Orange Essential Oil: Healing and Expressive
I’ve been craving oranges. I’m not exactly sure what sparked my recent obsession.
It could be that the winter this year feels endless, and they cheer me up. Or maybe my body is telling me I need some Vitamin C to combat the cold weather. Whatever the source, one thing is certain: The orange tree, with all its wonder—has me captivated.
One of my earliest memories is of my grandfather picking fresh oranges from the tree that grew in his backyard in Miami Beach, and how he’d pull up a ladder for me to climb so I could reach the higher hanging fruits. I remember the feeling of being surrounded by the deep-green shiny leaves and the sweet scent of the orange rinds. I was amazed at how such a small tree could produce so much fruit and not bend over by the weight, and how the winding, strong branches seemed to balance each other so effortlessly.
As a child, I knew little of the rich offerings of essential oils the orange tree provides, but now, as I think back to those orange-picking days, I can better understand why it had made me so happy.
The orange tree yields three distinctly different essential oils, and each one inspires feelings of great joy.
1. Orange essential oil: cold expressed from the peel of the fruit.
2. Petitgrain essential oil: steam distilled from the leaves.
3. Neroli essential oil: steam distilled from the orange blossom.
Orange Essential Oil
Let’s look at the essential oil that is expressed from the peel, what we know as Orange essential oil. The botanical name is Citrus sinensis, and the essential oil is extracted through a method called cold expression. What that means is that the peel is poked and pierced by hundreds of tiny needles and then pressed under extremely high pressure. No heat is applied during the process, and there is no hydrosol byproduct, as there is with steam distilled extractions. The oil carries with it much of the peel’s color, and it has a light, fruity and sweet aroma.
Orange essential oil has a powerful array of healing benefits. It is an effective anti-depressant; it is cleansing and detoxifying; and it aids in digestion to help balance our appetite. It stimulates circulation, and helps combat fatigue and lethargy. Energizing and anti-bacterial, it can help protect us against infection, while at the same time has the ability to soothe anxiety and relax our central nervous system.
Orange oil is generally very safe to use for weakened and depleted conditions, but can be photo-sensitizing. For our emotions, and psycho/spiritual well-being, Orange can awaken the Heart Energy to comfort and love. Try adding a few drops of Orange essential oil to unscented cleansers, gels, body lotions and scrubs to offer the body support in detoxifying and clearing. Orange essential oil is also a great addition to any massage blend, as it relaxes tight muscles brought on by stress.
Body lotions and creams
Best blended with:
Petitgrain essential oil:
Steam distilled from the shiny, sharp, bold green leaves of the orange tree, this essential oil has an almost bitter, herbaceous aromatic tone that can move in range from spicy to woody and sweet.
Like the orange peel, the essential oil distilled from the tree’s leaves are also anti-bacterial and anti-septic, and offer some strong chemical constituents that support stimulation and circulation, as well as cleansing and detoxification.
Best blended with:
Neroli Essential Oil
Precious and intoxicating, this intensely fragrant delicate blossom emits an aroma that fully encompasses our emotional and energetic body. The oil is carefully steamed and, in some instances, hydro-distilled, and can be incredibly expensive. It takes literally thousands of flowers to produce just a tiny amount of oil. And like Petitigrain, Neroli yields a beautiful hydrosol, or distillate, that can be used with the same intention as the oil.
Neroli can be found mostly in natural and organic perfumes, skin care regimes, and blends that reduce anxiety and support the parasymphathetic nervous system.
Perfume balms and salves
Aromatic mists and sprays
Best blended with: