Citrus is a common ingredient in beverages and foods across the entire world. From the lemon and orange, to the lesser-known bergamot, there is a wide variety of citrus fruits available.
Grapefruit and Tangerine oils are almost entirely made up of a constituent called limonene—99 percent to be exact. Lemon also possesses a large amount of other terpene compounds in addition to limonene. Why does this high concentration of limonene matter? It plays a role in the detoxifying and purifying benefits of the oils. This is why all three of these oils are excellent in homemade cleaning products, because they both cleanse, and also help minimize exposure to potentially harmful toxins found in store-bought products.
But the benefits of limonene do not end there. According to experimental and clinical research, limonene may help support the function of a long list of bodily systems when taken internally. These include healthy cellular function, the immune system, the lung and respiratory systems, the gastrointestinal system, a healthy metabolism, and a healthy colon and liver. If you look at a diagram of each of these systems, you will quickly realize just how much of an impact citrus oils can have over a large portion of your body.
Let’s take a look at one system in particular: the gastrointestinal system. Our entire gastrointestinal tract is lined with a mucous membrane that form a barrier between the external world and the inside of the body. Using Grapefruit specifically may help support these mucosal surfaces, as well as help with normal peristalsis, the process that carries food through your digestive system as it is absorbed, because of the high levels of D-limonene in the oil. The support is much needed as the digestive system, colon, liver, and the process of peristalsis are all highly important in minimizing the toxic load your body has to deal with.
To take advantage of these internal benefits, add 1–3 drops of Lemon, Grapefruit, or Tangerine to a glass of water on a daily basis! Make sure to use only glass or stainless steel, as citruses are so detoxing that they will actually break down plastic!
All citrus oils come from the rind of the fruit. Citrus essential oils are all produced using cold expression, also known as cold-pressing. These are great oils to take internally or diffuse into the air. Though you can use them topically, be sure to avoid sunlight for 12 hours after when applying the oil directly to your skin, whether neat or diluted for sensitive skin.
The most notable similarity between the six citrus essential oils is their ability to affect the emotions. Most of these oils, including Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Tangerine, and Wild Orange can help uplift your mood or your energy levels. I challenge you to try to have a negative thought after smelling some citrus! On the other hand, Bergamot is calming and soothing to the emotions. The best way to use citrus oils for mood or emotional balance is to use them topically on the back of your neck or the bottom of your feet, or aromatically in a diffuser. Lemon, Lime, and Wild Orange also are excellent at purifying the air as they are diffused.
Check out this video I made a while back about using Citrus oils:
Here's some ways to use the citrus oils that doTERRA offers:
Although the fruit is sour, the oil is sweet and aromatic, and is an ingredient in many fine perfumes. In Southern Italy, Bergamot oil has been used for hundreds of years to soothe feelings of stress and rejuvenate the complexion.
- Diffuse in the classroom, at work, or at home when stress is high
- Add to your soap while showering and inhale deeply to experience its soothing aroma while enjoying its purifying skin benefits
- Apply to the feet before bedtime for a sense of calm and harmony
- Add one to two drops to your next DIY skin care cleanser
- Make your own perfume or cologne—mixes well with Lavender, Patchouli, Lime, and Arborvitae
- Diffuse for a sense of self-confidence
- Use with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil for a calming and relaxing massage
Grapefruit is a favorite oil to use as an air freshener, thanks to its delightful aroma. Grapefruit has an uplifting and cheering effect on emotions. Inhaling Grapefruit oil while dieting or trying to lose weight can increase motivation. Taken internally, Grapefruit oil supports the metabolism and offers detoxifying benefits.
- Add Grapefruit essential oil to your nightly facial routine to improve the appearance of blemishes
- For a soothing massage that leaves behind a light fragrance, use Grapefruit
- Help smooth your skin by adding two to three drops to your body scrub and body wash
- Diffuse Grapefruit to promote a sense of focus while studying or reading
Lemon essential oil has a clean, fresh, citrus scent and is cleansing, energizing, and emotionally invigorating. Lemon is the perfect oil to diffuse for encouraging a positive mood and encourage focus and clarity.
- Dilute with coconut oil for a daily fingernail conditioning massage
- Use with Peppermint in water for a refreshing mouth rinse
- Place a few drops of lemon essential oil on a cotton ball and place in
- room to remove odour and freshen room
Tart, tasty Lime is refreshing and energizing!
- Add one drop to your facial cleanser or shampoo for added cleansing properties
- Combine one to two drops with equal amounts Melaleuca for a soothing scalp massage
- Diffuse while studying and then apply to wrists again while testing on the same subjects
The tangerine is one of the most widely cultivated citrus fruits around the world (second in popularity only to the sweet orange). The sweetest of citrus fruits, tangerines are a hybrid variety of mandarin with a comparatively stronger, more concentrated flavor than the sweet orange.
