Litsea cubeba, also known as may chang, exotic verbena, and tropical verbena, is a tree species known for its lemon-scented flowers. It is native to the regions of China and Southeast Asia. The tree is short, growing up to 10 meters, and it bears fruits resembling peppers. Parts of the tree are used as medicine for coughs, colds, and stomach aches, but the tree is mostly cultivated because of its essential oil.
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil is the yellowish fluid extracted from the dried, ripe fruits of the tree. The oil is used in the perfume industry as a source of citrol; in addition, it is utilized as a flavoring and as a vitamin C source in food products and medicine, respectively. It contains mostly citrol—up to 85% citrol.
Due to its properties, the essential oil is a versatile addition to homes. It can be used as a household cleanser because of its anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties. May chang oil can be sprayed around the house to make rooms smell nice and to keep the family safe from diseases. It can aid in the treatment of small wounds; plus, the essential oil can repel insects out of the house. Specifically, it is a good repellant for mosquitoes; thus, the possibility of dengue can be at least mitigated by the essential oil. Litsea cubeba oil is the oil for your home.
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil Benefits
Benefits of the essential oil include:
- Gives flavor to various foods and drinks
- Combats body odor
- Gives a nice scent
- Disinfects the home
- Repels insects
- Fights free radicals
- Relieves stress
- Disinfects small wounds and cuts
- Remedies skin problems
- Soothes body aches
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil Uses
- Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil as Flavoring. The oil can be added to dishes to add flavor. A drop or two of the oil can make commonly cooked dishes taste new. Use steam-distilled oil since no additives are present in it thus safer than industrially, processed oil.
- Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil as Deodorant. The oil acts as a deodorant due to its scent and anti-bacterial property. Apply the diluted oil on the areas of concern to fend off body odor.
- Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil as Perfume. A spray of the diluted oil can make any clothing smell nice; hence, it is perfect for family gatherings.
- Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil as Household Cleaner. It can be added to common household cleaners to assist in cleaning the home. Not only will the home be clean it will also smell nice.
- Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil as Repellant. A study conducted in 2008 shows that the oil is a good repellant to insects, especially for mosquitoes in the tropics. Diffuse the oil in the home to repel any unwanted insects, and prevent any unnecessary diseases brought about by them.
- Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil as Antioxidant Source. According to a report on 2005, the essential oil is a good source of antioxidants. It can help you stay young and healthy by neutralizing free radicals in the body. Add a few drops of the oil in health drinks for its antioxidants.
- Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil as Stress Reliever. The lemongrass-like scent of the oil can soothe the stress in busy days. Diffuse it by itself or with other oils to create a relaxing atmosphere.
- Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil for Wound Treatment. A study in 2010 describes the anti-bacterial activity of the oil. It can be utilized in treating wounds by wiping the diluted oil on the affected area. This makes the wound area safe from any bacterial infection.
- Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil for Skin Ailments. A 1997 study shows that the oil can mitigate fungal growth. One can use it on the skin to alleviate skin problems such as athlete’s foot by applying a few drops of the diluted oil on the affected area; in addition, it can treat acne and pimples because of its anti-bacterial property.
- Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil for Body Aches. The oil can be used to treat body pain because of its anti-inflammatory property. Rub a few drops of the diluted oil on the area of concern to relieve the pain.
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil Side Effects
Skin irritation may occur. As with most essential oils, if skin irritation occurs, consult a doctor.
How To Use Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil
- Diffuse the oil itself or with other oils to take advantage of the nice scent it gives. Its scent is not pungent; hence, it is comfortable to smell.
- Dilute the oil first before applying on the skin by using a carrier oil like coconut oil when diluting it. Then apply a few drops on the areas of concern.
- The oil can be taken up mostly because it is a flavoring and antioxidant source. Add only a few drops to meals. Although the oil is non-toxic, it is best to consult with health experts if it is safe to add due to individual differences.
How To Make Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil
The oil is usually extracted through steam distillation. In steam distillation, the fruits of Litsea cubeba are mixed in a container filled with water. The process is done using a still, wherein one component of the still heats the solution until boiling, and the other component condenses the steam. The steam travels through a tube to get to the condenser. Once condensed, the oil and water naturally separate. By this time, it is scooped and further filtered before storing in tinted, glass vials.
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil Recipe
To extract the essential oil from the fruits:
- Mix the dried, ripe fruits in a pot half-full with water.
- Put the lid upside down so that during heating condensed steam will fall back to the solution.
- Heat the solution until boiling.
- Lower the heat and let it simmer for 3-4 hours.
- Let it cool first before refrigerating for overnight cooling.
- After cooling, a thin film of the oil can be observed above the solution. Scoop the oil carefully and store in tinted, glass vials in a cool, dark place.
Where To Buy Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil
The essential oil can be bought on most online stores like Amazon or Ebay. Known brands include Mountain Rose Herbs, Bramble Berry, and Eden Botanicals.
More Information On Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil
- When reactions occur, refrain from using and consult a health expert.
- The essential oil does not completely replace common health products. Only use it in conjunction with them, unless an expert recommends otherwise.