The colour orange feels bright, warm and optimistic. In some cultures, orange represents luck and fortune, in other traditions the colour is a symbol of spiritual attainment. In the aromatic world, Sweet Orange essential oil offers us many healing gifts from encouraging digestive health to easing a mind burdened with stress and sorrow.
Where is Sweet Orange essential oil from?
Our Citrus sinensis essential oil is sourced from Australia.
In order to prevent fruit wastage, we use fruit which does not meet the standards for fresh fruit – for example, the fruit that is marked, too big or small but otherwise perfect inside. This fruit used is a by-product of the fresh fruit market, and as such we are converting what is considered a “waste stream” into saleable products for consumption. Usually, essential oil production is a by-product of juice production. As the fruit is cut for juicing, the peels are simultaneously pricked so that the oil comes out of the skin. Rather than just throwing all the peels away after juicing, the peels have the oil extracted and therefore contribute to a more sustainable outcome.
How is Sweet Orange essential oil made?
The essential oil from any citrus fruit is found in the skin. The oil is extracted by cold press. The producers press the peel of the fruit in a stream of room temperature water. The water and essential oil are then separated in a centrifuge. Orange oil is typically produced almost all year round, using the Valencia variety in Summer and the Navel variety in Winter. A range of seasonal workers, largely backpackers from around the world, make up the majority of citrus fruit pickers.
What does Sweet Orange look like?
We are all familiar with the orange which is a round or oval citrus; its rind and flesh are generally orange and the citrus aromas take us to warm summery days. Picture yourself wandering around endless rows of large trees with glossy dark green leaves. In the shade of the citrus grove you notice the striking bright orange skin of the fruit which is vital and heartening. Orange trees produce tiny delicate white flowers that have the most divine fragrance.
What does Sweet Orange essential oil smell like?
True to the fruit, Sweet Orange essential oil smells exactly as you would imagine it to. Orange delivers an intensely sweet, warm and vibrant burst of light. The essential oil is a raw product and can eventually spoil. You can tell when this has happened because the fragrance becomes dull. Don’t throw the bottle out though, you can keep using the essential oil in your diffuser blends and cleaning products such as toilet cleaners and DIY disinfectant sprays.
History of Sweet Orange
Oranges come from the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in a region that encompasses parts of modern-day India, Myanmar and China. Fossils found in the Yunnan province of China indicate that a citrus tree ancestor grew in the area about 8 million years ago. The name Orange comes from the Sanskrit word naranj. From the Himalayan foothills, the plants were taken to Europe by Portuguese explorers and Christopher Columbus introduced the fruit to the New World where it thrived in Florida and the West Indies. Sweet Oranges are so popular that they are now grown in 124 out of 196 countries according to the UN in 2018.
For thousands of years, Orange essential oil has been known for its ability to naturally enhance immunity and help reduce symptoms of numerous ailments. Records of the medicinal use of Orange essential oil date back to ancient China. The prized citrus aroma is still widely used in modern day traditional Chinese medicine practices as well as being a symbol of good fortune.
In the early 1900's, it was used as a natural fragrance for several products such as detergents, perfumes, soaps, and other toiletries. Over time, Sweet Orange essential oil and other citrus oils began to be replaced with synthetic citrus fragrances. Sweet Orange is a natural anti-depressant and can help combat stress and provide an uplifting yet calming environment.
Benefits & uses of Sweet Orange essential oil:
- Digestion. Sweet Orange has been used for digestive health for thousands of years. Sweet Orange has a balancing effect on the intestines and may ease symptoms of diarrhoea, constipation, irritable bowel and digestive pains. Evidence suggests that the essential oil supports liver and gall-bladder function to promote general digestive health.
- Cleansing. Sweet Orange, like most citrus essential oils, gently aids the body’s own detoxification system. Thought to promote lymphatic circulation, Sweet Orange may reduce swelling and improve cellulite.
- Nervous System. Sweet Orange is thought to have anti-depressant qualities and may be gently sedating for some people. Traditionally, Orange has been used to improve anxiousness and melancholy with its sweet, uplifting and joyful energy.
- Children’s remedy. A favourite with the kids, Sweet Orange may assist children to fall asleep, ease an upset tummy, or provide a boost of fun and optimism as they meet all of life’s challenges and triumphs.
- Skin Care. Sweet Orange is a bit of an ‘all-star’ when it comes to skin care. The essential oil can be used for acne prone skin due to its anti-bacterial and detoxifying properties. It may also be used to give normal and mature skin types a healthy glow. Sweet Orange can be used to improve the appearance of de-vitalised skin and may be useful for the treatment of rough and calloused patches.
How to use Sweet Orange essential oil
Diffuser: Add 6-8 drops of Sweet Orange essential oil to a diffuser.
Quick fix: A few deep inhalations from the bottle can help when you are at work, in the car or anytime you need a quick break.
Shower: Add 2-3 drops to the corner of the shower and enjoy the benefits of steam inhalation.
Bath: Add 2-3 drops in a dispersant such as oil, to the bath to create a relaxing atmosphere while nourishing your skin.
Topically: Mix 1 drop of chosen essential oil with 5ml carrier oil and apply to wrists, chest or back of the neck.
Hand or foot bath: Add 2 drops to a bowl of water to improve rough and calloused skin.
Compress: Add 2 drops of essential oil to a bowl of water. For treating inflammation or to cool down use cold to room temperature water. For aching tight muscles use warm to hot water. Agitate a face washer in the water, wring out excess moisture and apply washer to the affected area. Repeat two or three times as the compress cools down or warms up.
Steam Treatment: For face, add 2 drops of essential oil to a bowl of steaming hot water. Place your face close to the bowl and cover the back of your head and bowl with a towel to trap the aromatic vapours. Caution due to risk of burns or scalding and keep eyes covered during treatment.
Blends well with: Sweet Orange is the perfect essential oil for beginners. It uplifts and harmonises different aromas and rescues a blend that has become too heavy or murky. Try blending with Cinnamon, Fennel, Geranium, Chamomile, Lavender, Ginger, Thyme or Ylang Ylang. Sweet Orange plays well with most essential oils.
Sweet Orange essential oil safety
Sweet Orange is considered gentle and safe. Suitable for use with young children, during pregnancy and for those with health concerns. The essential oil may cause the skin to be more sensitive to sunlight so best to avoid topical application before sun exposure.
Author: Alissa Geddes
Alissa is a fully qualified Aromatherapist with further qualifications in Remedial Massage & Myotherapy. She qualified as an Aromatherapist in 2005 and has worked in hospitals, day spas and in clinical practice. Alissa contributes her extensive knowledge to ECO. and helps with detailed education to our ECO. community. Alissa is passionate about assisting and teaching others how to restore and maintain their health and wellbeing.