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Petitgrain, Neroli, Lime, and Grapefruit

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Merry Christmas to all who celebrate! Don’t worry I’m spending time with loved ones. This post and the email were written well in advance and scheduled so I didn’t need to even thing about it. Enjoy!

essential oil benefits
petitgrain

Petitgrain is distilled from the green twigs and leaves of the same bitter orange tree as neroli. The name literally means “little grain” and was applied to the oil due to the fact that it originally was steam distilled from the small, unripe fruit from the tree. Why the source material was changed is unclear and can only be speculated on. A petitgrain mandarin oil and petitgrain citronnier oil do exist and are distilled from the same type of material but from a mandarin tree and lemon tree instead of bitter orange. Primary production areas for petitgrain essential oil is France and Paraguay. The smell of petitgrain is similar to neroli but less floral, it is a classic ingredient for cologne. The tree originally comes from the far east but is now widespread due to traders bringing seeds to new areas. It grows to about 10ft in height, however if the conditions are right may get as tall as 20ft. The tree is evergreen like other citrus and also has thorns. To get the best production of essential oil the tree is pruned every 9 months. In aromatherapy petitgrain is good for uplifting the mind, reduce anxiety, and help headaches. Topically it reduces acne, greasy skin, and helps ageing skin.

Uses:

Diffused;

Nervous exhaustion, stress, anger, panic, slows a rapid heartbeat, calms rapid breathing, insomnia

Topically;

Tension, pain, acne, muscle spasms, stomach pains

Cautions:

No specific cautions.

First aid:

If skin irritation has occurred apply cornstarch or similar to absorb excess.

If gotten in the eye rinse with clear water for 15 min, if irritation persists for more than 30 min seek professional help.

essential oil benefits
neroli

The difference of which name is used for this oil depends on how it is distilled. For it to be called neroli the blossoms are steam distilled. To be called orange blossom it goes through a process called enfleurage. Medicinally I could not find any difference between the two, however for perfume the smell is a little different with orange blossom being a sweeter smell and neroli a little sharper. Fresh blossoms are collected in mid to late spring and go through the chosen extraction process, to produce 1 lb of neroli it will take 1000 lbs of flowers. Neroli got this name due to Anne Marie Orsini, who was princess of Nerola, Italy using the oil to perfume her bath water and gloves in the 17th century. Outside of aromatherapy, neroli is still heavily used by the perfume industry because it blends well with pretty much anything else they use. It is non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitising, and not phototoxic which makes it very useful for scented creams and such. There is some speculation that neroli may be a secret ingredient in coca cola. Tunisia, Morroco, and Egypt are the largest producers of neroli in the world at 600-800kg, 1.3 tonnes, and 0.35 tonnes respectively (source). In aromatherapy neroli is used for menopause, stress, and lowering blood pressure when diffused.

Uses:

Diffused;

Chronic anxiety, depression, fear, shock, stress.

Topically;

Intestinal spasms, colitis, diarrhea, headaches, neuralgia, vertigo.

Cautions:

Relaxing effects are very potent, avoid driving or operating machinery after exposure.

First aid:

If skin irritation has occurred apply cornstarch or similar to absorb excess.

If gotten in the eye rinse with clear water for 15 min, if irritation persists for more than 30 min seek professional help.

essential oil benefits
lime

If you google Lime tree you will get 2 totally separate groups of trees, one is the citrus group and the other is linden. Linden is called lime due to root words becoming “corrupted” aka changed over time. In the context of this post we are talking about the citrus option. Lime is used in many culinary ways around the world, from chutneys to desserts. The tree itself is very compact, rarely growing more than 16 feet tall, dense irregular growth and plenty of thorns. It’s likely that limes originated from around Indonesia and were spread through trade and crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries. Christopher Columbus likely brought lime seeds with him on his second trip to the Americas. During the 19th century citrus was used by the British navy to prevent scurvy, this is where the nickname “limey” came from. Citrus would later be replaced by saurkraut because it keeps longer than fresh fruit. Globally over 15 million tonnes of limes are grown commercially and India leads the production at 2.5 million tonnes. Limes are so useful in food because they have a higher sugar content than lemons do. Both the juice and the oil are phototoxic, when something is phototoxic it increases the risk of sunburn for 12-24 hours in the exposure area. In aromatherapy lime essential oil is useful for its antiseptic properties both topically and when diffused. It also lifts the spirit and reduces anxiety and depression.

Uses:

Diffused;

Colds, sore throats, flu, coughs, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, depression

Topically;

Arthritis, rheumatism, poor circulation, oily skin, acne, herpes, insect bites, cuts, painful muscles and joints

Cautions:

Cold pressed oil is photosensitizing, steam distilled is not.

First aid:

If skin irritation has occurred apply cornstarch or similar to absorb excess.

If gotten in the eye rinse with clear water for 15 min, if irritation persists for more than 30 min seek professional help.

essential oil benefits
grapefruit

The grapefruit originated as a cross breeding between sweet orange and pomelo in Barbados. The name refers to the growth habit of the fruits being in clusters, making them look similar to grapes.This evergreen tree grows to about 16-20 feet on average though heights up to 49 feet are not unheard of. The fruit ranges in size from about 4 inches in diameter to 6 inches in diameter, the flesh comes in different colours depending on variety, it can be red, white, and pink (red is considered the sweetest). Rev. Griffith Hughes first recorded grapefruit under the name “The Forbidden fruit” in 1750 in his book “The Natural History of Barbados“, today it is considered one of the “Seven wonders of Barbados”. Count Odet Philippe would later bring this fruit to Florida in 1823, this would make new hybrids like the Tangelo and Oroblanco possible. Kimball Atwood would establish the Atwood Grapefruit Company in the late nineteenth century. It would go on to become the largest grapefruit grove in the world with a production capacity of 80,000 boxes of fruit per year. Atwood grove is where pink grapefruit were first discovered in 1905. Red varieties would be further developed through irradiating bud sticks and then grafting them onto root stock. Grapefruit juice has known drug interactions, the juice inhibits a specific enzyme that allows for many drugs to be broken down, this means a toxic dose can build up in the blood. Some drugs may be blocked from getting properly absorbed which has it’s own issues. If you drink grapefruit juice and are currently taking any pharmaceutical medications please check for any interactions. In aromatherapy grapefruit oil helps boost immune function, lower stress, and curb sugar cravings. As always, do not ingest the oil without professional guidance.

Uses:

Diffused;

Mental exhaustion, headaches, depression, colds, flu.

Topically;

Digestion, clears lymphatic system, acne,

Cautions:

Typically not phototoxic however some individuals still react when the area of application is in direct sun.

First aid:

If skin irritation has occurred apply cornstarch or similar to absorb excess.

If gotten in the eye rinse with clear water for 15 min, if irritation persists for more than 30 min seek professional help.


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