How to Use Neroli Oil for Menopause, Stress and More!
In this article, you will learn about:
- Bitter Orange Blossom
- 4 Unique Benefits of Neroli Oil
- DIY Neroli Applications
In our grocery store society, we are used to seeing just one part of a plant as edible – the vegetable or fruit. But our flowers, vegetables, trees, and shrubs have so much more to offer! We know that essential oils can be taken from multiple parts of some plants, and neroli is an excellent example. Distilled from the blossoms of orange trees, neroli oil has its own benefits that sweet or wild orange can't match.
Bitter Orange Blossom
Neroli oil comes from Citrus aurantium, just as bitter orange essential oil. But the chemical composition is different. Bitter orange oil – and most citrus – are cold pressed from the peel, whereas neroli is distilled from the blossoms.
In fact, an analysis of each found that there were more than twice as many compounds in the essential oil found in orange blossoms than there were in the peel. (1)
The blossoms that are harvested to create neroli essential oil would otherwise have become oranges, and it takes a significant amount of them to make the oil (the supplier Mountain Rose Herbs indicates 100 lbs of blossoms to make 1 lb of oil!). These factors alone justify neroli as a rather pricey oil. But demand for essential oils is high, so adulteration is a common problem.
It is difficult to know whether an oil has been cut with cheaper oils, additives, or scents. The best we can do is choose reputable manufacturers who are willing to be transparent about their production methods, batch analyses, and sourcing.
4 Unique Benefits of Neroli Oil
When you see Citrus on a bottle of neroli oil, don't mistake it for the same old orange oil. I love orange oil as much as the next person, but when you pay a pretty penny to enjoy the luxury of neroli, you treat it like something special! Neroli is much richer in essential oils than the peel of the fruit and has some very specific benefits to be enjoyed.
Use neroli oil for…
1. Pain & Inflammation
There's a reason people go through the trouble of harvesting specific blossoms at a specific time to make an oil – traditionally infused or hydrosol, more recently distilled for concentrated essential oils. It's completely worth the effort!
Neroli oil was recently tested in the lab to isolate its compounds and determine why it has been used to combat painful inflammation. Although not every traditional use is verified in the lab, we have seen over and over again that many of them are. In this case, researchers came to the following conclusion:
The results suggest that neroli possesses biologically active constituent(s) that have significant activity against acute and especially chronic inflammation, and have central and peripheral antinociceptive effects which support the ethnomedicinal claims of the use of the plant in the management of pain and inflammation. (2)
Some of the compounds in neroli are able to target the inflammatory process, so neroli would be worth the investment if you are struggling against chronic inflammation and painful conditions.
Indications: Massage oil, topical pain ointment.
Not every woman struggles heavily with menopause, but for those who do, the effects can be debilitating. For others, it can be disruptive and unpleasant – and who has time for that?
According to the ACOG, most women will spend 40% of their lives in menopause or post-menopausal, and while the slight majority of women do nothing for symptoms, an estimated 38 million hormone replacement drugs were prescribed in 2010. (3)
Personal inhalers are simple and use very little oil, making neroli a worthwhile investment for anyone dealing with unpleasant symptoms of menopause. While hormone replacement therapy is sometimes necessary, some symptoms may be controlled with the simple addition of this invaluable essential oil.
Indications: Diffusion, personal inhalers.
3. Stress Reduction
It seems menopausal and post-menopausal women aren't the only ones who benefit from neroli's antihypertensive effects. In another study conducted by Korean scientists, neroli was combined with other calming essential oils for evaluation in control groups.
There were 83 participants, all of whom had high blood pressure or pre-high blood pressure, and the group was divided into three sections: no treatment; a placebo fragrance; and a blend of lavender, neroli, ylang ylang, and marjoram. After inhalation only, the test group had improved cortisol (stress) markers as well as lower blood pressure. (5)
High blood pressure is a potentially dangerous condition that should be treated promptly upon discovery, but for most cases, lifestyle changes will come first. Especially when stress has contributed to elevated blood pressure, including stress relieving oils like neroli can be an important and effective lifestyle change.
4. Neural Health
Such prominent effects on stress indicate some kind of action in the brain. Traditional uses of the blossom include anticonvulsants and anti-seizure treatments, so researchers in 2014 analyzed whether the essential oil itself had any of these actions.
The studies were conducted on mice, so the results are preliminary and don't indicate any kind of replacement for current treatments. However, they were able to trace and replicate anticonvulsant activity in neroli essential oil. (6)
Until we know more about how this might impact future approaches in medicine, we can acknowledge the overall protective effect that neroli seems to have for brain and mental health and wellness.
Indications: Diffusion, inclusion in calming blends.
DIY Neroli Applications
The best application for neroli seems to be diffusion or inhalation. It's a light, floral fragrance that blends well in many preparations. Try it with other relaxing, focus, or anti-anxiety oils to create a calming, enjoyable fragrance:
Safety & Contraindications
When it comes to drug interactions and contraindications, there are literally textbooks devoted to the study of essential oil safety, and I must defer to the chemists, pharmacists and experts who understand this complicated topic more than I.
With that said, as a trained researcher and doctor, I think it’s important to note that there is virtually no research out there discussing how essential oils interact with drugs in human clinical trials. Essentially, what this means is that essential oil safety is still a wild frontier in the science community and no one really knows (for certain) how essential oils will interact with drugs or your body.
Let common sense be your guide. Still, be sure to maintain proper dilutions, and general safety considerations still apply. As always, discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur and consult your physician immediately.