I love sweet orange oil and use it for so many things and am always finding new uses. There are those who say it isn’t safe, but it truly is one of the safest.
Citrus essential oils, including Sweet Orange, are completely safe when applied to the skin of a baby or expectant mother as long as they are diluted into a cosmetic base (i.e. lotion, cream, shampoo, oil, etc.). Citrus oils have exceptionally low molecular weight, which means that most of the essential oil that the skin comes in contact with diffuses into the air and is not actually absorbed into the body. Aromatherapy that is used diluted into products is perfectly safe. Everything, including water, can be toxic when used in too large of a dose. Products containing essential oils generally contain very low concentrations of essential oils which makes them extremely safe.
The chemical composition of sweet orange essential oil is: α-pinene (0.54%), myrcene (2.08%), limonene (95.37%), neral (0.06%), citronellal (0.10%), decanal (0.06%), geranial (0.12%) (Weiss EA. Essential Oil Crops. CAB International, 1997). The major constituent of sweet orange essential oil is limonene.
Sweet orange is non-toxic, non-irritating, and non-sensitizing. Sweet orange is not photo-toxic, although bitter orange is definitely photo-toxic. (Leung A, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients used in Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics.) Studies that have found citrus essential oils photo-toxic were conducted at 5% on animals and not at the typical 1% used in products used for human topical applications.
Sweet orange is rarely a problem for people with fragrance allergies. In all of my years in the industry I have only come across one person with such severe allergies that sweet orange was among their allergens. Scenting with the totally natural essential oil of sweet orange is a superior to using the lab created fragrances that are so common in baby products. The chemistry of sweet orange essential oil is nature made. There are no hidden ingredients, no undisclosed fragrance chemicals, no phthalates, and no added preservatives. When you purchase products made with fragrance oils there is a whole host of hidden ingredients.
Sweet Orange is cold pressed from orange peels. The scent is very familiar to most people. The essential oil of sweet orange is very commonly used in the food industry as flavoring. It is used for orange flavoring and spearmint flavoring. Limonene is an inexpensive starting material for the synthesis of l-carvone, which is a source for synthetic spearmint flavoring less costly than pure spearmint.
Many of the rumors about essential oils being toxic or dangerous are based on myths and/or based on animal trials. Since essential oils are not actually processed by an animal’s body the same way that is processed by a human body this information is useless and confusing. Additionally, unusually high doses of essential oils are given internally to animals for these clinical trials. Essential oils should only be applied to the skin and not consumed. These methods for testing are faulty all around. To say nothing of how cruel it is to have an animal consume something that is not intended for internal use. Additionally, even the topical tests are faulty since human skin is less permeable than rabbit skin.
There are no actual toxic results or cases in which humans were involved using citrus essential oils. Aromatherapy has been used for hundreds of years by pregnant women with absolutely no cases harm when used under normal external conditions. I know people who use it personally, that have worked day in and day out as an aromatherapist and during two pregnancies had absolutely no problems using sweet orange during either pregnancy. As a matter of fact, I found aromatherapy incredibly useful throughout those pregnancies as well as during labor and delivery. I believe so completely and totally that essential oils are safe for use on children that I use it on my own family.
Find some sweet orange oil and see what uses you can find for it’s sweet uplifting scent!