Who hasn’t heard about Sweet Orange oil?! But what about the Wild Orange essential oil variety? What is it and what’s it good for? Is it easy to find and mix? Is it safe? Time to find out! Citruses are a delight, but there are also things that may make them dangerous.
In this post, you’ll read about:
- What exactly is Wild Orange oil, and what is the difference between it and the sweet variety?
- Where and what Wild Orange to buy?
- The chemical composition of the oil, which is what makes it great in so many situations.
- The uses and benefits of Orange essential oil.
- Possible side effects and interactions caused by the oil of Wild Orange.
- How to best use this uplifting and enlivening essence in a safe manner.
- Other types of Orange essential oils and how not to confuse them.
- Plus, substitute ideas and some aromatic recipes for wellbeing, health, and beauty.
What is Wild Orange Essential Oil? (Pros, Cons, Benefits, and Uses)
Botanical name: Citrus sinensis.
Consistency: thin oil.
Aroma: sweet and tart, deep, rich, and refreshing.
Color: colorless to pale yellow.
Many sellers say that the wild orange variety comes from Citrus sinensis. It is also the name and source of the Sweet Orange variety.
Thus, the characteristics of wild orange are that of a regular (sweet) orange with bitter notes.
There are many types of orange extracts. They come from different plant parts, but the most common essence comes from the peels of the fruits.
Orange essential oil is a byproduct of the orange juice production. The peels are not needed for the juice, so they get cold pressed. This is one of the most popular methods of oil extraction.
Cold press is usually used in the extraction of carrier oils, which are fat substances. In this case, however, the oil expressed from the peels of the orange fruits is called essential oil.
Whether you call it Orange oil or essential oil, they’re one and the same thing. In other words, there’s no Orange oil vs. Orange essential oil.
Normal oils, which are cold-pressed from seeds and kernels, are fatty and oily. Essential oils evaporate and don’t leave greasy residues behind.
Cold press/expression is cheaper than distillation. That is especially so when the oranges are used for juice-making. But the orange peels can also be steam distilled.
Steam distillation is the traditional extraction method of all essential oils. Of course, there are differences among these extraction methods and their resulting products. I’ll tell you more about them soon.
Wild Orange vs. Sweet Orange Essential Oil
When it comes to Orange extracts, things can get confusing. We all know about Sweet Orange essential oil. It’s easy to find and it has that lovely, characteristic sweet orange scent about it.
Now, in search for a new bottle of Orange oil, you’ve probably also stumbled upon “Wild Orange essential oil”.
So, which one is it? Wild orange or Sweet Orange essential oil? The fact is that there is no clear source of “wild orange”.
There’s no wild orange fruit in the citrus family tree. There are kumquat and Buddha’s-hand among others, but no wild orange.
Even though sellers state the name of Citrus sinensis on their product, it isn’t. If it would be, the essential oil would be Sweet Orange, not Wild Orange.
They claim the two are different, and that the wild variety is wild-grown. They also say that the sweet variety is simply organic and farm-grown.
If you think about it for a second, this would make the same product, no matter how it’s grown. The source of the oils would be the same tree/fruit.
As a consequence, there’s not much versus in this matter. When you see “Wild Orange”, it’s either Sweet Orange or a mixture of orange extracts.
Wild Orange essential oil is more of a marketing strategy. Just like “therapeutic grade essential oils”, which are called so for marketing purposes only.
doTERRA sells a Wild Orange essential oil, which is very popular among Aromatherapy users. They do warn their customers about phototoxicity, which is normal in citrus essential oils.
However, it appears that Sweet Orange essential oil is not phototoxic. This would mean that their source of “Wild Orange” was not Citrus sinensis (sweet orange).
Or, as I said, it was a mixture of more Orange extracts. More on the chemical profile of the oil in the next chapter.
There’s been a case where a woman used this product and then went into a tanning bed to get a tan. A few days later she developed severe burns where she applied the oil.
Robert Tisserand says that it couldn’t have been (just) Sweet Orange oil. It appears that the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) concluded that Sweet Orange oil is not phototoxic.
It also seems that the oil doesn’t contain bergapten at all. Bergapten is a phototoxic substance found in most citruses.
My advice to you, always do your research before buying a “Wild Orange essential oil”.
Ask the supplier for the documentation (GC/MS report) of the product. You’ll need to know exactly what’s in it, especially if you’re using it in the summer.
Which Sweet/Wild Orange Oil to Use?
If you fancy the name and would like to test this variety of Orange oil, you can try any reputable supplier.
You can go for the doTERRA Wild Orange oil, but don’t expose yourself to UV light after using it. The oil smells great and can also uplift your mood or fill your house with its lovely scent.
You can find the oil of Wild Orange online quite easily. But, if you want to substitute it with something, go for the Sweet Orange essential oil.
Since it’s usually Sweet Orange anyway, it’s your best and surest bet. Sweet Orange is the best substitute for Wild Orange.
Depending on your purpose, you could also replace Sweet Orange with other orange varieties. Check out the last part of the article to find out about them.
The Composition of Orange Essential Oil
The oil of Sweet Orange is about 95% limonene (d-limonene). Of course, this concentration may vary between 89% and 97%.
