Episode 65: Brand New Blend: Citrus Twist


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 doTERRA: The scent of citrus has the power to invoke a wonderful vision of summer: laying on the beach with a lemonade, riding bikes in the sunshine, running through sprinklers, and eating popsicles as the sun sets. Well, we decided to take those incredible feelings and bottle them. 

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 talk to you today about a new blend that's ready for warmer weather and fun adventures: Citrus Twist. This fresh, citrusy blend with a zing of spice is a fun combination of Wild Orange, Lemongrass, Litsea, Ginger, and Ginger extract that's ready to bring the scents of summer right to you.

History of the Orange

No one really knows when the orange was first cultivated, but 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. 

And their popularity has only grown. As of 1987, orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. And as of 2012, sweet oranges, which is the group our Wild Orange comes from, accounted for approximately 70 percent of citrus production. And if that wasn't enough to show you how popular this is, in 2017, 73 million tons of oranges were grown worldwide.

You can also see the orange popping up in different places throughout history. Because of Alexander the Great’s conquests, the orange was introduced to Europe. And because of its introduction to Europe, Nostradamus was able to come in contact with the fruit almost two thousand years later. 

Of course, you may know Nostradamus as someone who wrote books of prophecy and foretelling. But did you know that he also wrote something entitled Treatise on Cosmetics and Conserves? And in this writing, he describes how to use the blossoms and the fruit of the orange to make cosmetics.

The Orange in Greek Myth

Now before all of this, we see the orange appear in the ancient Greek myth of Hercules. As his 11th task, Eurystheus told Hercules that he must steal the golden apples from Hera’s orchard, called the “Garden of Hesperides.” 

According to the legend, when the marriage of Zeus and Hera took place, the different deities came with nuptial presents. And among them, the goddess Gaia brought branches having golden apples growing on them as a wedding gift. In later years, it's 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 chosen 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 Hesperides grew. 

Uses of Sweet Orange

Sweet orange, or Citrus sinensis, is one of the most important crops in the world. It's mainly used for extraction and consumption of its fresh juice. In addition, due to the chemical compounds present in its byproducts and waste, sweet orange has also been studied for its health benefits, making it a sweet addition to the Citrus Twist blend.

History of Lemongrass

Next, we look at the Lemongrass oil in Citrus Twist. Lemongrass is native to tropical regions such as Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Oceania. And it's an important ingredient in many traditional Asian cuisines.

This herb is a very important ingredient in cultures like Vietnam and Thailand, where it provides both the base and added flavorings for numerous soups. In countries such as India, China, and Thailand, it has been used as a flavoring agent in beverages and desserts.

The scent of lemongrass is fresh and light with a hint of lemon citrus, even though it is a grass. It belongs to a family known as Gramineae, the same family that Citronella and Palmarosa belong to. Its pleasing scent makes it very useful in perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics.

Lemongrass and Hoodoo

In hoodoo, lemongrass is the primary ingredient of Van Van oil, one of the most popular oils used in conjure. Van Van oil is an old hoodoo formula designed to clear away evil, provide magical protection, and open the road to new prospects, change bad luck to good, as well as empower amulets and charms. It is the most popular of the New Orleans hoodoo recipes. 

Lemongrass is used in this preparation and on its own in hoodoo to protect against evil, spiritually clean a house, and to bring good luck in love affairs. 

Uses of Lemongrass

In addition to cooking and personal care products, lemongrass has also been used throughout history in traditional medicine. In India, it has long been used in traditional medicinal practices. 

And in Latin America, they would often brew a tea with the grass to take advantage of its beneficial properties. The leaves of the grass were also chewed or the sap would be made into a compress to utilize in various health situations

Today, lemongrass continues to be used in Cuba and the Caribbean as part of natural wellness solutions.

History of Ginger

Now we explore Ginger. There are over one thousand species of ginger plant that exist in the world today. But did you know that ginger is a cultigen? A cultigen is a plant species or variety known only in cultivation, which means that it has no known wild ancestor. We know that Ginger originated from Island Southeast Asia and that it does not exist in its wild state. 

And while it's most often called ginger root, it is in fact not a root at all. It's what's called a rhizome, which is an underground stem of a plant

Ginger and the Austronesian Peoples

One of the groups that has the longest recorded history of utilizing the ginger root is the Austronesian peoples, or, more accurately, the Austronesian-speaking peoples. Now, they are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan, Island Southeast Asia, Micronesia, coastal New Guinea, Island Melanesia, Polynesia, and Madagascar that speak the Austronesian languages. 

Ginger was carried with them in their voyages as canoe plants during the Austronesian expansion, starting from around 5,000 BC. They introduced it to the Pacific Islands in prehistory, long before any contact with other civilizations. 

The rhizomes and the leaves were used to flavor food or they were eaten directly. The leaves were also used to weave mats. Aside from these uses, ginger had religious significance among Austronesians, being used in traditional medicine and for asking protection from spirits. It was also used in the blessing of Austronesian ships.

Uses of Ginger

In Indian cuisine, ginger is a key ingredient and has a role in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, which is one of the world's oldest medicinal systems and remains one of India's traditional healthcare systems to this day. 

Ginger is used in many forms. For example, raw, crushed, or powdered in the culinary practices of cultures around the world. From Korea to France to the Philippines, people around the world have fallen in love with the scent, taste, and benefits of ginger. 

The Ginger in the Citrus Twist blend adds a fun spiciness that makes this blend perfect for any time.

History of Litsea

Litsea might be the oil in this blend that you might be the most unfamiliar with. It belongs to the Lauraceae

family, which includes the true laurel and its relatives, though it is a very broad family, including everything from the bay leaf to the avocado. 

Litsea cubeba—commonly known as may chang, Chinese pepper, or mountain pepper—is a small tree native to southern China and tropical Southeast Asia. The tree bears pale, lemon-scented flowers and small fruits that look like peppers, which is where the nicknames come from. Although it's native to southern China and other parts of tropical Southeast Asia, it is most widely cultivated in Japan, Taiwan, and China.

Uses of Litsea

The benefits and properties of this plant have been known for thousands of years. It's been used by the indigenous people of Taiwan in their traditional health practices as well as in traditional Chinese medicine. 

Litsea essential oil was not introduced to the Western world until the 1950s, when it was found as a good source of citral. After it made its way to Western culture, it began to be widely used in fragrances, flavorings, and soaps. 

And we are so glad Litsea has continued to make its mark on cultures around the world and now contributing a fresh brightness to finish off this fun blend: Citrus Twist, your perfect summer companion.

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.

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