Pennyroyal Oil

Pennyroyal flower

Pennyroyal oil (Mentha pulegium)

Despite serious safety concerns, pennyroyal is used for the common cold, pneumonia, fatigue, ending a pregnancy (abortion), and as an insect repellant.

In manufacturing, pennyroyal oil is used as a dog and cat flea repellent, and as a fragrance for detergents, perfumes, and soaps.

Origin of Pennyroyal Oil

Pennyroyal is a perennial herb that grows up to 50cm (20 in) tall with smooth roundish stalks and aromatic, gray-green oval leaves. Lilac flowers are produced in distinct whorls in late summer and autumn. The plant has a fibrous creeping root.

It is a herbal remedy of ancient repute, and was used to purify the blood, for digestive and menstrual problems and feverish colds. It also has a deserved reputation as an insect repellent.

It is indeed a wonder why such a poisonous plant or oil has been in use as a folk medicine from ancient times. Although it is also true that most of the medicines (particularly in homeopathy) are based on poisons collected from plants and animals. It is the accuracy in the number of doses, frequency of administration, and diagnosis of a disease that their use as a medicine depends upon.

Other Names: Mentha pulegium, commonly (European) pennyroyal, also called squaw mint, mosquito plant and pudding grass.

Extraction: Pennyroyal oil is extracted from the fresh herb or slightly dried herb by steam distillation.

Chemical composition: The main chemical components of pennyroyal oil are pulegone, menthone, iso-menthone and neomenthone.

Blends well with: citronella, geranium, lavandin, rosemary, and sage.

By Raffi Kojian – http://Gardenology.org, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12734737

Uses for Pennyroyal Essential Oil

The health benefits of pennyroyal essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, antirheumatic, antiarthritic, antiseptic, astringent, cordial, decongestant, depurative, digestive, emmenagogue, insecticide and stomachic substance.

Abortifacient: pennyroyal’s use as an emmenagogue and abortifacient is from ancient times. However, its action as an abortifacient was linked to its toxicity. The amount required for abortion also endangered the pregnant woman’s life.

Antimicrobial & Antibacterial: The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of pennyroyal oil are the results of its toxicity. Even in trace quantities (mere parts per million) this poisonous oil is deadly to microscopic living beings (microbes). Even a few milliliters can cause death to a human. It kills microbes and bacteria and protects us from the infections caused by them. It also exhibits antifungal activity.

Antirheumatic & Antiarthritic: Being a depurative, it promotes the removal of toxins like uric acid from the body, thereby eliminating the biggest cause of rheumatism. Anesthetic effect on the nerves also helps withstand the pain of rheumatism and arthritis. Its cordial or warming effect heats up the affected area and gives a more comfortable feeling. Finally, its stimulating effect on blood circulation increases blood flow to important organ systems, bringing warmth to the affected places.

Antiseptic: Wounds and internal organs, particularly the urinary tract, urethra, kidneys, and uterus may become septic due to infection by the germs. The highly poisonous nature of the pennyroyal oil makes it an antiseptic since it kills the germs or bacteria that cause sepsis. However, this oil should be used in very mild doses, as it is highly poisonous and an irritant.

Astringent: Traditionally, this oil is used as a gum strengthener, which is probably due to its astringent properties. This makes the gums contract and tighten their grip on the teeth. The effects of its astringency can also be felt on other parts of the body since it induces muscle contraction, pulls up loose hanging skin, gives the face a lift, strengthens hair roots, and helps stop hemorrhaging by contracting the blood vessels.

Cordial: Due to its stimulating property, the essential oil of Penny Royal increases blood circulation, which in turn warms up the whole body, thus behaving as a cordial. This warming effect gives relief from feelings of cold that often result from a fever.

Decongestant: The toxicity of this oil makes it an antiviral and fights infections in the lungs. This also loosens the phlegm and catarrh deposition in the lungs and the respiratory tracts, as well as promoting their expectoration. This way, it behaves as a decongestant for the lungs and respiratory tracts.

