Neroli is extracted from the fragrant flowers of the bitter orange tree, also known as the or Seville orange tree. The evergreen tree, growing to height of ten metre (32 feet), has dark green, ovate leaves, white flowers with thick, fleshy petals, and small, dark fruits.
Native to southeast Asia- from where it spread to India and Persia- the tree today grows in the mediterranean, California, and South America. It is one of the few plants that produce more than one essential oil: neroli from the blossoms, petigrain from the leaves and twigs, and bitter orange oil from the rind of the fruit. The major producers of neroli are Tunisia, Italy, and France.
The bitter orange was first cultivated in the Mediterranean by Arab conquerors in the 10th or 11th century.
Neroli is thought to have been named after Anna Maria de la Tremoille, Princess of Neroli (near Rome), who in the 17th century introduced the oil to Italian society. Anna MAria used the scent wherever she could- on her gloves, stationary and scarves.
Cool in temperature and neutral in moisture, neroli oil cleats heat, relaxes the nerves and uplifts the Spirit.
Together with Rose, lavender, and melissa, it is one of the best essential oils to calm and stabilize the Heart and Mind. Neroli is particularly good for hot, agitated conditions of the Heart characterized by restlessness, insomnia, and palpitations, and is indicated for hypertension (high blood pressure). An all-round regulator of the nervous system, neroli oil helps to ease mental and emotional tension, nervous depression, and both chronic and acute anxiety.
With an action similar to that or orange peel oil, neroli is also of benefit to the Liver and Spleen Pancreas, and regulates nervous dyspepsia, abdominal spasm, and colic. Mildly astringent in nature, it is at the same time “grounding”.
Neroli oil instills both comfort and strength, and assists in the release of repressed emotions through relaxing and reuniting our solar and lunar (conscious and subconscious worlds).
Described as both sensual and spiritual, neroli help reestablish the links between a disconnected body and mind. If, for example, nervous depression quells sexual desire, neroli promotes both sensual ease and a feeling of emotional harmony. If, on the other hand, disturbing emotions have been pushed below consciousness, and “somatized” in the body as spasm and pain, neroli paves the way for their gradual release, easing the depression borne of denial. In this way, neroli oil may be considered for any deep emotional pain that robs us of hope and joy.
For more on Shanti’s essential oils and aromatherapy line, visit her website Invincible Essences