Orange Essential Oil Benefits Explained: Oranges For Life!
In our fast-paced lifestyle, we always need to be meeting targets in the workplace and goals seem ever-harder to reach. The constant drive to push ourselves more and more just to get by on a daily basis is enough to bring even the healthiest among us down from time to time.
It’s true that the human body is much like a well-regulated machine. The body is always healing itself and coordinating a series of complex, interconnected systems that we would struggle to replicate through our own means of invention. It is really mind-blowing stuff. Stuff that generally goes by totally unnoticed -- so long as everything is functioning normally. Much like machinery, it is only when something isn’t working that we realize there’s a problem.
I’m quite sure that you’ve experienced the flu before or have suffered at the hands of the common cold. After all, we aren’t actually machines -- we’re mortals made of flesh and blood. You might be all too familiar with the concept of runny noses, coughing, fever, aching, and tiredness. When we get sick with the cold or the flu, all we want to do is stay in bed. Being cozy with some hot soup or tea is the only thing that sounds appealing.
Have you ever tried using a costly multi-vitamin or a supplement and found that you’re still feeling the same, two or three days later? Perhaps at some point, someone has recommended an orange or two to help you get better?
It is a well-known fact that oranges are a strong source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful agent in strengthening the body’s immune system and boosting your energy levels. If you have ever eaten an orange when your body is run down, then you’ll know the feeling I’m trying to describe. It’s like a rush, a kick, a natural stimulant of pure, healthy goodness! Cultivating that feeling is what we’re all about.
What Is Orange Essential Oil? Where Does It Come From?
Orange oil is generally concentrated in the peel (or rind) of the fruit. It is extracted through a process that is known as centrifugation. In the past, the extraction of the oil involved making a purée out of the rinds and through using a process known as steam distillation. This was essentially a method of separating the essential nutrients contained in the core of the rind through evaporation.
As the steam causes the nutrients to evaporate, the nutrients pass through pipes that gather in a condensation chamber. There, the nutrients remain while they cool and form droplets that eventually constitute the finished product -- the oil. Centrifugation is a much more complex procedure. I recommend that you research it if you want to learn more about today’s process of extracting essential oils. But it’s not something that you’ll come into contact with unless you have a Ph.D. and access to a high-tech, pharmaceutical laboratory. So let’s not worry about that for now.
Oranges, more specifically sweet oranges, are commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions. They are currently rated as the most cultivated trees in the world. They are one of nature’s healthiest citrus fruits, containing multiple phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are basically the compounds that make fruit healthy. However, phytonutrients also form the basic building blocks of some of nature’s most deadly poisons.
But worry not -- oranges are super healthy and totally safe for all means of consumption. The combination of all of these phytonutrients (such as hesperetin, naringenin, anthocyanins, and hydroxycinnamic acids) all account for the orange’s high vitamin C levels and antioxidant properties.
However, one of the most important of these is a flavanone known as hesperidin. It helps to lower blood pressure, reduces cholesterol levels, and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It’s not hard to see why oranges work as such amazing antioxidants and immune boosters. In fact, scientists have recently proven that drinking a single glass of freshly squeezed orange juice has more pure vitamin C in it (and more of an effect on your body) than a vitamin C supplement. It just goes to show that the natural solution is almost always the right option.
Orange Essential Oil Benefits For Hair
The strong, citrusy odor that orange oil produces makes it very suitable for hair use. However, this is not just for fragrance purposes. The antibacterial qualities contained in the citrus flavanones of the orange make it suitable as a treatment for hair infested with lice.
Most OTC (over-the-counter) solutions for a head full of lice contain high levels of a toxic pesticide known as lindane. This is actually a chemical which many countries around the world ban for agricultural use. So why on earth would you want to get anywhere near the stuff, let alone wash your hair with it?
