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.