Citrus reticulata belongs to the Family Rutaceae, it is a member of the orange family but the tree is smaller and more spreading than the orange tree. It has smaller leaves and fruits, which are slightly flattened at both ends. Mandarin is grown in Brazil, Spain, Italy and California. The name Mandarin originates from the fact that the fruit was a traditional gift to the Mandarins of China. It is a favourite with children and pregnant women because of its soothing and uplifting qualities. Depending on the ripeness of the fruit a green, yellow or orange essential oil is obtained through cold expression of the fruit peel. Mandarin contains a large amount of monoterpenes with d-limonene being present at around 60 – 85%.
Mandarin has been used extensively as a flavoring agent in food and drinks, as well as by the perfume and cosmetic industry. Tony Burfield tells us that Mandarin oils are used in perfumery for top notes in fine female fragrances, and in large amounts in male fragrances to produce fresh notes. Mandarin blends well with other citrus especially Neroli and spices such as clove, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Psychologically, Mandarin has calming and soothing properties and is a favorite of children. It is considered to be helpful for insomnia (especially if of nervous origin) as well as anxiety, tension, nervousness and stress related disorders.
On the physiological level Mandarin ís antispasmodic properties can be helpful in the case of muscle spasms and its tonic properties are helpful as an immune stimulant. Its calming properties are helpful for gastric problems.
Contraindications:. Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Although according to Martin Watt anyone who is allergic to the fruit could react to the oil and should therefore avoid it.
Martin Watt , Martin Watt, Plant Aromatics, 1995, revised 2001
Tony Burfield , Natural Aromatic Materials, Odours & Origins, The Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, Tampa, Florids, 2000
Beverley Hawkins, Aromatherapy 201 Course 1999 revised 2000, 2001,2002