Episode 138: Exploring Citrus Bloom


In this episode, we are excited to take an in-depth look at Citrus Bloom, a beautiful blend crafted from doTERRA's pure, potent essential oils. We'll look at the plants inside and how they've been used throughout history.

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doTERRA: The smells of springtime are magical and unforgettable. As the world comes back to life after winter, the air is full of florals, citrus, and sunshine. Citrus Bloom brings spring into your home with its combination of the best scents springtime has to offer.

Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. If you like what you hear today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you.

We are thrilled to be able to talk to you today about a beautiful blend that is ready to make it springtime, no matter the weather: Citrus Bloom. This bright floral blend is a stunning combination of Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Lavender, Magnolia, and Roman Chamomile, and it's ready to swoop in and win your heart.

Wild Orange

First, we have Wild Orange. It's believed to have originated in ancient China, and the earliest mention of the sweet orange, in particular, was in Chinese literature in 314 BC. But citron seeds have been found in Mesopotamian excavations that date back to 4,000 BC, and their popularity has only grown.

As of 1987, orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. In addition to its appearance and Mesopotamian excavations and ancient Chinese writing, you can also see the orange popping up in different places throughout history. In fact, because of Alexander the Great’s conquest, the orange was actually introduced to Europe.

The Orange in Greek Myth and Medieval Times

Now, before all of this, we see the orange appear in the ancient Greek myth of Hercules. As his eleventh task, Eurystheus told Hercules that he must steal the golden apples from Hera’s orchard called the Garden of the Hesperides.

According to the legend, when the marriage of Zeus and Hera took place, the different deities came with nuptial presents for the latter, Hera. And among them, the goddess Gaia brought branches having golden apples growing on them as a wedding gift. In later years, it was thought that the golden apples might have actually been oranges, a fruit unknown to Europe and the Mediterranean before the Middle Ages.

Under this assumption, the Greek botanical name for all citrus species was Hesperidoeidē. And even today, the Greek word for the orange fruit is Portokáli, after the country of Portugal in Iberia, near where the garden of the Hesperides grew.

The Orange also makes an appearance in many cultural traditions throughout history. In medieval times, citrus was incredibly prized and very expensive. It became seen as a sign of status. In fact, cookbooks at the time describe exactly how many orange slices each rank of visiting dignitary was entitled to.

On top of being an incredibly important part of the citrus world, Wild Orange brings a bright note to this blend.

Grapefruit

Compared to the lemon or the orange, the grapefruit is a fairly recent addition to the citrus family. It was first spotted on the island of Barbados in 1750 by Reverend Griffeth Hughes, who documented his find in his book, The Natural History of Barbados.

Now, the genetic origin of the grapefruit is actually a hybrid mix. One ancestor of the grapefruit was the Jamaican sweet orange, which itself is an ancient hybrid of an Asian orange. The other was the Indonesian pomelo. One story of the fruit's origin is that a certain Captain Shaddock brought pomelo seeds to Jamaica and bred the first fruit, although it's more likely that it probably originated as a naturally occurring hybrid between the two plants sometime after they'd been introduced there.

Unlike other earlier citrus fruits—like the orange, the lemon, and the lime—the grapefruit received a rather cold reception. Although already swimming in citrus at the time, most fruit lovers in Florida found the grapefruit to be too sour to enjoy on a regular basis. As a result, it was not widely planted when the Florida citrus industry was rapidly expanding. In fact, the grapefruit was just considered an exotic novelty fruit until the late 1920s.

So how did the grapefruit go from being too sour to enjoy on a regular basis to the popular fruit it is today? At first, the tree was grown only as a novelty in Florida, and the fruit was barely even used. Even in Jamaica, the trees were often cut down. The original white grapefruit was joined by a pink and later a red variety that was much sweeter than its predecessors. The discovery of these new shades caught the public's imagination and helped the little-known fruit become a supermarket staple.

Traditional Uses of Grapefruit

But grapefruit isn't just known for its delicious taste. It has also been used throughout history for its many benefits. Grapefruit is classified as a sour food. Sour flavors are associated with specific parts of the body, and sour foods are thought to be astringent, cooling, and help generate yin. Grapefruit is thought to increase pitta energy and pacify Kapha.

Inhaling grapefruit, essential oil is said to stimulate various areas, including third eye chakras. And in Ayurveda, it's used to help cleanse the aura. We're so glad that the popularity of this fruit has grown because it's one of our favorites, and it brings just the right amount of tart citrus to our Citrus Bloom.

Lavender

In addition to the citruses, as we also have lovely floral notes. First, we have Lavender. The history of lavender goes back some 2,500 years. Believed to have originated from the Mediterranean, Middle East, and India, lavender is a flowering plant of the mint family known for its beauty, its sweet floral fragrance, and its multiple uses.