The natural antioxidants and antibacterial qualities of the orange essence help to ward off any lice that might be in your hair. They also help give your hair a protective coat that keeps them from coming back. The powerful citrusy odor repels them, much like eucalyptus or lemongrass oil does to mosquitos. And the anti-inflammatory agents in the oil will also kill off any eggs that might have been laid. Plus, they’ll reduce any itchiness or irritation that usually occurs on the scalp during an infestation.
These same anti-inflammatory agents also kill off any dead skin cells on your scalp which normally lead to dandruff. So by treating the source of the problem, not only the symptoms, you can effectively use orange oil as a natural substitute for anti-dandruff shampoos that can leave some hair types feeling dry or brittle. When used in a homemade, DIY shampoo recipe, or with a normal conditioner, you can treat dry or damaged hair that can cause split ends. That’s because orange oil works as a natural moisturizer and will increase the elasticity of hair follicles. This will prevent breakage as well as nourish the follicles from the root. In turn, you will have hair that is healthier, stronger, and more resilient.
There’s one additional benefit of the high natural vitamin C content found in orange oil for your hair. The vitamin C dilates the blood capillaries when massaged into your scalp. This means that your blood circulation will be improved and can be used to promote hair growth. It’s true for both men and women. Here is a recipe for a homemade lice treatment that is quite effective and all-natural.
To make your own lice treatment at home, just follow these simple steps.
First, combine 2 cups of water, 10 de-seeded soapnuts, 2 tbsp of dried orange peels, and 10 drops of cinnamon oil (or sticks) into a pan. Then bring everything to a boil. Once it has boiled, reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat and add 1 tbsp of lemongrass before leaving the mixture cool.
When it has cooled down, strain the mixture into a bowl. Add 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp of aloe vera gel, and 10 drops of orange essential oil. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle, and shake well.
Once the mixture is ready for use, just make sure to shake well before you use it each time. Cover your hair with the mixture and let it sit for at least one hour in order to properly reap the benefits of the treatment. But the longer you let it sit, the better the results will be. So if you’re really concerned about your lice issue, make sure to devote the proper amount of time to this treatment. After all, if you’re going to take the time and energy to do it, you might as well do it right and say goodbye to lice for good.
Orange Essential Oil Benefits For Skin
Because our hair and skin are so similar, they can often be treated with the same natural products. Orange oil is a natural conditioner and moisturizer. When you apply it topically to your skin, it can nourish and replenish your skin with moisture that you often lose throughout the day due to sun overexposure or a lack of hydration. Side point: drinking 2 liters of water a day is essential to keeping healthy skin.
The antioxidants contained in the vitamin C-rich essential oil will also neutralize any free radicals that we often come into contact with on a regular basis. We’re often exposed to free radicals on a daily basis due to harmful pollutants that are contained in our atmosphere. This is especially the case if we live in or around a city.
These particles can clog up our pores and lead to blemishes. Or even worse, they may lead to rashes or irritations on the skin. Well-balanced skin is healthier skin. Orange oil works as a natural toner which is much healthier for your skin than conventional toner products. These generally contain isopropyl alcohol as the main ingredient. Although you use this ingredient mostly as a drying agent to help the product dry on your skin, it also draws moisture out of the skin itself.
Orange oil also removes any dead skin cells that naturally occur on our skin. (It may sound gross, but we humans also shed.) This helps to balance the oil levels that our skin naturally produces.
The strong anti-inflammatory agents contained in the citrus flavonoids of orange essential oil also make it suitable as a natural disinfectant or antiseptic treatment for open wounds such as cuts, abrasions, or insect bites. The oil works to kill any germs that may cause infection. Additionally, the antioxidants penetrate the skin layer, ensuring that the surrounding area remains clean, too.
What Is Sweet Orange Oil?
