates (c.460-377 BC) was a firm believer in treating a patient holistically and included massage in many of his therapies.   

Romans, in turn adopted the Greek’s knowledge and were great believers in hygiene to promote health – aromatic baths being especially popular.

A dark time

The Dark Ages, which came about after the fall of the Roman Empire, heralded a time of great religious oppression.  The Church, since it considered bathing a sin, encouraged people to use aromatics to cover the stench – (luckily, most of these plants turned out to have anti-bacterial and anti-pesticide properties as well!) But apart from this, the holistic teachings of Hippocrates were all but forgotten.

Rebirth of interest

It was not until the Renaissance period that aromatherapy found favour again, and there was a swing back to the wisdom of folk medicine.  A great Physician at the time, Paracelsus (1493-1541) proved his mettle to his contemporaries by having great success “curing leprosy” with plant extracts.

The term “aromatherapy” as it is known today was first coined in 1937 by the French chemist and perfumer Rene Maurice Gattefosse.   He was not a believer in the natural health movement but was interested in the properties essential oils exhibited.

In 1910 he burnt his hand badly in his laboratory, and being the first compound available, he treated his hand with pure undiluted lavender oil.  This not only immediately eased the pain, but helped heal the hand without any sign of infection or scarring.

He also found that minute amounts of essential oils are absorbed by the body and interact with the body’s chemistry.

During the second World War, as a result of Gattefosse’s experiments, doctors went on to successfully treat many injured soldiers with essential oils.

Modern Aromatherapy

Since the late 70’s and early 80’s a boom in the interest in natural medicine, and more recently the rise in environmental concerns has kept essential oils growing in popularity– both for health and healing, and practical uses to replace harmful chemicals in the home.

Eucalyptus Oil - What you need to know

The eucalyptus oil industry is an important and colourful part of Australia’s history.

It began in 1852 in Victoria and by the turn of the century it was well established and eucalyptus oil was being exported to many countries. Over the next 50 years this distinctively Australian industry was the major supplier of eucalyptus oil to world markets. However, since then Australia’s market share has fallen and production is now only five per cent of world requirements. Fortunately advances in science and technology have improved our competitive position and prospects are bright for Australia to regain lost export markets and revive this important rural industry.

Eucalypts – Australia’s bush legacy

Eucalypts form about three-quarters of the tree flora of Australia. Nicknamed "gums", because of the gummy, gluey sap they exude, Eucalypts are a true Australian native tree (the extensive plantations now found in Africa, South and North America, Europe, India and China were planted with Australian seed).

More than 600 species of eucalypts exist, ranging from the dwarfed and stunted forms called "Mallees" to the tall trees which grow in coastal and mountainous regions.  Although the leaves of all species contain oil, fewer than 20 contain enough oil to be harvested commercially. 

Of these, Blue Mallee (Eucalyptus Polybractea) – the species harvested for Bosisto’s Eucalyptus products – produces one of the best quality, long-lasting aromatic oils for both medicinal and industrial use.

From leaf to bottle

1. Growing the trees

Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Oil is made from the leaves of Eucalyptus Polybractea, also known as Blue Mallee.  Blue Mallee trees come from a unique natural forest around Inglewood, near Bendigo Victoria.  It’s a totally organic process in that no pesticides or chemicals are used; just the natural elements of the sun, soil and rain.  The eucalypts grow to approximately 1 metre in height and are harvested every two years.  Blue Mallees are “evergreen” which means they grow back after harvesting – a naturally renewable resource.

2. Harvesting

The trees are planted in what’s known as ‘patches’– each is at a different stage and ready for harvest at different times, allowing harvesting and distillation all year round. A tractor pulls along the harvester that empties the cut trees into a vat towing behind.  When the vat is full (approx.. 3 tonnes of leaf), it’s taken back to the distillery.

3. Stoking the boiler

A boiler is used to generate steam, which is pumped directly into the vat of leaves to extract their oil.  The boiler is fuelled using dried, spent leaves which have already had their oil extracted – or, they’re used as garden mulch.  Eucalyptus distilling is an earth-friendly process with very little waste!

4. Crude oil

The oil/water mix drains out of the vat and into a bucket.  The oil (called ‘crude oil’ at this stage) separates from the water naturally and is syphoned off.  It takes approx.. 5kg of leaves to produce a 50mL bottle of eucalyptus oil.

5. Lifting the lid

After 2 hours of steam being pumped through the vat the leaves are spent and ready to be dried out for fuel or mulch. 

6. Liquid gold!

Once all the crude oil is collected it’s carefully re-distilled to remove any impurities, and blended to create a fresh, premium grade eucalyptus oil.

7. Bosisto’s “Parrot” brand

Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Oil has a distinctive clean, fresh fragrance which is stronger and longer lasting than other eucalyptus oils –that’s what makes our famous “Parrot brand” quality so unique.
 

Did you know?

Mechanical harvesting hasn’t been around as long as you’d think – horse and cart was still being used as late as 1974! 

A New Beginning

The Australian industry has declined by about 85 per cent over the last 60 years.   We once supplied 100 per cent of the world requirements whereas we now contribute only five per cent of the total.

This is a situation Bosisto’s has begun to change. Over the past two decades the company has invested significant time, passion, energy and finances into a large scale agriculture project in conjunction with the Botany Department of Melbourne University.  Over 12 years of research went into producing a new breed of high yielding eucalypt (nicknamed ‘super trees’) in the hope that wide-scale production on a more financially profitable basis might begin to turn the fortunes of the industry around.

The first plantations of Bosisto’s new ‘super trees’ began in 2012 and over 2.5 million have been planted to date.  It’s a new beginning and a new hope for our once-great industry, a part of the history of every Australian.

Eucalyptus oil uses:

  • Colds & Flu: Eucalyptus oil is a unique natural product with antiseptic properties and the power to clear the nasal passages and bronchial tubes making it easier to breathe.  Most popular as an inhalant, vaporised in hot water, it is also an active ingredient in cough lozenges, throat sprays, drops or gargles.

  • Personal hygiene: Medicinal eucalyptus oils and eucalyptol are used in mouth washes, toothpastes, embrocation balms and ointments, liniments and soaps.

  • Muscle aches: an excellent rub for muscular aches and pains and it has been widely used by athletes and physiotherapists for decades.

  • Laundry: With its cleaning, deodorising and antiseptic properties, eucalyptus is terrific for freshening clothes and in particular, for soft and fluffy woollens.

  • Antiseptics: eucalyptus oil is used in antiseptics and germicidal and household disinfectants because of its pleasant odour and ability to kill bacteria.

  • Spot and stain remover: eucalyptus oil’s natural solvent ability makes it an idea spot and stain remover.  It is also used as an industrial solvent.

  • Saunas: the oil lends a wonderful fragrance to spas and saunas

  • Euca-Mulch: the by-product of eucalyptus oil production, aromatic eucalyptus leaves make a wonderful garden mulch for both commercial landscape and home gardening.  It is weed and insect free, non-toxic and allows excellent drainage.