Depurative: There are certain reports that say that this oil can be used as a depurative, that is, a blood purifier. Certain components of this oil may help neutralize the toxins in the blood. Since it promotes blood circulation, it also helps proper mixing of fresh oxygen with the blood. In this way, it can purify the blood and keep the organs and cells properly oxygenated. An animal study found that pennyroyal essential oil increased hemoglobin, white and red blood cells, but did not have any effect on other blood indices. The increase in white blood cells indicates that it can strengthen the immune system.

Digestive: In an animal study published in 2018, it was found that pennyroyal essential oil improved performance, organ weight, serum lipids and intestinal morphology. It increased nutrient absorption in the intestines. Pennyroyal is been in used in folk medicine to facilitate digestion. This property is also reportedly present in its essential oil and it promotes digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices.

Emmenagogue: Pennyroyal essential oil is sometimes used in herbal medicine as an emmenagogue. It is believed to open blocked and delayed menstruation cycles. The resultant stimulation of certain hormones like estrogen and progesterone makes the cycle more regular.

Insecticide: this oil is toxic to humans and to other animals, it is toxic to insects as well. It is a very efficient insect killer and is highly effective if used in fumigants, sprays, and vaporizers. Insects also try to stay away from this oil. This oil is highly praised and reputed as an insect repellant. An experiment undertaken to study the acaricidal effects of different herb essential oils found that the pennyroyal derivative was the most effective.

Stomachic: Used in extremely low doses, this oil can cure stomach problems and can settle the stomach. It cures infections in the stomach, helps maintain the acid-base balance in the stomach by stimulating secretion of acids and bile into the stomach, and soothes inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract.

Word of Caution

This oil is highly poisonous to humans and other animals. Ingestion in even small doses can cause death. It is a strong abortifacient as well, and should, therefore, be strictly avoided during pregnancy. It is not used in aromatherapy, as inhalation in small quantities can seriously damage the lungs, the respiratory tracts, and the liver. Utilized in extremely high dilutions to treat ailments topically is recommended only with the support of a certified Aromatherapist. Furthermore, although several medicinal properties of this oil have been discussed above, most of them are reported to have been in use traditionally and their authenticity is not guaranteed.

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Pennyroyal oil is UNSAFE. It can cause serious liver and kidney damage, as well as nervous system damage. Other side effects include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, burning of the throat, fever, confusion, restlessness, seizures, dizziness, vision and hearing problems, high blood pressure, lung failure, and death.

When applied to the skin: Pennyroyal oil is UNSAFE when applied to the skin undiluted. 0.05% maximum dilutions are recommended.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE to take pennyroyal by mouth or apply it to your skin when pregnant or breast-feeding. There is some evidence that pennyroyal oil can cause abortions by causing the uterus to contract. But the dose needed in order to cause an abortion could kill the mother or cause life-long kidney and liver damage.

Children: It is UNSAFE to give children pennyroyal by mouth. Infants have developed serious liver and nervous system injuries, or even death, after taking pennyroyal.

Kidney disease: The oil in pennyroyal can damage the kidney and make existing kidney disease worse.

Liver disease: The oil in pennyroyal can cause liver damage and might make existing liver disease worse.

Pennyroyal tea.

Patchouli Oil

Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=875908

Patchouli oil (Pogostemom cablin)

Patchouli oil’s aroma can be an acquired taste. Not everyone loves the smell of ‘deodorized hippie’, as my Grandmother once said. Even though it can be overpowering, this oil is not something you should avoid. The benefits greatly outweigh the smell, especially when it is diluted and blended with other oils.

Patchouli essential oil is steam distilled from the dried leaves of the plant. It has a deep, earthy and woodsy scent. The oil is thick and dark brown in color.

Major Constituents of Indonesian Patchouli Oil: Patchouli Alcohol, a-Bulnesene, a-Guaiene, Seychellen, Gamma-Patchoulene, a-Patchoulene, β-patchoulene, α-bulnesene, seychellene, norpatchoulenol, pogostone, eugenol and pogostol.

Blending: Patchouli essential oil blends well with essential oils of bergamot, clary sage, geranium, lavender, and myrrh.

