What Is Mandarin Orange Oil?
Mandarin orange oil is derived from the fruit peel of mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata), which has been widely cultivated in many parts of China since the 12th century BC. Depending on the variety, mandarin orange trees can grow anywhere from 5 meters to 7 meters in height (16 feet to 23 feet).
Surrounded with fragrant white blooms, mandarin orange fruit is usually slightly oblate in shape and has an orange to red-orange color when it ripens. Aside from the common mandarin, some of the most common varieties based on their horticultural classes are the king mandarin (Citrus nobilis), Mediterranean or willow leaf mandarin (Citrus deliciosa) and satsuma (Citrus unshiu).
Uses of Mandarin Orange Oil
Similar to other fruits from the citrus family, mandarin has a long history of being used in many folk medicine traditions, including traditional Chinese, Indian and European. They believe that the unripe fruit peel can treat a wide range of conditions — from hiccups, coughs, phlegm, chest pain, gastrointestinal disorder, to liver cirrhosis.1
Loved for its sweet and tangy flavor and scent, mandarin orange oil is a popular flavoring ingredient in the food and beverage, cosmetics and perfume industry. Mandarin orange oil will also make a wonderful addition to your beauty arsenal. It is proven to improve scars and acne and makes a good toner for oily skin.
Composition of Mandarin Orange Oil
Mandarin orange oil contains alpha-Thujone, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, camphene, citral, citronellal, gamma-terpinolene, geranial, geraniol, limonene, linalool, methyl-N-methylanthranilate, myrcene, nerol, sabinene and terpineol.
Benefits of Mandarin Orange Oil
• Protects wounds from potential bacterial, fungal or viral infections
• Prevents spasms in the respiratory, digestive and muscular systems
• Treats diarrhea, flatulence and constipation
• Purifies the blood and removes toxic substances in the body
• Eases inflammation and stress
• Stimulates a healthy appetite
Because of mandarin orange oil's remarkable calming effects, it has been used to help treat epilepsy, hysteria, insomnia and convulsions.
How to Make Mandarin Orange Oil
Ripe mandarin orange fruits are collected at a specific time, preferably during summertime when the weather is neither wet nor cold, to avoid spoilage. Traditionally, they are carefully harvested by hand, as they're prone to bruising and damage. The essential oil is then extracted through cold compression of the fresh peels of the fruit. Mandarin orange oil can either be golden yellow, green or red in color, depending on the country of origin, species or maturity of the fruit.
How Does Mandarin Orange Oil Work?
Therapeutically, mandarin orange oil is used topically or added in bath oils. To boost its effectiveness, blend with other essential oils with similar benefits. To help prevent stretch marks, cellulites and fluid retention, juniper berry oil and cypress oil may be your best bet. You can also dilute mandarin orange oil in a safe carrier oil like olive or coconut oil.
To freshen up your home, add a couple of drops of this sweet and fruity oil in a diffuser or into a pail of water that will be used for cleaning.
Is Mandarin Orange Oil Safe?
As with any essential oil, mandarin orange oil is generally safe when used properly. However, I highly recommend seeking expert medical advice before incorporating it into your health or treatment regimen, especially if you have any existing medical condition or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
Side Effects of Mandarin Orange Oil
There is varying literature regarding mandarin orange oil's sensitizing or phototoxic effects. A good tip I can give you is to dilute it with milder carrier oils to lessen its negative effects, if any, and do not expose yourself under direct sunlight after use.4 To avoid any unfortunate incidents, make it a habit to perform a skin patch test before using essential oils or any new skincare product, topically. If irritation persists, discontinue use immediately and consult your doctor.