The familiar sweet orange comes from Sicily, Israel, Spain and the United States, each offering a slightly different characteristic. Chu-lu, the first monograph describing the various citruses, was written in China in 1178.
Extraction: Cold-pressed from peel. An inferior oil comes from peel pressed for juice. A more water-soluble, terpeneless oil is used in soft drinks. The scent is perky and lively.
Cosmetic/Skin Use: Good for oily complexions.
Medicinal Action: Orange treats flu, colds, congested lymph, irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.
Considerations: The oil is slightly photosensitizing.
Emotional Attribute: The sedative fragrance counters depression, hysteria, shock and nervous tension.
Bitter Orange (C. aurantium var. amara) –Pressed from the peel, bitter orange oil has similar properties to sweet orange. Photosensitizing.
Grapefruit (C. x paradisi) –The oil from the peel encourages weight loss and gallbladder activity, and is noted for its cleansing action. It is a favorite of children, and we find it useful for inner-child work. It often accents bergamot.
Lime (C. aurantiifolia) –Native to India and Southeast Asia, this is the most tender citrus tree. Unlike other citruses, the peel can be steam-distilled as well as pressed. Lime flavors cola beverages and is used in the treatment of depression.
Tangerine or Mandarin (C. reticulata) –From the peel of mandarin orange, this oil counters insomnia, lymph congestion, fat reduction and digestive problems. It is a safer citrus oil for children and pregnant women.