Orange Blossom: Benefits And Use
The flower of the bitter orange tree or bigaradier has multiple uses in cooking and in phytotherapy. This small white flower with a delicious scent is known for its calming and sedative properties. We explain to you how to use the orange flower to take advantage of its benefits against anxiety and insomnia.
What is the orange blossom?
Contrary to what one might think, the orange blossom is not that of the tree that yields table oranges or Citrus sinensis. It is the flower of the sour orange tree or bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium).
This tree of the Rutaceae family is native to Asia and its flower has been used in the East since ancient times.
Even today, the essence extracted from these flowers is called neroli essential oil in honor of Princess Marie-Anne de Nerola who poured it into her bath in the 17th century.
Neroli oil is expensive because it takes a ton of hand-harvested flowers to produce a liter of essential oil.
What are the benefits of orange blossom?
Orange blossom is reputed for its calming and sedative properties. It is a valuable remedy in herbal medicine for people who suffer from various anxiety disorders :
- mild depression
- difficult digestion
Lesser known fact, this flower also has good for the skin as it promotes cell and skin regeneration.
How to use orange blossom ?
Orange blossom can be used in different forms:
- neroli essential oil
- orange blossom floral water
- infusion of dried flower buds or petals.
This floral water is often used in cooking to flavor various desserts, such as fruit salad or pancake batter for example.
But this edible hydrolat is also interesting to facilitate digestion: just dilute a teaspoon in a cup of boiling water to obtain a tea to drink at the end of the meal.
It can also be used to cleanse and tone the skin, by misting this floral water directly on the face before passing a cotton pad.
To calm anxiety, you can also use this plant in infusion. Count 4 flower buds or a teaspoon of petals per cup of boiling water and let infuse for 10 minutes before straining. Taken in the evening before bedtime, this infusion promotes sleep.
In case of a panic attack or anxiety, it is best to use neroli essential oil. You can inhale it deeply from the bottle or apply a drop to your solar plexus and then massage the area to relax it.
Finally, if you want to benefit from the regenerative properties of this essential oil for the skin, add a drop of this EO to your cream in the palm of your hand, preferably at night.
What are the contraindications of orange blossom?
Orange blossom or neroli essential oil should not be used in infants under 3 years of age as well as in pregnant and nursing women.
It is also not recommended for allergic or asthmatic people who must imperatively perform a test in the fold of the elbow before use.
Be careful because this essential oil is photosensitizing! It should not be applied to the skin before sun exposure.