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Citrus Extracts and Oils Have Diverse Benefits

Green mandarins, the unripe Satsuma mandarin oranges (Citrus unshiu, Rutaceae), have demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anti-wrinkle effects when consumed.1 In a Korean randomized clinical study, a green mandarin extract was tested to discover if it could improve skin aging. The standardized extract was created for this trial, with the marker compound being narirutin. Each green mandarin tablet contained 150 mg of green mandarin extract, as well as dextrin and cellulose, and was administered twice daily for 12 weeks. Forty women in the extract group and 36 women in the placebo group completed the trial. Results showed that skin condition improved in volume, depth, and roughness of periorbital wrinkles compared to placebo. The researchers concluded that the green mandarin extract "effectively improves UV-induced skin wrinkles" and that it "has sufficient value as a functional food ingredient that can prevent skin aging." See HC 052234-704.

Pregnancy labor can be a very painful experience for the mother due to uterine contractions and extension, and cervical dilation. Inadequate pain management may affect outcomes such as physiological health, sexual functioning, or the mother-child bond. Neroli (Citrus × aurantium, Rutaceae) essential oil, derived from bitter orange blossoms, has been used to relieve stress and trauma. A randomized controlled trial tested 88 women (44 in intervention group and 44 in control group) to determine if inhalation of four drops of neroli essential oil per 300 mL of diffused water continuously diffused through an aromatic diffuser could affect perceived pain and anxiety during labor. Neroli essential oil was shown to be safe and effective in reducing pain and anxiety. The essential oil has been shown to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, sedative, tonic, anticancer, aphrodisiac, anti-depressant, antispasmodic, and anxiolytic effects. However, there may be less expensive essential oils that might have the same effects. Further testing is warranted. See HC 052246-704.

Another randomized controlled trial demonstrated that orange (Citrus sinensis, Rutaceae) essential oil, in combination with clove (Eugenia caryophyllus, Myrtaceae) bud, frankincense (Boswellia carterii, Burceraceae), and thyme (Thymus vulgaris, Lamiaceae) essential oils may increase energy levels in women recovering from COVID-19. Inhalation of the blend for two weeks significantly decreased fatigue (P = 0.020) in the 40 women in the intervention arm compared to the 40 women in the control arm. See HC 052253-704.

Lori Glenn
HerbClip™ Managing Editor



1Ham YM, Yoon SA, Hyeon H, et al. Clinical evidence of effects of green mandarin (Putgyul) extract on skin aging: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study. Nutrients. March 24, 2022;14(7):1352. doi: 10.3390/nu14071352.

2Scandurra C, Mezzalira S, Cutillo S, et al. The effectiveness of neroli essential oil in relieving anxiety and perceived pain in women during labor: a randomized controlled  trial. Healthcare (Basel). February 14, 2022;10(2):366. doi:10.3390/healthcare10020366.

3Hawkins J, Hires C, Keenan L, Dunne E. Aromatherapy blend of thyme, orange, clove bud, and frankincense boosts energy levels in post-COVID-19 female patients: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. August 2022;67:102823. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2022.102823.