At Foodcraft we believe that food is our medicine and herbs are our powerful healing partners for physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts used for a variety of purposes, including aromatherapy, skin care, and natural remedies.
We like to share the benefits of essential oils by focusing on specific oils in each blog.
The pepper-like fruits of litchi are the source of litchi essential oil, which has been used for thousands of years for its many healing properties.
Litsia (Litsi cubeba) is an evergreen tree native to China and other Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia and Taiwan. It is commonly known as mei chang and mountain pepper. Although it does not belong to the citrus family, the oil has a lemon-like aroma.
Litsea can grow up to 35 feet in height. It has white or pale-yellow flowers. Litchi essential oil is derived from the pepper-like fruit of the plant. Although essential oil can also be extracted from its leaves, the fruit oil is stronger and of higher quality. Its wood is used to make furniture and various handicrafts. It has also been used for several dishes.
Besides being valued for its oil, the litchi plant is also used to feed the muga silkworm. The muga silk produced by these worms after feeding on litchi is said to be creamier and superior and more expensive.
Litsea essential oil is obtained through steam distillation of its fruit. Its pale yellow color emits a fresh citrus aroma similar to citrus fruits or lemongrass. China is known as the world’s largest producer and exporter of litchi essential oil. The main constituents of the oil are geranial, neral, d-limonene, β-thujene, β-pinene, α-pineneAnd Linalul. These components depend on the part of the plant where the essential oil is found and the place from which it was collected.
Traditional uses of LITSEA essential oil
Traditional Chinese medicine uses parts of the litchi plant, such as roots, fruits, leaves, and bark, to treat a number of ailments. It has been used to treat muscle pain and stomachache, colds, fever, diarrhea and indigestion. Indigenous groups in Taiwan have been using litchi for its cleansing properties.
Chinese physicians have used litchi oil to regulate blood pressure and heart rate.
In the 1950s, litchi was introduced to Western countries where it was used in perfume and soap production and as a flavoring.
Litsea essential oil was used in Ayurvedic medicine to soothe negative energies and improve spiritual health.
Benefits of using LITSEA essential oil
The carminative properties of litchi essential oil help relieve common digestive problems such as flatulence, cramping and indigestion. It balances the population of good bacteria in the digestive tract which makes it healthy. It can also increase appetite.
A few drops of lychee essential oil added to massage oil or mixed with bath water and massaged on the stomach can relieve gas pain.
For respiratory problems
Litchi essential oil is known to treat conditions such as coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma and allergies. It is used in a diffuser or mixed with a carrier oil and massaged into the neck and chest.
Fights cancer cells
Litchi oil in vapor form fights cancer cells of non-small cell lung carcinoma, a common form of lung cancer. Besides destroying cancer cells, it also prevents their regeneration.
Reduces body pain
Litchi essential oil is commonly added to massage oils. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce muscle and joint pain. It is also known to reduce backpain, muscle tension, arthritis and rheumatism.
Good for the heart
Regular use of litchi essential oil helps control blood pressure. It is also good for people suffering from arrhythmias by reducing its incidence. Mixing litchi with neroli and rose essential oils helps lower blood pressure.
Litsea essential oil has the ability to create a relaxing and cheerful environment that helps elevate mood. Its citrus floral scent also helps reduce fatigue and symptoms of stress and anxiety. Aromatherapists refer to it as the ‘Oil of Tranquility’ for its calming effects.
For healthy skin
Litchi oil helps remove excess sebum that usually causes acne. It is a known skin cleanser due to its anti-bacterial properties. It helps balance oil production and minimize pores and treats conditions like acne eczema and psoriasis. It can be added to moisturizers and lotions.
Its antifungal property also works against athlete’s foot, ringworm and other fungal infections. It can also be used as an alternative to commercial deodorants due to its ability to control excessive sweating.
Citral is one of the main components of litchi essential oil which is proven to be effective in treating internal and external infections. It has also been found to inhibit the growth of certain bacterial strains such as E. coli. For topical application of litchi essential oil, it is recommended to mix it with eucalyptus oil or orange oil to maximize its effect.
The oil’s powerful antioxidants help repair skin cells, protecting it from free radicals and preventing premature aging.
Eliminates insects and gets rid of unwanted odors
When used in a diffuser, litchi essential oil helps to repel insects such as flies and mosquitoes in the home. It gives the room a clean and fresh feel.
Safety tips and warnings
Although litchi is an effective healing plant used in many cleaning and beauty products, not everyone can use it.
For babies and children of pregnant women, the use of litchi essential oil is not recommended.
A skin patch test should be done first before using litchi oil with massage oil. It is to be seen if any allergic reaction occurs. Also, it is not recommended to use the oil on damaged skin.
Litchi essential oil is not recommended for people with glaucoma as it can increase eye pressure.
Credits: Innerfire Co