With this blog, we will explore a new essential oil Litsea Cubeba. A somewhat lesser known essential oil than many others, Litsea Cubeba is a lovely oil with many benefits. The majority of this oil is produced in China and is obtained through steam distillation of the small berries on the plant. The leaves and the flowers are also lemon-scented.
It is a very fragrant oil, falling somewhere between lemon with a hint of orange. It is pale yellow and the citrus aroma is quite strong. The oils is rich in Citral but also contains linalool, geranial and limonene. All these constituents have therapeutic power as being highly antiseptic.
Cost wise, Litsea Cubeba is a nice alternative to the more expensive Bergamot. The strong scent is uplifting and has a strong deodorizing ability. A blend of lavender and litsea cubeba makes a very effective personal deodorant, however be sure to use a 2% dilution or less. Research has supported the use as a disinfectant and encourages diffusing in the home during flu season and winter months when the house is closed up for long periods of time.
Also known as May Chang, for its Chinese origin, it is developing a reputation as an emotionally supportive oil, helping to relax and calm the spirit. For use at home, 1 – 2 drops in a room spray will deodorize a room. A few drops in an unscented cream can be of benefit to an extreme breakout of acne.
Contraindications for this oil indicate this oil should not be ingested, particularly by those people on diabetic medications and at any stage of pregnancy. It should not be used topically at any stage of pregnancy either.
We recently did a trial of May Chang in soap and the scent is quite pleasant and slightly muted. We observe skin safety by sticking to the published dermal limits in soap. This testing is necessary before we commit to using it in a soap. The good news is we are offering Essential Oil Litsea Cubeba in our molded Namaste Goat Yoga Soap Bars, available in the farm store. Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil is a wonderful oil to diffuse during Yoga, Mediation or Tai Chi classes.
Frequently confused with Lemongrass, Litsea Cubeba is more pungent, but not quite as “citrusy” as real lemon.