Petitgrain Essential Oil <br/><em>Citrus aurantium</em>, <br/>Orange leaf oil
Thousands of years ago, the winds whispered through the canyons of the Himalayas and the valleys around them, swirling through the dense foliage of Northeastern India. There, the bitter orange tree was born, with the Himalayas looking on from the north, a sweet pop or orange colour among the greenery and flora of India and Burma. This was Mother Nature at her most generous, bountiful self.
Delighted by the aroma and flavor of this succulent orange, ancient peoples took the tree north through China, eventually reaching Japan. It was taken west, crossing through Persia to the Mediterranean. At the dawn of the Christian era, the tree finally made its way to Europe where it was the only orange for centuries.
Over these past millennia, healers became entranced with the tree, discovering new and inventive ways to use the tree’s bounty to heal the body, mind and spirit. Today, this fulsome tree gives us three beneficial essential oils: petitgrain, neroli and bitter orange. Petitgrain is distilled from the twigs and leaves of the tree. Neroli is made using the tree’s blossoms, and bitter orange oil is made from the fruit’s rind.
Early in the oil’s history, French perfumers distilled petitgrain oil from the tiny, unripened oranges of the tree, giving it its name “little grain”. It was a wildly popular addition to European grooming, a favorite personal scent for many men and women of the era.
Healing the Body and Spirit With Petitgrain
Ayurvedic healers use petitgrain essential oil to massage away muscle spasms and inflamed muscles. At the same time, these healers know that they’re delivering an emotional boost to their patients, providing an appealing woody citrus aromatherapy that helps clear the mind and restore self-confidence.
- Petitgrain essential oil contains a number of chemical components that make it a wonderful addition to your health essential oils collection. More than a third of the oil is linalool, followed closely in content by linalyl acetate. The oil also contains α-terpineol. Both linalool and linalyl acetate are phytochemicals with inflammation-fighting power. Plus, linalool is partly responsible for petitgrain’s delicious aroma.
- Blood Pressure. Petitgrain essential oil promotes health blood flow and vessels, potentially helping to reduce blood pressure in some people.
- Muscle Cramps. Petitgrain oil is an anti-spasmodic, helping to control muscle spasms like cramps that can be very painful.
- Acne. Petitgrain offers some astringent properties that can make it beneficial to excessively oily skin and sagging, loose skin. To use petitgrain to prevent acne breakouts, add a drop of the oil to your toner.
- Stress Relief. Tense nerves can cause the body to release the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can exert all sorts of negative pressure on the body, so alleviating the expression of this hormone can be beneficial. Petitgrain helps with that purpose, acting as a nerve tonic to calm and soothe your frayed nerves. With your emotional well-being on more peaceful footing, there’s no reason for your body to release cortisol.
- Focus. Petitgrain offers the type of relaxation that doesn’t sedate your senses. This is a terrific advantage for those who want to remain calm but be functioning, productive workers. In fact, the oil helps to clear just enough of the mental fatigue to help you feel alert and able to concentrate.
- Perfume. Petitgrain makes a gorgeous-smelling addition to perfumes, and it’s often used as a perfume or cologne top note for its instantly happy aroma. You can make your own personal scent at home using the popular oil.
- Hair Beautifier. Adding a couple of drops to your shampoo can help eliminate excess grease and give your hair a shinier, more lustrous appearance.
- Sacral Chakra. Petitgrain essential oil is ideal for helping to balance your second chakra. The oil helps to lessen the tension in your lower body so you can become more in tuned with your lower subtle body’s energy centre.
Petitgrain essential oil is relatively safe for most people. Please keep in mind, though, that nearly any essential oil can cause irritation for some people with sensitive skin. If your skin is sensitive, it’s always advisable to mix the essential oil with a carrier oil and test it on a small patch of skin before use. Pregnant and nursing women should check with their physicians before using.
- Botanical Name: Citrus aurantium
- Common Method of Extraction: Steam distilled
- Plant Part Typically Used: Leaves and twigs
- Color:Clear with yellow tinge
- Consistency: Thin
- Perfumery Note: Top
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium
- Aromatic Description: Fresh, woody, and slightly floral.