Grapefruit, Lime and Mandarin essential oils, benefits and uses

Clockwise from 12 o'clock: Grapefruit, Mandarin, Lime

Clockwise from 12 o’clock: Grapefruit, Mandarin, Lime

Originally published on Guide to Aromatherapy

The last three citrus essential oils are grapefruit, lime and mandarin (see picture right). There’s also red mandarin, which is used in the same ways as mandarin. I’m sure you’re familiar with grapefruits and limes from the local market. Mandarin is the name used in aromatherapy for the type of easy-peel orange you used to get only around Christmas time.

Grapefruit essential oil
This is extracted from the outer skin of Citrus x paradisi. The X means it is a hybrid – between the pomelo and the sweet orange. As both parents are sweet, the result is unexpectedly bitter, not that this has any relevance to its therapeutic value.

Grapefruit is energizing and is used mainly to treat psychological conditions such as bitterness, confusion, depression, despondency, envy, frustration, indecisiveness, jealousy, nervous exhaustion, performance stress, procrastination, worry about the past and to aid clarity of mind, but is also used for chills, colds and flu and to treat cellulitis, headaches, obesity, water retention and as a sports aid for use before exercise, and afterwards to treat stiffness and muscle fatigue.

Grapefruit essential oil is not suitable for use with children under five years old.

Phototoxic: don’t use on skin that will be exposed to the sun or tanning beds in the following 48 hours.

I offer grapefruit essential oil and organic grapefruit essential oil in my online shop.

Lime essential oil
This oil is extracted from the outer peel of unripe fruit of Citrus aurantifolia. This tropical tree is not related to the Common Lime or Linden found in many parks and alongside highways.

Lime essential oil is uplifting and energizing and is used like lemon oil: undiluted to treat boils, herpes (cold sores), warts and plantar warts (verrucas), and diluted for skin care, especially for oily skin, to tone and condition nails, and for bleaching discolored areas of skin.

Use at a 1% dilution as a massage oil to treat acne, anemia, arthritis, cellulitis and skin blemishes such as spots.

You can also use lime essential oil in a diffuser or add up to 3 drops to the bath to help clear up respiratory infections like colds and flu.

Phototoxic: don’t use on skin that will be exposed to the sun or tanning beds in the following 48 hours.

I offer lime essential oil and distilled lime essential oil in my online shop.

Mandarin and Red Mandarin essential oils
Mandarin is extracted from the outer skin of Citrus reticulata while red mandarin comes from Citrus nobilis. Both are used for the same purposes. Mandarin is also sometimes called Tangerine essential oil.

Mandarins/tangerines used to be a special treat looked forward to around Christmas each year, but are now available all year round under the name satsuma. The clementine is a variety of the same tree whose fruit has a tougher skin.

Mandarin essential oil is known as the children’s remedy in France and is useful for treating children and pregnant people with digestive disorders such as hiccups, gripes and indigestion as well as sleep difficulties and restlessness. Other uses include general skin care for oily skin, and as a treatment for acne and other blemishes, stretch marks, fluid retention and obesity.

Mandarin essential oil is generally regarded as not phototoxic. However, it’s probably wise to take some care about sun bathing or tanning beds within 48 hours of use.

I offer mandarin (tangerine) essential oil and red mandarin essential oil in my online shop.

As with all essential oils, none of the oils mentioned in this post should be taken internally, even though you may see this recommended elsewhere. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause permanent damage if used in this way, even if you think you have diluted them. Be safe and use them as intended, in massage blends and diffusers, and keep them out of the reach of children at all times.

Oranges, Lemons and other Citrus essential oils

Originally published on Guide to Aromatherapy

Citrus fruits are good for you!

Citrus fruits are good for you!

Next time you peel an orange, take the time to notice what happens. If it’s fresh enough, you’ll see a small amount of liquid squirting from the peel as you pull it away from the flesh. That liquid is the essential oil, and it’s also the reason why it’s impossible to peel an orange (or many other citrus fruits) without leaving the scent hanging around in the air for ages afterwards.

As you can see, essential oils from citrus fruits are usually pretty easy to extract. Most of the essential oils you buy are extracted by steam distillation, but apart from neroli and petitgrain, citrus essential oils are extracted by cold pressing the rinds.

As with all essential oils, none of the citrus essential oils should be taken internally, even though you may see this recommended elsewhere. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause permanent damage if used in this way, even if you think you have diluted them. Be safe and use them as intended, in massage blends and diffusers, and keep them out of the reach of children at all times.

Something to be aware of:
These essential oils extracted directly from citrus rind are well known for causing photosensitivity (sensitivity to light, particularly the sun). It’s important not to use them if you are going to be sunbathing or using a tanning machine within 24-48 hours.

Citrus oils oxidize more quickly than many other essential oils, which means they will not keep for so long. If you’ve had a bottle of citrus essential oil for more than a year, take a sniff and see if it’s still fresh smelling. If not, then you should dispose of it, because it will have lost its healing properties along with the fragrance.

Citrus oils are useful for raising immune levels and will fight anxiety depression by improving mood and aiding relaxation. Many citrus oils contain high levels of limonene and pinene, which are naturally antibacterial. Limonene has also been shown to inhibit the growth of cancers.

Here is a list of the citrus essential oils with links to the detail:
Bergamot Citrus bergamia
Grapefruit Citrus paradisi
Lemon Citrus limon
Lime Citrus aurantifolia
Mandarin (Tangerine) Citrus reticulata
Neroli (Orange Blossom) Citrus aurantium
Sweet Orange (includes Blood Orange) Citrus sinensis
Bitter Orange Citrus aurantium
Petitgrain Citrus aurantium