Neroli Benefits

Neroli
Latin Name

Citrus aurantium

Also Known As

Neroli Flowers, Neroli Blossom, Orange Blossom, Orange Blossom Oil

Origin

Africa, Europe

Parts Used

Flowers/Blossoms

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, Neroli essential oil is most prized in aromatherapy. It has been extensively used for its healing and calming properties and as an ingredient in perfumes and cosmetics, used to create exquisite floral scents.

Neroli was said to promote emotions of love and passion and was considered a powerful aphrodisiac. In Victorian times it was placed in bridal bouquets and head dresses not only for its aphrodisiac qualities, it was also believed to soothe the nerves of anxious brides, calming the nerves of the newlyweds before retiring to the marriage bed for the first time.

Neroli Benefits

Stress/Anxiety

The tranquilising effects of Neroli make this a wonderful essential oil to combat stress, depression and anxiety naturally. It has been shown to significantly reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, in a study where participants were given a mixture containing Neroli to inhale at regular intervals over a 24 hour period. They found a significant reduction in the concentration of salivary cortisol in the Neroli group and concluded that inhalation of this essential oil can have immediate and continuous positive effects on stress reduction.

In another 2014 study, it was found that inhaling Neroli oil during labour significantly reduced childbirth anxiety in the women who participated. Furthermore, it did not have any adverse effects on the foetus.

Insomnia

One of the most distressing symptoms of depression and anxiety is the insomnia it can inevitably cause. Neroli not only addresses these conditions, its hypnotic and sedative qualities can help to relax the mind in readiness for sleep. Its effectiveness can be intensified when paired with Lavender oil, enhancing sleep quality and making it easier to drift off to sleep.

Hormonal Balance

Neroli works directly with the endocrine system to promote hormonal balance, which in turn can help with menopause symptoms and other conditions that are influenced by erratic hormone activity.

A study at Korea University found that hot flushes, night sweats, depression and palpitations associated with the menopause were greatly reduced. At the same time, quality of life was improved, sexual desire and libido was increased and blood pressure was lowered. These results were obtained using Essential Oil Inhalers.

The hormone balancing properties, alongside natural pain relieving qualities, make this essential oil effective for PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps. Simply dilute with a pure carrier oil and massage into the abdomen or take a warm bath to reap the benefits of Neroli essential oil.

Skin Health

Neroli oil is a very popular ingredient in many natural skincare products. With skin regenerative and preserving qualities, Neroli is used to tone and tighten saggy skin and to prevent wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. It is thought that the powerful antioxidant activity of this oil is responsible for its age defying benefits.

In addition to reducing signs of aging, Neroli essential helps boost blood circulation which brings healthy cells to the skin’s surface. This encourages collagen production and enhances the skin’s elasticity.

Anti-inflammatory

Neroli is an excellent essential oil to dilute and use as a massage oil for sore, aching muscles and for arthritis pains. Results of a study published in the "Journal of Natural Medicines" suggest that Neroli possesses biologically active constituents that have the ability to reduce acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. It was also found that Neroli essential oil has the ability to reduce central and peripheral sensitivity to pain.

Typical Use

Neroli Essential Oil

Neroli essential oil is a great general tonic that can be useful if you are convalescing from a long illness. It is extremely good for lifting the spirits whilst easing fears and anxiety. Neroli oil also possesses strong sedative qualities which make it a wonderful oil to diffuse in the bedroom, filling the room with its heady, floral scent whilst promoting a restful night’s sleep.

Neroli essential oil can be used in the bath, or vaporized in an oil burner. It can be added to a massage oil or cream. Use 6-8 drops per bath and 10 -18 drops per 30ml of carrier oil.

Folklore and History

There is some controversy surrounding where Neroli actually gets its name, with at least three contenders for the title. One is a 16th century Italian princess, Anne-Marie of Nerola. She wore Neroli as a perfume, and as a result many other noble women followed the example set by the Princess of Nerola.

There is also another explanation that Neroli was named after a seventeenth century Duchess, The Duchess of Tremoille, who was known as ‘la Nerola’ because she used this essential oil to scent her gloves. But according to the renowned herbalist Mrs Grieve, both the common and the official name of Neroli come from the Sanskrit word "nagarana" or "naranj" in Arabic (meaning orange). The Arabs recommended Neroli as a cure for impotence and often employed it in aphrodisiac blends as an aid to virility.

Neroli and its essential oil were highly regarded as a symbol of virginity and sexual purity. Neroli was worn by the bride to assert her virginity and it was also a part of the bride’s bouquet to signify happiness, good luck, fertility and prosperity to the newly-married couple. 

A little known fact is that Leonardo Da Vinci loved to work in the midst of perfumes and aromatic oils. Neroli essential oil was his all-time favorite and he used it to stimulate his intellect and contemplation while creating celebrated pieces of artwork, such as the Renaissance Man.

Neroli
Constituents

Active constituents of Neroli Essential Oil include; Linalool, (+)-Limonene, Linalyl acetate, (E)-B-Ocimene, a-Terpineol, B-Pinene, Geranyl acetate, (E)-Nerolidol, Geraniol

Precautions

Essential oils need to be diluted first; never apply an essential oil directly to the skin. Avoid contact with eyes and mouth.