Mandarin Essential Oil: The Sweetest Citrus Oil of Them All

Mandarin essential oil is the sweetest smelling citrus oil you can buy. And it has some incredible health and beauty benefits too. Here’s more.

Mandarin essential oil

Mandarin Essential Oil Properties

Botanical name

The botanical name for mandarin is Citrus reticulate.

It is so easy to get this name confused because there are so many citrus oils. So here’s a helpful list of citrus oils and their botanical names:

  • Bergamot is Citrus bergamia.
  • Grapefruit is Citrus paradisi.
  • Lemon is Citrus limon.
  • Lime is Citrus aurantifolia.
  • Neroli (made from the blossoms) or petitgrain (made from the leaves) is Citrus aurantium.
  • Sweet orange or blood orange is Citrus sinensis.
  • Tangerine is Citrus tangerina.
  •  
    You may also see tangor or red mandarin essential oil. Its botanical name is Citrus nobilis. And it really is a hybrid of mandarin and sweet orange. So mandarin oil and red mandarin oil are not the same.

    Color and smell

    The oil is yellow or orange but may have slight green tinges. And it has a very, very sweet, citrus smell.

    What’s in the oil?

    The main compound in this oil is limonene. It can make up anywhere from 50% to 75% of the oil. Gamma-terpinene is the next most common compound and can make up 2% to 20% of the oil.

    Other chemicals worth mentioning include alpha-pinene, and myrcene, para-cymene.
     


    Mandarin Essential Oil Benefits

    The benefits of mandarin oil include:

    • neutralize free radicals
    • kill cancer cells in vitro
    • kill bacteria and fungi
    • repel and kill insects

    It may be antioxidant

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    According to this 2009 study, mandarin oil may have antioxidant effects. The study tested mandarin and geranium oils and found both reduced free radicals. In fact, the oils had similar antioxidant activity to Vitamin C.

    That’s impressive!

    It may be anticancer

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    The same study also looked at the anticancer benefits of mandarin and geranium oils. It used human leukemia cells and showed both oils had strong anticancer effects.

    While these results are amazing, you should note the study was done in a lab. It was not a clinical trial. We need more research to know if mandarin oil can truly help fight cancer.

    It is antibacterial

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    It’s true! This 2011 study tested orange, lemon and mandarin essential oils on several bacteria. The researchers found mandarin was the best bacterial growth inhibitor. And they went on to confirm the oil had strong antibacterial effects, especially when heated.

    It is antifungal too

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    Quite a few studies prove mandarin oil has great antifungal benefits.

    Consider this 2008 study. It investigated grapefruit, lemon and mandarin essential oils on fungi that cause food to spoil. So Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium chrysogenum and Penicillium verrucosum were used. The results showed that all oils tested had antifungal benefits.

    Similar results were found in this 2010 study too.

    It is insecticidal

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    Here’s another benefit of mandarin essential oil: it is insecticidal and larvicidal. And this 2010 study proves it.

    The researchers tested five oils including clove and mandarin against resistant mosquito larvae. And the results showed all the essential oils tested were toxic to the larvae.

    Way to go mandarin!
     


    Uses of Mandarin Essential Oil

    What did you think of the benefits of mandarin essential oil? They are pretty great. So now it’s on to how to use mandarin essential oil.

    Inhaling
    Mandarin’s scent is absolutely wonderful. It is light and citrusy, making it perfect for adding to your diffuser. And, of course, it blends really well with other citrus oil like grapefruit, lemon, and lime. But its blending partners aren’t limited to these oils.

    You can try it with spicy oils too like black pepper, cinnamon bark, clove bud, clary sage and nutmeg.

    Oh and it goes well with sweet floral scents too. So blend mandarin with geranium, jasmine, and ylang ylang essential oils. Mmmmm! How wonderful!

    Massaging
    There are conflicting reports about mandarin essential oil being phototoxic. That means it may burn your skin when it is exposed to sunlight. I personally do not use any citrus oils on my skin for this reason.

    That being said, if you do decide to use mandarin on your skin, it is very important to patch test the oil first. And don’t forget to dilute it with your favorite carrier oil (less than 5% concentrations are the best).

    More Precautions
    Like with all essential oils, be sure to talk to your doctor before using this essential oil particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication.
     


    Get mandarin essential oil here

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