10 Neroli Oil Benefits You Wish You Had Read Earlier

The wonderful neroli oil benefits are attributed to it’s sedative, tranquillizing, antispasmodic, antitoxic, and hypnotic (mild) properties. Though oranges were known from the 1st century, it was only in the late 17th century that people discovered neroli oil.

Neroli is said to have been named after the Princess of Nerola (close to Rome) – Anna Maria de la Tremoille.

The curative properties of both its flowers and oil were highly valued by the people living in Venice from the historical days. They used it against plague and fever. They drank it as a tisane, as well as rubbed its distilled water (extracted from neroli) to their bodies two times a day.

However, these were historical data. Now, neroli has gained a lot of popularity today. So, let’s understand what science has discovered in recent years.

What is Neroli Oil?

what is neroli essential oil

Neroli essential oil is obtained from the sweet-smelling flowers of the sour & bitter orange trees through the process of steam distillation. The scent or odor is sweet like honey and metallic green with spicy facets. (1)

Another type of essential oil can also be prepared from bitter orange trees, which is often called orange blossom essential oil. Both the types of oils the neroli and orange blossom have major differences in their smell and process of extraction.

The bitter orange trees can produce 3 different types of essential oils from:

  • Ripened fruit peel: Yields petitgrain essential oil
  • Flower parts: Produces neroli essential oil & orange essential oil

The by-product of the distillation is orange-blossom or orange-flower water – a natural solution of neroli in water – is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations and cookery.

These oils are often used in the perfume industry. The odor of neroli oil is found helpful in soothing the patients suffering from a seizure.

About the plant:

The citrus or bitter orange plant is the member of the Rutaceae family. It produces citrus fruits and originates in several regions of the Himalayas.

The citrus plants are also found in the northeast border of India, South East Asia, Burma, and China. Citrus fruits are cultivated from ancient times. In India, they are commercially cultivated in Nagpur, and Maharashtra.

The plants of citrus are shrubs, which are larger in shape and can grow up to 16 – 49 feet. The shoots of these citrus plants are shiny with evergreen leaves.

The flowers are solitary or appear as small corymbs and are of 2-4 cm in diameter. They have 4-5 white petals with a lot of stamens. The fruits are berry-like, elongated, or globular in shape with 4-20 cm in diameter. The pericarp or peel is leathery.

Scientific Name of Neroli Oil

The botanical name of neroli is Citrus vulgaris L.

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History of Neroli Oil

Neroli was named after the princess of Nerola. She introduced its sweet scents to the world and often used it for her bath (in the late 17th century). She was also known as the Duchess of Bracciano - Anne Marie Orsini.

Citrus fruits were cultivated from ancient times. However, they were much different from what we have today. Earlier, the citrus fruits used to be small berries, but with the time, they modified and today, we see them in much larger sizes.

All the members of the citrus family are believed to have derived from the same ancestors, which is about 15 million years ago. (2)

Historical Fact: Prostitutes in Madrid used Neroli as a perfume so that customers could identify them through this smell. However, this was back in olden days. Now, neroli & orange based perfumes have changed a lot, signifying purity. Today, its blossoms are worn as bridal headdresses.

Color, Consistency, and Smell of Neroli Oil

  • The color of neroli essential oil is pale yellow.
  • The consistency of neroli essential oil is viscous or thick.
  • The smell of neroli essential oil is sweet, floral, and fresh.

Properties of Neroli Essential Oil

The medicinal properties of neroli oil include: (3)

  • Antispasmodic - Relaxes muscular spasms
  • Anti-hysteric – Prevents hysteria
  • Digestive - Enhances digestion
  • Cholic - Reduces stomachache
  • Anti-insomnia – Induces healthy sleep
  • Antidepressant – Relieves depression and stress
  • Antiseptic – Prevents the growth of microorganisms
  • Aphrodisiac – Increases libido and addresses fertility issues
  • Sedative – Calms your nerves and induces sleep
  • Anti-inflammatory – Reduces pain, swelling, and redness
  • Antioxidant – Inhibits the process of oxidation
  • Anticonvulsant – Reduces the risk of epileptic fits
  • Analgesic – Relieves pain
  • Antipyretic – Reduces or prevents fever
  • Cicatrizant – Promotes healing process by forming scar tissues
  • Cytophylactic – Protects the cells from damage
  • Disinfectant – Destroys bacteria

Chemical Compounds in Neroli Oil

The main constituents of neroli oil extracted from the flowers of bitter orange (Citrus vulgaris) include:

Acetic esters, phenylacetic esters, terpineol, dipentene, geraniol, farnesol, jasmone, indol, (X- & B-pinene, nerolidol, and nerol), I-camphene, traces of hydrocarbons and benzoic acid.

