Home > Apothecary Supplies > Aromatic Extracts > Essential Oils >


quantity in basket: none
code: 11064


Latin Binomial: Litsea cubeba
Plant Part: Fruit
Extraction: Steam Distilled
Growing Practice: Ethical
Country of Origin: China
Odor Type: CITRUS


Odor Characteristic: Soft, sweet-fruity, lemony odor with a very slight oily and green grassy aspect, quite different from the lemon peel oil. Dryout loses the oily-grassy aspects becoming a soft sweet-fruity, clean citral-lemon like.

Refractive Index: 1.48300 to 1.48900 @ 20.00 °C.
Specific Gravity: 0.88400 to 0.90400 @ 25.00 °C.
Appearance: pale yellow mobile liquid
BioChemical Class: Aldehyde
CAS No: 68855-99-2

About the Plant

From the Laurel family, Litsea cubeba grows in Eastern Asia and is cultivated to a minor extent in Formosa and Japan.
Aromatherapy Litsea cubeba is not greatly used in aromatherapy, but it can easily substitute for Lemongrass. Uses include: acne, dermatitis, oily skin conditions, as well as insect repellent formulas for topical application. The essential oil is strongly antispasmodic to smooth muscle of the intestine in vitro and also to uterine muscles, but it may not be effective when massaged into the skin and there is no scientific evidence to support any of the aromatherapy claims made in this regard. It mildly antiseptic qualities and is nice in aromatic blends for inhalation.

Perfumery Citral contents are similar to lemongrass, however, may chang is preferable to some because it doesn't have as many 'oily' aspects. However, lemongrass has a superior tenacity. May chang is frequently interchangeable with lemongrass in perfumery and as a modfiier for lemon and lime. It will blend well with all of the citrus oils, petitgrain, rosemary, lavandin, rosewood, geranium and countless others. It has very little fixative power and needs clever blending and fixation in soap perfumes.

Very mildly irritant to skin, nonphototoxic. Cautions include hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin and children under 2 years of age. As with lemongrass, the majority of people do not react allergically to may change oil, but occasional reactions are possible. Citral content can cause a rise in ocular tension, which would not be good in cases of glaucoma. Avoid use in cases of glaucoma. Studies in both male and female rats indicate benign prostatic hyperplasia and/or vaginal hyperplasia. In all cases cited, at least 15 times the recommended dilution typically used in aromatherapy was used. (Tisserand, Balacs 2004). Maria Lis-Balchin suggests caution because of sensitizing potential and because of delicate nature of skin of babies and young children. This caution would also apply to the elderly.

The information provided on these pages is not a substitute for necessary medical care, nor intended as medical advice. Always keep aromatic extracts tightly closed and in a cool, dark place, out of reach of children. Never ingest aromatic extracts. Always dilute aromatic extracts when applying topically and avoid areas around eyes or mucous membranes. If redness or irritation occurs, stop using immediately and contact your health provider if necessary.