The sweet, floral and slightly citrusy fragrance of neroli essential oil has made it one of the most sought after essential oils in aromatherapy. The name Neroli is derived from Nerola, a town in Italy. In the 17th century, Anne-Marie, the Princess of Nerola, was bewitched by the floral fragrance of the essential oil extracted from the orange blossoms. She used this aromatic oil to aromatize almost everything around her including her gloves and bathwater. Soon other members of the royalty followed her and neroli essential oil became popular across Europe. However, some say that neroli oil was used as fragrance since the first century AD and one of its well known endorsers was Emperor Nero from whom the essential oil has derived its name.
Neroli oil is produced by steam-distillation of the flowers of Citrus aurantium, better known as bitter orange. In addition to neroli oil, bitter orange tree is the source of two other aromatic oils – bitter orange oil extracted through the cold-pressed method from the rind of the near-ripe bitter orange fruit and petitgrain oil obtained from the steam-distilled fresh leaves and young shoots and twigs of the tree. All the three oils are widely used in the perfumery industry and in aromatherapy.
The best quality neroli oils are produced in France and Tunisia. Quality neroli essential oil is also produced in Italy, Spain, Algeria, Morocco and Haiti. Depending on the origin of the neroli essential oil there is slight difference in the physical properties of the oil. In May, when the bitter orange flowers start blooming, they are handpicked in the evening two to three times a week. The flowers are immediately processed and distilled to produce the finest quality oil. Neroli is low-yield oil. About a ton of bitter orange blossoms are needed to produce one kilogram of neroli oil. Hence, it is one of the most expensive essential oils. Like rose or jasmine essential oil, neroli essential oil too can be worn neat as perfume. Just a few drops of the fresh and strong rejuvenating fragrance are enough to smell good.
In aromatherapy, this aromatic essential oil is classified as euphoric, hypnotic and aphrodisiac. According to aromatherapists, neroli essential oil can be used for alleviating stress, depression, anxiety and hysteria. It helps improve sleep, and can provide relief from headaches, neuralgia and vertigo. It is beneficial for women suffering from premenstrual stress and helps reduce emotional symptoms of menopause. Neroli essential oil is believed to help in circulation and is beneficial for people suffering from hemorrhoids, varicose veins and phlebitis. It is known for its anti-inflammatory activity that makes it suitable for alleviating pain. Neroli essential oil is also used in aromatherapy for improving respiratory problems and can be used as a natural remedy for bronchitis and pleurisy. It can even help with problems of the digestive system and is used for chronic diarrhea, colitis, stomach spasms, and for improving the functions of the liver and pancreas. Furthermore, neroli essential oil is used for skin care. It aids regeneration of the skin cells and maintains the elasticity of the skin. It can also help in fading stretch marks and scars.
6 Proven Benefits Of Neroli Essential Oil
The main components of neroli essential oil are l-linalool, d-limonene and β-pinene. Most of the therapeutic benefits of neroli essential oil are attributed to linalool. It possesses analgesic, antispasmodic, sedative and antibacterial properties. A number of traditional uses of neroli essential oil have been validated by scientific study.
1. Fights Inflammation And Pain
Neroli essential oil is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. In a study reported in the Journal of Natural Medicines researchers claimed that certain bioactive compounds present in neroli oil are capable of suppressing both acute and chronic inflammation. Furthermore, it can block transmission of the pain signals. Hence, it is considered an effective natural analgesic.
2. Decreases Convulsions And Seizures
In the traditional medicines neroli essential oil is used for management of seizures. Convulsions and seizures are triggered by disruption in the normal communication pathways of the neurons in the brain. It has been shown in a study published in the journal Natural Product Communications that neroli essential oil helps reduce the severity and duration of clonic seizures. The study suggests that the major bioactive constituents of the essential oil, linalool, linalyl acetate, nerolidol, E,E-farnesol, alpha-terpineol and limonene are responsible for its anticonvulsant activity.
3. Alleviates Menopause Symptoms And Stress
Women suffering from symptoms related to hormonal fluctuations related to menopause can find neroli essential oil useful in easing the discomfort. The journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine has reported a study that supports the use of neroli essential oil for menopausal symptoms. Inhalation of the essential oil for five minutes twice a day for five days helped in lowering the systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and improved the pulse rate and the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. These effects of inhalation of neroli essential oil helped in alleviating stress and blood pressure in postmenopausal women. Furthermore, the estrogen boosting effect of neroli oil helps in increasing sexual desire that tends to falter after menopause.
