MandarinPlant/Part: Tree/Peel (Source : Brazil, Spain, Italy and California)

Latin Name: Citrus Madurensis

Family: Rutaceae

Extraction: Expression

AROMA: Delicate, sweet, tangy with floral undertones.

PROPERTIES: Antispasmodic, Cholagogue, Cytophylactic, Digestive, Emollient, Sedative, Tonic. A gentle and calming oil, good for oily skin. Known in France as "the children's remedy" for its mildness - use it in massage for the digestive system and, like Lavender, can be used in massage oil to help prevent stretch marks. A tonic to the digestion, stimulates appetite, particularly after illness or loss of hunger due to depression. Seems to have a stimulating effect on the liver, helping to regulate metabolic processes and aids in the secretion of bile and of breaking down fats. At the same time it is calming to the intestines and good for expelling gas. Its cheering action is sometimes used as part of a blend to ease pre menstrual tension. Possibly has an enhanced effect when blended with other citrus oils.

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS: Linomene, Geraniol, Citral, Citronellal.

PRECAUTIONS: Do not use Mandarin on the skin in direct sunlight.

BLENDS: Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Coriander, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon Lime, Neroli, Orange, Palmarosa, Petitgrain, Rose.

The Mandarin (Citrus Nobilis, or Citrus Madurensis) probably originated in China, and has certainly been known in that country since antiquity. It takes its name from the fact that, in the past, the fruit was traditionally offered as gifts to the mandarins. The essential oil has a very delicate aroma, true to the scent of the fruit, and is golden-yellow in colour, with a slight blue-violet fluorescent tint visible in bright light. The major constituents are limonene, methyl methylanthranilate and smaller amounts of geraniol, citrai and citronellal.

A major application of Mandarin is in treating digestive problems, as it has a tonic and stimulant effect on both the stomach andMandarin liver. Its effect on the intestines is calming (in common with both Neroli and Orange) and it has been found to be even more effective when used in a synergistic combination with other citrus oils.

Because of its gentle action. Mandarin is often regarded in France as 'the children's remedy' and is often chosen to help with the tummy upsets of childhood, including 'burps' and hiccoughs. A 2% dilution in almond oil can be gently massaged into the tummy, always in a clockwise direction. I would extend this to say that it could be a wise choice for anybody who is a little fragile, particularly the elderly.

Mandarin is one of the oils which is safe to use during pregnancy, as it will not harm either the mother or the develop­ing child. It is an excellent component of massage oils for the prevention of stretch-marks: I drop each of Lavender, Mandarin and Neroli to 10 mis of almond oil and 2 mis of wheatgerm oil is a good blend. It must be used daily, preferably twice daily, from about the fifth month of pregnancy to be really effective.

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