By Itineranttrader – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6029650

Patchouli Essential Oil Uses: Acne, Athlete’s Foot, Candida, Chapped Skin, Dandruff, Depression, Dermatitis, Eczema, Fatigue, Fever, Frigidity, Hair Care, Infection, Inflammation, Insect Repellent, Mature Skin, Oily Skin and Stress.

Patchouli essential oil can be a great alternative if you are allergic to lavender or chamomile essential oils.

In traditional medicinal practices, it is used to treat colds, headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, insect and snake bites. In aromatherapy, patchouli oil is used to relieve depression, stress, calm nerves, control appetite and to improve sexual interest.

Modern studies have revealed several biological activities such as antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, antithrombotic, aphrodisiac, antidepressant, antimutagenic, antiemetic, digestive, fibrinolytic and cytotoxic activities.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Pogostemon cablin is a medicinal herb commonly used for treating gastrointestinal symptoms, including colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, dyspepsia, and poor appetite.

Benefits of Using Patchouli Essential Oil

Anticancer: In 2013, researchers performed an in vitro study to investigate whether patchouli oil affects an increase and infection of human colorectal (colon and rectum) cancer cells and define its potential molecular mechanisms. The data found that patchouli oil suppressed cell growth and induced apoptosis, which means that the cells were no longer a threat. In addition, the patchouli oil reduced enzyme activity — the reactions that cancer can have on the body. These surprising and optimistic findings suggest that patchouli oil exerts an anti-cancer activity by decreasing cell growth and increasing apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells.

Antidepressant: the impact that inhaling patchouli oil has on our hormones, it encourages the release of serotonin and dopamine; these hormones ease feelings of anger, anxiety and anxiousness.

Anti-inflammatory: Patchouli oil has antiphlogistic properties, which means that it has the power to soothe inflammation in the body. With inflammation at the root of most disease, patchouli oil can address internal inflammation and such conditions as arthritis and gout, and deal with external inflammation that can be present in skin infections or irritations.

Antiseptic: it protects cuts or sores on the skin from becoming infected. It also kills fungus, so it can help if you are battling athlete’s foot or another fungal infection. Simply rub 2–3 drops of diluted patchouli oil on the infected area or make yourself a warm bath with 5–10 drops of this infection preventing oil.

Deodorant: it can be used to mask body odor naturally. It also kills germs and fights fungus, so it’s makes a great natural home deodorizer for any infected area.

Digestive Tonic: helps to tone your liver, stomach and intestines. This increases your ability to decompose food and absorb nutrients properly, so it impacts your digestive system. Because of these metabolic benefits, patchouli oil will give you more energy and help your body to function properly.

Diuretic: increases the frequency of urination, and this can be beneficial to your health in several ways: You are removing excess salt, water and uric acid, which is good for your gallbladder, kidneys and liver.

Hormone Support: has the power to stimulate hormones and increase your libido or sex drive. It can be considered as one of the natural remedies for impotency and erectile dysfunction. Used as an aphrodisiac for years, patchouli oil boosts your testosterone and estrogen levels, and this can have a huge impact on your intimate relationships.

Insomnia: as a sedative, it helps to treat insomnia; it helps to put your mind and body at ease and allows you to rest peacefully.

Repellent: it will repel mosquitoes, fleas, ants, lice, moths and flies. You can use patchouli oil outside while you are gardening or dining in the backyard, or you can use it inside — especially if you are battling bed bugs or lice; try adding patchouli oil to your laundry detergent or burn five drops of the oil in an oil burner.

Skin Care: regenerates new skin cells, and this keeps the skin looking young, healthy and vibrant. It is also great for all skin types — dry, cracked skin and oily or acne-prone skin; you will see the healing and germ-fighting benefits of this oil either way. Because of its quick-healing properties, patchouli oil minimizes the look of scars or marks that are left from acne, wounds, measles, pox or boils. You can even heal bug bites with this powerful essential oil.

Recipes

Homemade Bug Spray

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup witch hazel

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

40 drops of patchouli essential oil

Glass spray bottle

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all ingredients in 8-ounce spray bottle.

Spray over all portions of the body but avoid repellent in eyes and mouth.

