Blood Orange Essential Oil- Benefits, Uses, and Origin
Blood orange (Citrus x sinensis) is a variety of orange with distinct reddish-purple flesh giving it such a name. Its essential oil gives off an intense citrus scent that is slightly tart than sweet orange. The fruit is native to Sicily and was eventually brought to America by immigrants.
Blood orange tree stands about 20-30 feet tall with dark green leaves that make the fruits stand out more against the dark backdrop. Its fruit is smaller than regular orange fruits. The tree produces white fragrant flowers. The distinct dark hue of the fruit’s insides is because of the presence of anthocyanins, a pigment common in flowers but uncommon on citrus fruits. Aside from the color, it also has a unique taste compared to oranges. Its flavor is said to be like that of a raspberry with a hint of citrus.
The essential oil is extracted from the blood orange zest through cold press. The leaves and flowers can also be sources of essential oils. The components of blood orange essential oil are almost the same as other citrus fruits. Limonene is the dominant component present together with α-pinene, sabinene, β-pinen, β-myrcene, linalool, m-cymene and 4-terpineol.
Benefits of Using Blood Orange Essential Oil
Inflammations have been the underlying cause of several diseases, including cancer. Whether external or internal, blood orange essential oil works to relieve inflammation before it causes any serious conditions. It works in relieving pains caused by arthritis, fevers, and toxic substances in the body.
Antiseptic and antibacterial properties
Citrus oils are powerful antimicrobials. Blood orange oil is used to treat minor cuts and wounds and prevent them from getting infected. It works by disinfecting the area of the cut and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.
The essential oil inhibits the growth of fungi that can cause spoiling of food and food poisoning. According to a study, blood orange oil works against four species of fungi.
Relieves muscular and nervous spasms
Uncontrollable spasm brings continuous coughing, diarrhea, nervous twitches, and muscle cramps. Blood orange is used to treat spasms or decrease its symptoms early on before they can do serious damage.
Stress relief and deep sleep
Blood orange’s aroma is refreshing. It uplifts mood and relieve anxiety and stress. According to a study, using blood orange in aromatherapy can lower the cortisol level and heart rate, which results in lowering of stress.
It is used for children about to undergo dental procedures by reducing stress hormone levels. Blending blood orange essential oil with frankincense and peppermint essential oil may reduce stress and anxiety and also lessen depression-like behaviors.
Blood orange essential oil’s ability to reduce the stress-level in the body also helps alleviate migraine.
The oil relaxes the both the mind and body. Blood orange oil being a natural sedative helps promote quality sleep. For that warmer and deeper calm experience, the blend of ginger essential oil and vanilla essential oil with blood orange is recommended.
Blood orange oil has the helps stimulate the flow and production of bile from the liver assisting in the digestion process. Its ability to help maintain a healthy liver also prevents formation of gallstones and promotes healthy hormonal secretion.
The oil also has carminative property which relaxes the stomach muscles. This allows gas to escape before experiencing any discomfort.
Aids in detoxification
The oil aids in increasing the production of urine. This causes frequent urination which helps flush out toxins in the body which includes the probable build-up of salts and uric acids. This results to a healthier digestive system as well.
Aside from uplifting the mood, diffusing blood orange essential oil in a room removes unwanted lingering odors. It can be used in linens and pillows to give that refreshing aromatic ambience to the bedroom
Blood orange oil, when applied to the skin, has the tendency to penetrate deeply into pores and aid in the formation of collagen resulting in smooth skin. Antioxidants present in the oil slows down the rate of skin aging and damage from exposure to UV rays.
Enhances brain function
Blood orange oil when used in aromatherapy helps enhance the cognitive function of the brain, which is helpful for people who suffer from memory problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Aids sexual health
Blood orange oil is a known aphrodisiac which helps cure several sexual problems such as low libido, erectile dysfunction, and impotence. The long-term use of blood orange oil is known to boost sexual desire by augmenting feelings of wellness in the brain.
Safety and Precaution Tips
Never use pure essential oil directly on the skin. Always dilute essential oil with carrier oils before using topically. Doing a skin test first will determine if any allergic will arise from using the essential oil.
Blood orange essential oil is phototoxic that is why it is important to note that exposure to sunlight should be avoided within the first 24 hours after applying to the skin.
For pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is best to consult a medical practitioner before using any essential oil.