Orange Oil: Benefits, Usage, Properties, and Side Effects
Whether it is to boost your immunity, detoxify your system, or helping you to get a glowing skin, the orange oil benefits are plentiful.
Did you know that oranges weren’t consumed until the early 16th century? Well, yes. Initially, they were only used as decorative trees. Later, they discovered its medicinal properties and started consuming them.
This post will delve into the most important characteristics and benefits of orange essential. So, let’s get started.
What is Orange Oil?
Orange essential Oil is a fragrant, popular, and extensively used flavoring agent in soaps, desserts, and confectionaries.
Orange essential oil is extracted from the rind of orange fruit (Citrus sinensis). The essential oil is extracted from fresh or partially dried fruit rinds (or peels) either through steam distillation or cold pressing. (1)
Orange belongs to the Rutaceae or Citrus family and has a distinct, tangy flavor. It has a characteristic flavour and holds a valuable place in the world of traditional medicine and organic products.
Brazil, Italy, United States, Israel, Spain and Argentina are the principal producers of Orange essential oil.
Sweet orange essential oil is extracted from Citrus sinensis and bitter oranges essential oil is extracted from Citrus aurantium.
Orange essential oil is rich in vitamins, minerals, and bio-enzymes. It has been a part of food, drink, and confectionary industries for many years. The uplifting and warm aroma of the oil makes it a part of perfumeries as well.
Scientific Name of Orange Oil
The botanical name of sweet orange is Citrus sinensis.
History of Orange Oil
Orange Essential Oil traces its history across bygone generations. As far back as 314 BC, the fruit has found its mention in the chronicles of Chinese Literature.
Orange trees were first grown in China during 2500 BC. On the other hand, sweet oranges originated in India.
In 11th century, they were introduced to Italy, and people started using them as medicine, including its oil. Portuguese & Italian merchants introduced Indian oranges to the Mediterranean region and in 1646, they were widely grown throughout Europe.
Orange has an historic and interesting story behind.
A few Spanish travelers introduced oranges to the America. The great voyager Christopher Columbus took orange seeds back home during one of his voyages in Hispaniola (1493). And today, orange trees hold the record of being the world’s most cultivated trees.
They were brought to Mexico, South America, and Florida in 1565. In 1549, the Jesuit priests grew sweet orange trees for food.
The popularity of orange trees reached Arizona between the year 1707 and 1710. The first orange tree sprouted in the year 1769 at California. In 1841, a commercial orchard of orange was established.
Orange oil has been a popular folk remedy and this is credited to its phytochemical content. Resultantly, it is used in treating various conditions that include the immune system, low libido, indigestion, skin infection, fatigue, and common cold.
In China, oranges symbolize good fortune and bitter oranges are still an integral part of their traditional medical system.
Color, Consistency, and Smell of Orange Oil
- The color of orange oil is pale yellow to orange.
- The consistency of orange oil is thin.
- The smell of orange oil is sweet, citrusy, fruity, and fresh.
Properties of Orange Essential Oil
The therapeutic properties of orange essential oil include:
- Antibacterial – Prevents bacterial growth
- Anticatarrhal – Effective against catarrh
- Antidepressant – Alleviates depression
- Antifungal – Prevents fungal growth
- Anti-infectious – Prevents infection
- Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation
- Antimicrobial – Prevents microorganism growth
- Antioxidant – Inhibits oxidation
- Analgesic – Relieves pain
- Antirheumatic – Treats rheumatic conditions
- Antisclerotic – Prevents hardening of tissues & cells
- Antiseptic – Kills the microbes and stops their development
- Antispasmodic – Relieves convulsions, contractions, and spasms
- Antitoxic – Neutralizes toxins
- Antitussive – Relieves cough
- Antiviral – Effective against virus
- Aphrodisiac – Enhances sexual desire
- Astringent – Tightens or contracts tissues
- Balsamic – Soothes sore throat, cough, etc.
