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Neroli Essential Oil: Health Benefits, Uses And Side Effects

Since time immemorial, flowers have been used in religious ceremonies due to their religious significance and aesthetic appeal. Having said that, flowers are also used in making essential oils for using in aromatherapy. One such essential oil is neroli essential oil sourced from the flowers of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium).

What Is Neroli Essential Oil? [1]

Neroli essential oil is the oil extracted from the small, white, waxy flowers of the bitter orange tree. It is also known as orange blossom oil. The peel of the bitter orange fruit yields bitter orange oil and its leaves are used for making petitgrain essential oil.

Due to the neroli essential oil's rich, sweet, citrusy aroma, it is used as an ingredient in cosmetics, body lotion, massage oil, perfume, cologne and candles.

Neroli essential oil contains active compounds like linalool (28.5%), limonene (4.6%), linalyl acetate (19.6%), E-farnesol (9.1%), nerolidol (9.1%), and α-terpineol (4.9%).

Health Benefits Of Neroli Essential Oil

1. Reduces anxiety

Inhaling the aroma of neroli essential oil may help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, improve mood and create a sense of well-being. It works by helping the brain release serotonin and reduce cortisol levels [2] .

Another study published in 2014 found that smelling neroli essential oil reduced anxiety in women during labour [3] .

2. Lowers high blood pressure

A study showed the effects of inhaling essential oil on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in 83 hypertensive and prehypertensive subjects for 24 hours. And the result of the study concluded that the participants had an immediate and continuous decrease in systolic blood pressure, blood pressure and stress reduction levels [4] .

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3. Improves menopause symptoms

A study published in the Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed the effects of neroli essential oil on menopausal symptoms, stress, and oestrogen levels in post-menopausal women.

During the study, 63 healthy post-menopausal women inhaled 0.1% or 0.5% of neroli oil for 5 minutes twice a day for 5 days and the findings indicate that the oil relieves menopausal symptoms, increases sexual desire and lowers blood pressure in postmenopausal women [5] .

4. Relives inflammation and pain

Numerous studies have shown that neroli oil possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that help in lowering acute and chronic inflammation. Also, the oil has central and peripheral antinociceptive effects which help manage inflammation and pain [6] .

5. Reduces seizures and convulsions

Neroli essential oil is used in traditional medicine as a natural antiseizure and anticonvulsant agent. The oil contains active compounds like linalool, linalyl acetate, nerolidol, E-farnesol, α-terpineol and limonene which might be responsible for the anticonvulsant activity, according to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences [7] .

6. Treats Alzheimer's disease

The antiamnesic activity of neroli oil is known to have a positive effect on learning impairments, memory and behavioural disorders and has the potential to treat Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the Neurological Sciences [8] .

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7. Reduces indigestion

The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties in neroli oil have been shown to have a positive effect in reducing bloating and indigestion. It inhibits the growth of several bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, E. Coli, Bacillus subtilis, and other strains of bacteria [9] .

8. Rejuvenates skin

The antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties of neroli essential oil help reduce acne breakouts and skin irritation [10] . It is also used to tone or tighten the skin and prevent wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of ageing [11] .

Possible Side Effects Of Neroli Essential Oil

In aromatherapy, neroli oil is considered safe when used properly [12] . It shouldn't be applied in your eyes, or other mucous membranes. The oil should be applied in small amounts to avoid toxicity. Also, if you are allergic to citrus fruits, do not use this oil.

Although the oil is non-toxic and non-irritant, a skin patch test is always recommended. If your skin patch test fails and the essential irritates your skin, you should discontinue the use of neroli essential oil.

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Uses Of Neroli Essential Oil

  • To reduce stress and clear your head, sniff neroli oil before you head out to work.
  • Neroli essential oil treats insomnia, so add a drop of this oil on a cotton ball and keep it near your pillow.
  • Use neroli oil with a carrier oil topically on the skin to treat acne breakouts.
  • To get rid of headaches, apply a few drops of neroli oil to a hot compress to soothe a headache.
  • Apply a few drops of neroli essential oil to decrease stretch marks.
  • Mix a few drops of neroli oil to your bath water to bring relief from menstrual cramps.
  • Mix a drop of neroli essential oil to unscented face cream and use it on your face.

How To Make Neroli Essential Oil For Body And Room Spray

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup distilled water
  • 25 drops neroli essential oil

Method:

  • Mix the oil and water in a spray/mister bottle and shake it.
  • Use this as a face mist, room freshener or body spray.
View Article References
  1. [1] Choi, S. Y., Kang, P., Lee, H. S., & Seol, G. H. (2014). Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,2014, 796518.
  2. [2] Anwar, S., Ahmed, N., Speciale, A., Cimino, F., & Saija, A. (2016). Bitter Orange (Citrus Aurantium L.) Oils. InEssential Oils in Food Preservation, Flavor and Safety(pp. 259-268). Academic Press.
  3. [3] Namazi, M., Amir Ali Akbari, S., Mojab, F., Talebi, A., Alavi Majd, H., & Jannesari, S. (2014). Aromatherapy with citrus aurantium oil and anxiety during the first stage of labor.Iranian Red Crescent medical journal,16(6), e18371.
  4. [4] Kim, I. H., Kim, C., Seong, K., Hur, M. H., Lim, H. M., & Lee, M. S. (2012). Essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,2012, 984203.
  5. [5] Choi, S. Y., Kang, P., Lee, H. S., & Seol, G. H. (2014). Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,2014, 796518.
  6. [6] Khodabakhsh, P., Shafaroodi, H., & Asgarpanah, J. (2015). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Citrus aurantium L. blossoms essential oil (neroli): involvement of the nitric oxide/cyclic-guanosine monophosphate pathway.Journal of natural medicines,69(3), 324-331.
  7. [7] Azanchi, T., Shafaroodi, H., & Asgarpanah, J. (2014). Anticonvulsant activity of Citrus aurantium blossom essential oil (neroli): involvment of the GABAergic system.Natural product communications,9(11), 1615-1618.
  8. [8] Rahnama, S., Rabiei, Z., Alibabaei, Z., Mokhtari, S., Rafieian-kopaei, M., & Deris, F. (2015). Anti-amnesic activity of Citrus aurantium flowers extract against scopolamine-induced memory impairments in rats.Neurological Sciences,36(4), 553-560.
  9. [9] Hsouna, A. B., Hamdi, N., Halima, N. B., & Abdelkafi, S. (2013). Characterization of essential oil from Citrus aurantium L. flowers: antimicrobial and antioxidant activities.Journal of Oleo Science,62(10), 763-772.
  10. [10] Haj Ammar, A., Bouajila, J., Lebrihi, A., Mathieu, F., Romdhane, M., & Zagrouba, F. (2012). Chemical composition and in vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Citrus aurantium L. flowers essential oil (Neroli oil).Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences,15(21), 1034-1040.
  11. [11] Dosoky, N. S., & Setzer, W. N. (2018). Biological Activities and Safety ofCitrusspp. Essential Oils.International journal of molecular sciences,19(7), 1966.
  12. [12] Sánchez-Vidaña, D. I., Ngai, S. P., He, W., Chow, J. K., Lau, B. W., & Tsang, H. W. (2017). The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy for Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,2017, 5869315.

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