Citrus oils are very popular essential oils and used for many purposes in aromatherapy.
They come from the Rutaceae family and the oils with their botanical names are listed below for your reference:
Bergamot – Citrus bergamia
Grapefruit – Citrus paradisi
Lemon – Citrus limon
Lime – Citrus aurantifolia
Mandarin – Citrus reticulata
Orange Bitter – Citrus aurantium var amara
Orange Sweet – Citrus sinensis
Petitgrain – Citrus aurantium amara orange pettigrain
The citrus range of essential oils, in particular, are very uplifting in their nature and evoke feelings of cheerfulness and light heartedness. They can be helpful for people who feel down or are in a depressed mood.
As well as having their general nature of being uplifting and cheerful, they can also be used as follows:
Bergamot is useful in treating cold sores and chicken pox, and can be mixed with lavender and tea tree for this purpose. It is a very uplifting oil, so is helpful for people that need cheering up.
Grapefruit, lemon and lime are all very good essential oils for assisting with fluid retention. They help stimulate the lymph to move fluids out of the body. They are all cheerful oils as previously stated, and help people who are depressed or lack energy. You could mix grapefruit or lemon with peppermint or geranium bourban to assist with moving fluid.
Lemon can also be helpful in conjunction with rosemary and ginger as a muscle rub, and if mixed with basil and lavender is helpful for mental clarity if working or studying.
Mandarin is known as an extremely cheering oil, and is popular with helping children to relax. It is also one of the oils recommended to assist in the prevention of stretch marks during pregnancy.
Sweet orange is also used with children who generally love the scent. It is used for skin care, including anti aging. It is also known as a stimulant for the lymph system.
Petitgrain is helpful for anxiety and depressed moods. It can also be of assistance with insomnia, especially when caused by nervous or anxious situations.
All the citrus oils are beneficial for the digestive system, to help settle it. They can be used with ginger and black pepper for this purpose as well.
It is also worth remembering that citrus oils can be phototoxic. This means that if you have the oil directly on your skin and you go out into the sun, it can cause irritation to your skin. For those that are prone to skin conditions or have sensitive skin, they should avoid using the oils if they are going out into the sun straight after application.
That having been said, it is not recommended that essential oils be applied directly to the skin. It is always preferred to have oils mixed in a base such as a cream, lotion or oil such as almond oil or grapeseed oil.
If essential oils are respected and used in the correct manner, there should be no issues with their use.
Remember, if you have any questions at all about aromatherapy and essential oils, please consult with a qualified aromatherapist who has been trained in all areas of the profession.