Botanical Name: Litsea cubeba
Country of Origin: Vietnam
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Plant Part: Fruits
Aromatic Scent: Oily, grassy and strong lemon scent
Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) essential oil is also commonly referred to by the tree’s botanical name: Litsea. The essential oil is steam distilled from the seeds of a small tropical tree native to native to Vietnam, China and other parts of Southeast Asia. Also known as mountain pepper, exotic verbena, and tropical verbena, the tree is known for its scented flowers and foliage, and small berries shaped like peppers. The aroma is often compared to Lemongrass, though it is considered by many to be finer, and may be the better choice from a purely aromatic standpoint.
Litsea Cubeba oil properties:
Appearance: Clear, Mobile Liquid
Colour: Pale yellow
Specific gravity at 20℃: 0.860 – 0.910
Refractive Index at 20℃: 1.470 – 1.490
Optical rotation at at 20℃: + 1 to +35
Main components: Geranial: 30 to 45%, Neral: 23 to 37%, Limonene: 3 to 20%
Litsea Cubeba Oil Use:
Litsea cubeba may be a real treasure, and significantly underused. Its antimicrobial properties are easily employed in blends for oily skin and acne care: use up to 5% in an astringent carrier oil such as Hazelnut or Grapeseed. It has a gentle cooling effect, and acts as an excellent overall skin tonic.
Other uses include support of digestion and reducing flatulence; a low concentration belly-massage formula in any carrier may be an effective means for utilization. The essential oil is also thought to help with excessive persipiration
The calming effects of Litsea Cubeba/May Chang may be helpful for those in need of deep sleep. The oil can blend well with Roman Chamomile and Lavender essential oils for this purpose. This blend can be massaged on the feet, used in a bath or in a diffuser. Interestingly, the oil has been found to lessen heart arrhythmia – both of these aspects correlate with its potential to lower stress levels.
Litsea Cubeba/ May Chang constituents have been shown effective in inducing death and halting proliferation of non-small cell lung cancer. Published October 12th, 2012 in the peer-reviewed PLoS One journal was a study titled: “Vapor of volatile oils from Litsea cubeba seed induces apoptosis and causes cell cycle arrest in lung cancer cells.”
Blends Well With:
Bergamot, Citronella, Clove Bud, Geranium Egyptian, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Orange Sweet, Petitgrain and Rosemary.
Litsea Cubeba oil revitalizes the body and relieves the symptoms of jetlag, clears headaches and helps to combat nervous exhaustion and stress-related conditions.