Petitgrain essential oil facts and benefits

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Petitgrain essential oil facts and benefits

Petitgrain essential oil Quick Facts
Name: Petitgrain essential oil
Scientific Name: Citrus aurantium
Origin South-East Asia
Colors Pale yellow to amber
Health benefits Treats Hypertension, Natural Coolant, Maintains Emotional Balance, Improves Productivity, Relieves Spasms, Mood Enhancer, Overcome Addictions, Beneficial For Oily Skin, Memory Enhancer, Healthy Nervous System, Deodorant, Antidepressant, Skin Benefits, Reduces Stress,Supports Cardiovascular Health, Sedative, Heals Wounds
Petitgrain oil comes from the bitter orange tree, Citrus aurantium. Originally from Southern China, the bitter orange tree was brought to Paraguay in the 19th century, and now flourishes easily in this part of the world. The essential oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of the bitter orange tree. The tree reaches about 3 meters high when cultivated, but can attain up to about 6 meters when growing in the wild. It has stout branches with a smooth brown trunk. When compared to sweet orange tree it has a more erect stature and tighter crown of leaves. It has flexible twigs with blunt thorns. The leaves are glossy and highly aromatic.

There are three essential oils derived from the bitter orange tree. Petitgrain is distilled from the leaves and twigs of the tree, Neroli essential oil is distilled from the blossoms, and Bitter Orange oil is produced by cold pressing the rinds of the fruits. Since Petitgrain essential oil is distilled from the leaves and twigs, it is less floral and less citrusy than Neroli or Orange essential oil. It has a beautiful, fresh, woody, citrusy and a bit floral aroma that blends well with Bergamot, Geranium, Lavender, Palma rosa, Rose wood, Sandal wood, Basil, Benzoin, Clary sage, Cypress, Lemon, Lime, Linaloe wood, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange sweet, Rosemary, Ylang ylang, Clove, Geranium, Jasmine, Cassia, Cinnamon, Citronella, Lemongrass, Lime, Sage, Spikenard, Tangerine, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Marjoram and Oakmoss essential oil. Petitgrain is widely used in the perfume industry, giving body sprays, fragrances, lotions, and colognes a fresh, herbaceous note that is popular among both women and men.

Derived from the bitter orange tree, Petitgrain oil has long been used in traditional health practices, for cleaning purposes, and for its various internal benefits. Extensively used in the perfume industry, Petitgrain oil offers a fresh, floral, and often herbaceous aroma that makes it unique and useful in a variety of settings. From promoting restful sleep to supporting healthy immune function, Petitgrain oil uses and benefits are certainly far reaching and effective.


Petitgrain essential oil comes from bitter orange (Citrus aurantium), a hybrid between pomelo and mandarin orange. It is also commonly referred to as sour orange or marmalade orange. They are commercially grown in many countries, with France and Paraguay as its major producers. Bitter orange has so many uses. It is popular in the perfume industry for its woody, greenish citrusy aroma that is used in perfumes. In the food industry, it is used as flavoring, and is made into a delicious marmalade that is a great accompaniment to bread.

The oil is extensively used in alternative medicine such as herbal healing and Ayurveda as it contains substances that can treat a plethora of health disorders and boost general well-being. Its uplifting and energizing smell makes it favorite oil for aromatherapy.

Health benefits of Petitgrain essential oil

The health benefits of Petitgrain Essential Oil could be related to its properties just as one antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, antidepressant, deodorant, nervine as well as sedative substance. Aside from being used in aromatherapy, the Petitgrain oil has several utilizes in herbal medicine. Its therapeutic uses are listed as well as explained below.

1. Heals Wounds

Petitgrain essential oil is popular for its antiseptic properties. This oil limits the growth of bacteria and various other distressing microorganisms from damaging the skin. The oil remarkably helps in effectively healing all types of painful wounds, scrapes and cuts. On application of this oil at the infected area of the skin prevents formation of septic and heals the wound efficiently and rapidly.

