Essential Oil of Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium)


Family: Rutaceae

Origin: A native of Central Asia but now found mainly in the Mediterranean region

Plant description: A tree with numerous branches and white flowers that develop into fruit.

Part of plant used for essential oil: Leaves and shoots

Extraction method: Steam

Main Chemical Constituents: Geranial, linalool, nerol, terpineol (Alcohol), citral (Aldehyde), geranyl acetate, linalyl acetate (Ester), camphene, limonene (Terpenes)

PRECAUTIONS: Tisserand and Young do not indicate any precautions when using this oil. Because Petitgrain comes from a citrus tree, you may want to use caution when using in the sun or in bath if you have sensitive skin.

PROPERTIES: Antidepressant, antispasmodic, deodorant, sedative.



Circulation/Muscles/Joints: Eases anxiety and muscle spasms by slowing the body down. Calms rapid heartbeat, anger, and panic.

Digestive: Calming to the stomach muscles and aids in digestion.

Immune System: Acts as a mild immune-stimulant and encourages the body to resist illness.

Nervous system: Sedating to the nervous system and aids in slowing the body down. Great for treating insomnia.

Mental/Emotional: Calms anger and panic while giving assurance when feeling down. Soothes emotions like Neroli, however Neroli may be better when dealing with serious depression. Good for boosting the intellectual side of the mind.

Skin care: Tonifies the skin and helps clear up acne and blemishes.


About this essential oil: Petitgrain got its name from when it was originally distilled from small, unripe fruit instead of the leaves. Hence the meaning of the name is “little grains”. It is a popular oil in the perfume industry and widely used in pharmaceuticals.



  1. The Directory of Essential Oils- Wanda Sellar pages 138-139



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