Sweet Orange essential oil is one of those oils that can be used anytime, anywhere and on anybody to lift the mood and cheer the soul! in short, it is a sunshiny, cheerful essential oil! In any and every circumstance I have used this oil, whether on the aged, the young (even babies), the infirm and even the indifferent, this oil induces the reaction of a smile.
The oil is expressed from the Citrus sinensisfruit peel, from an elegant looking tree. However, this type of orange does not grow wild, but it is thought to have originated in Asia (China), being a hybrid of the pomelo and the mandarin. For a while, botanists believed it to be a type of bitter orange tree, so it was referred to as C. Aurantium var. sinensis for some time.
In the 15th century, Portuguese travellers brought Sweet Oranges from China to West Africa and Europe, and in the 16th century, they were introduced to England. Today, the Sweet Orange tree is widely cultivated throughout warmer regions. The Sweet Orange tree can reach up to six metres in height and has beautiful white blossoms that develop into the fruit.
Sweet Orange has been used throughout history as a natural remedy for many ailments. Folk remedies in the Mediterranean, Middle East, China, and India used orange for several therapeutic benefits. For example, orange was used to relieve fatigue, treat colds, cough, indigestion, poor circulation, spasms, and skin infections.
Latin Name: Citrus aurantium var sinensis (per)
Plant Family: Rutaceae
Extraction: Expression of the fruit peel
The Latin or botanical name for Sweet Orange is Citrus aurantiumvar sinensis (per) and is most commonly referred to as Sweet Orange, rather than the bitter orange that is used for marmalades and candied peel. Coming from the Rutaceae family, the genus Citrus has different species, including orange (Citrus sinensis), mandarin (Citrus reticulata), lime (Citrus aurantifolia), grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) among others. These fruits have different chemical components, and within the fruit peel, essential oils can be found. Usually the essential oils are expressed rather than steam distilled.
As we have mentioned above, Sweet Orange is native to the Far East, but is now cultivated in many places, including Spain, Italy and Israel, where the tree is very common.
The fruit is mainly grown for commercial reasons – alcoholic drinks, sweet flavourings, candied peel, food flavouring, household cleaning additives and for jam making. The essential oil is generally a by-product of the fruit juice industry and so care has to be taken to source organically grown trees. The expressed oil is a dark yellow-amber oil with a fresh, sweet, orange scent with floral undertones.
Traditionally, Sweet Oranges were eaten on long sea voyages to help prevent scurvy as they are very rich in vitamin C, but the oil was also used for heartburn and jaundice. It has often been made into ‘healing’ jams and jellies too. Folk remedies of the Mediterranean region used the healing properties of Sweet Orange essential oil to treat a variety of conditions, from the common cold to low libido, to skin infections and spasms. In China, the Sweet Orange is believed to symbolise good fortune, which makes them not only a well-used ingredient in medicine, but also in traditional offerings and gifts.
It is believed that the Europeans first discovered the medicinal benefits of the Sweet Orange thanks to its refreshing taste, being grown in bulk by the wealthy in private orangeries. Sweet Orange essential oil is reportedly anti-coagulant, digestive and tonic. The oil is mainly used for its digestive properties, and it can help diarrhoea, constipation, travel sickness, morning sickness, colic and colitis, usually through teas and internal methods, but also through massage over the affected areas in a vegetable carrier oil. It can also be useful for treating varicose veins and thread veins, as Sweet Orange essential oil is a circulatory tonic.
Sweet Orange essential oil blends well with lavender essential oil, other citrus essential oils, sandalwood essential oil, cypress essential oil and rose essential oil. On a safety not, Sweet Orange essential oil can be slightly photosensitising, so it should never be used undiluted on the skin.
As Sweet Orange oil is known for being an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic and tonic, we can understand that these properties are due to its chemical composition, which consists of:
Sweet Orange essential oil has a very high limonene content (around 90%-98%), which makes for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Sweet Orange essential oil boasts a range of health benefits, not only for the body, but also for the mind, being wonderfully helpful in stress reduction.
The high limonene content in Sweet Orange essential oil makes it a powerful antioxidant. It helps the body to fight free radicals, which helps reduce signs of aging and the risk of developing certain diseases. The diuretic properties of this oil assist in ridding the body of toxins, which in turn helps the immune system function more efficiently. Use as a daily booster in a vaporiser throughout the day.
Research suggests that Sweet Orange essential oil helps to calm the heart rate and reduce levels of cortisol secretion to help keep stress and anxiety to a minimum.
Thanks to its properties as an anti-inflammatory, relaxant and circulation booster, Sweet Orange essential oil can promote better digestion, easing cramps and stomach pains.
Sweet Orange essential oil can have a deeply calming effect on the mind and body and is effective in treating sleep issues that are related to stress or depression. It works really well with Lavender and Ylang Ylang essential oils to help induce sleep.
