Hidden Secrets of Litsea Cubeba Oil & the Litsea Cubeba Plant

Antibacterial & Anti-inflammatory 

Litsea Cubeba

Botanical name (Latin): Litsea cubeba
Plant family: Lauraceae
Aroma profile: May Chang Essential Oil smells sharp and has a complex lemony aroma.
Perfumery note: Medium

Essential oil extraction method: Steam distillation
Native region/origin
: Vietnam
Growing habit: Shrub that can grow up to 26 feet high
Parts used: Fruit

Benefits of Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil

Litsea Cubeba is delightful for lifting and soothing the spirits. It works wonders in skin care, as well as for the digestive, immune and nervous systems, and more. Litsea Cubeba Reduces Stress and Anxiety. Scientific studies have shown that Listsea Cubeba can induce relaxation and reduce stress, while creating a calm, peaceful feeling in the home. Simply use the oil in a diffuser, bath, or massage oil to feel calm and refreshed.

1. Antibacterial

Litsea Cubeba Oil has potent antibacterial properties, with citric elements accounting for over 70% of its phytonutrient content.

Whether used internally or externally, Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil is highly effective in inhibiting and preventing infection, even against E. Coli.

2. Boost mood

Studies have found that May Chang Essential Oil can help to control the nervous system. To this end, mood is boosted and relaxation is induced to ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.

3. Improve digestion

For years, Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil has been used in ancient Chinese and Indian medicine to treat digestion-related issues.

The powerful acidic properties of Litsea Cubeba Oil help to stimulate reactions in the digestive system and improve its functioning.

4. Anti-inflammatory

May Chang Oil is known to possess strong anti-inflammatory elements. It can help to relieve pain in joints and muscles and even have long-term benefits on these areas.

5. Improve heart health

Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil is highly effective at regulating and normalising cardiac arrhythmia.

Furthermore, alongside Neroli Oil and Rose Oil, May Chang Essential Oil has been shown to reduce blood pressure.

History of Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil

Essential oils are steam-distilled from the fruits and from the leaves of L. cubeba. The essential oil obtained from the fruits is called "may chang" oil. It is a commercial source of citral which is used for the production of ionones and formerly vitamin A and in essences for cosmetics, foodstuffs and tobacco products. Because of its pleasant citrus-like smell and taste it is a modifier for lemon and lime flavours and a general freshener in fruit flavours. In perfumery may chang oil is used as an alternative for verbena oil and lemongrass oil in colognes, household sprays, soaps and air-fresheners.

In Java, 2 slightly different essential oils are steam-distilled from the leaves. The oil produced in West Java is called trawas oil, that from Central Java krangean oil. Both oils are used medicinally and in soap perfumes.

In Indonesia, the fruits are eaten as a vegetable side dish and are a common substitute for the spice Piper cubeba L.f., while in northern Vietnam tea is sometimes flavoured with the flowers.

All plant parts of L. cubeba are applied medicinally and have antiparalytic, anticephalalgic, antihysteric, carminative, spasmolytic and diuretic properties. The fruit is used in decoction for the treatment of vertigo, paralysis and in post-partum preparations; the leaves for treating skin diseases. Traditionally the Dayak Kenyah people of East Kalimantan use the fruits and bark as oral and topical medicine for babies as well as for adults. It is applied in cases of fever, stomach-ache, chest pain and as a tonic. It is also an antidote to treat drunkenness. In aromatherapy the oil is applied as a cooling agent against acne and dermatitis, and to relieve anxiety and stress. Recent studies found that the essential oil may be useful in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia. L. cubeba oil has in vitro antifungal properties against several pathogens such as Alternaria alternataAspergillus nigerCandida albicansFusarium spp., Helminthosporium spp.

In China L. cubeba is planted as a wind-break in tea plantations and the wood has some value as timber. In Nepal the leaves serve as a source of fodder, while in Assam (India) muga silkworms (Antheraea assama) are sometimes reared on the leaves.

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