Tangerine Oil: Benefits, Usage, Properties, and Side Effects

From aiding in weight loss to relaxing your mind, the tangerine oil benefits are plentiful. Being a part of the citrus fruit, the aroma of the oil is surprisingly sweet and fresh.

It has an incredible history and holds a precious value in the world of aromatherapy. So, let’s understand the properties, uses, history, and benefits of tangerine essential oil in detail.

tangerine essential oil infographics

What is Tangerine Oil?

The tangerine essential oil is extracted from the fruit rind of Citrus reticulata through cold expression method. Tangerine is an evergreen tree, which belongs to the Rutaceae family.

The fruit is always confused with Mandarin. However, the therapeutic properties of essential oils differ a lot. Species of this family have flowers with strong scents.

The tree is tall with dark-green leaves, fragrant creamy-white flowers, and small orange-colored fruits (1, 2, 3, 4).

For the extraction of essential oil, the fruit is harvested around November – before it is fully ripe so that the rind remains attached to the fruit’s pulp during the extraction process.

Tangerine is native to China. The principal producers of tangerine essential oil are Brazil, China, Japan, Argentina, Spain, and the United States.

health benefits of tangerine essential oil

Scientific Name of Tangerine Oil

The botanical name of tangerine is Citrus reticulata /Citrus nobilis

Note: Not to be confused with mandarin essential oil.

History of Tangerine Oil

Fact: The first batch of the fruit was shipped to Europe from Morocco through a ship in 1805. It was introduced to America later. But today, America is one of the largest producers of tangerine essential oil.

The name “Tangerine” comes from Tangiers, a port town in Morocco, where the tree is widely grown. However, it has been grown in Japan & China for about 3000 years.

It has been a part of the traditional medical system of China for ages. Known as “Chenpi” in China, tangerine is used to treat stomach disorders, indigestion, constipation, and vomiting.

Both Chinese & Japanese believed that the tangerine peel could control and stabilize the energy flow in the body. This sweet citrus fruit has also been used in Ayurveda. Referred to as “Santra sal,” the fruit is used to detoxify the body.

Colour, Consistency, and Smell of Tangerine Oil

  • The color of tangerine oil is dark orangey-yellow to orange liquid.
  • The consistency of tangerine oil is thin.
  • The smell of tangerine oil is fresh, fruity, sweet, and citrusy.

Properties of Tangerine Essential Oil

The therapeutic properties of tangerine essential oil include:

  • Anthelmintic – Repels intestinal parasites
  • Antibacterial – Prevents bacterial growth
  • Antidepressant – Alleviates depression
  • Antifungal – Inhibits fungal growth
  • Anti-infectious – Prevents infections
  • Anti-inflammatory – Alleviates inflammation
  • Antimicrobial – Prevents the growth of micro-organisms
  • Antioxidant – Inhibits oxidation
  • Antiseptic – Destroys microbes and prevents from further development
  • Antispasmodic – Prevents/relieves spasms, contractions, or convulsions
  • Antitussive – Gets rid of coughs
  • Astringent – Contracts or tightens tissues
  • Balsamic – Soothes sore throats, coughs, etc.
  • Calmative – Serves as a sedative and calming agent
  • Carminative – Relieves flatulence and eases abdominal pain & bloating
  • Cicatrizing – Promotes the formation of scar tissue
  • Circulatory – Enhances the flow of blood and lymph
  • Cytophylactic – Promotes cell turnover
  • Decongestant – Reduces congestion such as mucus
  • Depurative – Effective cleanser, detoxifier
  • Digestive – Helps in the digestion of food
  • Disinfectant – Helps fight the spread of germs
  • Diuretic – Promotes the removal of excess water from the body
  • Emollient – Softens and soothes the skin
  • Hypnotic – A sedative effect
  • Hypotensive – Lowers the blood pressure
  • Immunostimulant – Stimulates the action of the immune system
  • Laxative – Assists in evacuating the bowels
  • Nervine – Acts on the nerves; relieves nervous disorders
  • Pectoral – Beneficial for diseases or conditions in the chest & respiratory system
  • Regenerative – Tends to regenerate
  • Restorative – Strengthens and revives the body’s systems
  • Sedative – Relaxes psychological and physical activity
  • Soporific – Induces, or tends to induce, sleep
  • Spasmolytic – Eases the muscle spasms
  • Stimulant – Increases the overall function of the body
  • Stomachic – Good for the stomach; gastric tonic, digestive aid
  • Tonic – Invigorates, rejuvenates, and restores the functions of the body

