An Herb For Thought: Neroli


An Herb For Thought: Neroli | Neroli-450x300 | An Herb For Thought

Family Name: Rutaceae 

Botanical Name(s): Citrus Aurantium 

Popular Name(s): Bitter Orange, Citrus Vulgaris, Citrus Bigaradia, Bigaradier, Seville Orange, China Orange, Citrus Dulcis.

Parts Used: Fruits, Flowers and Peel.

Habitat: Native of India and China.

Description: It is a small tree with a smooth, grayish brown bark and branches that spread into a fairly regular hemisphere. The leaves are oval, alternate, evergreen and are 3 to 4 inches long, have sometimes a spine in the axle. They are glossy, dark green on the upper side, paler beneath. The petals are five in number, are intensely white and curl back. 

Uses: Bitter orange is used internally to treat heartburn as well as flatulent indigestion and diarrhea. The peel can be used to boost the appetite and for dyspeptic complaints. In cosmetics, bitter orange extract is included in many cellulite treatments, where it acts by regularizing the situation in the affected area and stimulating cutaneous tone.

It is one of the most widely used floral oils in perfumery. It is a nontoxic, nonirritant, nonsensitizing, nonphototoxic substance. It blends well with any citrus oil, various floralabsolutes, and most of the synthetic components available on the market. Neroli oil is a classic element in fragrance design and one of the most commonly used in the industry.

It is also has a limited use in flavorings. Neroli oil is reportedly one of the ingredients in the closely guarded secret recipe for the Coca-Cola soft drink. It is a flavoring ingredient of open source cola recipes, although some variants consider it as optional, owing to the high cost.

Due to its linalool content, neroli is considered to have a soothing effect on the nervous system. Traditionally, neroli oil was used not only to relieve tension and anxiety, but also to increase circulation. A solution is made by adding three or four drops of the essential oil to one cup of either sweet almond oil or wheat germ oil. If the solution is to be used on children or pregnant women, only half the quantity of essential oil should be used.

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