Characteristic of orange

The sweet orange is a small, evergreen tree with white, fragrant flowers and shiny leaves. The tree grows up to 6 meters high and is native to China. Today this orange is grown around the Mediterranean and in North America (Florida). The tree is smaller than the bitter orange (C. aurantium var. amara), from which neroli and petitgrain are distilled. Orange is one of the most popular oils in aromatherapy. Pressed citrus oils may contain pesticide residues. Therefore, it is preferable to buy oil of organic quality.

The yield of essential oil is about 0.5%. This means that 200 kg of mature peels are needed for 1 liter of oil. The color of this oil is yellow to orange, depending on the species and place of origin. The scent of sweet orange is very recognizable: lively, fruity fresh with an undertone of sweet. The perfume industry makes extensive use of orange in fruity perfumes. The oil is characterized as a top note.

 Properties of orange

In the literature, properties are usually mentioned that apply to the fresh juice. Research is ongoing whether these properties also apply to the essential oil. Sweet Orange is an antidepressant, antiseptic, antifungal, calming for nervousness, stimulant on lymph, heart and digestion. Its properties are similar to the bitter orange, but the sweet one is milder and more suitable for children. Oil from the peel of the bitter orange contains higher percentages of furocoumarins, which can cause a sensitivity to sunlight.

Application of orange oil

In the aroma evaporator: orange gives off a sweet and fruity scent. Orange can be used neat in the aroma evaporator, but like all other citrus oils, orange is very suitable for mixing; for example with lavender, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ylang ylang or pines. Orange can be used in the aroma evaporator to disinfect the environment and furthermore in case of cold and bronchitis. Orange energizes and relaxes nervousness and stress.

On the skin: see general rules of application . In skin care, sweet orange can be used for oily skin and wrinkles. Orange soothes cracked skin and fissures and strengthens the epidermis. Orange supports the regeneration of skin cells.

In the bath: see general rules of application . Orange in the bath can be used for cold and flu, spastic bowel, palpitations, nervousness and stress.

Dosage of orange oil

In the aroma evaporator: a few drops of your choice, pure or mixed with other oils.

On the skin: up to 10% in adults – with topical use.

In the bath: a maximum of 10 drops in a full bath. 

As a flavouring: a few drops in a jar of honey. Orange can also be mixed with, for example, cake batter.

Orange Oil Overdose And Side Effects

In low doses, sweet orange oil is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing in most people. Older (oxidized) oil in particular gives a greater chance of hypersensitivity. The phototoxicity of sweet orange is controversial. It has not been demonstrated, but the pressed orange oil contains traces of coumarins (0.00005%) which are responsible for the phototoxicity. Sweet orange mixed with other non-phototoxic essential oils reduces the risk of phototoxicity.

Orange Oil Warnings

Essential oils from citrus fruits oxidize quickly and should therefore be kept in the refrigerator before use on the skin. The older the oil, the greater the chance of hypersensitivity. Caution is advised when using sweet orange oil on sensitive or damaged skin. When using sweet orange in the bath or on the skin, do not put it in the sun or on a sunbed for several hours.