Originally published October 12 2013
Need a lift? Check out the many uses of orange oil
by Willow Tohi
(NaturalNews) There are many citrus essential oils. There's orange (sweet & bitter), lemon, grapefruit, lime, mandarin, tangerine, all of which are made from the peel of the fruit, and less obvious ones like petitgrain (orange leaves) and neroli (orange blossoms). Because they come from the same "happy ones" family, you will find that many of the characteristics are consistent among the different oils, such as a refreshing smell, renewing and uplifting effect, and they provide a sense of well-being. They have antiseptic, antidepressant, and antispasmodic properties, and are useful for treating digestive and circulation problems. They are commonly used in household recipes for cleaning, deodorizing, and cooking.
About orange essential oilFor all their similarities, they also have some differences. Citrus sinensis, or (sweet) orange, is one of the most popular essential oils. Sweet, warm, sensuous, radiant, alive - it smells good, like an orange. The bitter orange gives a slightly more delicate aroma. Use essential oil of orange when you find yourself taking everything too seriously, when you've forgotten how to laugh or feel withdrawn. It helps to dispel tension and nervousness, replacing those feelings with lightheartedness, happiness, and less fear of the unknown. It is often used as a nerve tonic to calm and relax, regenerate. Orange represents feminine (yin) energy, allowing an open-hearted outlook. It works in harmony with lemon, which represents masculine energy, aiding concentration and supplying energy. They both harmonize feelings with a positive influence on mood.
Originally from China, then India, the orange tree was not used medicinally in Europe until the 17th century because it was considered rare and expensive. It is now well established in the Mediterranean, Israel, South America, and of course, California. The essential oil of the orange comes from the small sacks in the outer part of the skin, visible to the naked eye. It is extracted by cold-pressing the skin. It takes about 1,000 oranges to yield 18-20 ounces of essential oil. The process of cold-pressing allows toxic substances, such as pesticides, to become part of the oil so it is imperative to use organically grown oranges. Orange oil is high in vitamin C and vitamin A.
Beneficial effects and uses of orange essential oilOrange oil has powerful anti-microbial properties, which destroys pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It also has concentrated citrus bioflavonoids that enhance oxygen availability in tissues, and improves circulation. Orange oil's anti-spasmodic properties means it helps reduce muscle spasms by supplying electrolytes and citrus bioflavonoids, drawing out metabolic waste.
• Children love the scent of oranges. Use orange oil in their playrooms, classrooms, bedrooms. It is mildly sedative, so it will help calm them.
• There is some resemblance between human skin and orange skin. This is why cellulite is sometimes called "orange skin." To treat cellulite, mix orange oil with cypress for a massage, or in a bath oil or shower gel.
• Orange oil is an anti-spasmodic, carminative (removes gas from intestines), digestive, stomachic. It aids digestion, helps with colic, stomach pain, and heartburn. It stimulates the gall bladder.
• Orange is an antidepressant; uplifting the mind weighed down by negative thoughts. Use it when experiencing nervous tension that causes stomach upset.
• Using orange oil in a bath in the winter will cheer you up, like bringing rays of sunshine. Be sure to use no more than three drops in a full tub for adults. Otherwise, it may irritate sensitive skin.
• Orange oil is good for soothing dry, irritated, or acne-prone skin. It helps the shedding of dead skin cells and reduces wrinkles. It brightens dull complexions.
• It helps regenerate aging, rough, or calloused skin as it softens the epidermis and improves circulation.
• Orange oil can be used to help reduce swelling as it stimulates lymph.
•Protect wooden furniture and instruments with orange, Swiss pine, and cypress oils mixed in jojoba oil.
• Orange oil can be used to reduce fever.
• It can be used as a diuretic as it stimulates the kidneys and bladder.
• Use in a mouthwash for gingivitis or mouth ulcers, or apply undiluted directly to the gums.
• Orange oil is a culinary favorite. Use in deserts, beverages, etc. Example: use with cinnamon and clove in mulled wine.
• Can be used as a heart tonic to lower the heart rhythm.
• Orange oil is good at combating insomnia. For long term help, alternate with lavender or neroli.
• Mixes nicely with cinnamon, clove, lemon, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, neroli, juniper, cypress, and coriander.
• Use to clean, disinfect, and deodorize your home. A popular use is putting some in the disposal.
Orange oil, and all citrus oils, should not be kept in a warm environment. Refrigerate large amounts or if you use it slowly. Do not store any essential oil near homeopathic remedies or flower essences. It is best not to use essential oils from the citrus family when you will be out in direct sunlight, as any of them may cause photo-sensitivity. Keep away from children and pets, keep tightly capped, and do not take internally unless under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. Avoid contact with eyes, and use caution on sensitive skin. Orange is joyful and awakens creativity. It is a perfect oil for those new to aromatherapy as it is foolproof. It harmonizes well with other oils, making it a great addition to a basic kit.
Fischer-Rizzi, Susanne. Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Sterling Publishing Co, New York 1990. p. 146-149.
Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy: An A-Z. Barnes and Noble Books, New York 1995. P. 237-238.
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