Type of plant: Small evergreen tree with small leaves, fragrant white flowers, and orange-colored fruits
Part used: Fruit rind
Method of extraction: Cold expression
Data: It’s said that the name mandarin comes from the color of the clothing worn by the officials of the old Chinese empire, the mandarins. The dried rind of the fruit is used in cooking and in traditional Chinese medicine to regulate chi. Mandarin originated in China and Vietnam and spread through Asia, only coming to Europe in the nineteenth century, particularly to the southern tip of Italy. The fruit is pressed to extract the essential oil before being fully ripe. This is a very gentle oil, good for blending and excellent for the more delicate among us, including children and those convalescing.
Principal places of production: Italy, Spain, Argentina, Egypt, Brazil, China, United States
When buying look for: A yellowish-green through orangey-gold liquid with a sweet, light, floral, fruity-citrus aroma. Mandarin essential oil is available in three different stages — green, yellow, and red — all with slightly differing fragrance notes. Not to be confused with the essential oil of tangerine, which has different properties.
Therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, calmative, digestive, sedative, stomachic, tonic
Therapeutic uses: Digestive conditions, nervous spasm, intestinal spasm, irritable bowel syndrome, stomachache, constipation, cellulite, insomnia, sleeping disorders, nervous tension, irritability, stress, convalescence
Blends well with: Basil linalol, bay (West Indian), bay laurel, bergamot, black pepper, cananga, cardamom, chamomile german, chamomile maroc, chamomile roman, clary sage, clove bud, coriander seed, cypress, fennel (sweet), frankincense, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper berry, lavandin, lavender, lemon, lime, linden blossom, marjoram (sweet), neroli, nutmeg, orange (sweet), patchouli, petitgrain, pine, ravensara, rosalina, rose absolute, rosemary, rose otto, rosewood, sandalwood, spearmint, spikenard, thyme linalol, valerian, ylang ylang
Precautionary advice: No contraindications known. GRAS status.