Mandarin Benefits

Latin Name

Citrus Nobilis


Native to China and Far East, now widely grown in US, the Mediterranean basin

Parts Used


Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Believed to be descended from wild oranges that grew in India over 3,000 years ago, Mandarins are a juicy bright orange fruit that are typically sweeter and less acidic that regular oranges.

With a long history of traditional use, Mandarins have been eaten for their delicious taste and many health benefits. The essential oil and dried peel are extensively used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to regulate the “qi” (life force), and to treat a wide variety of other disorders. In the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda, Mandarin oil is combined with Orange essential oil to make “happy oil”.

Mandarin Benefits

Skin Health

The Mandarin essential oil benefits to the skin are many. It is anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. With its high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, this essential oil promotes the growth of new skin cells and tissues. It is rejuvenating to the complexion and can help to reduce the appearance of scars and age spots.

Mandarin oil is highly recommended for acne prone skin as it can regulate sebum production and its antibacterial qualities can keep the pores free from acne causing bacteria.

Mandarin essential oil is comprised of around 75 percent of the compound d-limonene. This common terpene has been shown to have a powerful anti-inflammatory action and is anti-fungal, making it a good topical treatment for complaints such as athlete’s foot. It can also calm down swelling and relieve pain.


Used in Ayurveda to make the aforementioned “Happy Oil”, this cheerful and sunny essential oil is highly uplifting and promotes feelings of joy. With its fresh, light and zingy scent, Mandarin is one of the best essential oils for stress, anxiety and depression.

With insomnia being a common symptom of depression, Mandarin oil contains the active compound N-methylantranilate which imparts potent sedative properties. It also helps to slow down the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), providing tangible relief from anxiety and stress, whilst helping the body relax into a deep sleep.

Digestive System

Mandarin essential oil is antispasmodic, making it useful in calming digestive cramps, hiccups and digestive spasms.

Additionally, it promotes the health of the stomach by maintaining a balance in the base acids of the stomach, protecting it from ulcers and other disorders. It also speeds up healing time by promoting new cellular and tissue growth.

Massaging Mandarin essential oil diluted in a carrier into the abdomen after a meal will stimulate digestive juices and bile into the stomach, further assisting in the digestive process.

Pain Relief

A study published in the Pharmaceutical Biology Journal found that the terpenes found in Mandarin essential oil, specifically methyl-N-methylanthranilate, exhibit strong analgesic effects. It works by blocking the pain signal in the central nervous system. The study concluded that more research into these compounds needs to be undertaken to “discover new analgesics in human therapy against pain.”


Research spread across ten hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin found that Mandarin oil effected improvements in patients with nausea, pain and anxiety. The study, published in "Complementary Therapies in Medicine", found that Mandarin essential oil provided the greatest improvements to patients who were experiencing these three symptoms together.

Typical Use

Mandarin Essential Oil

Use 6-8 drops of essential oil in a bath, 2-4 drops in an oil burner and 10 -18 drops per 30ml of carrier oil.

Folklore and History

The Mandarin gained its name when it was introduced into England from China in 1805. Mandarin denoted the form of Chinese spoken by public officials and other educated people in China and the robes worn by public officials or "Mandarins" in the Chinese empire of that time were deep orange, hence this Chinese import was dubbed a Mandarin.

Mandarins hold a special place in the Chinese New Year celebrations. The Chinese word for Mandarin – kam – is similar to the word for gold. Having Mandarin oranges around the home at New year is said to bring riches and abundance. Mandarin trees are also planted outside businesses and restaurants in the hope of attracting good fortune.


Monoterpenes as y-terpinene, Limonene, pinenes, myrcene, p-cymene, alcohols as linalool, citronellol, esters as methylanthranilate, aldehydes as decanol, sinensal, citral, citronellal and other.


None known. Can be used in safely in pregnancy. Avoid use with sensitive skin.