Homemade Anti-Aging Serum

INGREDIENTS:

½ tablespoon jojoba oil

½ tablespoon evening primrose Oil

½ tablespoon pomegranate oil

15 drops vitamin E

20 drops lavender oil or frankincense oil

10 drops carrot seed oil

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together into a dark glass bottle. Use every morning and night on face, neck and chest.

Homemade Men’s Cologne

INGREDIENTS:

5 drops cedarwood essential oil

3 drops bergamot essential oil

2 drops sandalwood essential oil

8 ounces (300ml) 70 percent alcohol or vodka

Glass roll on tube or glass cologne spray bottle

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and store in a bottle.

Dab on as needed.

Risks of Using Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli oil does not often elicit irritation or an allergic response when applied to the skin. But you should still be careful when initially applying it in case a reaction occurs. Never apply undiluted patchouli essential oil to the skin.

Because patchouli oil can affect blood clotting, the following people should avoid using patchouli oil:

  • those taking blood-thinning medication
  • individuals who have recently had or will be undergoing major surgery.
  • those with bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia

As always, it’s important to remember that essential oils are very concentrated and should be properly diluted before using on the skin or for aromatherapy. Never eat or drink any essential oil without first consulting a qualified medical professional.

Palmarosa Oil

Cymbopogon martinii – Palmarosa grass at full Flower blooming stage.This photo at Sesha farms www.sfpalmarosaoil.com during the month of December

Palmarosa Oil (Cymbopogon martini)

Cymbopogon martinii is a species of grass in the genus Cymbopogon (lemongrasses) native to India and Indochina, but widely cultivated in many places for its aromatic oil. It is best known by the common name palmarosa (palm rose) as it smells sweet and rose-like. Other common names include Indian geranium, gingergrass, rosha, and rosha grass.

Origin of Palmarosa Oil

It is a wild growing, herbaceous green and straw-colored grass, with long slender stems, terminal flowering tops and fragrant grassy leaves. It is harvested before the flowers appear and the highest yield is obtained when the grass is fully dried – about one week after it has been cut.

There are two varieties of grass from which the oil can be extracted – motia and sofia. We find the sofia chemotype to be far more active and pleasant smelling – and for this reason the oil sold by us is from this chemotype.

Extraction of this essential oil is done by steam distillation of dried grass which is harvested before flowering. The chief constituents of this oil are geraniol, geranyl acetate, dipentene, linalool, limonene, and myrcene. This oil smells like rose oil, which is how it got the name, palma rosa.

It is often used as an ingredient of soaps, perfumes and cosmetics, and is also used in the flavoring of tobacco.

Composition of Palmarosa Oil

The main chemical components of palmarosa oil are myrcene, linalool, geraniol, geranyl acetate, dipentene and limonene.

In general terms, Palmarosa Essential Oil contains approximately 70-80% monoterpenes, 10-15% esters and around 5% aldehydes. It does not contain the abundance of citral (aldehyde) that Lemongrass Essential Oil and Citronella Essential Oil possesses.

Palmarosa oil is an antifungal that fights against Aspergillus niger (commonly known as black mold), Chaetomium globosum (also known as moldy soil), and Penicillium funiculosum, which is a plant pathogen.

The essential oil of this plant, which contains the chemical compound geraniol, is valued for its scent and for traditional medicinal and household uses. Palmarosa oil has been shown to be an effective insect repellent when applied to stored grain and beans, an antihelmintic against nematodes, and an antifungal and mosquito repellent.

Benefits of Using Palmarosa

Palmarosa oil calms the mind, yet has an uplifting effect, while clearing muddled thinking. It is used to counter physical and nervous exhaustion, stress-related problems and nervousness.

It is most useful during convalescence and cools the body of fever, while aiding the digestive system, helping to clear intestinal infection, digestive atonia and anorexia nervosa. It is effective in relieving sore, stiff muscles.

Palmarosa oil moisturizes the skin, while balancing the hydration levels and stimulating cell regeneration. It balances production of sebum, to keep the skin supple and elastic and is valuable for use with acne, dermatitis, preventing scarring, rejuvenating and regenerating the skin, as well as fighting minor skin infections, sore tired feet and athlete’s foot.

