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May Chang

Botanical Name:  Litsea cubeba

Botanical Family:   Lauraceae

Place of Origin:  China

Methods of Extraction:  The oil is steam distilled from the pepper shaped fruits.

Scent:  Fresh clean and pleasant citrus Scent, fruity



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Oil of May Chang is a comparatively new essential oil to the West. It is steam-distilled from the pepper-shaped fruits (Cubeba) of this tropical tree.

The strong lemon odour of the main constituent (Citral - 75%) dominates and hence the oil resembles Lemongrass, although it has a rounder and more fruity aroma. While the synonym Litsea citrata is often given for May Chang, Litsea citrata is a related species with a lower Citral content.

Properties:  Antiseptic, Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Insecticide

Aromatherapy Applications:  Anxiety and stress, Insect repellent, Fungal infections.

Mind & Body:  Calming and clears the mind.

Aromatherapist Recommendations:

  • Use 5 or 6 drops in an oil burner to ward of insects.
  • For oily or problem skin, try adding a few drops of May Chang to skin cleansing products to boost astringent and anti-bacterial properties, (not suitable for sensitive skin).
  • Contraindications: May irritate the skin or mucous membrane. Do not use on sensitive or damaged skin.


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