Orange essential oil is known to support a healthy immune system, promote blood circulation while supporting cardiovascular health and protect the body from disease with its powerful antioxidant properties. However, as with all medications and essential oils, precautions should be taken when using the oil, especially because orange oil can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Here are some basic guidelines for administering the oil but keep in mind that the effect of orange essential oil is different for everyone.
Can you consume orange oil?
First make sure that the type of orange oil you are using is certified GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the FDA. Many essential oils are produced for use in cosmetics and may have other chemicals that should be avoided. If so, then it is safe to consume your orange oil. Even so, it should only be done in small amounts and should be mixed with other ingredients. For example, you can use orange essential oil in a recipe that calls for orange juice or zest (keep in mind that a drop is often more than enough, even if the recipe calls for a significant amount of juice or zest) or you can add a drop of the oil to a glass or water or hot tea. Consumption of most essential oils, including orange, should be avoided by children under 6.
Can you inhale orange oil?
Yes, orange oil may be inhaled. This is a great way to still benefit from the healing properties of the oil without consuming it or applying it to the skin, which may not be an option if you have sensitive skin. Diffuse the oil throughout the room or add to a pot of boiling water. The oil may also be rubbed between the hands and either directly inhaled or rubbed onto the temples to keep the scent with you all day.
Can you put orange oil on your skin?
In most cases, orange oil should be equally diluted with a carrier oil. If you have very sensitive skin, dilute the oil even more. Before applying the oil to a large area of skin, do a test patch, which involves placing a drop of oil on the inside of your arm near your elbow. If there is no sign of irritation after a day, you should be able to use the oil without fear of an allergic reaction.
Orange oil is often used to naturally clean homes. Unlike other cleaners, surfaces that have been cleaned with orange oil can be touched immediately after, as long as the solution was properly diluted. It is perfectly safe to clean around children and pets when using cleaners with orange oil.
Can orange oil be used on children or infants?
Orange oil should not be topically applied or consumed by infants or children under the age of 6. It is considered safe though for the oil to be inhaled. It should not be done directly but instead with the use of an essential oil diffuser. It has been shown to help children who are having difficulty adjusting to new surroundings by providing a happy and calming environment.
Should pregnant women use orange oil?
Orange oil is most likely safe for pregnant women during the second and third trimesters. Even so, the use of the oil should always be discussed with your doctor before use. Women that are breastfeeding should avoid essential oils unless directed otherwise, as there is limited research to show how much of the oil is transferred through breast milk.
Should orange oil be diluted?
Orange oil should always be diluted before applying to the skin, as it is phototoxic. This means that it can have a negative reaction with the sun and cause rashes, irritation and even painful burns. By diluting the oil, it is less potent and the risk is lowered. To prevent a rash or worse symptoms, avoid topical application of the oil before long periods of sun exposure.
Can pets be given orange oil?
Orange oil is a natural pest deterrent and is sometimes used to help prevent fleas in dogs. Try adding a drop to their collar, bedding or adding a drop to their shampoo. However, if the dog is exposed to too much orange oil there can be damaging side effects. If there are any signs of overdose, including weakness, low blood pressure, falling or trembling, stop use immediately and seek help from a veterinarian. While rare, negative reactions to orange oil can lead to death in canines.
Cats should never come into contact with any essential oils, as they lack an enzyme that allows their body to metabolize the oil. If you still want to use orange oil to help keep your cat safe from pests, look into oil hydrosols, which are a by-product of essential oils. If there is any concern with using orange oil for your pets, contact a veterinarian.
What precautions should be taken with orange oil?
While essential oils are made from natural ingredients, they all pose some risks if used incorrectly. Orange is one of the safer essential oils but should still be used with care. General guidelines to remember are to always dilute the oil in at least a 1:1 ratio with a carrier oil, more if you have sensitive skin. Avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. Because the oil is phototoxic, avoid topical application 12 to 24 hours before Sun exposure.
Orange oil is considered safe for consumption but should be avoided in children. Never take the oil alone. Mix it in a glass of water or use in moderate amounts in cooking. While is is considered safe for consumption by pregnant women during the second and third trimester, all uses of essential oil should be discussed with a doctor by pregnant women.
Be sure to keep orange oil out of reach of children and pets. If there is any sign of irritation after using the oil, stop use immediately. To remove the oil from your skin, wipe with a cloth that has been dipped in vegetable oil. If irritation is severe, seek medical attention.