Thought to originate from southern China, the sweet orange grows on an evergreen tree known for its dark leaves and white flowers. Brought to Europe in the 15th century by Portuguese traders, the sweet orange certainly passed the taste test where popularity was concerned, causing the bitter orange of Persia to take a sideways step.
Sweet orange oil is cold pressed from the peel, and it is the "limonene" content that gives its aroma the clean fresh tang. Yellow to orange in color, sweet orange oil is thin in consistency.
Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, sedative and tonic, sweet orange oil creates a feeling of warmth and light of mood. It is a safe non-irritating oil, but it can increase sensitivity to UV in prolonged sunlight. Known to help with colds and flu by stimulating the lymphatic system, sweet orange oil has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.