This composition depends on the geographical area, time of harvest, extraction method, etc. The oil of Orange also contains small amounts of myrcene.
Luckily, there’s a lot of research on limonene. Being the main compound of Citrus sinensis essential oil, limonene makes it a:
- Powerful antiseptic and disinfectant.
- Antiviral and antibacterial.
- Great tissue-repairing substance.
- Good anti-edema substance.
- Digestive substance.
- Great anti-nausea remedy.
- Effective anti-stress aid.
- Pain-reliever (analgesic).
- Protector of the stomach.
The small quantity of myrcene adds to Sweet Orange essential oil properties like:
- Sedating and pain-relieving.
- Antibacterial and antifungal.
- Air disinfectant.
These are all useful properties you can expect from a high-quality Orange essential oil. Still wondering what the benefits of Wild Orange essential oil are? Check out this next part for practical ideas.
Wild Orange Essential Oil Uses and Benefits
You’ve got a pretty good idea what Wild Orange essential oil is good for, right? Next, you can see all the uses and benefits of Sweet/Wild Orange oil.
I’ve split them into three categories: health, wellbeing, and skincare. If you’ve got more uses for Orange essential oil, don’t hesitate to share it with us.
Sweet/Wild Orange Essential Oil Health Uses:
- Pain relief. A randomized clinical trial in a hospital revealed impressive results. It showed that patients with fractured limbs who inhaled Orange oil felt less pain than the others. Topical application of an Orange oil blend would work the same, only in a more localized fashion.
- Disinfect and kill bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus. This activity can prevent and soothe skin infections.
- Improve digestion and relieve gas.
- Prevent viral infections, especially in the cold season. The orange is a popular scent during the holidays anyway. You’d get to create a sanitary and festive atmosphere in your home.
- Boost your energy levels at any moment of the day.
- Strengthen the immune system.
- Clear out mucus and improve breathing.
- Relax muscle spasms and cramps and promote the elimination of accumulated toxins.
Sweet/Wild Orange Essential Oil Wellbeing Uses:
- Deal with insomnia by using Wild Orange essential oil for a better sleep. It’s known to have a sedating effect on the nervous system. It can relax your mind and body to the point of inducing sleep. This happens when the body is in a tired state. Orange oil doesn’t induce sleep during the day when you’re active.
- Manage your anxiety. A small study concluded that the oil of Orange can help women in labor. It can reduce the level of anxiety and stress before childbirth. This anti-anxiety effect of the oil applies in any other life situation.
- Uplift your mood whenever you’re feeling down. One single whiff can relax you almost instantly.
- Diffuse some Orange oil in your car, while driving for a long period of time.
- Clean out the kitchen and other surfaces around the house.
Sweet/Wild Orange Essential Oil Beauty Uses:
- You can use Orange essential oil for skin care recipes. They can be anti-aging or anti-acne. Sweet Orange or a pure and organic Wild Orange essential oil has it all. It’s antioxidant and can improve the aspect of wrinkles. It is also anti-inflammatory and can speed up the wound healing process. Thus, it makes a great anti-acne ingredient. By using Orange essential oil for the face you can reduce redness and clean the pores.
- Orange essential oil can also make the hair beautiful. It’ll be shinier and more nourished. It can improve the overall aspect of your hair, dealing with frizz as well.
- The oil can also improve the aspect of cellulite. For the best results, combine it with Grapefruit oil.
Wild Orange Essential Oil Side Effects
Orange is a safe citrus. Almost all citruses contain phototoxic substances called furocoumarins (or furanocoumarins) and coumarins. Luckily, Sweet Orange doesn’t contain many of these substances.
Furocoumarins and coumarins are:
- Organic compounds produced in the plant tissue for various purposes.
- They help to protect the plant from insects, diseases, and pathogens.
- There are about 1300 coumarins known so far. Each year, researchers continue to discover new coumarins.
- Examples of coumarins and furanocoumarins are bergapten, bergaptol, and bergamottin. As you’ve noticed, they get their names from bergamot, which is very rich in coumarins. Grapefruit is another citrus rich in coumarins. In the herbs and spices category, parsley contains high amounts of coumarins too.
- Coumarins have many important health benefits. They are strong antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show that coumarins and furocoumarins can also stop the growth and spread of cancerous cells. This is known as an antiproliferative activity. On top of this all, a high-quality, pure Sweet Orange essential oil can also protect the nerves and neurons. Plus, they can also maintain the integrity of the bones.
- In humans, these compounds attract UV rays, which makes them powerful photosensitizers. These phototoxic molecules are dangerous only in the presence of UV light. They can come from the sun or tanning beds. R. Tisserand says phototoxic essential oils are safe to use in products that wash away (shampoos, shower gels, etc.). It’s the leave-on products (creams and oil blends) with coumarins that are dangerous. That said, if you’re using such products, avoid sun exposure for at least 12 hours.
- Furocoumarins and coumarins can also interact with certain medications. This effect is known as the “grapefruit juice effect”. This interaction affects the cytochrome P450 liver and intestinal enzyme.