The other components are:

Ethylbenzene cx-pinene,  Sabinene, p-myrcene, 6-3-carene,  p-cymene,  Limonene,  (E)-P-ocimene,  Z-P-ocimene,  y-terpinene,  Isopulegol , Terpinen-4-ol,  cx-terpineol,  Geraniol,  Trans-sabinyl acetate,  Geranial,  Methyl anthranilate,  cx-terpinyl acetate,  P-terpinyl acetate,  vitamin C, P-elemene,  y-elemene ,  Gerany 1 acetone,  Germacrene D,  (E)-nerolidol , Z-nerolidol,  P-caryophyllene oxide,  cx-cadinol,  (E,E)-famesol,  E,E-famesal,  Docosane,  cx-terpinyl formate, ND Nerolidyl propionate, and ND Tetratetracontane.

health benefits of neroli oil

Health Benefits of Neroli Essential Oil

Though neroli oil benefits are abundant, the most prominent ones proved by studies in recent years include:

  • Eases labor during pregnancy
  • Decreases stretch marks
  • Reduces the risk of seizures
  • Effective antimicrobial agent
  • Eases the symptoms of menopause
  • Reduces blood pressure & cortisol levels
  • Gets rid of chronic depression
  • Increases libido
  • Treats hysteria
  • Fortified with antioxidants

1. Eases labor during pregnancy

Neroli essential oil is found effective to ease labor pain and found to be helpful during childbirth. It is often diffused in the labor room to remove stress and anxiety during delivery.

This is mainly due to its analgesic properties. Its sweet, aromatic odor soothes the body and the mind of the pregnant woman and decreases the sensation of pain. Thus, easing the process of childbirth. The oil can even be massaged on the lower back to relieve pain. (4)

2. Decrease stretch marks

Neroli essential oil helps in rejuvenating and moisturizing the skin deeply. When its diluted mixture is massaged properly from the 4th month of pregnancy, it has been found helpful in reducing stretch marks. (5, 6)

3. Reduces the risk of seizures

Neroli is a well-known anti-seizure & anticonvulsant agent. It can change the conditions that cause seizure attacks. (7)

Seizure attacks arise dominantly when the person is under stress, excitement, or increased anxiety. The odor of neroli essential oil is soothing as well as mood altering.

Its calm, sweet smell relaxes the body & mind, prevents anxiety, and helps in controlling the blood pressure levels. Together, these help in delaying or suppressing the symptoms of seizures. (8)

4. Effective antimicrobial agent

Neroli essential oil is a strong antimicrobial agent. It inhibits the growth of several microorganisms including bacterial, viral, and fungal growth.

Based on a study, the essential oil of neroli is harmful to bacteria, but no specific differentiation is found between gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. (9)

The rate of resistance is higher in gram-negative bacteria because it increases the permeability of the cell membrane, which is almost impermeable for compounds that are lipophilic in nature.

Its action on the cell walls of gram-positive bacteria provides direct a connection to its oil, which causes increased ionic permeability and leakage in intracellular constituents. This process is good enough to destroy the bacterial structure by impairing the enzyme system of bacteria and leakage of all vital constituents present in bacteria.

The oil of neroli is also effective against the infection of fungus. The two major compounds nerolidol & limonene are found effective against fungal growth.

Another compound a-terpineol also exhibits antifungal & antibacterial properties and has been helpful in inhibiting the growth of S. epidermis, E. coli, and C. albicans. (10, 11)

5. Eases the symptoms of menopause

Neroli oil is a well-known sedative and thus, helps in relieving stress. When inhaled, it sublimates the symptoms of menopause and reduces the estrogen levels. (12)

A clinical trial involved 63 postmenopausal women and they were allowed to inhale neroli essential oil twice a day for 5 minutes. It was observed that their blood pressure decreased, pulse rates reached normal, and the concentration of estrogen & cortisol levels also improved.