Palmarosa Essential Oil Uses

Sinusitis & Excess Mucus:  anti-inflammatory effects reduce inflammation caused by infection and irritation. Mucolytic benefits thin mucus and help clear membranes.

Cystitis & Urinary Tract Infection: antibiotic or antimicrobial effects reduce infection and anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce inflammation and increase water and toxin removal.

Gastrointestinal Disorders: it assists in improving intestinal flow and nourishes intestinal flora. It also helps to thin and remove mucus buildup that happens in the intestines with inflammatory foods. Its carminative benefits calm the digestive tract and assist in the expulsion of gas.

Wounds & Scarring: through cytophylactic action it assists in wound healing and tissue regrowth.

Acne: through antiseborrheic actions it helps to reduce oil production of the skin cells. Antibacterial actions reduce skin infection. Anti-inflammatory benefits reduce redness and irritation of skin.

Fungal Infection: its antifungal and antimicrobial benefits reduce fungal growth on the skin and throughout the body.

Restlessness & General Fatigue: Palmarosa has calmative effects that assist in calming the mind and nervous system and allowing the body to relax and heal. Its cephalic actions help to clear the mind and assist in focus.

Muscular Aches: through mild analgesic properties it assists in relieving muscular pain associated with overuse or injury.

Stress & Irritability: as a gentle sedative, relaxant and uplifting oil it helps to counteract the effects of stress on the body and to bring balance to moods.

Insect Bites & Stings: antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits reduce the pain and swelling associated with insect bites or stings.

How to Use Palmarosa Oil

Burners & Vaporizers: In vapor therapy, palmarosa oil can help during convalescence. It relieves fatigue, nervousness, exhaustion and stress, while having an uplifting effect on the mind and clearing muddled thoughts.

Blended massage oil or in the bath: In a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, palmarosa oil can be used on convalescent patients, to fight exhaustion, fatigue, nervousness, stress, bolstering the digestive system, while boosting the health of the skin.

Wash, lotions and creams and used neat (undiluted): Palmarosa oil can help clear up infections and prevent scarring when added to the water used to wash the wound. When included in creams and lotions, it has a moisturizing and hydrating effect on the skin, which is great to fight wrinkles. It also balances the natural secretion of sebum, which keeps the skin supple and elastic.

On cellular level, it helps with the formation of new tissue and for that reason is great for rejuvenating and regenerating the skin. It is most useful when fighting a dry skin and treat skin infections. Some people find that they have great results when applying palmarosa oil neat or undiluted to the affected area of athlete’s foot – but please keep in mind that we do not advocate the use of neat essential oils on the skin.

Precautions

Palmarosa oil has no known contra indications and is considered a non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing essential oil.

Orange Peel

Orange peel dried (Citrus reticulata)

Botanical Name: Pericarpium citri reticulata. Mandarine Oranges/Chen Pi – Citrus reticulata. Bitter Orange (aka Seville Oranges)/Zhi Shi – Citrus sinensis, Citrus aurantantium.

History/Folklore: All species help move Qi stagnation. Mandarin Orange Peel is a better anti-inflammatory, carminative and tonic. The Unripe Green Orange Peel is a cholagogue and carminative.  Bitter Orange Peel moves Qi stagnation, stimulates, expectorates and is a stomach digestive. Another species is tangerines with the Latin name, Citrus tangerina.

For hundreds of years, herbalists trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have used mature mandarin orange peel, known as chen pi or ju pi in Chinese medicine, to improve digestion, relieve intestinal gas and bloating, and resolve phlegm. This peel acts primarily on the digestive and respiratory systems. We apply it in conditions involving a sense of distension and fullness in the chest and upper middle abdomen combined with loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, or coughs with copious phlegm.

You will find dried orange peel in Mother Jai’s Raspberry Tea. Shop below.

Immature mandarin orange peel, known as qing pi in Chinese medicine, acts primarily on the liver and stomach to promote digestion, relieve food retention and abdominal distension, and promote good liver function. Practitioners of Chinese herbology use this herb when the sense of distension and discomfort lies primarily under the rib cage rather than the central abdomen. 

