May Chang belongs to the Lauraceae family and is also known as the Chinese Pepper. It is a small deciduous tree that grows to the hight of 5-8 metres with a smooth trunk, the tree has pale yellow flowers that have a lemony scent.
The aromatic fruits are green in colour, turning red first, later dark brown upon ripening.
Once dried, the small fruits look like dried black peppers and provide the source for May Chang essential oil. Although an oil (of a different grade) may also be extracted from the flowers, branches, bark, roots and leaves. The essential oil distilled from those parts of the plant will have a different aroma of that found with the fruit.
A tree native to China, Indonesia and other areas of south east Asian continent, smaller quantities of this species also grow in the wild in places such as Java and Sumatra. It's also known to be cultivated in Japan and Taiwan.
May Chang essential oil did not become available in the West until the early 1950's, at a time when it began to compete with Lemongrass (similiar in scent, "lemony") as a source of extraction for Citral. However, commercial growing for the most part, for this essential oil is still almost entirely based in China.
The plant has a long history of use in Chinese herbal medicine and all parts of the plant were used to provide remedies for
Asthma, back pain and digestive problems
Headaches and muscular aches and pains
Extracted by steam distillation of the fresh fruits and yeilds a yellow liquid with a fresh, intensly lemon fragrance with fruity and spicy undertones. For many people the aroma brings back happy memories of sherbet lemon sweets, would you believe it?!
This essential oil has a refreshing, stimulating and uplifting action, very pleasing it is. Which makes it perfect for relieving fatigue and lethargic psychological conditions. So when you are suffering from a severe case of the blues, add a few drops of this oil to your diffuser for a quick "pick me up".
As this oil is a tonic to the nervous system it makes it ideal for clearing your head when you are feeling anxious, stressed or simply just befuddled with what is going on in your life.
It has surprisingly good anti-septic, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties too, that can be used to help keep coughs, colds and athletes foot at bay. It’s also great for cleaning jobs around the home such as sterilising kitchen worktops and utensils.
Simply place a few drops of the essential oil into a bottle sprayer filled with water, and you are ready ― and you'll delight in the freshness of the fragrance too! As a booster to the effectiveness, blend May Chang with a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil if you have that at hand.
There is no surprise therefore, as to why we've used this one in one of our soaps, in combination with clay it's an ideal skincare product that will cleanse all skin types, giving much needed relieve to many a skin complaint - beneficial for oily, combination skin.
May Chang is a specialist at clearing blocked, clogged pores ― the cause of Acne and related skin problems.
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