2. Sedative

Petitgrain essential oil is a good sedative, and cures insomnia. This feature makes petitgrain good for treating sudden anger, irritations, afflictions, anxiety, stress, and inflammations. You can use this oil to treat abnormal palpitations, hypertension, and insomnia.(1)

3. Skin Benefits

Petitgrain essential oil is good for your skin. It helps to maintain the oil-moisture balance of your skin and reduces traces of acne, pimples, abnormal sweating, and dry and cracked skin.(2)

4. Antidepressant

Petitgrain essential oil is a wonderful antidepressant. Its soothing aroma and calming effect help to overcome depression and relax your body. So, next time when you feel depressed, a few drops of petitgrain essential oil will help you become positive.(3)

5. Deodorant

Petitgrain has a delightfully calming aroma, which is floral but effective and covers most traces of body odor. Petitgrain helps curb bacteria growth in parts of the body that are hot, covered or tend to be sweaty. A few drops of petitgrain oil can help you overcome body odor and prevent skin infections that lead to bacterial growth.(4)

6. Healthy Nervous System

Petitgrain essential oil is a powerful nervine or nerve tonic. The soothing and relaxant properties of this oil help to overcome feelings of anger, anxiety, dejection, fear and shock. Petitgrain essential oil calms nervous afflictions, epileptic attacks, convulsions, and seizures. The oil helps boost your nervous system health and is good for the central nervous system.(5)

7. Relieves Spasms

Petitgrain essential oil is an antispasmodic agent which helps in decreasing convulsion related to muscular cramps, etc. Spasms are unwanted, involuntary and excessive contractions in the muscles, tissues, and nerves. This essential oil, being anti-spasmodic in nature, encourages relaxation in the muscles and blood vessels, thus helping in treating spasms.(6)

8. Memory Enhancer

Petitgrain essential oil is useful for people who have lost memory with age. This oil helps in enhancing the memory of a person and restores it to best possible levels. Along with this it also promotes mental clarity and sharpening of mind.

9. Beneficial For Oily Skin

Petitgrain essential oil is quite beneficial for oily skin. Application of this oil on your skin makes it free from common skin issues like pimples, acne, scars, blemishes, whiteheads and blackheads. If you have oily skin uses this oil to balance oil secretion in the body and keep it under control. With regular usage of this oil it helps in protecting your skin by minimizing these issues to a large extent and prevents its recurrence.

10. Supports Cardiovascular Health

As soon as the blood vessels narrow, blood flow is decreased and blood pressure goes up. However, when something assists the blood vessels in opening, or expanding, the flow of blood increases and blood pressure will normalizes. Petitgrain help to lower high blood pressure by increasing dilation and healthy circulation. It is also full of heart-protective antioxidants, while calming the emotions and soothing the nervous to ease the stress so commonly associated with heart troubles. Apply topically (diluted) directly over the heart daily.

11. Reduces Stress

Stress and anxiety have become common nowadays. In this busy and competitive world everyone works hard by sacrificing mental and physical relaxation. This leads to the development of stress and anxiety in a person. This oil has antidepressant qualities that uplift the spirit of the person calms the body and mind. Its soothing smell relives one from sadness, fear and depression as well.

12. Overcome Addictions

Consumption of this oil is very beneficial for those who have any sort of addiction or bad habits. It helps in strengthening the will power of a person which makes it easy to give up simple to difficult addictions as well as compulsions.

13. Mood Enhancer

Petitgrain essential oil has been found to show relaxing effects. This property of this essential oil helps overcome depression and other problems such as anxiety, stress, anger, and fear. Along with reducing anxiety, it also promotes the betterment of mood and induces positive thinking.

14. Improves Productivity

This oil helps in treating a wide range of simple to severe health issues and boosts wellbeing in a person. A person feels rejuvenated and enthusiastic which gets clearly visible in their work.

