Sweet orange is a very uplifting and bright essential oil. It brings the aroma of fresh citrus to your home with just a few drops. Besides its wonderful smell, there are also many health benefits of orange essential oil.
Orange oil has been used for thousands of years to boost immunity, aid digestion, fight skin infections, improve circulation, and much more. Its fragrance can bring feelings of peace, creativity, and harmony.
Here's more about this sweet and citrusy essential oil, plus ways to use it and precautions to be aware of.
What is Orange Essential Oil?
Orange essential oil comes from the peels of sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis)- the kind you would buy at the store. There's also another type that comes from bitter oranges (Citrus aurantium), but it has different properties than the more commonly used sweet orange oil.
While many other essential oils are steam distilled, orange oil is cold-pressed from the peels of the fruit. This keeps many beneficial compounds and antioxidants intact, since no heat or chemicals are involved.
The essential oil can be extracted by first separating the rind from the fruit and then putting them through the pressing process. Another method involves pressing the whole fruit to extract both the juice and the essential oil. The oil is then separated from the juice using centrifugal force.
The beautiful yellow-orange oil that comes out of the pressing process has been used for health, flavoring, and cosmetics for a long time.
Orange essential oil is important in several traditional medicinal practices. It has most been used in the Mediterranean region, China, India, and the Middle East. It's also a natural flavoring in orange drinks and candies as well as a fragrance in soaps, lotions, etc.
Modern research has confirmed several important benefits of orange essential oil, although there is much that hasn't been studied yet.
Top Benefits of Orange Essential Oil
Boosts Your Mood and Fights Stress
Orange oil has both an uplifting and a relaxing effect. It's great for lifting your mood, fighting stress, and potentially calming anxiety.
Several studies have explored the effects of orange essential oil on anxiety. So far, it's been found to reduce the anxiety and stress of women going through labor as well as children having a dental procedure done. Other studies indicate that it may also help some symptoms of depression. (1)(2)(3)
Diffusing orange essential oil is one of the best ways to get its calming properties. You can also mix it with a carrier oil and apply as a stress-fighting "perfume." It may even lower your blood pressure along with your stress levels. (4)
Supports Better Sleep
Feeling less stressed and anxious is helpful for getting better sleep. Orange can help you sleep by releasing tension and calming your mind, but it seems to have properties that go beyond this.
Research still hasn't determined exactly how it works, but at least one study has documented the benefits of orange essential oil for helping insomnia. It's often included in essential oil sleep blends to help you fall asleep and rest more peacefully. (5)
Promotes Healthy-Looking Skin
Sweet orange is one of several essential oils that are beneficial for your skin. On its own, orange oil works best for oily skin. It has natural astringent properties that can balance oil production. The oil also has antibacterial properties that may help with acne. (6)
The astringent (toning) properties of orange oil may also help to tighten skin and reduce signs of aging. Like other citrus oils, orange can brighten your skin tone when applied over a period of time.
Orange essential oil combines well with other natural ingredients that are soothing and moisturizing. It's very gentle on skin when diluted properly. You can use it to soothe irritated skin in something like this multipurpose Baby Balm.
Natural Antimicrobial and Cleanser
Orange essential oil has been tested against several strains of bacteria as well as fungi. It's been found to inhibit E. coli and Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning, as well as antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. (7)(8)(9)
Because of its antimicrobial nature and fresh, citrus scent, orange oil makes a great addition to a homemade natural cleaner. You can use it to clean countertops, cutting boards, and many other surfaces. Orange and other citrus oils are also great at cutting through grease.
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Power
Several benefits of orange essential oil come from its antioxidant content. The oil is high in limonene, a powerful antioxidant compound that's been found to inhibit and fight colon cancer cells. (10)
This antioxidant power gives orange oil natural anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It can be used as a massage oil (by diluting it in a carrier oil) and used for achy joints or muscles. Interestingly, simply inhaling orange essential oil may reduce pain levels as well. (11)(12)
If that weren't enough, orange oil can also give your immune system a boost, either alone or in a blend.
Boosts Brain Power
Perhaps because of its calming and uplifting properties, orange essential oil can boost your brain function. Its fragrance is specifically connected to increasing creativity, but it can also benefit the overall wellness of your mind. It was one of several essential oils found to boost the cognitive function of Alzheimer's patients. (13)
May Support Detox and Digestion
Orange essential oil has cleansing benefits for the inside of your body as well as the outside of it. It has mild diuretic properties and supports healthy digestion, which both help to keep toxins moving out of your body. A study on orange oil and cancer also found that it enhanced liver detoxification. (14)
Makes a Great Natural Fragrance
Some of the worst chemicals for your body hide out in products under the label of "fragrance." Using essential oils like orange is a great way to make yourself or homemade products smell good without any toxic substances. It can be added to many products like candles, soaps, lotions, deodorant, hair products, and so on.
Using Orange Essential Oil + What to Blend It With
You can get the benefits of orange essential oil by diffusing it, applying it topically, creating a room spray, adding it to a cleanser, etc. Make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil before applying it to your skin.
Sweet orange oil blends well with many other essential oils. Try it with oils like lavender, ylang ylang, and cedarwood for a sleep blend. Or combine it with other citrus oils like lemon, grapefruit, lime, or bergamot to really get a mood-lift.
For a fall or holiday blend, mix it with warm oils like ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and/or nutmeg. It also combines well with clary sage to clear your mind, woody oils like frankincense or sandalwood, and floral oils like geranium.
As with all other essential oils, make sure you buy high quality, therapeutic oils from a reputable company. Stay away from grocery and retail store brands. Also, make sure the orange essential oil you buy is cold-pressed and not extracted by heat or chemicals.
Always do a patch test with new essential oils before applying them to a large area of skin. Like other citrus oils, orange can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Apply it at night or to skin that will be protected if you're out in the sun.
Enjoying the Benefits of Orange Essential Oil
It's hard to find a happier and more uplifting essential oil than orange. It has major benefits for your mood, your skin, sleep, brain power, and your whole body.
Enjoy using this sweet essential oil in your home, knowing that it's benefiting your health!