Description A small glossy evergreen tree up to six metres high, fragrant flowers and bearing fleshy fruit. There are many cultivators: the terms Mandarin, Tangerine and Satsuma are all interchangeable.
History / Traditions In France Mandarin is regarded as a safe remedy for indigestion and also for the elderly as it helps to strengthen the digestive system and the liver.Native to Southern China and the Far East, it was brought to Europe in 1805 and to America forty years later. The fruit takes its name from the fact that in the past the fruit was traditionally offered as gifts to the Mandarins.
Extraction The essential oil is extracted by cold compression of the outer peel. A Mandarin Petitgrain oil is also produced in small quantities by steam distillation of the leaves and the twigs.
Details of Oil The essential oil has a delicate odour true to the scent of the fruit and is golden yellow in colour, with a slight blue/violet fluorescent tint in bright light. It blends well with other citrus oils, especially Neroli, and spice oils such as Nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. Tangerine oil is an orange liquid with a fresh sweet orange like aroma.
Properties Antiseptic, ani spasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, laxative, sedative, stimulant (digestive and lymhatic) tonic. A major application of Mandarin is in treating digestive problems as it has a tonic and stimulating effect on both the stomach and the liver. Its effect on the intestines is calming and has been found to be even more effective when used in synergistic combination with other citrus oils. Because of its gentle action, mandarin is often regarded in France as a children’s remedy. It is often used to treat tummy upsets, burps and hiccups. Mandarin is one of the oils that is safe to use during pregnancy, a blend of Lavender, Mandarin and Neroli in 10mls of sweet almond oil and 2mls of wheat germ oil can be used for the prevention of stretch marks.
Mandarin is also useful for treating acne, oily skin and spots. It is also indicated as a treatment for fluid retention and obesity.
Other Uses Mandarin oil is used in soaps, cosmetics, and perfumes, especially colognes. It is also used as a flavouring agent in liqueurs sweets and drinks.
Safety data Non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing, Possibly photo toxic although this has not been demonstrated decisively.
Components The major constituents are limonene, metyl methylanthraniate and smaller amounts of geraniol, citral and citronellal.