15. Maintains Emotional Balance

Petitgrain essential oil helps to promote emotional and mental health. It helps relinquish self-control and encourages self-acceptance, making it an excellent mix for maintaining emotional health. Essentially used to overcome addictions and regain self-control and good judgment, this oil is excellent in maintaining an emotional balance.

16. Natural Coolant

Petitgrain essential oil, when applied on skin has excellent cooling properties. Due to the fact that most essential oils are well known for their coolant properties, this essential does not fail to deliver. When it is used to massage the scalp, it cools and soothes the scalp.

17. Treats Hypertension

Petitgrain essential oil has the main health benefit of acting as a relaxant which makes its use in treating hypertension. It promotes blood vessel health by showing its relaxant properties and thus helping in the suggestive treatment of hypertension.

Different methods of using Petitgrain essential oil

Oily Skin: Combine 3 drops Petitgrain, 2 drops Ylang Ylang, and 4 drops Sandalwood in a base of coconut oil or add to your favorite facial moisturizer. Apply to your face nightly.

Soothe Sensitive Skin: Apply 2 drops Petitgrain and 2 drops Geranium in carrier oil over the face at night to relieve and soothe sensitive skin.

Emotional Relief Bath: To relieve nervous exhaustion and uplift the mood, take a bath with 4 drops Petitgrain and 2 drops Ylang Ylang in a cup of Epsom salts.

Sleep Long: Add 4 drops Petitgrain and 4 drops Lavender to your diffuser to help fall asleep quickly and sleep longer and more restful.

Reduce Blood Pressure: Mix 3 drops Petitgrain and 3 drops Ylang Ylang in a carrier oil and apply over the heart in a circular motion. Use this daily for long term effects.

Manly Lavender: If your man doesn’t like the smell of Lavender, but would like to enjoy the benefits, simply substitute Petitgrain. Its chemistry is very similar to lavender, but with a more manly smell.

Tummy Blend: Add to a 2 ounce squeeze bottle: 4 drops of Petitgrain, 4 drops of Ginger, 3 drops of Peppermint and 9 drops of Sweet Orange, then fill with Sweet Almond oil. Shake to mix well. Apply a teaspoon over the abdomen and massage. (2% dilution)

Natural Deodorant: Apply Petitgrain with a carrier oil to the under arms to help reduce excessive perspiration and reduce odor.

Greasy Hair: Apply 2 drops Petitgrain and 2 drops Basil to your shampoo to help balance oil production of the scalp.

Problem skin: Add to a 2 ounce bottle: 3 drops of Petitgrain 2 drops of Geranium, 2 drops of Cypress and 3 drops of Orange, then fill with witch hazel. Shake well before applying a couple of drops to a water-damp cotton ball and wiping oily areas around the nose, chin and forehead. Add a teaspoon of this blend to a small basin of water and soak a face cloth for larger areas. Relax and keep your eyes closed, as you apply the cloth to your entire face for a refreshing mask!

Citrus Blossom Diffuser Blend: Combine 3 drops Petitgrain, 3 drops Tangerine or Wild Orange, 2 drops Bergamot, 2 drops Lime, and 2 drops Lavender. Add to your favorite diffuser for a mood brightening aroma!

Refresh & Get Grounded Diffuser Blend: Combine 4 drops Balance, 3 drops Petitgrain, and 2 drops Eucalyptus. Add to your favorite diffuser for a refreshing and grounding aroma.

Shampoo: Add to 1 tablespoon of your shampoo: 1 drop of Petitgrain and 2 drops of Tea Tree. Massage well into the scalp; rinse well before using conditioner.

Extraction of Petitgrain Essential Oil

Petitgrain essential oil is obtained from the fresh leaves as well as young and tender twigs by steam distillation. In this particular method, the volatile compounds contained in the oil are completely taken out, leaving just the health-boosting substances within the oil. The yield is oil that is watery in viscosity, along with colors which vary from pale yellow to amber. It releases a woody, citrusy along with a bit floral aroma.

