Skip to main content

Different Types of Citrus Oils and Their Benefits

I have been an active advocate of alternative health therapies for 10 years, and I am the author of a book on essential oils.


What Are Citrus Essential Oils?

Citrus fruits are very popular during the summer since they are common choices for preparing cold refreshments. They aren’t just popular because of their rich taste but also due to their powerful health benefits. It is no secret that eating citrus fruits has been promoted for so long due to their ability to boost your body’s natural immunity against diseases. In addition to preparing healthy juices, citrus fruits are also extracted to produce essential oils that have a wide range of applications in aromatherapy. The distinct aroma and essences of citrus oils produce a wide array of benefits to your body.

Citrus essential oils are extracted using two common methods, which are either pressing or steam distillation methods. Although citrus fruits come in a wide range of varieties, you can easily recognize that familiar and distinct aroma you can only produce with citrus fruits. The light aroma awakens your senses and boosts your body’s energy level. If you want to enjoy the benefits of citrus oils in aromatherapy, read more about the specific properties of each oil below and how you can utilize them.

Lemon Oil

This is one of the most common citrus oils around, which emits a fairly traditional scent that is subtle enough to produce an uplifting effect on your body. The diffusion method is the most effective for utilizing the essence of lemon oil; this way, the aroma is distributed throughout the entire room and aid in immediate stress relief as well as act as a natural air freshener.

Indeed, the subtle aroma of this oil and its antibacterial properties help to eliminate any harmful bacteria found in the atmosphere to cleanse the air you breathe in. Limonene is a natural chemical constituent found in the extracted lemon oil, which is responsible for its lemony aroma.

Lime Oil

Among all known citrus essential oils, lime oil probably produces the most potent aroma there is. Even if you add only a small drop of this particular oil, it is still capable of producing a powerful aroma that can make a huge difference when used in aromatherapy applications. To produce the essential oils from the lime fruit, it undergoes a cold pressing method. The resulting oil provides a distinct yet fresh aroma that makes an excellent addition to any essential oil blend due to its complexity in nature.

Just like lemon oil, lime essential oil is a popular essential oil to use for creating room mists. This is due to the ability of lime oil to provide a cleansing and renewing effect on your mind, body, and spirit. It is also a great choice of oil for holistic aromatherapy application.

Petitgrain Oil

This citrus oil is often referred to as floral essential oil, which is extracted from the same plant used to produce both bitter orange and neroli essential oils. However, unlike neroli which utilizes the flowering parts of the plant, petitgrain essential oil is derived using the leaves, twigs, and branches of the Citrus aurantium plant.

The plant parts then undergo a steam distillation process to isolate the essential oil components of the plant material and use it for aromatherapy. This, therefore, explains the similarities in the characteristics and aroma of petitgrain with neroli and bitter orange essential oils.

Neroli Oil

Although categorized as a floral essential oil, neroli oil is derived from a plant belonging to the citrus family. To be specific, it is extracted from a plant species known as Citrus aurantium via the steam distillation method. The fragrance emitted from neroli oil is gentle, sweet, and with a hint of citrus aroma.

This type of essential oil is quite rare, though, as compared to other citrus essential oils; thus, buying them can be more expensive than others. But, this oil is rich in chemical constituents and other vital healing properties, such that a small amount of this oil can be powerful enough to remedy a wide range of diseases.

Grapefruit Oil

The fruit itself might not be too appetizing for most people to consume, but essential oils derived from the grapefruit plant promise a lot of wonderful health benefits. The aroma of the oil itself is rather sweet but with a hint of tartness. When used in an inhalation method, grapefruit oil is really effective in uplifting your mood and fostering a positive state of mind.

To use grapefruit oil and enjoy its benefits, you can add a few drops into your pillow to improve quality of sleep at night. Or, you can also use a diffuser to allow the aroma to disperse all throughout the room so you can easily inhale into it. Diffusing grapefruit oil in the morning is a great way to energize your body for the activities ahead, while diffusing during the night will help relax your exhausted body and establish a sound sleep routine.

Bergamot Oil

Although one of the most popular, bergamot oil remains to be one of the most expensive essential oils around today. It is derived via cold pressing that produces a complex oil with a subtle hint of citrus in its aroma. One reason why it is expensive in the market is due to the wide range of health applications that you can use it for.

For people suffering from depression and other related psychological conditions, using either inhalation or diffusion methods is known to effectively address this condition. Meanwhile, those suffering from skin disorders such as acne and oily skin can benefit from bergamot oil as a natural skin care product. However, you need to limit or avoid sun exposure when applying citrus oils to your skin since they can be phototoxic and might cause harm to your skin when exposed to the sun over a long period of time.

Why Use Citrus Oils?

Citrus essential oils are undeniably one of the most beneficial groups of essential oils. Aside from the benefits listed for each citrus oil, you can enjoy general benefits from using these oils during aromatherapy:

  • Natural skin care due to the antioxidant and vitamin C properties of citrus oils;
  • Improved cardiovascular condition due to lower blood cholesterol, balanced blood sugar content, and liver detoxification;
  • Improved digestion due to the cleansing effect of citrus oils; and
  • Mood regulation because of citrus oils’ ability to boost serotonin production and provide an uplifting effect on the body.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Dianemae on July 07, 2015:

Very interesting. I only heard of half of the oils. There is so much I don't know. Thanks for the info.