- Coumarins are the predecessors of furocoumarins. Both can be isolated from plants and essential oils by solvent extraction. This means that some citrus essential oils are coumarin-free, thus, non-phototoxic. Steam distilled peels are usually in this category. The heat and the fact that coumarins are only partially volatile, ensure only very small amounts (to none) make it into the essence. If they do, they can be removed afterward.
How to Use Wild Orange Essential Oil
Luckily, almost all Orange oil varieties can be used quite easily, without restrictions. The most important thing to remember is to:
- Never apply a citrus essential oil undiluted to the skin. Always mix it with a carrier oil of choice and shake well the blend. You can mix up to 25 drops of Wild Orange essential oil per Oz carrier oil. For face blends, the dose should be less (1-3 drops/10 ml carrier).
- If the oil is phototoxic, avoid sun exposure for at least 12 hours. Otherwise, you risk skin sensitization, blisters, and even burns.
That said, you can use Wild Orange essential oil in:
- Topical application through local, gentle massages.
- Air diffusion with the help of a good aromatherapy diffuser.
- Aromatic baths, with hot water, so that the steam can disperse the oil molecules. Always mix the oil with some salt, milk, honey, etc. before adding it to the water. Water and essential oils don’t mix and they will only float in a small pool that can irritate the skin.
- Aromatherapy spray mixtures. They can be used to change the air and smell of a room or to clean surfaces.
- You can also inhale directly from the bottle.
But, can I drink Orange essential oil, you ask. The answer is no. I know that many blog posts recommend “diluting” a drop of Wild Orange oil with water and drinking it.
I, however, do not agree with this practice. The mucous membrane of the throat, esophagus, and stomach are very sensitive.
Since the oil won’t mix with the water, the oil will remain stuck in the throat somewhere. This increases the risk of burning your respiratory system.
The internal use of any essential oil can be recommended by a doctor only. He can establish whether your health condition allows for this practice. He should also know how much you can take and for how long.
Other Types of Orange Essential Oils and Recipes
I was telling you in the beginning that there are many types of Orange essential oils. They have different names, mainly because they come from different plant parts. Let’s see what they are and where they come from.
The first important thing to know is that there are two species of orange trees:
- Citrus aurantium var. Amara. (The bitter orange tree)
- Citrus sinensis. (The sweet orange tree, which is smaller than the bitter species)
From the Citrus sinensis orange tree, we get:
- Sweet Orange essential oil, from the peels of the fruit.
- “Wild Orange” essential oil, also from the peels.
- Blood Orange essential oil, from the peels (just like Sweet Orange oil).
From the Citrus aurantium var. Amara orange tree, we get:
- Orange Blossom essential oil (a.k.a Neroli), from the blossoms of the tree.
- Bitter Orange essential oil, from the peels of the bitter orange fruit.
- Petitgrain essential oil, steam-distilled from the leaves of the bitter orange tree. Sometimes, they also use the peels of the green and unripe fruit.
Bergamot, Green Mandarin, and Tangerine. Grapefruit, Lemon, and Lime. They are all extracted from other citrus species that belong to the same plant family. It’s called Rutaceae.
Wild Orange Essential Oil Recipes
And now… for the most fun and practical part: blends and recipes!
Since Sweet or Wild Orange oil smells so great and uplifting, it can be used in many recipes. I have a few good ones prepared, all ready for you to take your pick.
But first, let’s see “what does Wild Orange essential oil blend well with”?
- Other citrus essential oils (all your favorites!).
- Litsea cubeba
- Lemon Verbena
Spicy essential oils:
- Clove Bud
- Black Pepper
Floral essential oils:
- Ylang Ylang
Herbal essential oils:
- Black Spruce
Resinous essential oils:
Now, the recipes I promised you…
Skin Care Orange Essential Oil Recipe
- Macadamia oil: 2 tablespoons
- Argan oil: 1 teaspoon
- Wild/Sweet Orange essential oil: 3 drops
- Ylang Ylang essential oil: 3 drops
Shake the blend well before each use. Apply on a damp, clean skin with gentle massage strokes.
Wild Orange Wild Morning Oil Diffuser Recipe
- Sweet/Wild Orange essential oil: 15 drops
- Grapefruit essential oil: 10 drops
- Black Spruce essential oil: 10 drops
Wild Orange Air Room Freshener Recipe
- Spray bottle (glass or plastic): 1 ½ Oz (50ml)
- Baking soda: 1 teaspoon
- Orange essential oil: 10 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 10 drops
- Fir essential oil: 10 drops
Mix the oils with the baking soda so that they can disperse well in the water. Add the mixture into the bottle, then fill it up with water. Shake every time you use this spray blend. Spray all over the room, avoiding furniture (and possible stains).
Wild orange essential oil is more of a Sweet Orange oil. Or, it can be a mixture of other orange extracts. However you put it, the essence usually smells great and appealing. It’s one of the most beloved fragrances in the world. It is also easy to produce and find to buy.
The important thing to be aware of is its phototoxicity. Pure Orange should not be phototoxic. If you’re not sure about this aspect, it’s best to avoid using it before sun exposure.
What is your experience with Orange essential oil? Have you ever had any skin reactions from it?