EITHERGama essential oil regularly appears in scented candles and perfumes, thanks to its fresh, savory and refreshing aroma, but there is more to the compound than meets the eye: research has shown that the benefits of orange essential oil are broad, including the ability to help relieve stress and fight acne.
However, before we jump ahead with information on the benefits of orange essential oil, let’s get back to basics. Orange essential oil is made by cold-pressing the peel of an orange and extracting the oil, says Tara Scott, MD, medical director and founder of the functional medicine group Revitalize Medical Group. And according to David J. Calabro, DC, a chiropractor at Calabro Chiropractic and Wellness Center who focuses on integrative medicine and essential oils, the cold-press element of orange essential oil production is especially crucial. This is how the oil “retains the purifying properties,” he says.
From there, the essential oil is bottled and used for a variety of different purposes, including making your home smell amazing. But, as noted above, orange essential oil can do much more. Read on for a breakdown of potential orange essential oil benefits to look out for, how to use essential oil, and how to select the right one for you.
Benefits of orange essential oil that you should know
While fans of orange essential oil may claim that the blend can relieve constipation and symptoms of depression alike, there isn’t a lot of scientific data to back up that claim. That said, there is are some studies that reflect that orange essential oil is useful to combat certain health problems. Here’s a breakdown:
1. It could fight acne
The link between orange essential oil and acne prevention isn’t entirely clear, but it could be due to limonene, one of the main components of orange essential oil, which has been found to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, says Marvin Singh, MD, founder of the Precisione Clinic, an integrative medicine center in San Diego.
An animal study published in 2020 found that orange essential oil helped reduce acne by decreasing cytokines, proteins that cause inflammation in the body. Another study published in 2012 had 28 human volunteers test one of four different gels, including two that were infused with sweet orange and basil essential oil, on their acne for eight weeks. The researchers found that all gels reduced acne blemishes by between 43% and 75%, with the gel that included sweet orange essential oil, basil, and acetic acid (a clear liquid similar to vinegar) being one of the best. Of course, both studies are limited, as the first was not done in humans and the second is limited in scope, so more research is needed.
2. It can help relieve anxiety
Research has linked the use of orange essential oil to feeling more relaxed. A small study had 13 students in Japan sit with their eyes closed for 90 seconds in a room scented with orange essential oil. The researchers measured the students’ vital signs before and after keeping their eyes closed and found that their blood pressure and heart rate decreased after exposure to orange essential oil.
Another study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine measured brain activity in subjects and found that breathing orange essential oil changed activity in the prefrontal cortex, which affects decision-making and social behavior. Specifically, after exposure to orange essential oil, participants experienced an increase in oxyhemoglobin, or oxygenated blood, improving brain function. Study participants also said they felt more comfortable and relaxed afterward.
Okay, but… why is that? Environmental researcher Yoshifumi Miyazaki, PhD, a professor at Chiba University’s Center for Environmental, Health and Field Sciences who worked on the studies, says this could be due in part to limonene. “In a stressed society, our brain activity is too high,” he says. But limonene, says Dr. Miyazaki, appears to help “calm” brain activity.
Dr. Miyazaki isn’t the only researcher to make this connection: A randomized controlled trial published in the journal Advanced biomedical research in 2013 exposed 30 children to rooms infused with orange essential oil during one dental visit and unscented during another visit. The researchers measured the children’s anxiety by checking their saliva for the stress hormone cortisol and taking their pulse before and after their visit. Did the ending work? The children had reduced pulse rates and cortisol levels that were “statistically significant” after hanging out in the orange essential oil rooms.
How to use orange essential oil
Most orange essential oil preparations are “super concentrated,” says Dr. Scott, so she recommends using just a few drops at a time. If she wants to use orange essential oil for acne, Dr. Calabro says it’s best to dilute it in a carrier oil, like fractionated coconut oil, to reduce the risk of skin sensitivity. trouble spots.
To test the oil for reducing anxiety symptoms, Dr. Calabro recommends putting about six drops in a diffuser filled with water to enjoy the aroma. He can even try using it in the shower or bath for aromatherapy, says Dr. Singh.
The greatest precaution that Dr. Singh offers regarding the use of orange essential oil is to never apply it to the skin before sun exposure. “Orange essential oil can be phototoxic,” says Dr. Singh. “This means you should avoid exposing your skin to the sun for 12 to 24 hours after it has been applied to your skin.”
What to look for in orange essential oil
Each brand is slightly different, but Dr. Singh suggests reading labels and doing some research before you buy. “Always use pure, organic products to reduce the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals and pesticides,” he says.
Finally, Dr. Scott recommends that you “look for brands that assess purity and state a ‘therapeutic’ grade. Otherwise, it’s just a fragrance.” To see some purchase options, see the links below.
Make the most of the benefits of orange essential oil with these 3 purchase options
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