Litsea cubeba, more commonly called May Chang, is native to regions in Southeast Asia, including Taiwan, Indonesia, and China. This evergreen grows up to 12 meters high and is also known as mountain pepper. The oils produced in the leaf and fruit have a strong lemon smell. May Chang essential oil is used in aromatherapy and for treating various skin disorders.
All parts of the plant have been used for centuries in Chinese herbal medicine. Herbalists recommended it for individuals with digestive problems because it was believed to help with the expulsion of gas as well as prevent gas from forming in the intestinal tract. They prescribed it to women to relieve pain caused by abdominal cramps during menstruation. xxxxxx patients took it to slow the growth of xxxxxxxxx cells. It was also used to treat asthma, headaches, chills, and muscular aches, including back pain. Chinese researchers more recently conducted studies comparing its effects against those of the beta-blocker, Propranolol for regulation of arrhythmia.
The oil is composed of approximately 70-85% citral, an aromatic compound favored by the perfume industry for its citrus qualities. The chemical composition of the oil is similar to lemongrass without the harsh tones but the aroma is more like lemon verbena oil, which is more expensive. It is more stable than lemon peel oil making it a good choice for making personal fragrances.
When used in a diffuser, this oil has uplifting qualities. It is known for lowering blood pressure and relieving stress without causing drowsiness. It can also promote overall physical and mental well-being. It blends well with a wide variety of others, including geranium, lavender, orange, rose, ylang ylang, basil, and ginger, just to name a few.
May chang has natural insect repellent qualities. It can be blended into body lotion, shampoo, or liquid body wash to help repel mosquitoes. Adding a couple drops to a candle and placing it outdoors will help keep pests away.
This oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties making it popular for use in skin care products. It is useful for preventing the growth of bacteria that can cause acne. Some people use it to treat eczema and similar skin conditions. As an astringent, it is used to eliminate excess skin oil and shrink enlarged pores. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help clear up skin irritation. Users should always dilute the oil before applying it to the skin.