Last week I talked about some of the benefits of incorporating peppermint into your daily life and this week, following the holiday theme, I’ve chosen Sweet Orange. Unfortunately I don’t get to eat many Christmas oranges at home because my mom and sister get cold sores from eating them and they go bad before I am able to finish the box myself. But they are so delicious when I do get my hands on them!
We are often told that oranges are a great source of Vitamin C and that’s true, but there is so much more to an orange than Vitamin C! Sweet Orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis) is cold expressed from the peel of the orange. Simply put, that means that they squeeze the peel to get the EOs out. This is a different oil than Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium) and as the name suggests, it is a sweeter smell.
On a physical level, Sweet Orange can be helpful with oily skin and wrinkles, however as it is a citrus oil, it can cause your skin to become photosensitive. This means that your skin will burn more easily when exposed to sunlight. For this reason, you should try to stay out of the sun for 12 hours after using citrus oils that have been applied to the skin. It’s also nice to use if you have a fever with chills as it has a warming effect on the body. I’ve had great success using it when my mom was sick by diffusing it in her bedroom; she warmed up and was able to sleep.
Mentally, orange is calming, cheering, and sedative – it reminds me of sunshine when I think of it. This is a really nice oil to use around the holidays as you get busy with shopping and events and find your stress levels rising – sniff some orange instead of taking it out on those innocent retail employees ;). Having trouble sleeping? Try diffusing a blend of Sweet Orange and Lavender in your room! If you have an electric diffuser, follow the instructions it came with (they usually only require a couple drops) and if you have a candle burning diffuser like me, you can put 3-6 drops into the bowl (depending how large your diffuser is and how large the room is) and then fill the rest with water!
Virtually anyone, aside from babies under 2, can use this oil as there are no nasty side effects aside from the photosensitivity, but as long as you stay out of the sun you will be fine! Enjoy the sweet, happy smell of orange and join me next week for Week 3 of Seasonal Scents!