Saturday, August 12, 2006

Photoxicity of orange essential oil (Aromatherapy/Essential Oil Information)

I've decided to post FAQ (questions I've answered on forums) before this summer is over and I start hell semester (errr, year...err I mean go back to school and doing my awesome thesis/own research!) and have no more time to post :(. If you have any questions you'd like answered please ask now. :)

Is orange essential oil phototoxic?

A lot of essential oil resources list all citrus oils as phototoxic but to my knowledge that's not neccessary true (many distilled citrus oils like lime and lemon are not phototoxic unlike their expressed versions which are phototoxic).

For orange essential oil, I regard Robert Tisserand's and Rodney Young's opinion (in "Essential Oil Safety: A Guide To Health Practitioners") as accurate since they have researched scientific tests on essential oil phototoxicity. They state that expressed bitter orange essential oil (from Citrus aurantium) is phototoxic, while expressed sweet orange (from Citrus sinensis) is not phototoxic.

*This post was edited on January 24, 2014, because the 2nd edition of Tisserand's Essential Oil Safety is now available.  The first edition was an excellent resource but definitely get the 2nd edition if you can, because it was totally rewritten and much expanded.  It is several hundred pages longer than the first edition.  Tisserand is one of the best safety experts on essential oils, and Young is a chemist.


flowerpower said...

Good luck i am shure you will br briliant.

Solarkat said...

Hi Sue M.

Thanks! :)


Anonymous said...

Could you enlighten me on where I could get more information on phototoxicity/photosensitizing essential oils? Is there a more recent resource that's just as reliable as the one above? Are there any essential oils that help protect the skin from UV rays or help lessen photosensitivity?

Solarkat said...

Hi Bella

In addition to Tisserand, you can get Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt (though Tisserand and Schnaubelt disagree on some of the citrus essential oils) from 1998 or some of Martin Watt's work (his website is )

>Are there any essential oils that >help protect the skin from UV rays >or help lessen photosensitivity?

To my knowledge, no. But there are some carrier oils that do like sesame (very low spf) and red raspberry (one study claims it has a high spf). Better to use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (minerals) which provides stronger spf.