Imagine the first time you peeled open a blood orange to find the gorgeous, exotic red fruit inside. The fresh citrus scent brings with it both a sense of calm and excitement. Like the fruit, blood orange essential oil sparkles with a rich, bright aroma that improves the mood and provides healing properties—it’s worth falling in love with.
The History of Blood Orange
Native to Sicily, the blood orange fruit grows on the Citrus x Sinensis tree, and the essential oil is derived by cold compression of its peel. In fact, the blood orange tree and its fruit appear in works by Italian painter Bartolomeo Bimbi, as well as in the opera Hesperides by the Italian Jesuit Ferrari. Blood oranges were eventually brought to America by Spanish and Italian immigrants, and are now grown in Texas and southern California.1
Citrus x Sinensis trees are middle-sized evergreens that can grow up to 20–30 feet tall. They are covered with greenish-brown bark and produce glossy leaves and aromatic white flowers that develop into delicious fruit. Their red pigment, anthocyanin, is an antioxidant that is rare in the rest of the citrus family.
The Chemistry Behind Blood Orange Essential Oil
Because Limonene makes up 95% of blood orange essential oil, it has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, offers assistance for a variety of metabolic and health issues, and even helps with weight management.2
Blood orange essential oil has a number of benefits, including acting as the following:
- Carminative (relieving gas)
- Cholagogue (promotes the flow of bile from the gallbladder to aid in digestion)3
Common Uses for Blood Orange Essential Oil
More and more research is finding inflammation to be the underlying cause of many diseases. According to a 2010 study at the University of California San Francisco, inflammation is a critical component of tumor progression. Many cancers arise from sites of infection, chronic irritation and inflammation.4
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Whatever the reason for your inflammation, and whether it is internal or external, blood orange essential oil can offer excellent and speedy relief. As seen from the research above, inflammatory conditions can lead to far more serious issues down the line. Thankfully, the anti-inflammatory actions of blood orange oil can provide a preventative measure to ensure that your condition is eased before it goes too far. This oil can be used for a variety of inflammatory complaints including pain, arthritis, fevers, or to relieve the side effects of toxic substances.
Blood orange essential oil is a cholagogue, meaning that it helps stimulate the production and flow of the liver’s bile, thereby aiding in digestion. It also helps the liver detoxify, treats gallstones, and stimulates healthy enzyme and hormone secretion. In a study of 200 patients, 20–30 mL of a 97 percent limonene solution (the main chemical constituent of blood orange oil) dissolved gallstones completely in almost half of the patients.
Blood orange essential oil also has carminative properties, so it alleviates the symptoms that come with excess gas. The oil works by relaxing the stomach muscles, allowing excess gas to escape before it causes discomfort.
To improve digestion, mix seven drops of blood orange, three drops of ginger, six drops of peppermint and four drops of bergamot essential oils with sweet almond or coconut oil and shake well to mix. Apply a teaspoon of this mixture onto the abdomen.
Treats Cuts and Wounds
Due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, blood orange essential oil can be used to prevent minor wounds or burns from becoming infected by harmful bacteria. Blood orange oil inhibits the growth of microbes and helps disinfect the affected area of the skin before the bacteria gets the chance to take a hold.
Uplifts the Mind
Uplifting and calming, blood orange oil is effective for alleviating anxiety. In times of shock or stress, the aroma of blood orange oil may relieve tension and facilitate the flow of emotions that have been suppressed or numbed. The centering and calming scent of blood orange can generate feelings of security and promote communication by opening the throat chakra.
When diffused throughout the home, blood orange essential oil might help ease feelings of stress and anxiety. A study published in 2013 demonstrated that blood orange essential oil reduced anxiety in children during dental surgery by reducing cortisol production and heart rate.5
Flushes Out Toxins
Blood orange essential oil is a natural diuretic, helping increase urine production as well as the frequency of urination. This means that blood orange oil can help detoxify the system by flushing out toxins and build-up of substances like uric acid and salt.
Spasms can result in irritating or serious problems including continuous coughing, convulsions, muscle cramps, and diarrhea. To avoid these effects, spasms must be treated early or prevented entirely. This can be done with the help of blood orange essential oil, which relaxes muscular and nervous spasms.6
Like many essential oils, blood orange oil makes for a useful insect repellant when diffused. Research has demonstrated that orange essential oil is a safe, eco-friendly way of controlling housefly larvae and pupa. If you are hounded by flies or mosquitos, then try blood orange essential oil as a natural alternative to commercial insect repellents.
Improves Appearance of Skin
Blood orange can help detoxify and remove impurities from the skin.
Make your skin glow with a body treatment of coconut and avocado oil mixed with three drops each of blood orange, lavender, and lemon essential oils.
Alternative Uses for Blood Orange Essential Oil
- Combine this oil with a carrier oil of choice (such as coconut or jojoba oil) and massage into your body to relieve inflammation, aches, and pains.
- Diffuse throughout the room to improve your mood and deodorize the home. Alternatively, use it in a personal aromatherapy diffuser like Love MONQ.
- Add a few drops to your bathtub for a therapeutic soak. Try combining two drops of blood orange, one drop of geranium, and 2 drops of lavender essential oils, with one tablespoon of jojoba oil and 1/2 cup of Epsom salts for a relaxing and soothing soak.
- Add a few drops of blood orange essential oil to a spray bottle of water and use as an insect repellent or for disinfecting a work surface.
- Blend with clary sage, myrrh, clove, or lemon essential oil for a radiant aromatherapy experience.
- For a romantic blend, add five drops of blood orange, two drops of vanilla, one drop of jasmine, and one drop of vetiver essential oils into one ounce of coconut oil to enjoy the aphrodisiac effects.
Safety and Precautions
- Blood orange essential oil is phototoxic, which means that you should not expose the skin to direct sunlight for at least 24 hours after topical application.
- Pregnant and nursing mothers should always consult with a doctor before using essential oils.
- Always dilute blood orange essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba before using it topically.7
Blood orange essential oil is valued by aromatherapists for its invigorating yet calming scent. This fascinating duality makes it ideal for stressful days to promote feelings of happiness. The radiant oil exhilarates the senses and inspires a positive outlook. But the benefits of blood orange essential oil go far beyond providing energy and freeing of the mind from negative thoughts.
With its comprehensive medicinal properties, this oil is incredible for insomnia relief, skin renewal, gas removal, nervous tension reduction, and immune function improvement.