- Contains powerful antioxidants which can support a healthy immune system when taken internally in water or a veggie capsule
- Cleansing and purifying properties
- Add two to three drops as a flavoring in any dessert recipes from cake to ice-cream
- Add one to two drops in water, smoothies, teas, or lemonade for extra citrus flavor
- Apply to flex points or your abdomen for feelings of happiness (dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize sensitivity if needed)
doTERRA sources oranges in Greece and Brazil where ideal climate and growing conditions contribute to the best possible orange citrus oil in the world.
- Before a stress filled day, diffuse for a revitalizing aroma to encourage you
- Diffuse to create an uplifting environment and to freshen the air.
- Use in an all-purpose spray to cleanse and purify surfaces.
- Add a drop to a glass of water for a refreshing orange-flavored water that supports the digestive system and a healthy inflammatory response.
- Make a Wild Orange spritzer to freshen the air with a cheerful aroma. Add 10-15 drops of Wild Orange to water in a 4 oz. spray bottle filled with water. Since the oil and water will separate, remember to shake prior to each use.
The sweet, and slightly floral-scented Green Mandarin essential oil is unique among citrus oils in its benefits and uses. This is one my favorites to diffuse! Green, Yellow, and Red Mandarin essential oils all come from the same fruit but are produced during different times of the ripening process. While the three Mandarin oils are all similar in chemistry and uses, each is still slightly unique from the other because the ripening process subtly changes the chemical profile and aroma of the oil produced.
- Give your immune and digestive systems a boost by adding a drop of Green Mandarin to your water.
- Brighten and energize your work environment or work place by diffusing Green Mandarin.
- Incorporate Green Mandarin in your home as a food preservative or dilute it in a spray bottle to clean the surfaces of your kitchen.
- For a DIY natural skin toner and clarifier, add a few drops to water or witch hazel.
The following citrus oils are only available during special promotions!
Pungent, refreshing, and sweet, Clementine is a natural hybrid of mandarin and sweet orange, and it is sweeter and zestier than most citrus oils.
- Add 3–4 drops of Clementine to your surface cleaners to enhance cleaning power and provide a sweet, citrus smell.
- Diffuse to encourage a light, pleasant atmosphere.
- To help ease occasional heartburn or indigestion, add 1–2 drops of Clementine to juice, tea, or water. You may also try this for a nice twist in flavor and to reinforce digestive health.
- For a natural cleansing boost (and a fresh, zesty scent!), add a few drops to your facial cleanser or shampoo.
- Try including Clementine in one of your favorite recipes for a new taste and to support the digestive and immune systems, as well as a healthy metabolic function.
Native to Asia, kumquat is a small, orange-like citrus fruit. Kumquat has a sweet, uplifting scent and cleansing properties.
- Add 1–2 drops to your facial cleanser or shampoo for added purifying benefits and a soft, refreshing scent.
- Diffuse alone or with other citrus oils like Lime, Bergamot, or Wild Orange for bright, cheerful aroma.
- Try using Kumquat instead of your usual go-to citrus oil for a day. For example, if you make a natural surface cleanser and normally use Lemon, add Kumquat instead.
- Add a few drops to your water or a veggie capsule to support the digestive system.
While Green Mandarin essential oil comes from the unripened fruit of the mandarin tree, Red Mandarin—also known as Tangor and Temple Orange—comes from mature mandarin fruit. doTERRA Red Mandarin essential oil is sourced in Brazil. Red Mandarin essential oil carries a sweet, almost floral aroma. It is beneficial to the skin and emotions.
- Add 2–3 drops to your skin cleanser or toner for boosted clarifying properties.
- For a cleansing spray, add a several drops each of Red Mandarin and Purify blend to a spray bottle of water.
- Diffuse in the morning to purify the air while invigorating and brightening mood.
- Add a few drops to a cup of juice, tea, or water for digestive benefits.
This is my most favorite citrus oil! Yellow Mandarin comes from the peel of the fruit when it is partially ripe. The sweet and refreshing scent of Yellow Mandarin creates an energizing and uplifting environment. When you need to create an atmosphere that is positive and cheerful, diffuse Yellow Mandarin.
- Add a drop to your water or smoothie.
- Diffuse alone or with your favorite floral oil or fir oil.
- Put a few drops at the bottom of your shower in the morning for a light, uplifting scent and natural steam facial.
- Add several drops to a spray bottle with water for a natural cleaner. Add additional citrus oils you like for extra cleansing power.
- Take 1–2 drops internally after a particularly large meal for digestive support.
Let us know in the comments below, which citrus oil is YOUR favorite?