- Calmative – Sedative & calming agent
- Carminative – Gets rid of bloating, flatulence, and abdominal pain
- Cholagogue – Promotes the evacuation of bile from gall bladder & ducts
- Cicatrizing – Forms scar tissue and thus, promotes healing
- Circulatory – Enhances blood flow
- Cytophylactic – Promotes cell turnover and heals faster
- Decongestant – Reduces congestion
- Deodorant – Gets rid of bad smell
- Depurative – Wonderful cleanser & detoxifier
- Digestive – Helps in healthy digestion
- Disinfectant – Fights against germs
- Diuretic – Removes excess water from the body
- Emollient – Softens the skin
- Expectorant – Removes excess mucus from the body
- Hepatic – Maintains a healthy liver
- Hypnotic – Has a sedative effect
- Hypotensive – Lowers blood pressure
- Immunostimulant – Stimulates immune system’s function
- Laxative – Assists in bowel elimination
- Mucolytic – Breaks down mucus
- Nervine – Treats nervous disorders
- Pectoral – Cures chest & respiratory issues
- Regenerative – Tends to regenerate
- Restorative – Strengthens and revives the body
- Sedative – Relaxes psychological & physical activity
- Soporific – Induces sleep
- Spasmolytic – Eases smooth muscle spasms
- Stimulant – Increases the overall function of the body
- Stomachic – Acts as a digestive aid
- Thermogenic – Stimulates heat production
- Tonic – Restores the bodily functions
- Vasodilatory – Promotes the dilation of blood vessels
- Vulnerary – Heals wounds & sores when applied topically
Chemical Compounds in Orange Oil
The chemical compounds in orange essential oil varies according to the:
- The place it is cultivated
- The method of harvest
- The season of harvest
- The extraction method
The chemical composition of essential oil extracted from oranges cultivated in America include:
- (þ)-Limonene (93.2–94.9%), b-Myrcene (2.6–3.1%), and a-Pinene (0.6–1.0%).
The chemical composition of Brazilian orange essential oil include:
- (þ)-Limonene (86.1–93.4%), b-Myrcene (1.3–3.3%), b-Bisabolene (0–1.5%), and a-Pinene (0.8–1.0%).
The chemical composition of essential oil extracted from Spanish oranges include:
The chemical composition of essential oil extracted from Italian oranges include:
- (þ)-Limonene (93.7–95.9%), b-Myrcene (1.7–2.5%), and Sabinene (0.2–1.0%).
Bitter Orange is not used in aromatherapy. The chemical composition of Bitter orange oil from China include (þ)-Limonene (83.9%), Linalool (5.6%), Geranial (1.8%), Neral (1.3%), and b-Myrcene 0.9%.
Health Benefits Of Orange Oil
Though orange oil benefits are abundant, the most noteworthy ones proven by various studies in recent years include:
- Helps cure constipation
- Maintains a glowing skin
- Reduces water retention
- Helps in detoxification
- Gives you a sound sleep
- Relieve stress & anxiety
- Boosts immunity
- Fights against depression
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces cellulite
- Natural kitchen cleaner
- Strong antibacterial
1. Helps cure constipation
According to Ayurveda, a constipated gut means a constipated mind. Everything begins in the gut. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your gut is clean and healthy.
Constipation is one of the main causes of diseases and other complications in your body. Also, it turns your body lazy, dull, and lethargic.
However, orange essential oil helps to cure constipation. It induces heat and helps ease digestion.
Also, massaging orange oil (but diluted with a carrier oil) on your abdomen helps you to clear your stomach. However, you should drink lots of water, follow a fibre-rich diet, and exercise regularly to cure chronic constipation (7).
2. Maintains a glowing skin
The use of oranges and its oil to maintain a healthy skin isn’t new. It dates back to the ancient times.
Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. This, in turn, helps you to fight acne, inflammations, dark spots, and aging spots.