4. Lowers High Blood Pressure And Improves Cardiovascular Symptoms
In addition to the aforementioned studies that support the blood pressure lowering effect of neroli essential oil in postmenopausal women, another study published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests similar effect on pre-hypertensive and hypertensive patients. In the study, 23 people among a group of 83 suffering from persistent high blood pressure were asked to inhale a blend of neroli, marjoram, ylang-ylang and lavender essential oils. The study showed that compared with the placebo and control groups, the experimental group reported improvement in systolic blood pressure level and daytime blood pressure level. The cortisol lowering activity of the essential oils helps in relaxation and improved the blood pressure numbers.
A study published in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy suggests that neroli essential oil works as a vasodilator. It works by inducing the vascular endothelium to increase production of nitric oxide. Moreover, it acts as a calcium channel blocker that promotes vasodilation of the vascular smooth muscle. Because of this property of neroli essential oil, it helps in alleviating the symptoms of cardiovascular disorders.
5. Fights Bacteria And Fungi
Neroli essential oil is known for its antimicrobial activity. The aromatic oil, according to a study published in Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, is capable of inhibiting growth of 3 gram-positive and 3 gram-negative bacteria and 3 fungi and 2 yeast strains. Researchers found that neroli essential oil is capable of fighting Pseudomonas infection that usually affects people with weakened immune system or those hospitalized for a long time. Furthermore, neroli oil appears to be a stronger antifungal agent than standard drugs such as Nystatin.
6. Good For Skin
Your skin care regimen will remain incomplete without a touch of neroli essential oil. Regardless of skin type, neroli essential oil can be used for improving the health of the skin. It helps maintain the hydrolipidic barrier of the skin that helps in reducing skin dryness. The cytophylactic property of the essential oil supports regeneration of the skin cells. This helps in keeping the skin firm and elastic and delays skin aging. Furthermore, neroli essential oil helps in protecting the skin from environmental stress. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of neroli oil help in fighting acne.
13 Effective Uses Of Neroli Essential Oil
To enjoy the benefits make sure that the neroli essential oil you are using is of the best quality. The oil is pale yellow in color and it darkens over time. The pure undiluted oil can be directly inhaled. Occasionally it is used directly for topical application. However, just as in the case of most of the other essential oils, neroli essential oil too should be properly diluted with carrier oil before use.
13 Effective Uses Of Neroli Essential Oil
1. Uplifts Mood
The most popular use of neroli essential oil is for elevating the low mood. The fresh sweet floral fragrance of neroli calms the nerves. It helps sooth anxiety and reduces nervous tension. Inhaling the essential oil helps people suffering from depression and relieves palpitation triggered by stress and anxiety. For enhancing mood, take a few drops of the pure neroli oil on a handkerchief and slowly inhale the aroma.
2. Delays Skin Aging
Skin aging can be slowed down with the help of neroli essential oil. To 30ml of rose hip seed oil, add 5 drops of neroli essential oil. Before bedtime, take a few drops of the oil mixture on your fingertips and gently massage it on your face and neck area. Leave it on overnight. This anti-aging remedy is suitable for the dry and sensitive skin prone to wrinkling.
3. Reduces Stretch Marks
By stimulating growth of new cells, neroli oil helps in reducing the appearance of stretch marks. To a tablespoon of carrier oil, cream or lotion, add three drops of neroli essential oil and mix well. Massage this onto the stretch marks and scars to speed up the healing process.
4. Induces Sleep
Neroli essential oil acts as natural tranquilizer. Its pleasant odor calms the nervous system and helps improve the quality of sleep. Add four drops of neroli essential oil to warm bathwater. Soak in the bath for a few minutes before retiring to bed.
5. Skin Toner
A toner is an important component of the skin care routine. Especially if your skin is vulnerable to breakouts, by removing the grease and dirt, toner helps in keeping the skin clean and healthy. To use neroli essential oil as toner, mix two teaspoons of aloe vera juice with six tablespoons of water and add four drops of neroli essential oil to the mixture. With a clean cotton ball dab the toner on your face and neck.
6. PMS Relief
The soothing effect of neroli essential oil helps in alleviating the emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Add 3 to 4 drops of neroli essential oil to a diffuser. The scent helps in relaxation and improves mood. Alternatively, add 8 to 10 drops of neroli essential oil to warm bath water and soak in the bath for about 20 minutes.
