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Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Botanists tell us that the orange tree, known botanically as “Citrus sinenses”, is native to southwestern China. It was brought to the West Indies by Columbus and flourished in the tropical climate. Today, orange trees are grown in warm areas around the world and sweet orange oil is used extensively in the food industry, flavoring candies, pastries and sauces.
Sweet orange oil, like all citrus oils, is extremely sensitive to heat and must be cold pressed to prevent scent degradation. In earlier times, the orange rinds were cut away and then squeezed by hand but today things are done mechanically. The outer layer of the rind, the flavedo, is rasped away from the rest of the fruit then placed in a centrifuge where the essential oils are forced from the cell walls under the incredible pressure created. In spite of its name, “cold pressing” is actually done at room temperature.
Sweet Orange in Aromatherapy
Sweet orange is often the essential oil of choice when working with children. Even very young children like the fresh, fun scent. A 1998 British study of children having tooth extractions found that children exposed to sweet orange oil during and just following the procedure were calmer and more cooperative.
Sweet orange isn't just a child's oil. Traditional Chinese medicine used dried orange peels to stimulate the appetite and modern research suggests that orange oil can help alleviate flatulence, stimulate the lymphatic system and improve digestion. Aromatherapists consider sweet orange to be antidepressant oil and use it for anxiety, moodiness, nervousness and frustration. They believe that sweet orange is uplifting, mentally detoxifying and cheerful. Aromatherapists regard sweet orange as empowering and emboldening. They believe that sweet orange reduces self-doubt and alleviates fears associated with new situations.
Choosing a Good Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Sweet orange essential oil has the familiar scent of freshly cut oranges. It has a light, sweet scent that appeals to people of all ages. Sweet orange feels cool and wet to the nose.
Sweet orange is considered a top note which can both lighten heavy blends and build up herbaceous blends. It blends especially with wood oils like frankincense, floral oils jasmine and herbaceous oils like geranium.
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