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Sweet Orange Essential Oil May Help to Reduce Pain

The next time you’re in pain, reach for sweet orange essential oil – not for your sore spot, but for your nose.

Sweet orange oil is obtained from the fruit of an evergreen tree native to China and cultivated in warm climates throughout the world. Like the fruit’s juice and pulpy flesh, the essential oil extracted from the rind has a bright, sweet aroma that most people find very pleasing. The heady fragrance of orange oil is due to the presence of monoterpenes, most notably limonene, also referred to as d-limonene. The oil possesses antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, and, in terms of aromatherapy, it is attributed with mild anti-depressant and sedative qualities.

At the emergency ward of Vali-e-Asr Hospital in Iran, scientists randomly selected 60 patients treated for various bone fractures, which were divided into two groups. The subjects in the experiment group were given a small pad moistened with four drops of orange essential oil, which was pinned to their clothing at the shoulder region, or about 8-10 inches from the head. Every hour, for six hours, the pad was changed and the patient’s vital signs and level of pain were measured. The researchers found that the patients in the experiment group experienced significantly less pain than those in the control group, without any change to vital signs.


Hekmatpou D, Pourandish Y, Farahani PV, Parvizrad R. The effect of aromatherapy with the essential oil of orange on pain and vital signs of patients with fractured limbs admitted to the emergency ward: a randomized clinical trial. Indian J Palliat Care. October-December 2017;23(4):431-436.

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