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This exquisite essential oil may help ease anxiety and lift mood

This exquisite essential oil may help ease anxiety and lift mood

Its layered, citrusy scent has been called intoxicating, soothing, opulent, and euphoric, so unsurprisingly, neroli essential oil is found in the finest perfumes and lotions worldwide.  But, neroli oil does more than just please the senses – many integrative healthcare practitioners say it can offer therapeutic benefits for both body and mind.  Let’s check out some of the surprising benefits of this fragrant oil.

Neroli oil may help reduce pain, stress and anxiety

While clinical studies are limited, existing research suggests that aromatherapy with neroli oil can calm anxiety, lift mood, and even help dull pain.  Neroli oil appears to accomplish this by lowering levels of the “stress” hormone cortisol while promoting the action of serotonin, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter needed for a stable mood.  In one small study involving women in the first stages of labor, neroli oil was put to the test - with encouraging results.  Researchers found that women who inhaled the oil during the first stage of contractions experienced less anxiety, which appeared to suppress the perception of pain as well.  And, this was not the only research to show results.

In a separate study, sniffing neroli oil was also found to lift mood - and even reduce bloating - in college students with premenstrual syndrome.  Finally, a controlled trial showed that women who were given neroli oil reported less anxiety during breast biopsies. Neroli oil appears to have “the right stuff” to gently calm nerves, ease pain, and help promote a more positive outlook.

Support heart health with neroli oil

Neroli oil is rich in antioxidant compounds such as linalool, limonene, and nerolidol.  These may help support coronary health by fighting oxidative stress.  In addition, laboratory studies published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have shown that neroli oil can block the release of pro-inflammatory markers, thereby helping combat the chronic inflammation linked with heart disease - among other conditions. 

Finally, neroli oil protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.  In a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, women who inhaled neroli oil for five minutes a day for five days experienced significantly lower blood pressure and pulse rate when compared with a control group.

“Glow up” your skin with neroli oil

Many integrative dermatologists maintain that neroli oil can offer gifts to skin health as well.  When diluted in a carrier oil and applied topically, its moisturizing and hydrating effects may help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  In contrast, its vitamin C content can improve skin health by increasing cell turnover and elasticity. 

A study published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences credits neroli oil with antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties, which may help it prevent infections and even combat skin conditions such as acne and athlete’s foot.

Neroli oil couldn’t be simpler to utilize

One of the beauties of neroli oil is its ease of use.  Simply add a couple drops to bath water for a soothing soak - or sprinkle a small amount on a tissue and sniff at intervals for calming effects.  Or, soak a cotton ball and place it under a pillow to promote restful sleep.  Of course, you can also access neroli oil benefits through an aromatherapy diffuser.

To apply to the skin, mix three to six drops of neroli oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil, such as sweet almond, coconut, olive, or jojoba oil.

Consult your holistic doctor before using neroli oil for aromatherapy or topical use.  Like other essential oils, neroli oil should not be ingested orally.  If you have a citrus allergy, don’t use neroli oil.  And don’t add neroli oil to tanning oil or use it before exposure to the sun.  Remember, aromatherapy may not be safe around children or pets.

When buying neroli essential oil, opt for a high-quality organic product that is billed as therapeutic-grade.  Look for the phrase “Citrus aurantium,” the botanical name for bitter orange, on the label.

While neroli oil may not be among the more reasonably priced essential oils, its fans swear this aromatic liquid is worth every “scent.”  You may want to give this irresistible-smelling oil a try!

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