Mandarin essence, symbol of good fortune and abundance

The fruit of the mandarin tree is generally highly regarded, especially during the Chinese New Year, when the latter embodies abundance and good fortune . Its fragrant zest is particularly appreciated in cooking and gives a delectable aroma to tasty dishes. The dried fruit peel is generally used in traditional medicine to regulate vitality, stimulate digestion, relieve abdominal cramps and thus reduce gas and bloating. Mandarin is also beneficial in regulating excess phlegm and treating loss of appetite, as well as digestive disorders. On the other hand, in folk medicine , the bark can treat stomach aches and gastritis.

A little history

Native to Southeast Asia, China and perhaps the Philippines, the mandarin owes its name in particular to its color, which recalls the silk dress of the mandarins.

Imported into Europe at the beginning of the 19th century by Alexandre Le Grand, the mandarin tree has been developing in Algeria since the 1950s. Between two rootings, in the good old days, it will cross a sweet orange giving birth to the clementine. Legend has it that Father Clément accidentally discovered this hybrid in its natural state in Misserghin and duplicated it. Nowadays, due to the presence of the sun and the heat, this citrus fruit, nicknamed the “fruit of grace” by the Arabs, is mainly cultivated in Corsica.

The mandarin tree was first mentioned in the literary work ” Le tribut de Yu ” which dates back to the 21st century BC. AD, in which it is mentioned that mandarins, pomelos or bitter orange offered as gifts to the emperor.

What are the pharmacological properties of Mandarin zest essence ?

Detoxifying, hepatoprotective and choleretic effects:

Detoxifying, hepato-protective as well as choleretic, the limonene contained in mandarin essence exerts a detoxifying action in the liver linked to the stimulation of cytochromes P450 or phase 2 enzymes such as glutathione-S-transferase.

Digestive effect:

Digestive , mandarin essence also reduces nausea by acting on gastric motility and gastric acidity during gastroesophageal reflux.

Sedative, anxiolytic and sleep inducing effects:

Calming the central nervous system (Ʃ-), mandarin is in fact a mild hypnotic . It indeed has a behavioral and physiological anti-stress action and is therefore antidepressant by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin (action on the biosynthesis of tryptophan).

Antimicrobial effects:

Antimicrobial and antifungal , there is also an antiseptic and antiviral activity on Herpes simplex virus, as well as an inhibition of the efflux pumps of Staphylococcus aureus .

Anti-cancer properties:

Anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor , limonene inhibits malignant cell growth, which is why it is called an emerging antineoplastic agent . This active principle would induce in particular apoptosis via mitochondrial death as well as the suppression of cellular mediators.

Other properties:

  • Cortison-like
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-free radical
  • Antioxidant by inhibiting LDL oxidation and lipid peroxidation
  • Lipid-lowering

Does the essence of Mandarin require precautions for use?

  • Mandarin essence is photosensitizing both internally and externally, thereby avoiding sun exposure
  • This essential oil is contraindicated in pregnant or breastfeeding women as well as in children under 7 years old.
  • Avoid in combination with cortisone , risk of drug interaction
  • Do not use over a prolonged period, at the risk of resting the pituitary-adrenal axis and suffering from acute adrenal insufficiency when stopping the intake of essential oil
  • Avoid applying the essential oil in the evening (or before any rest period)
  • Not recommended for people with osteoporosis , due to the inherent risk of decalcification
  • Caution in case of oral renal failure (nephrotoxic)
  • Powerful enzyme inhibitor of CYP2E1 (competitive inhibition), risk of drug interactions, ask your pharmacist for advice
  • Prohibited in animals


Medical bibliographic sources and clinical trials :


Clementine. M.
Writer of scientific articles
Naturopath – Aromatherapist / Herbalist – Phytotherapist
Consultant in clinical phyto-aromatherapy and Ethnomedicine

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