Bitter Orange Essential Oil
As the name implies, Bitter Orange Essential Oil possesses a bitter orange aroma reminiscent of a cross between the sweetness of Sweet Orange Essential Oil and the slight bitterness of Grapefruit Essential Oil. Although it's favored by some individuals, I have less experience in use of this particular oil. I personally tend to lean towards using sweet orange, grapefruit and the other citrus oils.
Bitter Orange Essential Oil is phototoxic. Refer to the safety information mentioned below.
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Citrus Rind (Peel)
Yellowish Orange to Greenish Orange
Strength of Initial Aroma
As the name implies, it has a bitter orange aroma reminiscent of a cross between the sweetness of sweet orange oil and the slight bitterness of grapefruit oil.
Bitter Orange Essential Oil Uses
Colds, constipation, dull skin, flatulence, flatulence, flu, gums, mouth, slow digestion, stress. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 57-67.]
See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of constituents.
[B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1981-1987 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1989), 39-40. P. Dugo, L. Mondello, E. Sebastiani, et al., Identification of Minor Oxygen Heterocyclic Compounds of Citrus Essential Oils by Liquid Chromatography-Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometry. (Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies 22, 1999), 2991-3005. B.M. Lawrence, Progress in Essential Oils, Number 2. (Perfumer & Flavorist 25, 2000), 46-49. SCCP, Opinion on Furocoumarins in Cosmetic Products. (Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, 13-Dec.-2005), SCCP/0942/05. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 371.]
Bitter Orange Essential Oil is phototoxic. Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum of 1.25% to avoid risk of phototoxic reaction. Avoid using Bitter Orange Oil that has oxidized due to a greater risk of skin sensitization. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 87, 371.]
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General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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