Applying diluted orange oil regularly keeps your skin moisturized, radiant, and nourished. Thanks to its antibacterial, anti-infectious, antioxidant, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties. The compounds limonene and a-Pinene are attributed to these properties of orange oil. (8)
It is crucial to dilute orange oil with an appropriate carrier oil before applying it on your skin because it is potent in its concentrated form. Both coconut oil and olive oil work well with orange oil.
3. Reduces water retention
The human body has multiple regulatory systems to maintain water in the body. Talking of water retention, it occurs due to an imbalance in any of these regulatory systems.
Water retention, basically means an excess build-up of fluid in the circulatory system and cavities in the body or the body tissues.
However, not many know that sweet orange essential oil can reduces water retention. It is a natural thermogenic and stimulates heat production in the body. It reduces water retention by increasing urination and sweating. (9)
Add 2 drops of orange oil to 1 tablespoon of hot sesame oil. Massage the body using this mixture twice in a week. Dry body brushing and lymphatic massage regularly to speed up the process.
4. Helps in detoxification
A human body encounters various harsh chemicals every day. These have to be excreted from the body. When toxins accumulate in the body, it creates problems.
Orange is well-known for its diuretic properties. Therefore, a detox bath with orange oil once a week helps in eliminating the toxins via urine and sweat.
All you have to do is add 1 – 2 drops of orange essential oil in the bath and soak yourself in it. This will leave you fresh, energetic, and active. (10)
5. Gives you a sound sleep
With hectic lifestyle, people tend to suffer from sleep problems too. There are many reasons that can make sleep so difficult.
If you find it hard to sleep, then observe yourself. You would carry either your past or your tomorrow to your bed. Keep all your worries aside. Stay relaxed. If you still find it hard, then essential oils can act as an aid.
Orange oil is a good sedative and soporific. It helps you to fall asleep soon, and makes sure that you have a healthy sleep.
All you have to do is diffuse the oil for a while in your room. Calm down before going to bed and inhale its aromatic compounds. (11)
6. Relieves stress & anxiety
Stress and anxiety is one of the most common and growing problems in the world. Stress is a part of your body’s mechanism to prevent you from problems. But when this turns against you, it becomes destructive, harming your internal organs to a great extent.
When you are stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol in your saliva. This is harmful.
However, inhaling the aroma of orange oil helps you to get rid of stress. It calms you down. (12).
7. Boosts immunity
One of the reasons for poor health is the lower immune levels. By boosting immunity levels, you can improve your overall health. Oxidative effects of free radicals are responsible for different health problems.
Since orange is well-known for its anti-oxidative properties, it helps to combat the effects of oxidation and ensures that your immunity levels are enhanced. This is mainly due the compound Limonene, which is well-documented as a strong anti-oxidative ingredient.
Additionally, orange essential oil also has strong anti-cancerous properties, making it a strong immunity developer. This is largely due to the phytochemical ingredients in it.
When the immunity-boosting abilities of orange essential oil were studied, it was found that it helped in restoring the phenotype and further, regulated junctional complexes. (13)
8. Fights against depression
A depressed mind is hopeless and pessimistic. Mental health is crucial for well-being. If you find any of your friend or beloved suffering from depression, give your time and help them overcome it.
If you feel depressed, do not hesitate to take help from your loved ones. Getting professional help at the right time is important.
Whether you want to overcome depression or maintain a healthy brain, orange oil is useful. Inhaling the aromatic ompounds of orange oil gives a sense of positivity and hope. It acts as an aid, helps you to sleep better, and keeps your brain active. (14)
9. Lowers blood pressure
Blood pressure and diabetes are one of the most common health problems people experience these days. Besides treatments, essential oils can act as an aid. Orange essential oil, in particular, can do a great deed.