Sweet Orange essential oil possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and has been shown to be one of the most effective essential oils with regards to its ability to fight pain, infection and chronic inflammation.
Sweet Orange essential oil is also a powerful antiseptic and antioxidant, which is the perfect combination to achieve healthy, young-looking skin. The antiseptic properties fight acne-causing bacteria, as I discovered in a trial with Leicester de Montfort University.
The antiseptic properties inSweet Orange essential oil are also effective at preventing infections in minor scrapes, burns, bites, or other minor wounds. Not only does Sweet Orange essential oil help to prevent infection, it also helps to repair the affected area. Other citric essential oils, such as grapefruit and bergamot essential oils are also renowned for their antimicrobial uses.
Because of the antioxidants in the essential oils, it also helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging.Along with lemon oil and sandalwood oil, Sweet Orange oil is a great natural remedy to fight signs of aging. With its potent antioxidant power, it defends the skin from free radicals whilst also prompting collagen production. With its remarkable ability to inhibit melanin production, Sweet Orange oil slows the rate of skin damage experienced from UV light exposure, pollution and toxicity, but it must be used very carefully and in a blend because of its phototoxic properties.
Here are some skin properties in brief:
Penny Price Aromatherapy makes a wonderful blend that includes Sweet Orange essential oil, Nurture Circulation.
For a sluggish circulation and lymphatic system, this blend of several pure and natural essential oils helps to invigorate and cleanse the body. It is especially useful in the bath for the circulation and to help diminish thread veins and varicose veins. This beautiful blend of cypress, black pepper, Sweet Orange and lavender essential oils is also available in an easy-to-apply lotion for the body to keep the circulation flowing freely and to help prevent varicose veins.
Neroli essential oil is simply a distillation of the blossoms of a citrus tree. It is possible to make neroli essential oil from a Sweet Orange blossom, but more likely it will be from the bitter orange blossoms. Neroli essential oil has deeply floral, sweet notes and an overtone of light citrus. It can help maintain a healthy digestive system, but is more often used for its uplifting effect on depression and for anti-aging skincare.
The bitter orange tree produces an oil from the fruit peel that is very similar in aroma and property profile to Sweet Orange essential oil. However, it is more expensive, as it is grown more commercially for candied peel and marmalade, meaning that not so much peel is available for pressing out the essential oil. Orange Bitter essential oil has a fresh, dry, orange scent, and helps maintain a healthy digestive system as well as being very uplifting and cheering.
Recipes and ways to use Sweet Orange Essential Oil – all products available from Penny Price Aromatherapy
Stay Happy Vaporiser Blend
To stay happy and relaxed, use the recipe below:
In a 10ml dropper bottle use-
3ml Sweet Orange essential oil
3ml Palmarosa essential oil
3ml Ho essential oil
1ml Neroli essential oil
Blend all the oils well in the bottle and push in the dropper cap. Use up to 8 drops at a time in a vaporiser or use on a tissue to carry round with you when needed.
The Buck-You-Up Body Lotion
For an effective everyday body lotion to help you to wake up and smell the coffee, use the recipe below:
In a 100ml jar with cap use-
80ml Blending Cream Base
12ml Sunflower oil
1ml Sweet Orange essential oil
1ml Lime essential oil
1ml Neroli essential oil
(30 drops is 1ml from a Penny Price Aromatherapy essential oil bottle)
Put the Blending Cream and Sunflower oil in a small basin and whisk together. Add the essential oils and stir well, then transfer to the jar, clean the edges and put the lid on. Use in the morning after your shower, or to help circulation through the day.
The Anti-Acne Face Cream
This recipe will help you to keep your skin supported, with antibacterial and anti-oxidant protection:
In a 100ml jar use the following recipe-
90mls Moisture Cream for sensitive skin base
5mls Hazelnut oil
4mls Neroli hydrolat
8 drops Sweet Orange essential oil
8 drops Litsea essential oil
4 drops Tea Tree essential oil
Put the Moisture Cream Base into the 100ml jar and stir round to soften. Add the hazelnut oil and stir again, then add the hydrolat and mix well. Finally add the essential oils in the order they are written in the recipe and stir well. Clean the edges of the pot and put on the lid. Use every morning and before going to bed.
The Really Cheerful Bath Foam
This is a really lovely way to start the day!
In a 100ml bottle with pump top blend the following recipe-
99ml Bath Foam Base
15 Sweet Orange essential oil
8 drops Geranium essential oil
7 drops Lime essential oil
Put the bath foam into a small bowl and add the essential oils. Stir really well and then, using a funnel, put the blend into the bottle and apply the lid. This can take some time so be patient! Use in your evening bath to prepare for bed.
I do hope that you try out the wonderful Sweet Orange essential oil – if you have any questions about the oil or the recipes in this Blog please don’t hesitate to contact us.