Mandarin – or tangerine or satsuma, as it is now also known as, belongs to the family Rutaceae. The tree is indigenous to China, in particular the southern parts, but has been grown in Europe and the United States of America for almost two hundred years. There are quite a few varieties of the fruit, which are grown commercially in Mediterranean countries and also in Brazil, the Middle East and the USA. Both the flowers and the fruit of the tree are fragrant. The fruit of the tree is sweet and appeals to most tastes. The name mandarin has its origins in times of old, when the fruit was a traditional gift to mandarins, high ranking officials, in China.
Essential oil of mandarin is obtained by mechanical expression. It is orange/amber in color and has a pleasantly sweet citrus smell. It is widely used in the manufacture of perfumes, soaps and cosmetics and also as a flavoring agent in the food and drinks industries.
Therapeutically, mandarin is a calming oil, soothing tension and nervous irritability. It is one of the safest oils to use in aromatherapy and is thus a suitable oil for using on children, who will enjoy the scent of a bath to which mandarin oil has been added. It can help in the treatment of hyperactivity and fretfulness in children.
Mandarin oil is also valued for the beneficial effects it has on the digestive system. Used in abdominal massage, it relieves colic, indigestion and constipation. It can be of great benefit to the elderly in this respect.
Mandarin oil is also a detoxifying agent and can help in the treatment of fluid retention.
In skin care, it is gently astringent and can benefit complexions that are prone to greasiness and/or acne.
Suitable methods of use
- Skin care
Mandarin oil is a very safe oil to use, but as there are doubts as to whether or not it is phototoxic, exposure to the sun is not recommended in the hours immediately after using the oil on the skin.