OrangePlant/Part: Fruit/Peel (Source: Mediterranean, Israel and Americas)

Latin Name: Citrus Sinensis/Vulgaris/Aurantium

Family: Rutaceae

AROMA: A zesty and refreshing citrus fragrance.

PROPERTIES: Antidepressant, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Carminative , Digestive, Febrifuge, Sedative, Stomachic, Tonic. This oil has a rich, fresh citrus scent, the essential oil of Orange lifts the spirits yet is calming to the nerves. Blend with spicy oils for cheering baths. Add to massage oil for digestive system. Believed to brighten dull complexions.

It seems to have a very calming action on the stomach especially in nervous states, quells the proverbial butterflies. Physical ailments may be helped too - balancing gastric complaints like diarrhoea and constipation. It also stimulates bile and could help digestion of fats. May well encourage the appetite so beware if dieting. Dispels tension and stress encouraging a positive outlook. Reviving when feeling bored and lacking in energy. Builds absorption of vitamin C which action could ward off viral infections. Seems to have a good effect on colds, bronchitis and fever conditions by bringing down temperature. Helps with the formation of collagen, vital (or growth and repair of body tissues and together with its relaxing nature seems to be an effective palliative with painful and sore muscles as well as rickety bones. Its relaxing nature could be beneficial to insomnia brought on by anxiety. In the same way possibility of bringing down high levels of cholesterol in the blood.

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS: Limonene (terpene) , Citral, Citronellal, Geraniol, Linalol, Perminol,Bergapten, Auraptenol and acids.

PRECAUTIONS: Prolonged use and high dosage may irritate sensitive skin and there is a chance of photo-toxicity as well. Warning: Do not use this oil on the skin or in baths 12 hours prior to sun or sunlamp exposure.

BLENDS: Angelica, Cinnamon, Coriander, Clove, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Neroli, Nutmeg, Petitgrain Rose, Rosewood.

Digestive: stimulates the production of gastric juices (carminative), aids digestion, improves appetite, used for dyspepsia, constipation, spasms. increases the flow of bile.

Genito/Urinary: increases the production of urine (diuretic). because it diminishes water retention, orange is helpful in the treatment of pms.

OrangeCirculatory: used for palpitations.

Respiratory: used for bronchitis and flu.

Skin/Hair: balances the production of sebum, promotes the production of collagen, reduces puffiness, stimulates circulation to the skin and softens it. by increasing perspiration, encourages the release of toxins (helpful for acne). increases the circulation of lymphatic fluids, diminishes water retention, used for cellulite and obesity. also used for mouth ulcers, gingivitis, psoriasis, dermatitis.

Emotions/Mind: a warm, uplifting, light-hearted oil. balances and revitalizes, dispels gloom, fights depression and banishes apathy. said to awaken creativity, promote self awareness and ease the fear of the unknown. (wilson)

Other: improves immunity, aids in the absorption of vitamin C, relieves some symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Caution: photosensitizing (bitter orange and distilled sweet orange; lawless claims that expressed sweet orange oil is not). limonene, one of the major constituents, has been reported to cause contact dermatitis in some individuals.

The Orange tree was originally a native of the Far East, particularly China and India, and was not used medicinally in Europe until late in the 17th Century, as it was considered both rare and expensive. It is probable that the legendary golden 'apples' in the Garden of the Hesperides were, in fact, oranges. The orange adapted well to the climate of the Mediterranean, where, of course, it grows abundantly, as well as in California, Israel and South America.

Essential oils are extracted by simple pressure from the outer, coloured part of the peel, from both the Bitter Orange {Citrus Aurantium, var amara) and the Sweet Orange (Citrus Aurantium, var. dulcis). The Bitter, or Seville Orange, is also sometimes called Citrus Vulgaris or Citrus Bigaradia. The oil is deep golden yellow with the characteristic orange peel aroma. The active constituents include limonene, citral, and citronellal - the proportions varying somewhat between the sweet and bitter varieties. The Bitter Orange gives an oil with a slightly more delicate odour than the Sweet Orange.

OrangeThe properties of Orange oil overlap to a large extent with those of the closely-related oil of Neroli (obtained from the orange blossoms), being antidepressant, antispasmodic, stomachic and mildly sedative, and it is recommended for several purposes for which Neroli may often be used. Orange appears to have a normalising effect on the peristaltic action of the intestines, for it is recommended for the treatment of constipation by Paul Duraffourd in 'En Forme Tous Les Jours', while Dominique Sibe in '70 Huiles Essentielles' mentions the value of oil of Orange in helping chronic diarrhoea. Sibe also describes Orange as valuable for the treatment of cardiac spasm, but such a situation does not fall within the area of responsibility of the aromatherapist, unless he or she is also medically qualified.

Despite its obvious overlapping with Neroli, Orange has quite a definite character of its own, reflecting the difference you might expect between the flower oil and that from the fruit, for the oil of Orange is warmer and more rounded in aroma, with a feeling of jollity about it. It seems to carry with it some of the sunshine needed for its ripening, and for this reason is a wonderful oil to use in the winter. It is very cheering as a winter bath oil - with the important proviso that more than 4 drops in an average bath can cause skin irritation. It blends well with almost any of the spice oil: Cinnamon, Nutmeg or Clove especially, and also, surprisingly, with Lavender. As Orange is a good oil to combat insomnia, it can be alternated with Lavender or Neroli, as well as blended with either of them if there is a need for long-term treatment, since it is always wise, to vary the oils used over a period of time.

The association of Orange with Cloves and Cinnamon is also found in such traditional drinks as mulled wines, and these (in moderation!) can be a good and enjoyable antidote to winter's chills.

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