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Tangerine Essential Oil

With over 1,600 species in the Rutaceae plant family, the citrus genus makes up approximately7 species. Derived from the same species as lemons, bergamots, oranges, and grapefruits; tangerines (Citrus reticulate) are characterized bymaller size, thin rinds, and deep orange color.1,2

Originally native to China, the species has expanded throughout the world, and can now be cultivated in many countries. Mandarins are almost identical to tangerines, they are both Citrus reticulata species, however, tangerines are darker in color, seedless and harvested at a different season in the year. There are also differences in the composition of their essential oils.2

Tangerine essential oil possesses many positive health benefits, some of which overlap with other citrus essential oils, including orangelemon and bergamot. Tangerine essential il has been shown to have sedative, antiseptic, antispasmodic and skin regenerating properties.1

To preserve their active properties, most citrus essential oils including tangerine, are extracted through cold press process rather than steam distillation.3

Tangerine Essential Oil Uses

Traditionally, the main uses of C. reticulata essential oil were aromatherapy and topical application. In recent years, new applications for high-quality tangerine essential oil have been discovered. Find out how you can incorporate tangerine essential oil with these easy, everyday uses.

Aromatherapy
One of the most common ways to use tangerine essential oil is through inhalation. The bioactive components in the oil ve been associated with feelings of relaxation and may help improve mood.

For aromatherapy use, simply place a few drops into a diffuser, or into a bowl of hot water.

Alternatively, apply 2 drops into the palm of your hands and rub vigorously. Cup your hands over your face and breathe deeply.

Cellulite Massage
Cellulite is a widespread problem of the skin, characterized by unevenness of the skin surface. It mostly affects women in the upper legs area. Due to its toning effect, tangerine essential oil has been reportedly used as a natural solution to combat the appearance of uneven skin.

Add 2-3 drops of tangerine essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, almond). Apply the mixture to the affected area and massage continuously until fully absorbed.

Homemade Cleaner
The antiseptic effects of tangerine essential oil may help eliminate household germs that cause bad odors to form on washcloths or other kitchen and bathroom cleaning tools.

For a natural disinfectant, add 5-10 drops of tangerine essential oil to a spray bottle, or bucket of water. This mixture can be used to spray down surfaces before wiping, or added to water prior to mopping.

Natural Perfume
While not as popular as orange, notes of tangerine can be found in commercial perfume To re-create these aromas, make your own homemade perfume by mixing 2 drops of essential oil in 3 Tbsp. of carrier oil. Apply to the neck and underside of wrists.

Wound Cleaner
When topically applied to minor wounds, abrasions or cuts, tangerine essential oil may have cleansing properties. This could help eliminate germs and prevent infection.

For a homemade wound cleaner, combine 5 drops of tangerine essential oil with 10 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water. Shake the container to mix contents, and spray on to affected areas.

Haircare
To help remove unwanted debris and dandruff, add 2 to 3 drops of tangerine essential oil to your regular shampoo.

Benefits of Tangerine Essential Oil

From dandruff relief to anti-cancer properties, the exotic notes of tangerine essential oil carry a diverse range of health benefits. Based on the latest scientific research, Essential Oil Experts brings you some of the most promising benefits below.

Antibacterial
Tangerine essential oil has been used against several pathogenic species of bacteria, and has been found to be effective at eliminating S. aureus, a skin-infecting bacterium.3 This bacterial species can spread rapidly, and if left unchecked, may lead to a potentially life-threating condition known as sepsis.

Skin Regenerating Properties
At the molecular level, the activity of tangerine essential oil has been shown to promote skin regeneration through cell division, a necessary step for the body to produce new tissue.4 Improved healing and faster scar formation may be promoted with the use of tangerine oil.

