The lemony essential oils derived from the rinds of multiple citrus fruits cultivated are enriched with chemical compounds that add zesty flavor or fragrance. The citrus essential oils are extensively used in perfumes, household cleaning products, air fresheners, food & beverages, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products.
The Citrus (Rutaceae) species is the oldest, most traded, and preferred crop for commercial cultivation. Its origin has been traced to Southeast Asia. Citrus fruits are a fantastic source of vitamins, particularly vitamin C. The organic essential oils derived from citrus fruits are a critical product in citrus processing. They are normally recognized as safe for flavoring purposes. Besides, they act as natural preservatives due to their extensive biological activities.
The most popular citrus essential oils are lemon (Citrus limon), Lime (Citrus aurantifolia), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Mandarin (Citrus reticulata), Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis), Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium), Neroli (Citrus aurantium), Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), and Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium) essential oils.
Chemical Composition of Lemony Essential Oils!
The citrus essential oils contain terpenes, flavonoids, coumarins, and carotenes compounds that promote anti-oxidative and antimicrobial activities. However, each citrus essential oil varies in its chemical composition due to its origin, ripening stage, method of extraction, season, climate, age, and genetic background. Grapefruit, orange, mandarin, sweet orange, and bitter orange essential oils are rich in d-limonene monoterpenes.
Effects of Citrus Essential Oils
The citrus oil stimulates physiological and psychological relaxation, reduces anxiety, and uplifts the mood. It helps kill carcinogenic cells, treat acne, ease digestive problems, and alleviates knee pain. Besides, its topical application controls sebum production in skin cells and brightens skin tone. It exhibits radical-scavenging, febrifuge, antibacterial, and fumigant properties. Thus, the oil promotes overall immunity.
Lemon Essential Oil
It is known for its stress-busting and concentration-enhancing effect. As the name suggests, the oil is derived from the rinds of the fruits of lemon plants (Citrus Limonum) by the cold-press process. It is a colorless or greenish-yellow oil with a strong bright lemon scent. The oil helps in weight loss and relieves the common cold, flu, bronchitis, asthma, and arthritis. It stimulates white blood cell counts to combat infections.
Lime Essential Oil
Lime oil acts as a perfect cleanser for skin, hair, and even the surface. It is derived from the yellow to olive peels of lime fruits from Citrus latifolia Tanaka plants. The pale yellow or yellowish-green thin lime oil has a tart fresh citrus aroma. It is added to beverages, pickles, perfumes, soaps, household cleaners for its aroma and cleaning functionality. Its dilution with skincare, haircare, or cleaning products works wonders.
Sweet Orange Essential oil
The oil is extracted from the rinds of the ripened fruits of the evergreen orange plant (Citrus Sinensis) by the cold-press process. It is thin yellowish-orange oil with high perfumery aroma. It helps even skin tone, treats acne and reduces scars, blemishes, and spots. Its aroma eases stress and elevates mood. It is added to the skincare formulations, perfumes, aromatherapy & diffuser blends, and beverages.
Bitter Orange Essential Oil
Bitter orange essential oil is extracted from the peels of bitter oranges of Citrus aurantium plants by the cold-press method. It is a thin orange oil with a fresh fruity tangy aroma & flavor. It shares the qualities and applications of sweet orange essential oil. Moreover, bitter orange EO acts as an antiseizure and anticonvulsant agent and exhibits antispasmodic, nephroprotective, gastroprotective, ulcer-healing, and aphrodisiac properties. It is effective in skin disorders such as ringworms, jock itch, and athlete’s foot.
Neroli Essential Oil
The coffee brown to orange thin oil is obtained from the fragrant flowers or floral tops of the bitter orange tree by steam distillation. It carries the refreshingly sweet scent of oranges. Its low dilution emits an aroma for hours. The oil is known for its soothing, calming, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides sharing the benefits of other previously mentioned citrus oils, it also helps in alleviating behavioral disorders, learning impairments, and memory loss.
Petitgrain Essential oil
The oil possesses a distinct aroma and composition among citrus essential oils. It is a yellow to brown thin oil derived from the twigs and stems of the bitter orange plants by steam distillation. It emits a floral woody bitter orange blossom-like aroma. The oil exhibits extraordinary radical-scavenging activity than neroli and orange oils.
Mandarin Essential Oil
Mandarin essential oil is the sweetest and most soothing citrus oil. The origin of mandarin plants (botanical name – Citrus reticulata) has been traced to South Asia. The yellow to greenish orange oil is extracted from the peels of the fruits of the mandarin plants by the cold-press expression. The oil protects against pulmonary fibrosis, bacterial and fungal infections.
Grapefruit Essential Oil
A clear or pale yellow essential oil is obtained from the rinds of the grapefruits (botanical name -Citrus paradisi) by a cold-press method. It carries a bittersweet tart aroma and flavor. Grapefruits are pink inside and yellow to orange outside (rinds). It works excellently as a diffuser blend. It promotes body cleansing by removing toxins and excess fluids. It reduces food cravings and hunger and helps lose weight.
Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot is a pear-shaped cross fruit resembling lemon and orange borne by the Citrus bergamia plant. The light yellowish-green oil is derived from its rinds. Its active melanogenic component makes it a perfect ingredient in sun-tan cosmetics and its aroma, taste, properties & wellness benefits make it suitable for food, perfumery, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic products. The oil is widely used in complementary medicine to treat chronic neuropathic pain.
Other Essential Oils with Citrus Aroma
Lemon Myrtle, Myrtle, Melissa Leaf, Citronella, Lemongrass essential oils
Phtotoxicity of Citrus Oils
Most citrus essential oils are generally regarded as safe, non-toxic, and non-cancerous. However, if expired or oxidized oil is used, it can cause skin sensitization. The expressed oils assume more risk of phototoxicity due to the presence of furanocoumarins, while distilled extraction method does not lead to skin sensitization.
The essential oil manufacturers recommend avoiding sun exposure after applying neat citrus oil or dilution for 12 hours. Neroli, sweet orange, bitter orange, lemon, grapefruit, and mandarin essential oils are neither sensitizing nor irritating as per studies. However, lime oil causes toxic and myelotoxic effects due to its citral content, while bergamot essential oil causes a phototoxic effect in sun exposure.
Hydrosols Derived from Citrus Fruit Plants
Bergamot Hydrosol, Grapefruit hydrosol, Lemon hydrosol, Mandarin Hydrosol, Petitgrain Floral water, Neroli floral water, Orange blossom hydrosol, Lime Floral water
How to Use Citrus Essential Oils and Hydrosols in Summer?
Besides commercial applications in different industries, citrus essential oils can be used in
- Diffusion Blends
- Making DIY perfumes & Air fresheners, Face or Hair Masks, Body Scrubs, Massage Blends
- Daily use cosmetics & shower gels
- Moderate Intake
- Household cleaning products
- Hair oil blends
- Flavoring smoothies, teas, or lemonades
Hydrosols are the plant or floral waters derived during the extraction process of essential oils. They are less-concentrated water-like liquids possessing the aroma and wellness properties of parent plants. Citrus Hydrosols can be effectively used as a diffuser blend, skin toner, flavor in beverages, or an ingredient in homemade facial or hair packs.
Aromaaz International is the name to be reckoned with in the essential oil industry. It offers a large variety of essential oils, hydrosols, and carrier oils besides exotic oil dilutions, therapeutic massage blends, Indian spice oils, and attars. It is one of the leading citrus essential oil suppliers in the international fragrance market.
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