Dosage of Petitgrain Essential Oil

No suitable dosage has been set for the usage of petitgrain essential oil because of insufficient clinical research. Just before use, the oil should be diluted in the carrier oil to reduce its concentration. It blends well together with the essential oils of geranium, lavender, sandalwood, bergamot and rosewood.

Traditional uses and benefits of Petitgrain essential oil

  • Place a few drops of Petitgrain on your pillows and bedding before going to bed in order to enjoy its aromatic benefits.
  • To help reduce the appearance of skin imperfections, consider adding a couple drops of Petitgrain oil to Fractionated Coconut Oil and applying it to skin blemishes or imperfections.
  • Petitgrain essential oil has been used in Ayurveda as excellent massage oil for treating inflamed tissues, muscular spasms and lymphatic damage.
  • Few drops of this oil in water when used to rinse your hairs helps in relieving hair and scalp from all kinds of infections, dryness, oiliness etc.
  • Inhaling the oil is said to be strengthening – promoting mental clarity and helping to sharpen the memory.
  • It is also beneficial in controlling excessive perspiration.
  • For an invigorating diffuser blend, add 6 drops Petitgrain, 6 drops Lime, and 2 drops Cypress to a diffuser for 15-20 minutes.

Petitgrain Essential oil facts

Petitgrain essential oil is derived from the bitter orange tree, which has a long history of use in traditional health practices. It is derived from the leaves and twigs of the orange, lemon or tangerine tree.  The citrus evergreen trees are native to Asia.  Historically, Petitgrain essential oil has been used for cleaning purposes and it has been used internally to support healthy immune system and nervous system function. Emerging scientific evidence provides support for these traditional and other uses. Petitgrain is widely used in the perfume industry, giving body sprays, fragrances, lotions, and colognes a fresh, herbaceous note that is popular among both women and men.

Name Petitgrain essential oil
Scientific Name Citrus aurantium
Native Originated in South-East Asia, and spread to North-Eastern India, Burma and China, eventually finding its way via Arab traders to Africa, Arabia and Syria.
Common Names Orange leaf oil
Plant Growth Habit Small evergreen tree
Plant Size About 3 meters (10ft)
Trunk Smooth brown trunk
Branches Stout branches
Leaf Broad-ovate, glossy and highly aromatic
Flower White flowers consisting of 5 petals and 24 yellow stamens
Oil Color Pale yellow to amber.
Flavor/aroma Woody, citrusy and a bit floral aroma
Plant Parts used Fresh leaves and young and tender twigs of bitter orange tree
Method of Extraction Steam distillation
Commonly Blended with
  • Bergamot
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Palma rosa
  • Rose wood
  • Sandal wood
  • Basil
  • Benzoin
  • Clary sage
  • Cypress
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Linaloe wood
  • Mandarin
  • Neroli
  • Orange sweet
  • Rosemary
  • Ylang ylang
  • Clove
  • Geranium
  • Jasmine
  • Cassia
  • Cinnamon
  • Citronella
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime
  • Sage
  • Spikenard
  • Tangerine
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Marjoram
  • Oakmoss
Health benefits
  • Treats Hypertension
  • Natural Coolant
  • Maintains Emotional Balance
  • Improves Productivity
  • Relieves Spasms
  • Mood Enhancer
  • Overcome Addictions
  • Beneficial For Oily Skin
  • Memory Enhancer
  • Healthy Nervous System
  • Deodorant
  • Antidepressant
  • Skin Benefits
  • Reduces Stress
  • Supports Cardiovascular Health
  • Sedative
  • Heals Wounds
How to Eat
  • It is used as a flavor component in foods, alcoholic and soft drinks.
Other Facts
  • It is extensively used in soaps, cosmetics, perfumery, and detergents. 
  • Possible skin sensitivity.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician.
  • Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.
  • Avoid sun exposure to area of application for at least twelve hours after topical application.
  • Do not use on broken skin or on abrasions.
  • Do not use internally, unless directed by a licensed Aromatherapist or physician






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