The essential oil of bitter orange boasts mild calming properties, it is therefore recommended to combat insomnia in a non-aggressive way. Like all essential oils, it also boasts disinfectant properties, but it is more appreciated for its pleasant aroma which makes it widely used in perfumery.

The plant and the production of essential oil

Bitter orange is a different species of citrus fruit from sweet orange, the scientific name is Citrus aurantium and it is a very ancient hybrid (probably) between mandarin and pomelo, sweet orange instead is Citrus sinensis and it is also It is a hybrid between mandarin and pomelo, therefore two different hybrid species but probably generated by crossing the same species.

From a visual point of view, the bitter orange is a medium-sized tree with robust branches that differs from the sweet one due to the larger thorns, the darker color of the leaves and the rougher skin. In addition to the bitter taste, another non-visual difference is the more intense aroma, in fact the bitter orange, if for obvious reasons it is less appreciated in the kitchen, is instead much appreciated in perfumery. This essential oil is obtained with the cold pressing method of the peels which is an alternative method to that of distillation used for all essential oils which is used for those obtained from citrus fruits to fully preserve all their characteristics.

Properties of bitter orange essential oil

Bitter orange essential oil has a calming effect which makes it appreciated as a natural remedy for insomnia or to relax after a stressful day. Other properties are also attributed to it: disinfectants and circulation stimulants. The former are actually to a lesser or greater extent attributed to practically every essential oil, especially those extracted from citrus fruits, but it will not surprise anyone to learn that those of lemon essential oil are much more pronounced. According to some sources it would be a good adjuvant in anti-wrinkle creams.

Topical use of bitter orange essential oil

The calming effects of bitter orange essential oil as well as in aromatherapy can be exploited for a relaxing bath </ strong> by pouring a few drops into the bathtub (remember that essential oils are not soluble in water but in the fats so in this case it is better to add the drops to the salts and then pour these into the tank). The calming properties can also be used to soothe sore or tired muscles by adding a few drops to a massage oil. The disinfectant properties can instead be a valid aid against acne, in addition to adding it to specific products, a simple anti-acne remedy is obtained by diluting a couple of drops of bitter orange essential oil in olive oil.
For other uses to which we have mentioned in the properties such as the anti-wrinkle and anti-cellulite effect can be added to oils such as jojoba or wheat germ. Finally, a very important warning: all essential oils obtained from citrus fruits are photosensitizers, after applying it to the skin you risk irritation if you expose it directly to the sun, you will have to wait a few hours for the tan.

Use in Aromatherapy

As anticipated, it is probably in aromatherapy that the bitter orange essential oil reaps its greatest successes and the wide use made of it by the perfume industry is proof of this. The calming effect we have already mentioned makes it an ally of rest against insomnia and a valid support against stress and tiredness. The pleasant scent makes it perfect for perfuming the house and at the same time disinfecting it, because if we like it, it is not at all pleasing to fungi and insects.


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