(Citrus aurantifolia)

Plant Family


Synonyms var acida, C.latifolia.

Description and Distribution

A small evergreen tree growing to 8 feet  (2 m), crooked and prickly with small white flowers followed by yellowish-green fruit about half the size of a lemon.   The tree is native to Asia, but is extensively cultivated in other parts of the world.   Most of the oil is produced in the USA and  Italy.

Nature of  the Oil
A pale yellow or green liquid.   The strong aroma is sharp and refreshing, just like the fruit.   The odour effect is uplifting and cooling.

Main Constituents

Limonene, pinene, camphene, citral, cumene, cineol, linalool,.  The expressed oil also contains coumarins.

Medical Actions

Antiseptic, antiviral, aperitif, bactericidal, febrifugal, restorative.

Aromatherapeutic Uses

Colds and ‘flu, depression, nervous exhaustion and other stress-related disorders.


The expressed oil is highly phototoxic and must never be applied to the skin shortly before exposure to natural or simulated sunlight. However, the distilled oil is non-phototoxic because it is free from coumarins.   Both types of oil are potentially irritant to skin, so use in low concentrations.   The Oil has a short shelf-like and is therefore best used within six months of purchase.

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