Saturday, December 10, 2011
Essential oils: Orange
What do we find in orange oil? The main compound found in orange oil - about 90% of the oil - is limonene, a cyclic terpene that gives us that wonderful orange-y fragrance and flavour as well as acting as a great solvent for cleaning. It's good for removing grease and oil from people and objects.
We also find about 0.4% geraniol, a mono-terpenoid alcohol, that is the lovely smelling part of rose, geranium, citronella, and other flowers that is used as a flavouring agent and mosquito repellant. (Side note: It might repel mosquitoes, but it might attract bees as it's also found in the scent glands of honey bees!) We find about 0.7% ɑ-terpineol, a mono-terpenoid alcohol that offers some nice fragrance. (Also found in tea tree oil.) Citral, a powerful anti-microbial and starting point for the synthesis of Vitamin A, is found in very low amounts, almost too low to mention! But it's there!
Where might I use orange oil? I like to use it in rinse off products, like my shampoo for greasy hair - combine it with a little vanilla for a Creamsicle like fragrance - or my body wash for oily skin. Be aware that orange EO can thin out a surfactant mix, like my favourite body wash!
Orange essential oil is not photo-toxic, but it can contain other compounds that might have an impact on your hair and skin. (If you'd like to learn more about citrus essential oils, please click here for my article from Handmade Magazine.)
Join me Monday for more fun with orange essential oil as we add it to a few of my favourite recipes!