Neroli Essential Oil
One of the most precious not to mention the most expensive essential oils, neroli is an intoxicating blend of floral and citrus aromas with a vast range of therapeutic benefits for you to enjoy.
What is Neroli essential oil?
Neroli essential oil is a product of the bitter orange tree known scientifically as Citrus Aurantium. No less than three essential oils are derived from this tree. Petitgrain is extracted from its leaves, bitter orange oil from its fruit and finally neroli oil is steam distilled from its small white blossoms.
In fact, it takes in the range of 1000 pounds of its hand-picked flowers to make just a pound of essential oil which partly explains its price tag. To ensure that the highest possible quality neroli oil is produced, the blossoms are handpicked carefully ensuring they are not damaged or bruised.
While the bitter orange tree is an original native of Africa and Asia, it is also cultivated these days in Mediterranean Europe as well as California and Florida.
In times gone by, neroli oil was used to fight the plague, treat fevers and banish nerves. In ancient Egypt, it was used by ladies in the upper echelons of society for emotional and spiritual well-being.
These days, it is commonly used in the perfume industry because of its alluring fragrance as well as its many uses in aromatherapy.
Properties and Composition
According to scientific analysis, the major components of Neroli essential oil include:
- Linalyl acetate
Neroli essential oil has such a wide range of health benefits owing to its range of medicinal properties including antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antispasmodic abilities. It is also a natural antidepressant with carminative and sedative properties.
Neroli Essential Oil Benefits
1. Pain Relief and Arthritis
When it comes to muscular and joint pain, neroli essential oil provides an effective natural answer. Neroli oil has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and ease muscular pain.
It is an excellent choice for sufferers of arthritis as well as those of us who simply need to relieve the pain from a long day on the feet or a heavy exercise session. Studies have actually found that neroli can help relieve pain by reducing sensitivity to feelings of pain including this recent study published in 2015. (1)
- To treat your aching muscles and joints, you can dilute your neroli oil in a suitable carrier oil and massage it into the affected areas of your body or add several drops to your bathwater and let its healing properties sink in.
As well as its ability to ease muscular pain, neroli essential oil can be a very effective remedy for headaches and migraines as many people can attest to. Instead of turning to commercial pain killers, try massaging a few drops of neroli oil into your temples whenever you suffer a headache.
- Another effective option is to add a couple of drops of your neroli oil to a cold or hot compress and apply it to your head. This is especially effective when it comes to headaches caused by stress and tension.
3. Stress and Anxiety
If you are one of the many people who are affected by stress, anxiety or panic attacks then neroli oil may provide a welcome alternative to the often prescribed anti-anxiety medications. These prescription drugs can certainly be helpful but they are also known to cause a number of adverse side effects not to mention the very real risk of addiction.
Fortunately, there are numerous essential oils which are proving very effective in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and stress and neroli is one of them.
- If you are prone to anxiety attacks or are just feeling generally stressed out, try inhaling neroli essential oil directly or diffusing it through your home or workplace and you might find that you are calmer and more centered emotionally.
A study published in 2014 which analyzed the effects of neroli essential oil on of post-menopausal women found that among other benefits, it significantly reduced feelings of stress. (2)
4. Blood Pressure
It seems incredible that simply inhaling a natural substance could have a positive impact on a person’s blood pressure levels but that is exactly what research has demonstrated. High blood pressure is a major cause of many illnesses especially related to the heart and is there anything more important than a healthy heart?
A study published in 2012 set out to explore the effects on blood pressure of inhaling a blend of essential oils including neroli, ylang-ylang, marjoram and lavender. 83 patients with high blood pressure were involved in the experiment with the subjects divided into three groups.
The first group inhaled the essential oil blend at regular intervals during the 24 hour experiment with a placebo group inhaling artificial fragrances and a control group receiving no treatment at all.
The results were extremely positive with those who inhaled the essential oil blend experiencing a significant reduction in both systolic and also diastolic blood pressure levels compared to the other two groups. Moreover, the group treated with essential oil also experienced significant reductions in salivary cortisol levels which is a significant finding when it comes to stress reduction. (3)
The researchers concluded that treatment with this blend of essential oils could have a very significant impact on both blood pressure and stress levels which let’s face it, is great news.
The effects of the menopause can be extremely problematic for countless women around the world many of whom will opt for hormone replacement therapy. There are however some positive indications coming from research into the effects of neroli essential oil on menopausal women.
