Orange Essential Oil Benefits and Properties

I absolutely love oranges. I have about five trees in my back yard. They’re sweet, citrusy and wonderful.

The essential oil smells just like the fruit! And it’s loaded with limonene which has wonderful health benefits. So let’s get into orange essential oil.
orange essential oil

Properties of Orange Essential Oil


There are so many types of oranges. The one used to make orange essential oil has the Latin name – Citrus sinensis.

And it is sometimes called wild orange or sweet orange oil (not to be confused with bitter orange oil). So be sure to look out for these names when buying orange oil.

Color & Scent

I guess it’s obvious. It smells citrusy and sweet. The color is usually yellow to orange.

What is in orange essential oil?

Most essential oils are made by steam distilling. But orange oil – like most of the citrus oils – is either made by pressing or centrifuging (spinning) the orange peels. No heating is involved. That’s why they call it a cold-pressed oil.

Limonene is the star ingredient of orange essential oil. It makes up about 95% of the oil. You’ll also find trace amounts of myrcene (3%), alpha-pinene (1%), linalool (1%), and sabinene.

Benefits of Orange Essential Oil

It helps with anxiety

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A 2012 article in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine looked at the anti-anxiety properties of orange oil on 40 healthy guys. The guys were exposed to the smell of 2.5, 5 and 10 drops of the oil. Just the smell! And the results showed orange oil made them feel less tense and anxious.

Personally, I suffer from really bad anxiety. And orange oil really helps me!

It kills bacteria and fungi

There are a few studies showing orange oil is pretty good at killing bacteria and fungi. It isn’t as potent as tea tree essential oil. But it definitely gets the job done.

A 2013 study published in the International Journal of Biotechnology tested orange oil on seven bacteria and two fungi species. The results clearly proved orange’s antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Orange oil kills bugs too

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Flies are gross and annoying. And orange essential oil can help get rid of them! A 2009 study published in Molecules (Journal) showed that of 12 essential oils tested (including eucalyptus oil), orange was the most powerful. The study actually recommends using orange oil as a natural insecticide against houseflies.

There are other studies that show orange oil can kill cockroaches, mosquitoes, termites and even mealybugs (white bugs that affect plants).

It is antioxidant

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The oil is antioxidant even at very low concentrations. That is according to a 2010 article published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology. The article also showed orange essential oil had free radical scavenging properties.

Orange oil also has other benefits too. It’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. And because of these properties, orange oil is really good to dry, acne prone skin.

Uses of Orange Essential Oil

Remember limonene makes up about 95% of orange oil? Well, limonene may irritate sensitive skin slightly.

So always (always, always!) do a patch test before using orange oil for the first time. Check out this post for details on how to do your own skin patch test.

Make sure to dilute orange oil before putting it on your skin. You can use the ratios given for the patch test. That is, 1-2 drops of essential oil per 100 drops (1 teaspoon) of carrier oil.

Always check with your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding before using orange essential oil. Although it is considered a safe oil, you should still get the all clear.

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