The cut peel is traditionally used as a tea, and the powdered peel is used to add a sweet, fizzy flavor to drinks. Many cosmetics call for peel in either cut form or as a powder. Its light flavor makes it easy to add into tea blends, and the peel can also be incorporated into jams, jellies, stir-fry dishes and many other culinary creations.

Symbol of Fertility: Oranges can produce flowers and fruit at the same time so they have become a symbol of fertility.

Health benefits of Oranges

Oranges are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, filled with Vitamin C, fiber, potassium and low in calories. Consuming them more often may protect against heart disease, cancer and diabetes while also helping to improve memory, blood pressure, immune system and overall health. Listed below are few of the popular health benefits of oranges

Helps Prevent Cancer: oranges are wonderful sources of both Vitamin C and hesperidin. These two antioxidants are recognized to help prevent the formation of free radicals – which are known to cause cancer. Vitamin C content is particularly important because a lack of Vitamin C has been shown to help tumors survive. So if you want to help prevent cancer, make sure you eat an orange.

Control Your Diabetes: oranges are a great source of fiber! This can help lower your cholesterol which in turn helps make your diabetes easier to control. Additionally, researches have shown that if you’re a Type I diabetic, consuming a high-fiber diet helps lower your overall glucose levels. And for Type II diabetics, it can improve your blood sugars and insulin levels. Not only that, but getting so much fiber improves your digestion and helps you feel fuller longer. Meaning you’re less likely to attack the pantry for sugary and unhealthy snacks.

Heart Healthy: oranges are high in potassium. And an increase in potassium can help support heart health and decrease the risk of things like stroke and heart attacks. Potassium also decreases your risk of heart disease. Additionally, oranges help lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure, which is great for your heart health and for preventing heart problems.

Better Skin: oranges are good for your skin, helping to protect from skin damage caused by the sun and pollution. They also reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. And, as mentioned earlier, Vitamin C helps increase collagen production, which is important for keeping your skin healthy and wrinkle-free.

Science Supports Citrus

Sweet and bitter orange peels have similar constituents. Modern research shows many benefits to these peels or their constituent phytochemicals.

The medicinal actions of  citrus peels come in part from their primary essential oil, d-limonene. D-limonene has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also acts as a solvent for cholesterol, which has led some physicians to use it to dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones. D-limonene neutralizes gastric acid and supports normal peristalsis, making it useful for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Research also indicates that d-limonene has cancer-preventive properties. 

Citrus peels also contain hesperidin, a flavonoid that reduces the proliferation of cancer cells and induces programmed cell death in human colon cancer cells. Korean researchers found that qing pi extract induces programmed cell death in human colon cancer cells.

A team of scientists from Taiwan investigated the effects of the four citrus herbs mentioned above on adipocyte (fat cell) differentiation. They found that mandarin orange peel (chen pi) markedly reduced production and accumulation of triglycerides (fats) in fat cells, with the highest dose tested reducing triglyceride production by nearly 50 percent.

Sweet Orange

Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis & aurantium var dulce)

Sweet orange is a fruit. The peel and juice are used to make medicine. The peel of sweet orange is used to increase appetite; reduce phlegm; and treat coughs, colds, intestinal gas (flatulence), acid indigestion (dyspepsia), and cancerous breast sores. It is also used as a tonic. Sweet orange juice is used for treating kidney stones (nephrolithiasis) and high cholesterol; and preventing high blood pressure and stroke, as well as prostate cancer.

The fruit and rind contain large amounts of vitamin C. Some researchers believe it might help asthma because of the antioxidant activity of vitamin C. It provides large amounts of potassium. There is evidence that potassium may help prevent high blood pressure and stroke. The fruit and juice are used to prevent kidney stones because they contain large amounts of a compound called citrate. Citrate tends to bind with calcium before it can form kidney stones.

You will find Sweet Orange essential oil in Mother Jai’s Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer and Sanitizing Spray. Shop for yours below.

