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The Neroli Blossom

Posted in Edible Flowers with tags , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2010 by PickMeYard

This is Neroli

Neroli (Citrus aurantium) is the blossom of the bitter orange tree.  It is almost exactly like the blossom of the sweet orange, but the blossom of the bitter orange is the one used by perfumers and aromatherapists.  The scent of this blossom is heavenly.  Our home has thousands of acres of orange groves near us and they are all snow-white with blooms.  The scent of neroli in the evenings makes the entire family happy.  It’s amazing what an aroma can do for your mood.  The essential oil of neroli  is extracted from the blossom and said to be an antidepressant, aphrodisiac, hypnotic, and reduces anxiety when used in aromatherapy.  It seems contradictory, but the scent of neroli  is supposed to stimulate the brain waves while having sedative properties that relax the body.  Neroli is also beneficial for the heart because it regulates rhythm.  Two drops of oil can be mixed with 4 tablespoons of honey and added to a bath.   

Sweet Orange Trees in Full Bloom

A Small Orange Grove

The neroli blossom was named after Princess Anna Maria de la Tremoille of Nerola, Italy.  She wore the oil as a perfume.  It was acclaimed for its ability to fight plague and fever in the 16th Century.  It is one of the most expensive essential oils.  It takes one ton of orange blossoms to produce one quart of oil.   “Orange flower water” is a by-product of the distillation process for neroli blossoms.  The flower water is less expensive and is the main ingredient of the original eau de cologne.

A Navel Orange

The orange tree produces three separate essential oils.  The essential oil of neroli is made from the blossom.  An essential oil is also made from the fruit called orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis).  The third oil is called petitgrain (Citrus aurantium) and it’s made from the leaves and twigs.  There have been many, many books written on aromatherapy.  Essential oils are medicinal and healing.  It is a wonderful world to explore.  However, essential oils must be mixed with a carrier base such as almond oil or olive oil when they are applied to the skin or added to the bath.  An essential oil is extremely potent and will go straight to the bloodstream when they are applied topically. They must be used responsibly and in an educated manner. If you are lucky enough to acquire an essential oil such as neroli, I recommended that you also get a book to go with it.  My two favorite books on aromatherapy and essential oil are The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Norwood and Aromatherapy for Dummies.  My favorite place to order my essential oils from is Kobashi.  Their oils are chemical free and I trust their products because they go out of their way to only sell what they have tested for purity.

The neroli blossom is an edible flower.  A few petals could be added to a salad with nasturtium petals, carrots, almonds, and raisins.  My kids love it when I add neroli blossoms to their lemonade with extra sugar.  Sometimes I just add a blossom to a pitcher of water and leave it on the counter to remind the family to drink some water.  A neroli blossom makes the water just a little more exciting.  I am extra careful to only use citrus blossoms from our yard because I know they haven’t been sprayed with anything.

Come grow with us!