Citrus scents—orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and more—are superstars when it comes to boosting your mood. Which, TBH, probably explains why I suddenly feel weirdly happy when I'm cleaning with essential oil-infused disinfectants, even though I'm... you know, cleaning. And there's a simple explanation for why that magic happens.
"The typical fresh and uplifting smell of citruses comes from their main chemical component, d-limonene," says certified aromatherapist Caroline Schroeder. "Extracted from the fresh fruit rind and usually pressed, citrus essential oils contain up to 97 percent of d-limonene, and studies suggest this component supports the part of the nervous system that's responsible for relaxation. In other words, it can decrease stress."
There are a handful of different kinds of citrus essential oils, and each is "refreshing, brings energy, and has an uplifting, cleansing effect," Schroeder says. But different types can make you feel different things. "Lemon is cool and joyful while orange is warm and pampers. And grapefruit boosts energy in an entirely different way," she adds. A recent study from the University of Sussex even found the scent of a lemon can help boost your self-confidence and body-image.
If you want to take advantage of citrus scents for a mood boost, there are a handful of ways Schroeder says always do the trick. "I make my own cleaning products and detergent with lemon essential oil. Then as a diffuser blend, especially at night, I love to add orange," she explains. "Grapefruit, on the other hand, is great for diffusing during the day. And Bergamot is my favorite in inhalers. You can also blend citruses with leaf and/or flower essential oils to create even more powerful blends. Orange and lavender make a beautiful calming synergy, for example."
Well, it looks like I might have to put my love affair with eucalyptus on hold. These citrus scents are calling my name.
For a next-level healthy home, try these tips for non-toxic living from expert Sophia Ruan Gushée:
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