We have already mentioned a piece of research that showed neroli oil could reduce stress levels in post-menopausal women but that same research also found that neroli could benefit women in many other ways.
The Korean study which was published in 2014 recruited 63 post-menopausal women and investigated the effects of neroli oil inhalation on menopausal symptoms, estrogen and stress levels. The subjects were divided into three groups and either inhaled neroli oil in different concentrations or almond oil for five minutes two times a day over the course of five days.
The two groups that were treated with neroli oil experienced significantly reduced blood pressure levels, pulse rate improvements, cortisol levels and also improved estrogen levels compared with the control group. Women treated with neroli oil also experienced an improved sex drive. (3)
6. Antimicrobial and Anti-Fungal Properties
Like so many essential oils, neroli has excellent antimicrobial properties that can help treat minor wounds and burns and prevent bacteria from taking hold.
- If you have a small scratch or wound that needs attention, then you can apply neroli oil to the affected area to improve the speed of healing and to ensure bacteria does not take a hold.
As well as its antibacterial ability research has demonstrated that neroli oil was a powerful antifungal substance. It has exhibited the ability to kill 6 types of common bacteria as well as several types of yeast and fungus. The study published by Pakistani researchers in 2012 found that neroli oil had antifungal properties on a par with a commonly prescribed antibiotic-nystatin. (4)
7. For the Skin
Neroli essential oil might be expensive but it is a popular addition to the skin treatment routines of many people. Because of its excellent antimicrobial ability, it may help treat conditions like acne and eczema naturally.
It can also help to regenerate skin cells and improve the skin’s elasticity which should help you look younger and fresher. Its antioxidant properties also make it useful in reversing cellular damage that is so obvious on the skin and may even help reverse some of those telltale signs that we are getting older like blemishes, age spots and wrinkles.
Neroli oil is considered to be an excellent option for all skin types so if you can afford it, consider adding it to your skin care regime.
8. For Stretch Marks and Scars
As well as being able to tackle common skin conditions, neroli oil may be extremely useful to get rid of unwanted scars and stretch marks. It can rejuvenate the skin at a deep cellular level and although it may take some time, if you persist with using it then your scars and stretch marks may dissipate over time.
9. For Seizures
Obviously seizures are serious medical conditions that require proper medical care and advice but it is interesting that neroli essential oil has demonstrated anticonvulsant anilities which may give it some future potential in the treatment of seizures.
A study published in 2014 found that neroli essential oil consisted of constituents with excellent anticonvulsant activity. The study was conducted on mice but researchers believe that the potential displayed so far means that neroli essential oil could be used in future seizure management and treatment. (5)
Neroli oil has a delightful fragrance that can help you to smell fresh throughout the day. It may seem like quite a waste of a very good quality oil but just a few drops applied under the arms may help prevent body odor. Not only is neroli incredibly fragrant but its antimicrobial qualities help kill the bacteria which causes many people to suffer from body odor.
How to Use Neroli Essential Oil
Neroli essential oil is great when used alone but bearing in mind how expensive it is, you might want to blend it with another essential oil. Neroli blends very well with numerous other essential oils but goes especially well with the other citrus oils. It also blends perfectly with ylang-ylang, lavender, rosemary, geranium and sandalwood.
Like other essential oils, how you use your neroli oil will depend on the condition you are trying to treat. There are many potential uses but some of the most common include the following.
- Inhalation: either direct inhalation or via a diffuser machine to deal with stress and anxiety or high blood pressure.
- Massage: when combined with a carrier oil, neroli is an excellent remedy for muscle and joint pain as well as being an excellent headache relief.
- Topical application: to treat skin conditions like acne or eczema or to get rid of scars and stretch marks, apply your neroli oil to the affected area with a damp cotton ball or for larger areas, dilute it in a skin friendly carrier oil before you apply it.
- Compress: ad a few drops of neroli oil to a cold or hot compress and apply it to your head to get rid of migraines and headaches.
Side Effects and Precautions
- Neroli essential oil is considered to be a safe and non-toxic oil but as usual, you need to exercise a certain degree of caution before using it.
- You should not ingest neroli essential oil.
- You should always dilute it well with a carrier oil before applying it to your skin.
- Even once diluted, it is best to perform a patch test on a discrete area of your skin to ensure that you are not allergic before applying it in larger doses.
- There is not sufficient evidence to say with certainty that neroli oil is absolutely safe for pregnant women, breast feeding mothers or very young children.