7. Relieves Muscle Spasms
For relief from muscle spasms, diffuse two to three drops of neroli essential oil. In addition, combine 4 to 5 drops of neroli essential oil with carrier oil and gently massage onto the affected area.
8. For Diarrhea
Neroli essential oil can help if you are suffering from diarrhea. Add five drops of neroli essential oil to an ounce of carrier oil. Gently massage your stomach with the oil mixture. This helps in reducing stomach cramps and helps in restoring the gut health.
9. Baby Massage
Studies have revealed that babies who are massaged daily tend to develop faster and enjoy better sleep. Moreover, massage helps in minimizing constipation and colic pain. An aromatic baby massage with neroli essential oil helps in keeping the baby healthy and happy and is good for the baby’s skin. To make aromatic baby massage oil, add two drops of neroli essential oil to five tablespoons of almond oil or a mixture of four tablespoons of almond oil and one tablespoon of jojoba oil.
10. Foot Massage
Foot massage with neroli essential oil diluted in vegetable oil is known to help in reducing blood pressure and heart rate. Studies suggest that massage with the addition of the aromatic essential oil is more effective than massage without the essential oil. It supports relaxation and reduces the physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety.
11. Fights Body Odor
Body odor occurs when bacteria that normally live on the skin break down the sweat and produce foul smelling gas. As suppressing perspiration is not advisable, the best way to fight the offensive body odor is to mask it with deodorant. Neroli essential oil works as natural deodorant. Add six drops of neroli essential oil to 50 ml almond or jojoba oil. Apply a small amount of the homemade deodorant to your armpits.
12. Improves Hair Health
The effect of harmful elements on hair health can be averted with the help of neroli essential oil. When used daily, it helps boost blood circulation and balances sebum secretion. To help your hair regain its health, add few drops of neroli oil to your shampoo, conditioner or hair mask.
13. Get Rid Of Varicose Veins
Poor circulation in one or more of the veins tends to worsen varicosities. Alternating hot and cool compresses with neroli essential oil helps improve local circulation, thereby helping in shrinking varicose and spider veins. This remedy also seems to work for hemorrhoids. Add 10 drops of neroli essential oil to warm water. In another bowl combine neroli essential oil with cold water. Apply the warm compress for 15 minutes. Follow this with cool compress for 15 minutes. Repeat this as long as you want. After the compresses, blend few drops of neroli essential oil with carrier oil and gently massage the area of varicosity.
Best Neroli Essential Oil Blends
In aromatherapy, essential oils are usually blended to boost the healing effect of the therapy. Neroli essential oil is considered a base note essential oil. Base note essential oils are those that evaporate slowly. The aroma of the base note essential oil is the last you smell in an essential oil blend. The base note scent of neroli essential oil combines well with a number of top and middle note essential oils. It is especially known to mix well with top note essential oils such as bergamot, clary sage, lemon, lime, orange and petitgrain, middle note aromas of German and Roman chamomile, geranium, lavender, juniper berry and peppermint essential oils, and base note essential oils such as helichrysum, jasmine, ginger, patchouli, sandalwood, rose otto and ylang-ylang essential oil.
9 Amazing Neroli Essential Oil Recipes
There are a number of ways of incorporating neroli essential oil in natural health care remedies. Aromatherapists combine neroli with other essential oils to create aromatic blends that helps in relieving a number of ailments.
The following essential oil recipes with neroli as key ingredient can help in addressing a number of health disorders.
1. Massage Oil For Insomnia
For peaceful slumber, consider a nighttime massage with the following essential oil blend.
Neroli essential oil – 5 drops
Ylang-ylang essential oil – 3 drops
Clary sage essential oil – 4 drops
Patchouli essential oil – 2 drops
Carrier oil – ¼-cup
Add the essential oils to the carrier oil and mix well. Massage the oil mixture softly and slowly into your skin before retiring to bed.
2. Anxiety Relief Blend
Inhalation of essential oil that helps calm the nervous system and aids relaxation helps in decreasing anxiety and nervous tension.
Neroli essential oil – 10 drops
Bergamot essential oil – 5 drops
Ylang-ylang essential oil – 5 drops
Combine the essential oils. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions of the diffuser model you are using to diffuse the oil.
3. Mood Balancing Blend
Diffusing essential oils is an effective way to balance mood. It helps when you feel depressed.
