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Tangerine Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions

Tangerine essential oil (Citrus reticulata) is cold-pressed from the rind of the fruit. Its aroma is very citrusy (duh) and sweet. It's a lesser used oil, so I feel it's benefits are still being discovered, but a look at its popular properties can give us some clues.

Tangerine has high levels of d-limonene and overall benefits the immune system, skin, and emotions in its various uses, as well as a digestive aid. I've heard it's a suitable replacement for grapefruit essential oil if needed.

Primary Benefits

  • Excellent source of antioxidants
  • Soothing and relaxing
  • Cleansing and purifying
  • Supports a healthy immune system

Emotional Benefits

Emotionally, tangerine seems to be similar to Wild Orange, uplifting moods and is said to impact a person's creativity. It can help to increase playfulness and happiness, helping us get out of our heads and live more spontaneously or light-heartedly. In this way it might be helpful for people who feel overwhelmed, overworked, stuck, heavy-hearted, depressed, cranky, or just "blah". (Yes, "blah" is an emotion! Haven't you ever felt blah?)

Complimentary Oils

Tangerine blends well with Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Wild Orange, and Roman Chamomile essential oils. Depending on your uses for this oil, substitutes may include: Wild Orange, Lime, Grapefruit, or Ylang Ylang essential oils.

How to Use Tangerine Essential Oil

Traditionally, tangerine essential oil uses these application guidelines. Click the banner to understand what each symbol means and to learn how each is used safely and effectively:

How to use essential oils!
Adults Children/Sensitive Pregnancy

Precautions of Tangerine Essential Oil

As with all citrus oil, avoid direct sunlight for a minimum of 12 hours after topical application. Always test for skin sensitivity prior to widespread use and use on the feet when possible. Excessive use of any oil can lead to skin sensitization. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose. Not all oils are created equal, so test brands carefully, and never use an oil in a way not recommended by its maker.

Popular Uses of Tangerine Essential Oil

  • Add 2–3 drops as a flavoring in cake and cookie recipes
  • Add 1–2 drops in water, smoothies, teas, or lemonade for flavoring and for its digestive benefits
  • To boost energy and uplift mood, place 1–2 drops in the palm of your hand, rub together, and cup over the nose and mouth for 30 seconds or diffuse throughout the room
  • Apply to flex points or abdomen to promote feelings of calmness. Dilute with fractionated coconut oil to minimize sensitivity if needed
  • Diffuse throughout your day, especially times of stress. Consider massaging over the solar plexus daily to increase playfulness.
  • For grief, inhale from the palms of your hands, or diffuse throughout the room as needed. Also consider applying over the heart.

Inspiration for Using Tangerine Essential Oil

Energy Boosting Diffuser Blend: 3- 4 drops each Tangerine, Spearmint, and Lemongrass.

Refreshing Sugar Scrub: Mix 2 cups brown sugar, 1/4 Cup coconut oil, and 10 drops each Tangerine and Spearmint essential oils. Store in an air tight glass container.

Mood Lifting Perfume: In a 10 ml roller bottle, combine 3 drops Ylang Ylang, 3 drops Bergamot, 9 drops Clary Sage, 9 drops Lavender, and 12 drops Tangerine essential oils. Top with fractionated coconut or other carrier oils. Apply to pulse points throughout the day.


Not all oils are created equal. Because of a lack of industry standards and a lack of regulation on terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is NOT a therapeutic grade of essential oil and may lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).

A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil. A good brand should follow these guidelines:

  • Proper plant varieties
  • Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
  • Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
  • Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
  • Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
  • Third-party testing of every batch
  • Stand behind the internal use of their oils

Beginner's Guide to Application and Precautions, from SustainableBabySteps.com

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