Chemical Compounds in Tangerine Oil 

The chemical compounds found in tangerine essential oil include (þ)-Limonene (87.4–91.7%), g-Terpinene (4.5%), b-Myrcene (2.2–3.2%), a-Pinene (0.8–2.0%), Sabinene (0.2–1.4%), p-Cymene (1.3%), and Linalool (0.3–1.2%).

Health Benefits of Tangerine Oil

Though the tangerine oil benefits are abundant, the most prominent ones that have been proven by different researchers in recent times include:

  • Gets rid of chronic tiredness
  • Aids weight loss
  • Eases muscular spasms
  • Treats constipation
  • Detoxifies your body
  • Heals inflammation
  • Cures indigestion
  • Promotes sound sleep
  • Deodorizes the kitchen
  • Adds fragrance to your home

1. Gets rid of chronic tiredness

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is one of the most complex syndromes that doctors find it difficult to explain. It has many symptoms like muscle pain, soreness, stomach disorders, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, headache, migraine, mental confusion, irritability, and depression.

While some people develop chronic fatigue after a serious viral infection, others might develop due to emotional stress.

There is no exact cause or reason. Severe depression, in this case, may lead to economic instability and failures in life.

But tangerine essential oil helps to alleviate the symptoms and enhances general well-being. Inhaling the aroma of the tangerine oil relaxes the mind, helps you overcome CFS induced depression. (5).

2. Aids weight loss

With an increasing change in lifestyle and unhealthy food habits, weight management has become tough. Cellulite, the stubborn fats are difficult to burn and are embarrassing too.

But little did you know that tangerine oil helps in eliminating cellulite when massaged topically. Thanks to the high amounts of Limonene, Myrcene, and Pinene content in it, which also aid in weight loss.

In addition, Tangerine oil also helps clean your guts and increases metabolism when taken internally. Nobiletin, a flavonoid, present in the tangerine essential oil is responsible for this property (6).

3. Eases muscular spasms

Spasms can occur anywhere in the body. It is not just restricted to muscles. Spasms are involuntary contractions, which are harmless but can cause intense pain.

It is often caused due to overuse or less use of muscles. It may lead to soreness and intense pain. The pain is so worse in the night that it can disturb your sleep cycle.

However, a gentle massage with diluted tangerine oil can help in easing the pain. This is mainly due to the compounds – limonene, myrcene, and pinene. They have rich antispasmodic properties. (7).

4. Treats constipation

Your health depends on how your gut behaves. If you had been to any healthcare or detox center, you will notice that they give you supplements to clean your gut first.

Ever wondered why?

It is because your gut still holds poop even after emptying it twice a day. With increasing junk & processed foods, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of fibers, a problem like constipation has become prevalent.

However, tangerine essential oil helps you to clean your gut. A good abdominal massage using diluted tangerine oil cures indigestion. To clean your gut, add a drop of tangerine oil to lukewarm water and drink it in the morning on an empty stomach (8, 9).

5. Detoxifies your body

Tangerine oil is an excellent detoxifier. Your body works for years and has all the toxins accumulated. These toxins need to be removed. Therefore, a regular detoxification is essential to keep the body healthy.

This would also be a first great move towards weight loss. Add 1 drop of tangerine essential oil to a glass of water and have it in an empty stomach in the morning.

You can also make a detox bath using tangerine essential oil and relax in it. When taken internally, the oil acts as a tonic and increases metabolism. Your body will push out more toxins and you would find yourself relaxed as well as energetic (10).

6. Heals inflammation

Inflammation occurs when the immune system overreacts. Tangerine essential oil helps to soothe inflammation in the body. It alleviates the symptoms and reduces the urge to itch. The sweet aroma of the oil relaxes and helps to sleep well.