Neroli essential oil – 2 drops
Mandarin essential oil – 2 drops
The exact method of diffusing essential oil depends on the diffuser model you are using. Usually, the essential oils are added to the water in the diffuser and the diffuser is turned on. For better relief, run the diffuser in your bedroom throughout the night.
4. Anti-Wrinkle Essential Oil Blend
This anti-wrinkle recipe with essential oils helps slow down appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and maintains the youthful elasticity of your skin for a long time. Incorporate this essential oil blend in your daily skin care routine for best result.
Neroli essential oil – 20 drops
Myrrh essential oil – 20 drops
Clary sage essential oil – 20 drops
Sweet Almond Oil Or Any Other Carrier Oil – Two Tablespoons
Combine the essential oils with the carrier oil. On clean skin apply the oil mixture.
5. Chapped Lips Blend
Moisturizing the lips with natural oil helps keep it soft and luscious. With essential oils with regenerative property added to the moisturizing oil, the dry and cracked lips heal quickly. It helps in reducing the pain and bleeding of the dry cracked lips.
Aloe vera gel – 20 ml
Neroli essential oil – 1 drop
Chamomile essential oil – 1 drop
Geranium essential oil – 2 drops
Rose essential oil – 2 drops
Mix the essential oils with the aloe vera gel. Apply the oil blend to the lips.
6. Beauty Bath Soak
To enjoy a refreshing bath that cleans as well as nourishes the skin and is also good for the mood, add a variety of natural skin care ingredients and essential oil blend to your bathwater.
Neroli essential oil – 5 drops
Rose essential oil – 5 drops
Whole milk – one cup
Powdered buttermilk – one cup
Honey – ¼ cup
Vitamin E oil – 2 teaspoons
Put all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Add the mixture to the warm bathwater. Soak in the bath for about 30 minutes.
7. Body Scrub
A body scrub helps in sloughing off dead skin and leaves the skin clean, soft and smooth. When neroli essential oil is added to the homemade body scrub, in addition to aromatizing the scrubbing mixture, it nourishes the skin and promotes rejuvenation of the skin cells.
Neroli essential oil – one teaspoon
Almond oil – ½ cup
Macadamia nut oil – ½ cup
Sugar – one cup
Ground oatmeal – one cup
Ground almonds – ½ cup
Mix the ingredients and store in an air tight container. Use as needed.
8. Face Mask
Face mask absorbs impurities and nourishes the skin. It invigorates the skin and helps keep it healthy. To boost the beauty benefits of your face pack add neroli essential oil to the recipe.
Neroli essential oil – 2 drops
Geranium essential oil – 2 drops
Clay – 5 tablespoons
Corn flour – 3 tablespoons
Egg white – one
Beat the egg white until frothy and mix in the other ingredients. Evenly spread the paste on your face and neck. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with plain water. This face mask will leave your skin cleaner and smoother.
9. Hair Grooming
This hair grooming oil blend is a homemade alternative to pomades. It adds sheen and gives the tresses a sweet smell.
Neroli essential oil – 20 drops
Lavender essential oil – 10 drops
Lemon essential oil – 10 drops
Almond oil – 50 ml
Castor oil – 25 ml
Mix the carrier and the essential oils well. Take a few drops of the oil mixture on your fingertips and spread it evenly on your hair. Alternatively, rub few drops of the oil mixture on the bristles of the hairbrush and brush to spread the oil on the tresses.
Possible Contraindications And Precautionary Measures
There are no known adverse side effects of using neroli essential oil. Nevertheless it is always advisable to take precautionary measures before using any essential oil.
To avert irritations or harmful reactions, perform a skin patch test before using neroli essential oil. Dilute the essential oil with carrier oil and apply a small amount to the inside of your elbow. Bandage the area and leave it for 24 hours. If you notice any sign of an allergic reaction, such as rash, swelling, irritation or itching at the site of the test, avoid the essential oil.
Undiluted essential oil should be used topically under the supervision of a qualified aromatherapist. Do not ingest neroli essential oil unless instructed by a qualified aromatherapist.
Protect your eyes from the essential oil. Keep your eyes closed while inhaling the essential oil. If the essential oil accidentally gets into your eyes, immediately rinse with water.
You may develop sensitivity to the essential oil if you use it continuously for two to three months. Therefore take a break before reusing the oil. Neroli essential oil has a small shelf life and must be used within a year. When the essential oil is mixed with carrier oil, the oil mixture should be used within a month.
Essential oils are flammable. Therefore, they should be stored away from fire. Before diffusing neroli essential oil mix it with water.
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