Orange essential oil is extracted from the rind of the sweet orange, Citrus sinensis. This is done by a method called cold pressing, which uses pressure to squeeze the oils from the rind. Sometimes, the leaves and flowers from the orange plant can be used as well.
Orange essential oil has a variety of uses. Here are a few worth noting.
Like many essential oils, orange essential oil delivers potent antimicrobial effects. A 2014 study in Complementary Therapies in Medicine suggested that these effects may be put to good use in people with acne vulgaris, the most common form of the skin condition. The study, involving 28 volunteers divided into four groups, examined the effects of four different topical gels on acne symptoms over a course of eight weeks.
A 2012 study looked at the effect of orange essential oil on E. coli isolates which could potentially cause food poisoning. Results indicated that after 24 hours, a 1 percent or lower concentration of orange essential oil inhibited the bacteria at refrigeration temperatures.
Another study looked at the effect of orange essential oil on strains of Staphylococcus aureus (staph bacteria) that are resistant to antibiotics. They found that when added to infected human cells in culture, low concentrations of orange essential oil killed the bacteria without harming the cultured cells.
Orange essential oil may also prevent the growth of fungi that can cause food to spoil. One study found that orange oil provided some protection against four species of fungi.
In a 2013 study, it was found that aromatherapy with orange essential oil reduced the pulse rate and stress hormone levels in children undergoing a dental procedure.
Additionally, in a 2015 study, women in labor reported less anxiety after inhaling orange essential oil than women in the control group who inhaled distilled water.
A 2019 study looked at the inhalation of orange essential oils and its potential effect on depression. The researchers found that inhaling orange essential oil causes fewer depression-like behaviors.
In 2008 researchers assessed if a blend of ginger and orange essential oil could help with knee pain when applied to the skin. Compared to a control group, people using the essential oil blend reported greater short-term pain relief, but the oil didn’t seem to help with long-term pain.
A small 2016 study evaluated the effect of inhaled orange flower essential oil on exercise in student athletes. The researchers found that people who inhaled the oil had a significant decrease in running times as well as an increase in lung function.