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A brief guide to mandarin essential oil|madarin fruit on wooden background|mandarin fruit essential oil on wooden background|woman smiling

Essential Oils

Mandarin Essential Oil: Fresh, Sweet, and Soothing

Think about the last time you opened a mandarin. As soon as it is peeled, its fresh scent permeates the air. Simply breathing in this scent can boost your mood and make you feel more relaxed. The sweet, tart taste is a welcome addition to any breakfast, dessert, or mid-day snack. However, mandarins are more than just a healthy snack. The essential oil derived from this small citrus fruit has a primary constituent called limonene, which makes it perfect for soothing the mind and discomforts of the body.

madarin fruit on wooden background

History of Mandarin

Mandarin essential oil is derived from Citrus reticulata . You may recognize this as the scientific name for tangerines. Both mandarins and tangerines come from the same family, yet mandarins are more yellow in color while tangerines are more orange. Mandarins also have pips (small, hard seeds), while tangerines do not. Nevertheless, the two are closely related and offer many of the same therapeutic benefits—and their names are often used interchangeably. 1

There are three different types of mandarin essential oil: red, green, and yellow mandarin. These are all derived from the same fruit but at different stages of maturity. Green mandarin essential oil is derived from unripe fruits, while red mandarin is the most mature. Yellow mandarin sits right in the middle. 2

Mandarins are native to Southeast Asia and grow abundantly in India, Japan, Southern China, and the East Indies. A couple of varieties were taken to England in the early 1800s, and from there spread across the Mediterranean. In the mid-1800s, another variety was introduced to New Orleans. From there, mandarins spread to Florida and across the United States to California. 3

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the mandarin has been traditionally used to support both the digestive and respiratory systems. Both the mandarin and its peel are used in Ayurveda in similar ways. 4

Chemical Properties

Mandarin essential oil is derived from the peels of Citrus reticulata through cold compression. As opposed to many other cold-pressed citrus oils, mandarin essential oil is not phototoxic. The resulting oil is fragrant and light yellow in color. It has a unique chemical composition, which is made up of a variety of important terpenes:

    • Citronellal

    • B-Pinene

    • Geranial

    • Nerol

    • Sabinene

Many batches of mandarin essential oil consist of 65–75% limonene, which greatly contributes to its cleansing and relaxing properties.

mandarin fruit essential oil on wooden background

Uses for Mandarin Essential Oil

Mandarin essential oil offers a wide range of therapeutic benefits. This sweet-smelling essential oil can be used both aromatically and topically to boost mood, clean germs, ease discomfort, and more.

Reduces the Appearance of Scars and Skin Troubles

Mandarin essential oil is a mild, gentle oil, making it ideal for use on the skin. Try diluting a few drops of mandarin essential oil in a carrier oil and massaging it onto problem areas. It may help reduce the appearance of scars, blemishes, and other skin troubles.

Mandarin essential oil’s high limonene content also provides antioxidant properties. When used topically, it can help fight free radicals and reduce signs of aging such as and fine lines.

The antimicrobial properties of mandarin essential oil are effective at reducing germs in minor wounds such as scrapes, bites, and burns. It forms a protective barrier over the wound. 5

For clear, healthy skin, add a drop or two of mandarin essential oil to your daily moisturizer. To help reduce germs, dilute a drop into a carrier oil and apply before before covering the affected area with a bandage.

woman smiling

Boosts Mood and Promotes Relaxation

Mandarin essential oil is calming and can help alleviate feelings of stress. It’s a natural mood-booster that can also be used to support a restful sleep, soothe frazzled nerves, and reduce tension.

While many citrus oils are energizing, mandarin essential oil is unique in the fact that it is also relaxing. Instead of boosting both your mood and energy, it uplifts your mood while promoting a sense of peace and relaxation. This is a great oil to diffuse right before bedtime or add to a warm bath.

Final Thoughts

Mandarin essential oil is a wonderful oil to turn to when you feel as though you need support for both your body and your mind. It’s gentle enough to be used around children and can help promote a sense of peace in your home. Whether you’re looking to relieve tension, boost your mood, or support the systems of the body, mandarin essential oil can help.

Photo credits: YakovOskanov/, NikolayLitov/, SydaProductions/

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