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Neroli Essential Oil: 9 Benefits and Uses

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Neroli essential oil comes from the steam distillation of orange blossoms—the small, delicate white flowers that grow on bitter orange trees. The sweet scent of neroli oil has a floral and citrus mix that makes it unique and refreshing. It contains many of the same properties found in citrus essential oils like sweet orange oil, lemon oil and grapefruit oil. Like these, neroli oil is used in aromatherapy to alleviate depression and soothe the nerves.

As a natural medicine, neroli oil can assist with wound healing, high blood pressure, respiratory infections, menstrual discomfort and digestive complaints. It also kills bacteria, reduces acne and rejuvenates your skin. Here are 8 benefits and uses of neroli essential oil you should know about:

1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Research suggests neroli essential oil could ease the physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety. In a study on ICU patients, neroli essential oil aromatherapy was shown to lessen anxiety and improve sleep quality [1]. Another study showed it reduced anxiety in women about to give birth [2].

When you take in the aroma of neroli essential oil, its volatile compounds interact with your brain’s limbic system—the emotional center that influences your nervous system. Neroli oil seems to ease anxiety by lowering your heart rate, stress hormone levels, blood pressure and breathing rate. It also works by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is involved in rest and energy conservation. These effects also make neroli essential oil effective for inducing a good night’s sleep.

2. Lowers High Blood Pressure

If you struggle with high blood pressure, neroli essential oil can offer you a drug-free remedy for improving your blood pressure. In a study on 83 people with high blood pressure, inhaling neroli essential oil effectively lowered blood pressure [3]. Try putting a few drops of it in an essential oil diffuser once a day to inhale the aroma for 20 to 30 minutes. Or, incorporate it into your daily routine by using it in a homemade perfume or lotion.

3. Balances Your Hormones

In the same study on hypertensive patients, researchers found that neroli essential oil also lowered cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone beneficial for responding to stressful short-term situations. Chronically high cortisol levels, which accompany chronic stress, bring your hormones out of balance and can pose serious health risks.

In a study on postmenopausal women, neroli essental oil aromatherapy was found to reduce stress and menopausal symptoms. They also had better estrogen levels and improved libido [4]. In a study on women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), participants who inhaled neroli oil experienced improved symptoms compared to participants inhaling a placebo [5]. By bringing high cortisol levels down, other hormones that play regulatory roles in the body like estrogen, serotonin and norepinephrine can come into balance.

4. Helps Ease Pain and Lower Inflammation

According to research, neroli essential oil effectively reduces pain and inflammation, including both acute and chronic inflammation. It works by modulating the immune system’s inflammatory response. Simultaneously, it reduces pain by influencing the body’s pain regulatory system in a way that lowers your sensitivity to pain [6].

5. Repairs and Rejuvenates Skin

The ways neroli essential oil enhances your skin are numerous. It has antiseptic properties that help fight acne. By reducing redness and inflammation, it diminishes blemishes and promotes an even skin tone. It also normalizes oil production in the skin, which can help improve moisture if your skin is dry, or prevent clogged pores if your skin has excess oil. Neroli oil can even fight aging by improving your skin’s elasticity. Plus, it helps lock in moisture, which eliminates fine lines caused by dry skin. Finally, the antioxidants in neroli essential oil nourish your skin and protect it from free radical damage, which is linked to aging.

6. Relieves Digestive Complaints

Neroli essential oil has carminative qualities, which means it helps you eliminate gas, bloating and gas pains by breaking down air bubbles in the digestive tract. By acting as an antispasmodic, it relaxes smooth muscles in the bowels and can help relieve cramps, abdominal pain and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Neroli oil can also relieve diarrhea and reduce the symptoms of colitis. Massage a few drops of neroli oil diluted in a carrier oil into your abdomen to help ease digestive complaints.

7. Improves Cold and Flu Symptoms

When you come down with a cold or catch the flu, neroli essential oil can help relieve symptoms like sinus congestion, respiratory congestion and coughing. Inhaling it can help you expel mucus and suppress unproductive coughing.

Neroli oil can also take some of the burden off your immune system with its antiviral properties. Take advantage of its germicidal properties by diffusing it in an essential oil diffuser so it can naturally clean the air.

8. Boosts Libido

When your libido is low due to stress or hormone imbalance, neroli essential oil can help put you in the mood. It’s been shown to enhance sexual function in postmenopausal women. By lowering cortisol levels, reducing blood pressure and stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system, inhaling neroli oil can improve your sex drive and sexual performance.

9. Heals Wounds and Diminishes Scars

Neroli oil has cytophylactic properties, which means it boosts the production of new cells and improves the health of existing cells. This makes it particularly healing for wounds and scar tissue. Because it also kills germs and prevents infections, applying neroli oil to a cut or scrape can help treat it. Use neroli oil regularly on scars to help diminish them faster over time.

Final Considerations

Neroli essential oil is revered in aromatherapy for its calming aroma and rejuvenating properties. It’s great to add to massage oil or dilute in a product like shea butter to use as an aromatherapy-enhanced moisturizer that also fights aging. As with any essential oil, there are safety matters to consider when using neroli essential oil. It’s not recommended to ingest neroli oil, or apply it directly to your skin without a carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil or almond oil.

1. Effects of Aromatherapy on the Anxiety, Vital Signs, and Sleep Quality of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Patients in Intensive Care Units

2. Aromatherapy With Citrus Aurantium Oil and Anxiety During the First Stage of Labor

3. Essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects

4. Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

5. Investigation of the effect of aromatherapy with Citrus aurantium blossom essential oil on premenstrual syndrome in university students: A clinical trial study

6. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Citrus aurantium L. blossoms essential oil (neroli): involvement of the nitric oxide/cyclic-guanosine monophosphate pathway