Mandarin essential oil is known as the sweetest and most calming of the citrus essential oils. As the name suggests, it comes from the mandarin plant, which is native to China. Mandarin oil has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat insomnia, relieve pain and anxiety and protect the body against bacteria and illness. Studies have even shown that mandarin oil has anti-tumor properties that may help protect against cancer. Mandarin essential oil has antiseptic, sedative and antimicrobial activities that make it a staple essential oil for natural health. (1)
Mandarin Essential Oil Uses
1. Diminishes Scars, Acne and Stretch Marks
Mandarin essential oil is a gentle, non-irritating solution for problem skin. Other essential oils can cause irritation to the skin, even when combined with a carrier oil. Mandarin essential oil, on the other hand, is mild. Despite this, however, it can still help kill bacteria and fungi that cause acne and skin infections. Mandarin oil can also help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. It will help brighten the skin, giving you a youthful glow all while fighting acne and disappearing scars. Apply the oil along with a carrier oil directly onto the scar. You can also try a blend of lavender, mandarin and almond oil. (2)
2. Reduces Anxiety and Nausea
If you experience a lot of anxiety or feelings of anxiousness, you should consider utilizing the soothing power of mandarin essential oil. Additionally, mandarin oil works great for treating nausea as well as pain. A study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that mandarin essential oil provided the greatest improvements to patients who were experiencing pain, nausea and anxiety. The oil’s natural sedative effects can be used in aromatherapy to help relieve feelings of anxiousness and nausea. (3)
For muscle or joint pain, mix with a carrier oil and apply to affected area. If you’re looking to relieve nausea, try diffusing the oil in your home. Alternatively, you can inhale mandarin essential oil directly from the bottle. You can also use it in a bath, however this isn’t always the best method for combating nausea. The heat from the water may worsen your upset stomach.
Speaking of digestive distress, mandarin essential oil may also help relieve gas and help combat leaky gut syndrome.
3. Relieves Pain
There are currently several studies being conducted to investigate plant-based pain relief. This includes citrus essential oils such as mandarin. As mentioned in the study referenced above, mandarin oil can also help relieve pain. Mandarin essential oil contains compounds called terpenes, which have a powerful effect in pain management. It works by blocking the pain signal in the central nervous system. To help relieve pain, diffuse mandarin oil at home or rub the oil onto sore muscles and painful joints. (4) Alternatively, try taking a warm bath with several drops of mandarin essential oil added to the water. If your pain is accompanied with any swelling or inflammation, however, be sure to apply a cold compress to the affected area after your bath.
4. Kills Bacteria
Mandarin essential oil has natural anti-microbial properties that work to kill bacteria and fungi. Studies show that mandarin oil can help prevent the loss of firmness and color change of foods during storage. Perhaps this notion is similar to the idea of keeping your fruit kabobs fresh by storing them in orange juice. One study in particular focused on mandarin’s ability to retain freshness in green beans. Researchers found that the oil was able to help make the firmness and green color of the beans last longer. This research suggests, in fact, that mandarin oil may be a healthier, safer alternative for food preservation. (5)
5. Helps Combat Cancer
Mandarin essential oil was also studied for its possible healing effects on cancerous tumors. Researchers found that the limonene in mandarin oil can help inhibit the growth of tumors. The findings could potentially lead to the development of anti-tumor agents using mandarin oil, as well as an natural cancer treatment. (6) Furthermore, the anti-nausea capabilities in mandarin essential oil may help reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea.
Possible Side Effects and Warnings
Mandarin essential oil use may result in what’s called phototoxic effects. This refers to the extra damage that can occur after using a citrus-based essential oil immediately prior to sun exposure. It’s debatable as to whether or not mandarin essential oil will cause any ill effects, however, to be safe, avoid the sun after using this oil. You can also cut down on phototoxic effects by using mandarin oil with a carrier oil. Try coconut oil or jojoba oil, for example. Overall, mandarin essential oil is extremely mild and safe to use. This is especially true in comparison to some other essential oils. For first-time use, be sure to test a small area on your skin. If any adverse effects occur, discontinue use.