Tangerine Essential Oil
Citrus tangerina, Citrus Reticulata
Three thousand years ago, somewhere in the warm climes of China, Japan and/or Southeast Asia, a tangerine grew for the first time. These sweet, juicy morsels of citrus deliciousness flourished, and the locals enjoyed their flavor as well as their medicinal uses.
Eventually, the seductive appeal of the tangerine was discovered by Europe through the shipping port of Tangier, Morocco, in 1841. The fruit’s Western name actually comes from that association with Tangier, since “tangerine” means “of Tangier”.
The Mysterious Identity of Tangerine
If you delve even a little bit into the world of tangerines you’ll discover a debate brewing on a slight simmer. The debate revolves around whether a tangerine is its own separate fruit or a type of mandarin. The two citrus fruits do possess some similarities, but there are differences too. The most obvious difference is that tangerines have a darker reddish-orange skin while a mandarin orange’s skin is a much lighter yellow-orange. There are some chemical differences, too, in the peel and in the flesh of the fruits. The debate won’t likely be resolved until genetic testing is done on the fruits.
The Bounty of Tangerine Oil
Tangerine essential oil contains a number of beneficial components. Here’s an overview of some of the benefits of tangerine’s compounds:
- Anti-inflammatory. Tangerine oil has been widely used as a general anti-inflammatory, helping to relieve sore muscles and joints. A 2014 study, though, found that the tangerine peel extract’s combination of hesperidin, nobiletin, and tangeretin also acted as potent fighters of neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation is believed to be a cause of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and multiple sclerosis.
- Calming. Tangerine relaxes irritated nerves, helping to ease tension, anxiety, depression and to improve sleep.
- Anti-spasmodic. Tangerine relaxes nerves and muscles so they resist spasming.
- Cholesterol Reduction – The same flavonoids, tangeretin and nobiletin, that work as protection against neuroinflammation, also help to lower cholesterol. The flavonoids do this by inhibiting the liver’s production of Apolipoprotein B, or Apo B. ApoB is needed for the body to make LDL cholesterol. If ApoB is less available, less LDL is formed. High levels of ApoB are actually better predictors of heart disease than the presence of high LDL levels.
- Obesity. Once again, nobileton proves it’s a powerful weapon in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Tangerine oil’s effective flavonoid helped prevent the development of obesity in the study’s lab mice.
- Stretch Mark Reduction. Tangerine oil restores damaged tissue like stretch marks with its cytophylactic concentration.
- Skin Care. Tangerine essential oil helps you fight acne and skin impurities with its antiseptic properties. Those properties also make tangerine oil a good solution for dry scalp and dandruff.
- Cleaner. Antiseptic and antibacterial, tangerine oil is a terrific natural household cleaner. Add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with water for an easy, delicious-smelling cleaner.
- Heart Chakra. The soothing, uplifting scent of tangerine oil helps you to honor your inner child and approach the universe with loving kindness. Add a few drops of tangerine oil to your aromatherapy diffuser before your chakra meditation session for a fruitful heart chakra balancing experience.
Tangerine oil is phototoxic, which means that it makes you highly susceptible to UV rays from the sun. To avoid harmful sunburns and other skin damage, do not apply tangerine oil to your skin for at least 72 hours before heading out into the sunshine. Even with this precaution, always wear sunscreen. For topical use, dilute tangerine oil in carrier oil to avoid skin irritation from the highly concentrated essential oil. Always test your skin’s tolerance for a specific essential oil by placing a small amount on a patch of skin.
- Botanical Name: Citrus tangerina, citrus reticulata
- Common Method of Extraction: Cold pressed/Expressed
- Plant Part Typically Used: Citrus rind (peel)
- Colour: Greenish orange
- Consistency: Thin
- Perfumery Note: Top:
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium
- Aromatic Description: Fresh, sweet citrusy, hint of tangerine peel but stronger