Wild Orange – Citrus sinensis
The orange tree is native to China, but is now widely cultivated throughout the world in warm climates. This evergreen tree produces dark green leaves, fragrant white flowers and round, bright orange fruit. Orange oil is widely used throughout the world as a flavoring agent in food and drink confectionery and it’s bright, fresh scent is a common aroma for cleaning supplies. While many are familiar with orange as a flavoring, the health benefits of this versatile essential oil are not as well known.
Oranges are a common feature throughout history, often as a luxury. The Greeks considered the orange as a symbol of fruitfulness and referred to them as “the golden apple of Hesperides” and it is claimed that Zeus gave his bride Hera an orange at their wedding.
The orange was introduced to the Mediterranean from Asia by the Saracens during the crusades and in A.D. 1290, they were brought to England by Queen Eleanor of Castile. Because the climate was not warm enough for oranges, they had to be cultivated in special greenhouses, called “orangeries.” As a result, they could only be afforded by the very wealthy and were often given as extravagant gifts during the holidays. During the winter months in European courts, they were stuck with cloves and carried as pomanders to dispel depression and anxiety, as well as mask bad odors.
Wild orange essential oil has a fresh, sweet, tangy citrus aroma. The oil is extracted by cold pressing the peel and is orange to yellow in color with a watery viscosity. Wild orange oil blends well with black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, frankincense, sandalwood and vetiver.
One of the greatest benefits of wild orange oil is its ability to uplift the mood and lower blood pressure. In recent tests, just the aroma of wild orange brought down the test subjects’ blood pressure by several points. It can also affect irregular heartbeats. The scent is an effective sedative for anxiety, stress, anger and depression.
Wild orange oil can reduce the irritation and pain of inflammation within the body as well as easing muscular or nervous spasms such as continuous coughing, muscle cramps and diarrhea. The strong antiseptic properties of wild orange make it an effective treatment for disinfecting wounds and inhibiting microbial growth.
This oil is an effective diuretic, helping rid the body of excess gas, toxins, salt and water. Increased urine output can also lend a hand to overall weight loss and healthy digestion. Wild orange oil promotes secretions from glands in the endocrine and exocrine systems. This aids in healthy lactation, menstruation, digestive juices, enzymes and bile.
When diffused, wild orange oil can eliminate pathogens in the air, disinfect the area and kill the bacteria responsible for seasonal cold and flu. It can also be added to furniture polish to protect it against insect damage. Wild orange oil can be applied directly to the skin, added to a warm bath, diffused or taken internally to access its various health benefits.
While orange oil is considered non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing, it may have a photo-toxic effect on some. Do not apply it before spending prolonged periods in the sun. Ingesting in large quantities may result in nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.