The Romans named the plant after its use in their bathing rituals. It derives its name from the Latin lavare, meaning “to wash.” The Romans used lavender to scent their baths, beds, clothes, and even their hair. Lavender's association with washing and bathing has continued throughout history.

In medieval and Renaissance Europe, washerwomen were known as lavenders because they spread their laundry over lavender bushes to dry for the scent that it gave. And royalty is known to have used lavender for their baths.

Lavender and Love

Beyond lavender being a favorite ingredient in the herbal baths of both the Greeks and the Romans, lavender also has a long history of being associated with love. This association extends from Cleopatra to modern times. Cleopatra is said to have used lavender to seduce both Mark Antony and Julius Caesar. Also, King Tutankhamun’s tomb contained traces of still fragrant lavender. During the Middle Ages, lavender was considered an herb of love, and in Tudor times, a lavender brew was taken by maidens on St. Luke's Day to discover the identity of their true loves.

Beyond scenting bed linen and clothing, lavender has also been used to protect against evil spirits. It was often hung in a doorway for this purpose. In Spain and Portugal, it was traditionally strewn on the floor of churches or thrown into bonfires to avert evil spirits on St. John's Day. And in Tuscany, pinning a sprig of lavender to your shirt was a traditional way to ward against the evil eye.

Lavender has also been popular among royalty throughout history. Queen Elizabeth I of England had fresh lavender in vases at her table every day. Charles VI of France insisted his pillow always contain lavender. And Louis XIV of France loved bathing in lavender-scented water.

Today, lavender continues to be cultivated across its countries of origin, as well as Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America. Its widespread presence is understandable due to its beautiful flowers, its alluring scent, and its extensive uses.

Magnolia

Our next floral note is Magnolia. Magnolia is an evergreen tropical tree from Southeast Asia and has long been treasured for its wonderfully fragrant flowers. In its native habitat, this tree can get up to 30 feet high. The Magnoliaceae family is one that existed for millennia. In fact, fossil plants identifiably belonging to this family date back 95 million years.

In Indonesia, this pleasantly fragrant flower is used and arranged together with Jasmine as a flower garland, especially worn by brides during a traditional wedding ceremony. The flowers are similarly used in Thailand, where they are worn as traditional wedding garlands by the bride and the groom.

The Magnolia Flower also has a long history of symbolism. It's known as the flower of progress. The large white petals are particularly aromatic and are believed to inspire personal growth and renewal. During the Victorian era, flowers were used as a discreet way for lovers to send messages to each other, and Magnolia symbolized dignity and nobility.

In ancient China, magnolias were thought to be the perfect symbols of womanly beauty and gentleness, and magnolia was often used to symbolize yin or the feminine side of life.

Finally, in the American South, White Magnolias are commonly seen in bridal bouquets because the flowers are thought to reflect and emphasize the bride's purity and nobility.

Traditional Uses of Magnolia

Magnolias have also been used for more than just their beauty. They have many uses in traditional practices. In China, where it's known as bai lan, the flowers are used to prepare yulan tea as well as to move qi, or “vital force.” The flower buds are commonly used by many traditional healers in their herbal preparations conventionally. It's also widely used in both Ayurveda and Siddha practices, with both the leaves and the flower being utilized.

Roman Chamomile

Our final floral note is Roman Camomile. Roman Camomile is originally native to southern and western Europe, where it grows wild in all the temperate regions. It's an aromatic, herbaceous perennial that is a low-growing, creeping plant with delicate white flowers.

Historical Uses of Chamomile

Also known as English chamomile, true chamomile, and common chamomile, Anthemis nobilis—or the “noble” chamomile plant—has been used since ancient times. Its history dates back as far as the ancient Egyptians. They used it in multiple areas of their lives. It was often used in mummification. Specifically, it was used in the embalming oil for deceased pharaohs, and ancient Egyptians even dedicated it to their gods because of how much they revered its properties.

Additionally, chamomile was also used by the ancient Romans, who utilized it in their traditional practices, as well as using it to flavor beverages and scent incense. During the Middle Ages, this particular species of chamomile was commonly used as a strewing verb, meaning that at public gatherings or celebrations, it was strewn on the floor and people then would walk on it, which helped to create a fragrant atmosphere. This is because when the plant was walked on, the essential oil sacks in the flowers would release their wonderful fragrance into the air.

If you have ever had the chance to stroll through a field of chamomile, you will have experienced this incredible scent for yourself. When it comes to floral symbolism, the chamomile flower represents the hope that all your dreams and wishes are fulfilled. And for us, having this amazing oil as part of this blend does just that.

Citrus Bloom is our favorite springtime companion, and we know that it will be yours as well.

Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. Also, if you want to try any of the products you learned about, go to doterra.com or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.