This finding reported that neroli oil was effective against anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and burning feet. The symptoms of postmenopausal were eased, the sexual desire of such women increased and the endocrine system also improved. (13)

6. Reduces blood pressure & cortisol levels

Neroli also works as a potent cardioprotective agent. It has been proved that inhaling the aroma of neroli essential oil decreases hypertension and cortisol levels in saliva.

When neroli essential oil is diffused with lavender oil, ylang-ylang oil, and marjoram oil, it decreased the diastolic and systolic blood pressure. (14)

Besides being a potent antioxidant, the compounds limonene & γ- Terpene in neroli essential oil works directly on stress, hypertension, and blood pressure. The oil also works as a vasodilator.

When the blood vessels dilate, the blood pressure decreases, paving the way for proper blood flow. (15)

7. Gets rid of chronic depression

Neroli is a well-known sedative and adorable odor. Thus, it helps in reducing stress and depression. No wonder it is popular in aromatherapy, It is also used for distressing and treating chronic depression. (16, 17)

8. Increases libido

Neroli is a strong aphrodisiac oil. This property helps in increasing the libido in both men and women.

It strongly acts on the adrenal glands and stimulates its secretions on cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone.

Estrogen is the female sex hormone, which triggers penile gland to secrete dopamine (the love hormone). Secretion of dopamine in return, increase libido in women. (18)

Just diffusing a few drops of neroli oil and inhaling its aroma can stimulate the whole process and increase the sexual desire in women. The same process is followed for men to help enhance the testosterone levels. (19)

It also works as a vasodilator and stimulates the penile erection to increase libido in men.

9. Treats hysteria

Hysteria is a kind of mental disorder, which is associated with increased sexual urge. It commonly occurs in women, where they constantly dream of having sex. The libido increases and no satisfaction is found in the affected women.

However, neroli oil is known to have strong antihysteric activity.

By diffusing a few drops of neroli oil and inhaling its aroma, it increases the secretion of the adrenal gland and overcomes the expression of fear, fight, stress, and anxiety. (20)

The soothing smell helps in regulating the emotional stress aroused due to dissatisfaction and constant fantasying of sexual acts. It also relaxes the mind. This is mainly due to its phenolics, which relaxes the increased sexual urge.

10. Fortified with antioxidants

Neroli is a potent antioxidant. Being a member of the citrus family, it is a rich source of vitamin C. The compound limonene in it has ABTS free radical scavenging activity.

Also, other compounds like γ- Terpene, phenols, and terpinolene have potent antioxidant potential.

The free radicals are by-products that are left after various metabolic in your body. These free radicals are the main cause of different diseases and stress.

Controlling these free radicals is important, and this task is usually taken care of antioxidants.

Since the citrus family is considered to be the best source of antioxidants, inhaling or consuming neroli fruits both are effective in scavenging the free radicals. (21)

What Blends with Neroli Oil?

Neroli essential oil blends the best with:

How To Use Neroli Oil?

how to use neroli oil safely

Caution: Since neroli essential oil is highly expensive, they are often mixed with petitgrain oil, which decreases its medicinal value in some time. So, make sure you buy a high-quality neroli essential oil.

The essential oil of neroli is frequently used in aromatherapy due to its pleasant smell and adorable odor. However, it can also be applied to the skin but only after diluting it with a carrier oil.

  • Topical Application: Like any other essential oil, even neroli essential oil is potent and concentrated. Hence, you have to dilute 2-6 drops of neroli oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil (coconut oil, almond oil, or olive oil). This mixture can be used for a massage.
  • Aromatherapy: It can also be used in spritzer by mixing it with water and as a room freshener by diffusing it with a diffuser.

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Side Effects of Neroli Oil

Although neroli essential oil is considered to be a safe oil, applying it on the skin without diluting it can lead to adverse effects.

For humans, inhaling the aroma of neroli oil is safe but not for your pets.

We do not recommend ingesting neroli oil, even if you dilute it in water. This turns toxic, especially in individuals with citrus allergies.

Precaution must be taken after using neroli oil. It is phototoxic. Hence, you shouldn’t step out in the sun after applying it.

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