When a few drops of it is mixed with a carrier oil and massaged on the stomach, it enhances blood flow and reduces blood pressure. When orange oil was analyzed to check its effectiveness, it was identified to have properties to help regulate blood pressure. (15)
By regulating blood pressure, it helps to improve heart’s health and is a great way to reduce stress.
10. Reduces cellulite
Cellulite is embarrassing and common. Only obese people have stretch marks – this is actually a myth.
The fact is that even super slim individuals can have cellulite. Cellulite occurs when fat deposits push through connective tissues beneath your skin. Improper blood circulation and fat deposits are the main culprits.
All you have to do is dilute 2 to 3 drops of orange oil in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Massage your whole body and concentrate more on the stretch marks. Proper exercise, diet, and oil massage would significantly reduce those lumpy appearance on your skin. (16)
11. Natural kitchen cleaner
Maintaining a hygienic kitchen is important for your well-being. If you don’t want to use chemical-based products in your kitchen and yet want to keep it smelling fresh, then orange essential oil can come in handy. It keeps your kitchen free from germs and ensures that it smells great. (17)
12. Strong antibacterial
Apart from its aromatic qualities, the antibacterial qualities of orange essential oil make it a naturally effective ingredient in products that are used to improve food safety.
Orange oil has powerful antibacterial qualities, which help in preventing bacteria like E-coli from contaminating food. (18)
The bacteria that affect food & meat and are known to cause serious complications like renal failure and fatalities.
Also, orange essential oil also has the ability to tackle salmonella bacteria. It is regarded as dreaded bacteria that cause severe gastrointestinal problems (as a result of contaminated food and water).
What Blends with Orange Oil?
Sweet orange oil blends the best with:
- Allspice oil
- Basil oil
- Bay oil
- Benzoin oil
- Bergamot oil
- Birch oil
- Black pepper oil
- Camphor oil
- Caraway oil
- Cardamom oil
- Carrot seed oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Citronella oil
- Clary sage oil
- Clove oil
- Cedarwood oil
- Coriander seed oil
- Dill seed oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Fennel oil
- Frankincense oil
- Geranium oil
- Ginger oil
- Grapefruit oil
- Helichrysum oil
- Hyssop oil
- Jasmine oil
- Juniper berry oil
- Lavender oil
- Lemon oil
- Lemongrass oil
- Manuka oil
- Marjoram oil
- Melissa oil
- Myrrh oil
- Neroli oil
- Niaouli oil
- Nutmeg oil
- Oregano oil
- Palmarosa oil
- Patchouli oil
- Rosewood oil
- Sandalwood oil
- Vetiver oil
- Ylang-ylang oil
How To Use Orange Essential Oil?
Orange oil can sometimes be adulterated with synthetic limonene. So, make sure that you buy the best quality oil for therapeutic purpose.
- Topical Application: Like any other essential oil, orange oil is highly concentrated. Make sure that you dilute the oil before using it. It is always better to use the oil in higher dilution. Conduct a patch test before you move forward.
- Aromatherapy: For aromatherapy benefits, you can diffuse the oil using a diffuser or a vaporiser. Make sure you do not congest the room with the aroma.
- Ingestion: The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has given GRAS status for orange essential oil. It means that the oil is GENERALLY REGARDED AS SAFE to be used in food as long as it is solvent-free. We recommend you to consult a doctor before considering orange oil for internal use.
Side Effects of Orange Oil
To prevent side effects, Orange Essential oil should be used in moderate quantities. Attempting to take/use it in heavier dosages or with stronger combinations of essential oils to achieve better results is not a good idea.
Possible side effects of orange essential oil include:
- Orange essential oil is phototoxic. Avoid exposure to sunlight for 12 to 24 hours following application.
- Always make sure that you use the oil fresh. Keep an eye on its shelf life.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using orange oil.
- Keep the oil away from the reach of children.
- Topical application may result in discoloration of the skin at times.
- It can cause mild to moderate allergies in people with sensitive skin.
- It ban cause problems in pets.