Day 13: Petitgrain

Well, no surprise here … petitgrain has several citrus sources which means that although ‘petitgrain’, the chemistry varies and so do the benefits.

To begin with, here are 3 types …

Bigarade Petitgrain (orange leaf) Citrus x aurantium L.

Linalyl acetate 51.0–71.0%

Linalool 12.3–24.2%

(þ)-Limonene 0.4–8.0%

a-Terpineol 2.1–5.2%

Geranyl acetate 1.9–3.4%

b-Pinene 0.3–2.7%

Neryl acetate 0–2.6%

Geraniol 1.4–2.3%

(E)-b-Ocimene 0.2–2.2%

b-Myrcene 0–2.0%

Nerol 0.4–1.1%

Lemon Leaf (Lemon Petitgrain) Citrus x limon L.

Geranial (citral) 10.9–39.0%

(þ)-Limonene 8.1–30.7%

Neral 6.5–25.3%

Geraniol 0.5–15.0%

b-Pinene 3.5–13.6%

Neryl acetate 3.7–7.4%

Nerol 1.3–7.4%

a-Terpinyl acetate tr–7.3%

Linalyl acetate tr–6.5%

Geranyl acetate tr–4.0%

Citronellal 1.5–2.9%

g-Terpinene 0.4–2.3%

a-Pinene 0.1–2.2%

b-Caryophyllene 0.6–2.0%

Mandarin Leaf (Mandarin Petitgrain) Citrus nobilis

Dimethyl anthranilate 43.2–51.9%

g-Terpinene 23.9–28.5%

(þ)-Limonene 7.2–11.7%

p-Cymene 3.0–4.8%

b-Pinene 1.9–2.5%

a-Pinene 1.8–2.3%

b-Caryophyllene 1.2–1.4%

a-Thujene 0.8–1.0%

Linalool 1.2–1.8%

b-Myrcene 0.4–1.5%

a-Terpineol 0.4–1.1%

What’s interesting is I’ve been digging through information on the various constituents and nearly drove myself crazy as I narrowly focused on the specifics of one chemical. Yikes! I momentarily became ‘one of them’…….

While this is the nature of science … to isolate and predict, the dilemma with studying nature is the fact that it is an organic process which means synergistic reactions between all the chemicals. This isn’t to say that a certain chemical has a direct influence on a genetic receptor, they do, this is how we develop medications; yet, there is a BIG difference in the conclusions drawn when they report on a single constituent versus an entire oil

For instance, bigarade petitgrain a.k.a. citrus auriantium L is recognized for its anxiolytic effects; however, as they break the oil down, they cannot clearly pinpoint which one is responsible. In the video, I mentioned that I recommend caution with this oil when taking an SSRI i.e. Sertraline, Lexapro, or, or, or … although, not because there is a conflict with the CYP450 enzymes, but due to having similar mechanisms of action. You see, aside from being an anxiolytic, the constituents geranyl acetate and neryl acetate are documented and patented for their antipsychotic and antidepressant properties both of which suggests an influence on the serotonin receptors.

Quite frankly, in small doses, there’s nothing wrong with using this oil … as long as you’re not taking an SSRI of any kind. I don’t mean to be overbearing with this thought; yet, it’s an important fact. SSRI’s are prescribed for both depression and anxiety because the chemicals being regulated by the med are indicated in both and it’s the fluctuations that lead to either issue. Therefore, taking the medication essentially keeps things on the level, for a little while, at least. However, this ongoing specific ‘control’ often leads to other issues requiring a change in medications or quite possibly a new one. Why? Because:

  1. neurotransmitters are used throughout the body for a variety of functions, not just mood and emotions and to be consistently managing the use of them interrupts the natural flow, leading to additional challenges

  2. when we narrow our focus to such a degree, as I did while researching for this article, we create an imbalance; therefore, the body will make the necessary adjustments in order to acclimate to the new ‘instructions’. I say it this way because chemicals are the way nature communicates, with every one delivering a particular message. This is why changing ‘things’ up from time to time offers more fluidity and less rigidity.

I’m not suggesting anything derogatory about any medications. There are plenty of times, especially given the state of our environment, that medications absolutely have their place; in which case, including oils that offer stability, take the stress off the body. At the same time, using bigarade petitgrain from time to time when medications aren’t in the picture, definitely does a body good.

Aside from the mental and emotional effects, it’s also a fabulous selection for muscle spasms, including menstrual cramps and it definitely eases a nervous stomach. AND, because of its influence on serotonin, it is a nice choice when having a difficult time falling asleep.

When it comes to lemon leaf, I also discourage using it with SSRI’s, primarily since it contains some of the same constituents. That said, the geranial adds to the ‘DO NOT USE WITH CERTAIN MEDICATIONS’ warning! On the other hand, lemon petitgrain is an excellent choice for such conditions as UTI’s and kidney stones. In fact, if there are no medications being taken, having this oil around just to support kidney health is an excellent idea since the liver is continually dumping toxins, the urinary tract could use a little love from time to time.

And finally, we have mandarin petitgrain with an entirely different chemical makeup. So why is it called a petitgrain? Because the word ‘petitgrain’ comes from the French meaning ‘little grain’; although, it’s really an indicator that these oils come from the leaves of certain citrus plants. Lemon essential oil is not lemon leaf; the same goes for mandarin. The EO’s from leaves is not the same as the oils extracted from the rinds; therefore, double check the label and make sure your supplier tells you what part of the plant was used to obtain the oil in question.

That said, mandarin petitgrain, in my opinion, is an excellent option for moods, emotions, sleep, and overall systemic stability. It works with medications and does not have a direct influence on any specific chemical. What makes it such a good choice is its cannabinoid content, which means it supports endocannabinoid and endogenous opioid interactions along with the neurological, hormonal and immune systems. As for the methyl anthranilate … that one is used in foods for flavoring as well as bird repellent. As for health benefits, that continues to be ‘under investigation’; however, it is an ester recognized as having anti-inflammatory properties, similar to salicylic acid, giving this oil an analgesic quality. Hence, this oils influence on the endogenous opioid system.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this or another oil. If you haven’t seen the video, please take a look as I talk about Petitgrain in a slightly different way over there. And, if you like the material, please share and join the closed FB group to get even more information not available anywhere else.

This information comes to you because I truly believe it’s time we discuss the reality of using essential oils. That said, I don’t charge for this information. Therefore, should you feel like making a donation, it is very much appreciated; although, certainly not expected. Just know I am very happy to offer this to you. Thank you for joining me on this journey.