Known Benefits of Sweet Orange

Antimicrobial. Compounds found within the sweet orange peel have shown to be highly resistant to infection. Not only protecting the fruit from invasion but also when used internally or externally the compounds provide the same physical benefits to humans and animals, especially dogs and cats.

Antidepressant. Sweet Orange is commonly known for its wonderful uplifting and calming scent. When diffused, it can help with nervous tension, sadness, and can also improve the aroma of a stale room. It can also help support normal function of the immune system.

High cholesterol. Drinking sweet orange juice seems to help improve cholesterol levels. In large amounts (750 mL, or about three 8-oz glasses, per day for four weeks), sweet orange juice seems to increase “good” high-density lipoprotein and reduce the ratio of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to HDL cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.

High blood pressure. Drinking sweet orange juice seems to help lower the risk of high blood pressure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows makers of sweet orange products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol to make label claims that their product might reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.

Stroke. Drinking sweet orange juice seems to help lower the risk of stroke. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows makers of sweet orange products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol to make label claims that their product might reduce the risk of stroke.

Historical Uses of Sweet Orange

Asthma. There is some evidence that sweet orange and other fruits that are rich in vitamin C might improve lung function in people with asthma. But not all studies agree.

Common cold. Some research shows that drinking 180 mL (about 6 ounces) of sweet orange juice daily might help prevent symptoms of the common cold.

Depression. Early research suggests that using sweet orange on the skin during massage, or in the air as aromatherapy, reduces depression in older adults.

Insomnia. Early research shows that inhaling sweet orange as aromatherapy might help people who are going through hemodialysis to sleep better and feel less tired.

Kidney stones. Some research reports that drinking 400 mL of sweet orange juice (about 13 ounces) increases the amount of citrate in the urine. This might help to prevent kidney stones that are made of calcium.

Obesity. Early research shows that drinking sweet orange juice does not reduce body weight in overweight adults. Other research shows that taking a specific product containing sweet orange, blood orange, and grapefruit extracts seems to decrease body weight and body fat in overweight people. But it is not clear if this is from the sweet orange or from the other ingredients.

Stress. Early research shows that smelling sweet orange essential oil during a stressful task might reduce anxiety and tension.

Using Sweet Orange as a Medicine

For high cholesterol: 750 mL sweet orange juice per day.

For high blood pressure and stroke prevention: Sweet orange juice products that provide at least 350 mg of potassium per serving and are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol are permitted by the FDA to make labeling claims that they might reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and stroke.

Side Effects & Safety WebMD.com

When taken by mouth: Sweet orange juice and fruit is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when used in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a medicine.

When inhaled: Sweet orange essential oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in aromatherapy.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Sweet orange is LIKELY SAFE when used in food amounts. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if sweet orange is safe to use as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: In children, sweet orange juice or fruit is LIKELY SAFE when used in normal food amounts. But taking large amounts of sweet orange peel is LIKELY UNSAFE. It can cause colic, convulsions, or death.

Medication Interactions When Using Sweet Orange as a Medicine

Some medications are moved by pumps in cells. Sweet orange might change how these pumps work and decrease how much of some medications get absorbed by the body. This could make these medications less effective. To avoid this interaction, separate taking these medications from consuming sweet orange by at least 4 hours. Some of these medications that are moved by pumps in cells include bosentan (Tracleer), celiprolol (Celicard, others), etoposide (VePesid), fexofenadine (Allegra), fluoroquinolone antibiotics, glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta), irinotecan (Camptosar), methotrexate, paclitaxel (Taxol), saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase), rifampin, statins, talinolol, torsemide (Demadex), troglitazone, and valsartan (Diovan).

Pravastatin (Pravachol)Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination. Drinking sweet orange juice might increase how much pravastatin (Pravachol) the body absorbs. Taking pravastatin (Pravachol) with sweet orange juice might increase drug levels in the body and possibly increase the chance of drug side effects.

Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Talk with your health provider. Calcium-fortified sweet orange juice can reduce the amount of some antibiotics the body absorbs. Reduced absorption of antibiotics can reduce their ability to fight infection. Sweet orange juice without calcium is unlikely to affect quinolone antibiotics. Some quinolone antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), gatifloxacin (Tequin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), and trovafloxacin (Trovan).

