Litsea Cubeba is the botanical name for May Chang, a tree belonging to the Lauraceae family. The tree bears whitish-yellowish flowers that have a characteristic citrusy fragrance and fruits that resemble peppers (that?s where the word ?cubeb? comes from). The essential oil is extracted from the ripened and dried fruits of the Litsea Cubeba tree. Also known as ?Mountain Pepper? or ?Chinese Pepper?, the plant is native to south China, Indonesia, Java, Sumatra and other regions of Southeast Asia. It is widely cultivated in Japan and Taiwan for its commercial uses although China remains the largest producer and exporter of the oil. The scent of Litsea Cubeba oil can be compared to Lemongrass, although the former is often described as ?finer? and ?sweeter? than the latter.
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil ? Uses in Aromatherapy
Due to its enticing lemony fragrance, Litsea Cubeba is widely used in the perfumery and cosmetic industry. Like most citrus oils, its scent is immediately uplifting and rejuvenating, which makes it very useful for combating emotional problems and psychological issues. From a therapeutic standpoint, Litsea Cubeba is known to possess antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, and has been found effective in fighting away colds and other infections. In fact, a recent study published in PLoS One Journal suggests that vapours from Litsea Cubeba essential oil may be able to kill and arrest the growth of lung cancer cells. The oil is a tonic for the nervous system and can help with digestive problems as well. The uses of Litsea Cubeba are not limited to health and wellness. This fabulous oil makes for an excellent skin tonic and can be used all over the house as a natural, organic cleansing agent.
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil for Fighting Infections
Litsea Cubeba?s antibacterial and antiviral properties make it effective against common infections like cold and cough. Simply pop a few drops into a vaporizer to keep any respiratory problems at bay. Litsea Cubeba is also very useful in treating infectious skin conditions such as Athlete?s Foot because of its pronounced antifungal action.
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil for Emotional Wellbeing
Just like it is cleansing for the body, Litsea Cubeba is also cleansing for the soul. Scientific studies have proven that Litsea Cubeba can help control arrhythmia  (which is a common sign of stress and anxiety) and induce relaxation. Its enticing scent soothes the nervous system and helps us express our emotions in a more constructive manner. Litsea Cubeba is the perfect antidote for seasonal blues, stress, anger and irritability. It helps get rid of negative emotions and promotes relaxation, mental clarity and restful sleep. Use it in a diffuser, bath or massage oil to liven up your day.
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil for Skin and Personal Care
If you have oily skin that is prone to acne and breakouts, Litsea Cubeba may be just what you need. While its gentle astringent properties work to cleanse your pores, its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory action minimizes and heals existing flare-ups. Mix a few drops of Litsea Cubeba in a 1 Oz bottle of Jojoba Oil and dab it all over your face twice a day. Suffering from body odour? Litsea Cubeba has the ability to control excessive perspiration and check bacterial growth that leads to unpleasant body odour. Just pour a few drops of the essential oil into your regular body lotion and turn it into a fragrant deodorant ? sans any alcohol or harmful chemicals!
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil for the Home And Kitchen
Litsea Cubeba?s potent disinfectant and insect repellent properties make it an excellent, all-natural household cleaner. Use it on its own or combine it with Tea Tree Oil (another powerful disinfectant) to make your home smell divine and squeaky clean. Now you have the perfect reason to kick out those harsh chemical cleaners that are neither good for the environment, nor for you.
Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil for Digestion
Litsea Cubeba is widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help with indigestion and flatulence. It is known to have a stimulant action on the digestive system and can be useful for those with poor appetite. Whenever you have tummy troubles, mix 4-5 drops of Litsea Cubeba essential oil into any carrier oil and massage your stomach in circular strokes.
 Tisserand R, Blacs T.. May Chang. The International Journal of Aromatherapy 1992; 4 (3) 25-27.
This information is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counselling with a health care professional.