Bred first by orange-growers in China, the sweet orange is now widely cultivated in subtropical regions, especially Brazil, the USA, China and India.
The oil is obtained by cold expression of the thick peel and rind of the fruit.
Antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bactericidal, carminative, choleretic, digestive, fungicidal, hyposensitive, sedative (nervous), stimulant, (digestive and lymphatic), stomachic, tonic.
Orange is a highly versatile oil with a range of applications. Chinese traditional medicine traditionally uses orange peel (from which the oil is expressed) to treat coughs, colds, and anorexia.
It is anti-inflammatory and thought to provide quick relief for mild irritation or pain. It’s also used as an antispasmodic as it relaxes the mental and muscular systems. Its antiseptic properties inhibit the growth of microbes and bacteria, so it can be used to aid the disinfection of wounds.
Orange oil is also used to relax the digestive system so is commonly used as a carminative and diuretic as well as to target indigestion. Combined with Peony, Orange oil is commonly used to reduce menstrual cramps, for aiding the expulsion of digestive gases and to relieve constipation.
Orange oil, when used as part of a face wash, is often used to rejuvenate and tone the skin. Additionally, its cheerful, fresh and fruity aroma may help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Orange is an excellent oil to burn or vaporise as its fresh and fruity aroma will quickly clear the air in a stuffy or musty room. Citrus fruits are cooling, calming scents and orange is the sweetest of these.
It's often used in blends to assist relaxation of both mind and muscles, as well as blends aimed at assisting the improvement of circulation and reducing cramps, aches or pains.
Orange oil can also be added to a body wash, lotion or liquid soap to help to moisturise the skin as well. Start with a couple of drops and increase the amount as you feel necessary.
Organic version also available.
You may find that orange blends particularly well with lavender, neroli, clary sage, myrrh, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove.