Litsea seed essential oil (litsea cubeba) has a long list of uses and benefits that make it a great addition to your health arsenal.
Also known as May Chang, Litsea Cubeba is a small plant found in tropical areas of Japan and Taiwan The leaves are typically a vibrant green with a pleasant, lemony smell. It produces small, pepper-like fruits from which the essential oil is extracted.
Many data indicated that Litsea Cubeba essential oil possessed antimicrobial, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiparasitic activity, acute and genetic toxicity, cytotoxicity as well as being a potential cancer prevention agent (Wang et al., 1985; Gogoi et al., 1997; Luo et al., 2005; Ho et al., 2010; Wang and Liu, 2010; Wang et al., 2012; Huang et al., 2013).
While the thoughts of words like antiseptic and antimicrobial conjure up memories of offensive odors in institutional disinfectants, Litsea has a pleasant smell that is more citrusy than Melissa, without the musty tones of lemon grass making it great to blend with Basil, Bergamot, Geranium, Ginger, Jasmine, Rose, Rosemary, and Ylang-ylang.
While humans, for the most part find the aroma calming, insects don’t. In one study Litsea oil was found to be an effective Natural Insect Repellent which is why it is used in many “outdoor blends” of essential oils, which I can’t live without!
While it deters bugs it also has been used for years in Asian medicine to feature enlarged pores and help with oily skin… Yes Please! Just put 5frops of Litsea in 1tbsp of carrier oil and dab it on your face a couple of times a day.
The benefits don’t stop there. In an article published by PubMed, one study showed that vapors from Litsea Cubeba have anti-cancer properties and were able to (through a series of biological responses) arrest cancer cells. Which makes sense right, natural products help our bodies function naturally.
Uses For Litsea Cubeba
- Use as a natural disinfectant around your house
- Add to your deodorant recipe to fight the bacteria that cause body odor
- Use as a natural insect repellant
- Diffuse to boost immunity during cold and flu season
- Add to custom blend perfumes as your top note.
- Use aromatically to sooth your nervous system when going into stress inducing situations (I’m thinking public speaking…yikes).
- Dilute and apply to feet to prevent athletes foot.
So there you have it, I hope you find some uses for this little gem around your home.
Contraindications: don’t use while pregnant or nursing, avoid exposure to direct sunlight when using topically for 12 hours after use.
Please note, I am not a medical practitioner and this is not meant to be a substitute for medical advise.