Fexofenadine (Allegra)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider. Sweet orange might decrease how much fexofenadine (Allegra) the body absorbs. Taking sweet orange along with fexofenadine (Allegra) might decrease the effectiveness of fexofenadine (Allegra). To avoid this interaction, separate taking this medication from consuming sweet orange by at least 4 hours.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)

Nutmeg and mace are plant products. Nutmeg is the shelled, dried seed of the plant Myristica fragrans, and mace is the dried net-like covering of the shell of the seed. Nutmeg and mace are used to make medicine.

Nutmeg and mace are used for diarrhea, nausea, stomach spasms and pain, and intestinal gas. They are also used for treating cancer, kidney disease, and trouble sleeping (insomnia); increasing menstrual flow; causing a miscarriage; as a hallucinogen; and as a general tonic. Nutmeg and mace are applied to the skin to kill pain, especially pain caused by achy joints (rheumatism), mouth sores, and toothache.

In manufacturing, nutmeg oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics. Nutmeg oil is distilled from worm-eaten nutmeg seeds. The worms remove much of the starch and fat, leaving the portions of the seed that are rich in oil.

Steam distilled Nutmeg Essential Oil is a warming oil that when used judiciously, it is a wonderful essential oil for use in helping to ease digestive complaints as well as muscular aches and pains. A little goes a long way for all essential oils, but this especially holds true for Nutmeg Essential Oil. It primarily contains monoterpenes, but also contains approximately 10% ethers including myristicine and safrole as well as the phenol methyeugenol.

Aromatically, Nutmeg Essential Oil is a warm, spicy essential oil that is sweet and somewhat woody. It blends beautifully with other essential oils in the spice family. It also blends well with floral, citrus and wood essential oils. It can add a beautiful, distinctive spicy characteristic to otherwise bland blends.

Major Constituents of East Indian Nutmeg Oil:

  • Sabinene
  • a-Pinene
  • B-Pinene
  • Myristicin
  • Terpinene-4-ol
  • Gamma-Terpinene
  • Linalool
  • (+)-Limonene
  • a-Phellandrene
  • a-Terpinene
  • Safrole
  • a-Thujene
  • Methyleugenol (reported for East Indian Nutmeg Oil)

Nutmeg Essential Oil Uses

  • Gastrointestinal Spasm
  • Nausea
  • Upset Stomach
  • Rheumatism
  • Arthritis
  • Muscular Aches and Pains
  • Muscular Injury
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Nervousness
  • Tension

Source: Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016, 609.

Benefits of Nutmeg

Antibacterial. Test-tube studies show that nutmeg has antibacterial effects against potentially harmful bacteria, including E. coli and Streptococcus mutans.

Antioxidants. Nutmeg is rich in antioxidants, including phenolic compounds, essential oils, and plant pigments, all of which help prevent cellular damage and may protect against chronic diseases.

Anti-inflammatory. Nutmeg may reduce inflammation by inhibiting certain inflammatory enzymes.

Increase Libido. Some animal research suggests that high doses of nutmeg may enhance libido and sexual performance.

May benefit heart health. Animal studies show that taking high-dose nutmeg supplements reduced heart disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels, though human research is lacking.

Could boost mood. Rodent studies have found that nutmeg extract induced significant antidepressant effects in both mice and rats. Studies are needed to determine if nutmeg extract has the same effect in humans.

May improve blood sugar control. A study in rats showed that treatment with high-dose nutmeg extract significantly reduced blood sugar levels and enhanced pancreatic function.

Nutmeg has a warm, sweet flavor that pairs well with many different sweet and savory foods.

Nutmeg Essential Oil Safety Information

Nutmeg may cause serious side effects, such as hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, and even death, when taken in large doses or combined with other recreational drugs.

Tisserand and Young warn that Nutmeg Essential Oil is potentially carcinogenic and can be psychotropic in high doses. They recommend a dermal maximum of 0.8% for East Indian and 5% for West Indian Nutmeg Oils. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 366-367.]