Essential oils are derived (extracted) from different species of plants and are rich in nutrients. There are several citrus species of plants – limes, sweet oranges, grapefruit etc. Essential oils are derived from most of these species, and hence we have sweet orange, grapefruit and lemon essential oils.
Sweet orange essential oil, or simply orange essential oil, is derived from the plant Citrus sinensis. The oil is extracted from the rind of the plant via a process called cold pressing. In this method the oil is extracted without the aid of heat. The rind (the leaves and flowers) is crushed at room temperature and the heat due to friction is kept at its minimum. And since there is no heat or other chemicals involved in the process, the oil obtained is considered to be healthier, more nutritious and organic. uses for sweet orange essential oil has many health benefits and is used to combat several ailments and for cosmetic purposes. It has a sweet citrusy aroma.
Sweet orange essential oil must not be confused with wild orange essential oil.
Sweet orange essential oil vs. wild orange essential oil
Wild orange and sweet orange essential oils are almost the same, because they belong to the same species of plants. However, wild oranges grow unbridled whereas sweet oranges are cultivated. The wild orange essential oil has more nutrition and is considered healthier than the sweet orange variant.
Sweet orange essential oil and wild orange essential oil must not be confused with blood orange essential oil.
Sweet orange essential oil and wild orange oil vs. blood orange essential oil
Again, they belong and are derived from the same species, but blood oranges have a lighter aroma and sweeter fragrance than wild orange oil.
Now, let’s circle back to sweet orange essential oil. This oil has many health uses , so let’s check out a few of those here.
Uses of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
1. Antimicrobial properties
The antimicrobial property was researched in 2012 where E. coli isolates from beef known to cause food poisoning were tested with sweet orange oil with a concentration of just one percent at refrigeration temperatures. It was found that even this small percent could stop the bacteria. Another research was conducted on the staph infection causing bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus. When tested on these bacteria, it resulted in the elimination of the bacteria without causing any harm to the human cell culture.
2. Antifungal Uses
A study found that orange essential oil provided protection against different species of fungus. It can prevent the growth of fungus on the skin or on surfaces; of course, the concentration of the oil used should be different. It was also found to be effective against fungus growing on plants; however, there are some other oils that have proven to be more beneficial for this scenario.
3. Used on the skin
Citrus oils have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties; sweet orange essential oil is no different. These properties are useful in soothing the skin from any irritation, reducing redness, healing wounds and preventing bacterial infections. Being an antioxidant with antiseptic properties, it is a natural cleanser that cleans the pores and detoxifies it, thus keeping the skin young and fresh. And since oranges are rich in Vitamin C, the oil improves the collagen in the skin.
4. Used for depression, stress and anxiety
Orange oil is used in aromatherapy and it lowers the symptoms of depression. One can check out the aroma in any dental clinic and realize that it has a citrus scent. Normally sweet orange is diffused in dental clinics because it is known to lower the pulse rate in people. Dental procedures can be quite painful and people are scared even before the surgery starts. Here, the orange oil aroma lowers pulse rate and reduces anxiety. A research also concluded that women going into labor reacted well with the aroma of sweet orange and it made them calmer. Lab rats with induced stress also showed signs of calmness when they were placed in a cabin with orange oil aroma. Hence, it is established that essential oil of sweet orange is good to control and mitigate anxiety and stress.
5. Used for hair
The nutrient rich oil is beneficial for hair care and it nourishes the hair follicles and makes the hair strong. It can get rid of dandruff and soothe irritated scalp. Gently massaging the diluted version of the essential oil on the scalp will promote hair growth and improve the texture of the new hair. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory nature of the oil is made use of in hair masks as it can control dandruff and prevent hair loss.
These are some of the uses of sweet orange essential oil. This oil is quite popular amongst the proponents of essential oil. It is available easily and it also lies on the cheaper side. However, it is one of the easiest DIY orange oils. It can be made at home; all one needs is cheap vodka, a jar, and of course, orange peels.
How to make sweet orange essential oil with orange peels
- The first step is to eat the oranges so that the peels are left behind.
- Then scrape the white substance on the inside of the peel called pith.
- Dry the peels in sunlight for one to two weeks.
- Now, break the dried peels into a glass jar and add vodka to it. The vodka should soak the peels; its level should not exceed the level of the peels.
- Shake the jar and seal it tight
- Keep this mixture away from sunlight for four to six days. Occasionally shake the jar.
- Later, use a filter to drain the oil into a bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a porous material such as a towel and leave it for 24 hours for the alcohol to evaporate.
- After 24 hours you will be left with the citrus-scented orange oil.
- Store it in a cool dark place.
Before using this oil on the skin, make sure you do a patch test.