Sweet orange oil is the more commonly found pure nutrient extract from sweet oranges. There are over 40 different varieties of oranges that are cultivated on a large scale. However, sweet oranges are the most common of those. The name describes the attributes of this variety pretty accurately. They are sweet, tasty and contain some of the highest levels of vitamin C out of all the orange varieties. People do not only cultivate them for eating, but also to use them in making juices (pure orange or juice blends) and essential oil extracts.
As I mentioned earlier, they are generally found in tropical or subtropical regions and are currently the most commonly cultivated trees in the world. The oil produced by extracting the nutrients from the fruit of this tree (as explained under the first heading) is known as sweet orange oil.
The benefits of sweet orange oil go on and on. It can help reduce inflammation, combat acne, and improve digestion. It can reduce gas, minimize muscle spasms, and boost your mood. You can also use it in your household cleaning as both a disinfectant and an air freshener.
The methods for using sweet orange oil go on as well. Depending on how you hope to benefit from the oil, you can use it in a diffuser, as a spray, and even as a massage oil. You can ingest it, too. But if you choose to do so, ingest it in small amounts. Large amounts can cause nausea, vomiting, and problems with your appetite. As with anything else, if you start to notice negative side effects of sweet orange oil, stop using it and head to a doctor to check how to proceed.
— Girlishh (@girlishhmag) January 31, 2017
How To Make DIY Orange Essential Oil
Making orange oil at home is quite simple really. And it’s always handy to keep a bottle of the stuff around, whether you’re using it for cooking, baking, or treating your hair and skin. The ingredients are cheap and are readily available, and the process of making it is pretty quick and simple.
So to get started, here’s what you will need: A zester (or a paring knife), grain alcohol (or vodka), some muslin or cheesecloth, a paper towel, a glass jar with a lid, and roughly 7-9 oranges (use more if you plan on making oil).
The first step is to grate or cut off the peel (or rind) of the oranges. Do this as much as you can and with as little as the white pith that’s on the inside of the peel as possible. Once you have a sizable amount of peels (a handful of peels will work), cut them into smaller pieces. Place those on a paper towel and allow them to dry on a windowsill with as much direct sunlight as possible. Note that this process may take up 2 days.
Once the peels are dry, place them in the glass jar. Now, heat up the grain alcohol or vodka by placing the whole bottle in a bowl of warm (preferably steaming) tap water. Once the temperature of the alcohol has risen (touch it to tell), pour the alcohol into the glass jar until it just covers the orange peels. Then, tightly secure the lid of the jar and shake the liquid vigorously for about 3 to 5 minutes. Do this a few times daily for at least 3 days.
The rule of thumb here is that the more you shake the jar, and the longer you leave the peels in the alcohol, the more oil will be extracted. Then, strain the liquid through your muslin or cheesecloth filter into a bowl and cover with a paper towel. Make sure that the towel doesn’t fall into or touch the liquid. Leave this in an open and cool space for a few days (about 3 to 4). Once the alcohol has evaporated completely (you’ll know by consistently gauging its smell) what remains is the oil.
It’s hard not to see why orange essential oil is an essential item for any household. It’s cheap, it’s healthy, and it’s readily available. Not to mention that it’s easy to make and that you can use it in a variety of situations.
The tropical and subtropical treat that is sweet oranges has plenty to offer aside from being a great snack. The oil we get from them has tons of benefits to unlock, this is substantially due to its high levels of vitamin C and its antioxidant properties.
Whether you’re using sweet orange oil as a topical treatment to help rid yourself of skin irritations or inflammation, as a natural lice treatment or even as an ingredient in your next dish or baking experiment -- it will always come in handy. It can even help you say bye-bye to your dandruff problems and split ends.
Sweet orange oil has a delicious and lasting scent that will lift your spirits and help keep you calm whenever you’re feeling nervous or anxious. And it is a really effective immune booster. So it’s always a necessity to have some nearby during the wintertime to keep your body strong and healthy. Why waste time and money on expensive supplements or toxic treatments when nature has everything you need right at your local greengrocer or supermarket? And at less than a third of the cost!