The aroma of citrus certainly can help make a difference in your mood! Just think of how you feel when you take a big whiff of an orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit? Uplifted! Plus, multiple scientific studies have shown that citrus aromas can really help boost mood. Several human studies have demonstrated the aroma of citrus can help reduce depression and anxiety.
Try the following blend ideas in your aromatherapy diffuser.
Blend ginger and lemon together in a 1:2 ratio.
Blend orange and marjoram together in a 1:1 ratio.
Blend orange and lavender together in a 1:1 ratio.
Combine lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and lemon: 5 drops of lavender, 1 drop of chamomile, 2 drops of rosemary, and 2 drops of lemon.
Combine equal parts of: grapefruit, rose geranium, and pine.
Combine equal parts of: juniper, lavender, and lime.
Safety Note: Check for possible contraindications and safe dosage amounts before using essential oils. Follow diffuser instructions.
Studies have been conducted across a wide variety people. Lemon, lime, sweet orange, bitter orange, and grapefruit have all shown to help improve mood. Many of the studies listed below have blended other pleasing scents with the citrus fruit.
Check out some studies on how the aroma of citrus can help improve mood.
One study involved 56 patients with anxiety related to their dental surgery. Results showed: blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory rate were significantly lower in the group who inhaled orange aroma compared to the placebo (1).
A small study involved 20 male students. The group who inhaled a ginger and citrus aroma while sleeping had reduced cortisol secretion levels in saliva showing reduced stress (2).
In a study, 70 elderly women wore an aromatherapy necklace for 4 weeks with orange and marjoram aroma. It improved sleep and reduced anxiety compared to the placebo (3).
Orange and lavender aromatherapy reduced anxiety and improved mood in patients waiting for dental treatments (4).
In a study of 80 female students, both the aroma of lavender and the aroma of orange reduced test taking anxiety compared to the placebo (5).
Aromatherapy massage using lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and lemon reduced anxiety and improved self esteem (6).
In a small study, lemon and valerian inhalation helped reduced depression (7).
A human study including grapefruit, rose, orange, lime, and lemon aromas with 200 participants in Germany. It showed grapefruit aroma to reduce anxiety and improve attention in both men and women (8).
In a study, 40 women were divided into two groups. One group received one massage a week for four weeks with a carrier oil. The other had the same massage, with lime in the carrier oil. Massage with lime oil reduced stress compared to the control group (9).
In a study of 51 volunteers going through crack cocaine drug withdrawal, diffusing the the EO of Citrus aurantium reduced anxiety (10).
References: How the Aroma of Citrus Improves Mood.
Hasheminia, D., Motamedi, M., Ahmadabadi, F., Hashemzehi, H., & Haghighat, A. (2014). Can ambient orange fragrance reduce patient anxiety during surgical removal of impacted mandibular third molars?. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 72(9), 1671-1676.
Jiang, F., Kobayashi, T., Ichihashi, T., Ito, K., & Nomura, S. (2018). The effect of citrus ginger aroma on heart rate and salivary cortisol level during sleep at home. IEEJ Transactions on Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
Chun, N., & Kim, M. (2017). Effects of a Sleep Improvement Program Combined with Aroma-Necklace on Sleep, Depression, Anxiety and Blood Pressure in Elderly Women. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 47(5), 651-662.
Lehrner, J., Marwinski, G., Lehr, S., Johren, P., & Deecke, L. (2005). Ambient odors of orange and lavender reduce anxiety and improve mood in a dental office. Physiology & Behavior, 86(1), 92-95.
Bakhsha, F., Yousefi, Z., Aryaee, M., & Jafari, S. (2016). Comparison effect of Lavender and Citrus aurantium aroma on anxiety in female students at Golestan University of Medical Sciences. Journal of Basic Research in Medical Sciences, 3(4), 4-11.
Rho, K., et al. (2006). Effects of aromatherapy massage on anxiety and self-esteem in korean elderly women: a pilot study. International Journal of Neuroscience, 116(12), 1447-1455.
Komori, T., Matsumoto, T., Motomura, E., & Shiroyama, T. (2009). P. 2. g. 008 Effects of lemon and valerian inhalation on autonomic nerve activity in depressed and healthy subjects. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 19, S475-S476.
Haehner, A., Maass, H., Croy, I., & Hummel, T. (2017). Influence of room fragrance on attention, anxiety and mood. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 32(1), 24-28.
Saiyudthong, S., Ausavarungnirun, R., Jiwajinda, S., & Turakitwanakan, W. (2009). Effects of aromatherapy massage with lime essential oil on stress. International Journal of Essential Oil Therapeutics, 3(2/3), 76-80.
Chaves Neto, G., et al. (2017). Anxiolytic Effect of Citrus aurantium L. in Crack Users. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017.
Be thankful for your many blessings…another way to help improve mood!
In the wintertime, in the snow country, citrus fruit was so rare, and if you got one, it was better than ambrosia.
-James Earl Jones
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA (ARC), Professional NAHA and AIA Member, LMT