Anti-Cancer Activity
The same the bioactive components that improve cell division, have recently become the target of research for cancer therapy. In a 2014 study, researchers found that the biochemical compounds in the oil may have several implications on the mechanisms through which healthy cells fight against cancerous tumors.4

The compounds were observed to interfere with angiogenesis, delay metastasis, or increase tumor cell death through reactive oxygen species (ROS). 4

While preliminary research is promising, tangerine – and other essential oils – require a significant amount of research before they can be used as a complimentary cancer treatment. Essential oils should not be used as a replacement for conventional treatments.

Dandruff Relief
As part of the citrus family, tangerine essential oil has antiseptic properties that may alleviate skin irritation caused by bacterial or fungal infections.1

On the scalp, tangerine essential oil has been shown to have antidandruff properties, and helps eliminate excess oil and dirt from the hair. Tangerine essential oil may also promote skin regeneration, contributing to an overall healthy scalp.1

Stress Relief
Inhalation of tangerine essential oil has been shown to have powerful, calming effects and may help reduce stress and anxiety.5

This calming effect is triggered by the potent bioactive compounds, d-limonene, citronellal, geranial, thujone and linalool. It appears that either diffusion or direct inhalation can help relieve stress and anxiety.

D-limonene and other volatile components of tangerine oil may have a restorative effect over the cognitive and nervous systems, providing a state of tranquility and calmness.6

Antispasmodic
Spasmodic acts such as coughing, vomiting or convulsions trigger continuous muscle contraction and cramping, which can have a damaging effect on the body if left uncontrolled. Inhalation of C. reticulata essential oil may help reduce muscle spasms and have a calming effect on the individual.5

Tangerine essential oil benefits and uses

Side Effects of Tangerine Essential Oil

Similar to other citrus essential oils, the main concern regarding the use of tangerine essential oil is its phototoxicity. This refers to the negative effects caused on the skin when direct sunlight exposure occurs within 12 hours of topic application of the oil. Symptoms may include irritation, itchiness, redness, swelling and even blister formation.6 Avoid applying to the skin before direct sun exposure.

Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil or cream before applying directly on the skin. Essential oils are extremely concentrated and can be toxic if ingested.

Tangerine essential oil should be avoided by children, pregnant or breastfeeding women. Always read and follow the product label.

Scientific Research Referenced in this Article

  1. Adorjan, B. & Buchbauer, G. (2010) Biological properties of essential oils: an updated review. Flavour Fragr. J. 25, 407–426. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ffj.2024/epdf?r3_referer=wol&tracking_action=preview_click&show_checkout=1&purchase_referrer=onlinelibrary.wiley.com&purchase_site_license=LICENSE_DENIED_NO_CUSTOMER – View reference
  2. Reeve, D., Treatt, R.C., Arthur, D. & Treatt, F. (2002). Riding the Citrus Trail: When is a Mandarin a Tangerine? Perfumer & Flavorist. Retrieved February 22, 2017 from http://www.flavouringredients.com/images/documents/mandarin.pdf – View reference
  3. Mustafa, N.E.M. (2015) Citrus Essential Oils: Current and Prospective Uses in the Food Industry. Recent Patents on Food, Nutrition & Agriculture. 7, 115-127. http://www.academia.edu/16490769/Citrus_Essential_Oils_Current_and_Prospective_Uses_in_the_Food_Industry – View reference
  4. Gautam, N., Mantha, A.K., & Mittal, S. (2014) Essential Oils and Their Constituents as Anticancer Agents: A Mechanistic View. Biomed Res Int. 2014: 154106. doi: 1155/2014/154106
  5. Jafarzadeh, M., Arman, S., & Farahbakhsh Pour, F. (2013) Effect of aromatherapy with orange essential oil on salivary cortisol and pulse rate in children during dental treatment: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Adv Biomed Res. 2: 10. doi:4103/2277-9175.107968
  6. Forbes, P.D., Urbach, F. and Davies, R.E. (1977) Phototoxicity testing of fragrance raw materials. Food and Cosmetics Toxicology. 15(1), 55-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0015-6264(77)80264-2
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