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Just as there are different varieties of oranges, there are many kinds of orange oil. Sweet orange oil has a classic orange, citrus smell. Unlike some other types of orange oils that can be tangy, sweet, subtle, or exotic, sweet orange oil has a powerful aroma that is both sweet and tart.

Sweet orange oil is extracted from one of the most common varieties of the fruit, Citrus sinensis. The main component of sweet orange oil is limonene, which has many health benefits. The health benefits of sweet orange oil combined with its pleasant smell and taste have made it a popular ingredient in many foods and beverages, as well as in ointments, creams, hand sanitisers, and nasal inhalers.

What is sweet orange oil?

As mentioned, sweet orange oil is an essential oil extracted from Citrus sinensis, the common type of orange that you’d find at any fruit and vegetable store. This popular fruit is believed to be a natural hybrid of two citrus fruits originally found in Asia. It was introduced to Europe as far back as 800 AD, and the oil has been used to treat medical conditions for thousands of years throughout Asia and the Middle East.

While it is usually derived from the rind, which contains the most oil, sweet orange essential oil can sometimes come from the leaves or flowers of the same plant. It is extracted using a cold-pressing process, where the rinds of the orange are pressed to squeeze out the oil.

This essential oil is distinct from other types of orange oils made from different orange varieties. For example, bitter orange essential oil is derived from Citrus aurantium, while bergamot oil comes from citrus bergamia Risso and Piot. Sweet orange oil is affordable and versatile, as well as having a strong and uplifting aroma.

Often used to flavour foods and beverages, it is also a key ingredient in many cleaning products because of its antiseptic and disinfectant properties. As more of its health benefits are being discovered, sweet orange oil is becoming an increasingly common ingredient in home remedies and wellness products.

The benefits of sweet orange essential oil

Sweet orange oil is a powerful antiseptic and disinfectant, eliminating many bacteria and viruses, as well as being an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. It can help reduce pain and inflammation, improve the skin and hair, manage acne, and facilitate better sleep.

Other sweet orange essential oil benefits include aiding with weight loss, reducing anxiety, and boosting cognitive function and exercise performance.

Essential oils, either inhaled as a vapour or absorbed through the skin, have a positive effect on the limbic system, the part of the brain that regulates emotions. Sweet orange essential oil can help to lift the mood as well as manage anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, research has shown that inhaling orange essential oil helps to reduce pain. Scientists tell us that inhaling orange essential oil alters activity in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which may explain why it has these effects. 

Similarly, sweet orange oil is a natural sleep remedy: One study found that participants had better sleep quality, duration, and satisfaction when inhaling orange essential oil.

For those who want to shed some pounds, orange essential oil can also help with weight loss. A 2019 study found that rats that were given sweet orange oil had a reduction in weight gain as well as lowered cholesterol. This finding was supported by another study that confirmed sweet orange essential oil supplements could assist with weight loss.

As a potent antibacterial, sweet orange oil is effective against common bacteria, which is why it is often used in cleaning products. This may also be why it is so effective against acne, given that bacteria can inflame acne and make it worse. Additionally, a 2012 clinical trial found that skincare products containing orange essential oil significantly reduced blackheads and pimples. 

Other studies have also found that orange essential oil provided protection against fungi, as well as eliminating bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

How to use sweet orange oil?

Sweet orange oil has many uses, from a few drops in a warm bath to skin creams. Inhaling the vapour is one of the best ways to enjoy its benefits. You can do this with an essential oil burner or diffuser, to fill your room with the beautiful aroma, uplift your mood, or enjoy a better night’s sleep. 

An even more convenient way to use sweet orange oil is with a nasal inhaler. This compact and portable item can fit in your bag or pocket, allowing you to enjoy a refreshing deep breath of sweet citrus whenever you need it. A quick sniff of this refreshing scent is sure to give you a much-needed pick-me-up in the middle of a busy workday.

Sweet orange oil is also commonly found in topical creams and gels. Limonene, the main ingredient in sweet orange oil, improves skin permeability, making it easier for the skin to absorb other components. This makes it a key element in anti-ageing creams, lotions, and other skincare products.  

Feeling a little achy and sore? Massage oils containing sweet orange essential oil are another way to apply this powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. The essential oil should be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil before applying. It's especially effective when rubbed onto the joints to ease the symptoms of arthritis.

Potential side effects of sweet orange oil

When used correctly, sweet orange essential oil is safe for most people and has limited side effects. Similarly, pure orange essential oil could irritate the airways if inhaled directly from a bottle, so it should always be used through an inhaler or diffuser.

Sweet orange essential oil is not suitable to be taken internally and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other side effects if swallowed. Pregnant women should be cautious of using essential oils of any kind and should consult with their doctor before use.

From improving one's mood and managing pain to promoting better sleep, there's no denying the myriad beneficial uses of sweet orange oil. Experience the full range of benefits of this potent essential oil with a handy, easy-to-tote nasal inhaler.

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