By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, Registered Aromatherapist, LMT, Professional AIA and NAHA Member
The aroma of neroli has shown in multiple scientific studies to help reduce anxiety naturally. Steam distilled from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree, Citrus aurantium, this essential oil has a strong and exotic floral aroma, and a light sweet citrus note. Both the essential oil, and its key constituent of linalool have shown in numerous human studies to have a calming effect.
Here are a few studies showing that the aroma of neroli reduced stress and anxiety.
In a study with 140 patients, the aroma of neroli given 3 times a day significantly reduced anxiety compared to the placebo (1). In another study of 60 patients undergoing a mild operation, neroli aroma reduced preoperative anxiety (2).
Neroli aroma may also help improve mood swings during menstrual cycles and menopause in women. In a study with 62 college students, aromatherapy with neroli reduced premenstrual syndrome symptoms, including mood (3). In another study with 63 menopausal women, five minutes of neroli aroma twice a day for 5 days reduced stress (4).
The Linalool Constituent
Neroli essential oil typically contains close to 50% linalool, along with other constituents that have a calming effect (5). Linalool can also be found in other relaxing floral essential oils like lavender, ylang-ylang, jasmine, and geranium. Based on scientific research, both the aroma and topical application may promote relaxation.
In vivo studies have shown that linalool rich essential oils have induced relaxation (6,7). Further studies have found that linalyl acetate, another constituent found in neroli, may work synergistically with linalool to reduce anxiety upon inhalation (8).
Topical application may also have calming results. One interesting study showed that linalool applied topically to the skin of people who had masks over their noses to prevent smelling, still had sedative results (9).
Relaxing Neroli Toner Recipe
To enjoy the relaxing aroma and topical benefits of neroli essential oil, try making this easy toner recipe.
Neroli Toner Ingredients
- 1/4 tsp of liquid castile soap
- 1/2 tsp of aloe vera gel
- 6 drops of neroli essential oil
- 1 ounce of witch hazel
- 2 ounces of water
- 1 four-ounce glass spray bottle
First, combine the soap, aloe, essential oil, and witch hazel together in the bottle. Shake well. Then add the water and shake well again. To use, shake and spray on skin. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.
- Moslemi, F., Alijaniha, F., Naseri, M., Kazemnejad, A., Charkhkar, M., & Heidari, M. R. (2019). Citrus aurantium Aroma for Anxiety in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
- Akhlaghi, M., Shabanian, G., Rafieian-Kopaei, M., Parvin, N., Saadat, M., & Akhlaghi, M. (2011). Citrus aurantium blossom and preoperative anxiety. Revista brasileira de anestesiologia, 61(6), 707-712.
- Heydari, N., Abootalebi, M., Jamalimoghadam, N., Kasraeian, M., Emamghoreishi, M., & Akbarzadeh, M. (2018). Investigation of the effect of aromatherapy with Citrus aurantium blossom essential oil on premenstrual syndrome in university students: A clinical trial study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 32, 1-5.
- Choi, S. Y., Kang, P., Lee, H. S., & Seol, G. H. (2014). Effects of inhalation of essential oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on menopausal symptoms, stress, and estrogen in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014
- Tisserand, R. & Young, R. (2014). Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition. Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier.
- Linck, V. M., Da Silva, A. L., Figueiró, M., Caramão, E. B., Moreno, P. R. H., & Elisabetsky, E. (2010). Effects of inhaled Linalool in anxiety, social interaction and aggressive behavior in mice. Phytomedicine, 17(8), 679-683
- Buchbauer, G., Jirovetz, L., & Jäger, W. (1991). Aromatherapy: evidence for sedative effects of the essential oil of lavender after inhalation. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C, 46(11-12), 1067-1072
- Takahashi, M., Satou, T., Ohashi, M., Hayashi, S., Sadamoto, K., & Koike, K. (2011). Interspecies comparison of chemical composition and anxiolytic-like effects of lavender oils upon inhalation. Natural product communications, 6(11), 1769-1774
- Heuberger, E., Redhammer, S., & Buchbauer, G. (2004). Transdermal Absorption of ()-Linalool Induces Autonomic Deactivation but has No Impact on Ratings of Well-Being in Humans. Neuropsychopharmacology, 29(10).
For more research about Neroli, please visit: https://www.earthtokathy.com/neroli-citrus-aurantium-research/