For soothing inflammation, a good bath with a few drops of tangerine essential oil would do an immense help. You can diffuse the oil in the room. Also, the oil helps to heal wounds and scars (11).

7. Cures indigestion

Indigestion affects the stomach or upper abdominal gastrointestinal organs. It is painful and causes serious discomfort. One of the best health benefits of tangerine oil is that it boosts digestion – when taken internally and massaged topically.

It helps in the treatment of digestive problems, relieves gastric issues, and indigestion (12, 13).

Mix 5 drops of tangerine oil with 3 drops of ginger oil and 3 drops of peppermint oil. Take 2 to 3 drops from the mixture and dilute it with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.

If you are suffering from indigestion, here is a quick tip: Eat slowly. Chew your food well to the point of boredom. After meals, walk 100 steps slowly without stressing yourself. Massage your upper abdomen between meals.

8. Promotes sound sleep

Stress and anxiousness are two major reasons for improper sleep. Most people find it difficult to sleep after lying in bed. This could be probably due to overthinking.  The mind finds it hard to command the body to sleep.

tangerine essential oil calms down the mind and relaxes the body, allowing for a peaceful sleep. It is a natural hypnotic and sedative (14).

You can either diffuse the oil before you sleep or have a detox bath before going to bed. Add 1 drop of tangerine essential oil and 1 drop of rosemary oil in a tub of lukewarm water. Soak your body in the tub and relax your mind. You will find yourself falling asleep soon.

9. Deodorizes the kitchen

The kitchen is probably the most odorous room in the house. You can experience both good smell and not-so-good smell. If you are someone who is looking for alternatives to mask that “bad smell” in your kitchen, essential oils make a perfect choice.

Keep in mind that not all essential oils are safe to use in the kitchen. However, the tangerine essential oil is harmless and safe to use it in the kitchen. It leaves the kitchen with a refreshing smell. This is mainly due to its antimicrobial property (15).

Dilute 1 drop of tangerine essential oil in 1 teaspoon of White vinegar and 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Clean the fridge or freezer using diluted citrus oil. The vinegar would evaporate, leaving the aroma of tangerine essential oil.

10. Adds fragrance to your home

Scented candles are in trend these days. But they are often used in rooms and hallways are often neglected. To keep your home smelling fresh and sweet, tangerine oil can come in handy.

Besides a good aroma, it also gives a clean and fresh environment. It would be great to use during winter times.

What Blends with Tangerine Oil?

Tangerine oil blends the best with:

How To Use Tangerine Oil?

properties of tangerine oil

The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has given tangerine the status of GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe). It means the oil is generally recognized as safe for internal use, provided that you are using the oil that is free from solvents.

Since tangerine essential oil has high amounts of limonene, it is important to store it in a dark place and in an airtight glass bottle.

Oxidized oil may cause some serious side effects. It is best to use the oil in its “fresh” state.

  • Topical Application: Tangerine oil may cause skin irritation when used in lower dilution or undiluted. It is always better to perform a patch test before you apply it on a larger part of the skin.
  • Aromatherapy: For aromatherapy benefits, diffuse the oil using a diffuser or a vaporizer. Makes sure you diffuse the oil in rooms with good ventilation.
  • Ingestion: Tangerine oil is safe for internal use. However, we strongly recommend you to take professional advice before using it.

Recipe: Tangerine Sweet Potato

Tangerine blends well with sweet potatoes, especially in desserts.

  • Boil and mash 1 pound of sweet potatoes.
  • Cream 2 ounces of butter and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar.
  • Add 2 drops of tangerine essential oil and a pinch of ground pepper.
  • Place it in a microwave oven proof dish and add 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts.
  • Heat the mix in a microwave oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 325°F.
  • Enjoy Tangerine sweet potato!

Side Effects Of Tangerine Oil

There are not much contradictions studied while using tangerine essential oil. However, it is necessary to be cautious while using it.

  • Tangerine oil is PHOTOTOXIC. Avoid exposing your skin to sunlight for 12 to 24 hours after application.
  • It may cause dermal irritation to individuals with sensitive skin.
  • Avoid using the oil on children without proper guidance.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using tangerine oil.
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