What Is Osmanthus?

You might have heard of it, but what is osmanthus? Osmanthus is an aromatic flower that is native to China and prized for its intoxicating, apricot-like scent. In the Far East, it’s commonly used as an additive for tea. The flower has been cultivated in China for more than 2,000 years. Osmanthus absolute is primarily used in high-end flavorings and perfumes. Its high cost is due to the fact that it takes 7,000 pounds of the flower to produce just 35 ounces of essential oil. Along with its complex aroma, there are many Osmanthus essential oil benefits and uses. 

How is Osmanthus Oil Made?

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Osmanthus oil is different from other essential oils. Typically, essential oils are steam distilled. Flowers are delicate, which makes it a little more difficult to extract oils this way. Osmanthus falls into this category. 

It takes thousands of pounds to produce a small amount of Osmanthus essential oil. A solvent extraction method may also be used. This produces Osmanthus absolute. All of the solvents are removed before the final product is ready for use. 

Osmanthus Essential Oil Uses

Now that you understand how Osmanthus oil is produced, you may be wondering what are some of osmanthus essential oil uses. Because of its high cost and the low yield of Osmanthus oil, you may choose to use it sparingly.

That said, this oil can be used in the same way you would use any other essential oil:

  • Adding to a diffuser
  • Applying topically when diluted with a carrier oil
  • Inhaled

The right choice for you really depends on your personal preference and your purpose for use. Many people find that diffusing the oil or inhaling it is the simplest way to use this oil.

Osmanthus Essential Oil Benefits

Osmanthus essential oil, usually sold as Osmanthus absolute, offers many benefits in addition to its intoxicating aroma.

May Help with Anxiety

Osmanthus has a sweet and floral scent that many people find relaxing and calming. When used for aromatherapy purposes, it may help ease anxiety. 

One 2017 study found that Osmanthus essential oil and grapefruit oil helped reduce anxiety in patients undergoing a colonoscopy.

A Soothing and Uplifting Aroma

The scent of Osmanthus essential oil can have uplifting and inspiring effects, which makes it a popular choice in spiritual work, yoga, and meditation.

May Nourish and Soften the Skin

Osmanthus is commonly used in skin care products because of its nourishing properties. The essential oil of this coveted flower is often added to anti-aging products because of its antioxidant and mineral content.

Along with antioxidants, Osmanthus also contains selenium. Together, the two can help fight against free radicals that accelerate the signs of aging. Osmanthus also contains compounds that behave similarly to vitamin E in protecting cell membranes. The carotene in the oil converts to vitamin A, which further protects against damaging free radicals.

To use for skin nourishment, Osmanthus oil can be applied topically diluted with a carrier oil.

May Help with Allergies

Osmanthus oil may help combat airborne allergies. Research shows that this flower contains antioxidants that can help fight inflammation in the airways caused by allergies.

For inhalation, add a few drops of the oil to a diffuser. For skin allergies, the oil can be applied topically if diluted with a carrier oil.

May Repel Insects

Humans may find the scent of Osmanthus to be pleasant, but insects aren’t big fans. Osmanthus essential oil reportedly has insect-repelling properties.

Research has found that the Osmanthus flower contains compounds that repel insects, particularly isopentane extract. 

To repel insects, you can use Osmanthus essential oil topically or as a spray (as long as it’s diluted). 

May Suppress Your Appetite

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Osmanthus may serve as a natural appetite suppressant. One study found that the scent of this flower decreased activity in brain chemicals that stimulate appetite and increased activity in chemicals that decreased appetite. 

If you’re looking to lose weight, using Osmanthus oil in aromatherapy may help naturally suppress your appetite so that you consume fewer calories.

Rich in Antioxidants

Osmanthus contains high amounts of polyphenol compounds, which are antioxidants. Research shows that polyphenols may help reduce the risk of chronic disease.

When applied topically, Osmanthus oil may help fight signs of aging by combating free radicals that can damage cells and lead to fine lines and wrinkles.

Try adding a few drops of Osmanthus oil to your favorite moisturizer, or dilute with a carrier oil and apply to your skin in the evenings as part of your anti-aging routine.

High Levels of Vitamin B-3

Studies from China suggest that this essential oil has high levels of vitamin B-3 better known as niacinamide. While not as popular as other B vitamins, niacinamide plays important roles in assisting the body with:

  • Converting carbs to energy
  • Protecting insulin-producing cells

Niacinamide is a nutrient that has impeccable benefits for both the skin and brain. When applied topically, niacinamide has the potential to help people suffering from eczema and acne.

It's important to know that this ingredient is not the same as niacin. Additional benefits of niacinamide include:

  • Acts as a lipid barrier allowing the skin to retain more moisture. 
  • Builds healthy skin cells that have a higher ability to protect against sun damage.
  • Fine lines and wrinkles can both be protected against thanks to niacinamide.
  • Oxidative stress, which is caused by sun damage, pollution and toxins is also protected against.

If using this essential oil on your skin, be sure to spot test the area to ensure that the skin does not become irritated. You should wait several hours, ideally 24, before applying to the skin in larger quantities.

The Takeaway

Osmanthus essential oil is a rare and expensive oil with a pleasant scent that’s used in perfumes and skincare. It’s been used for centuries for its scent, but it also offers many other benefits that make it a great addition to your essential oil collection.

From anti-aging skincare to appetite suppression and anxiety, this aromatic flower can help with a variety of issues and has long been used in folk medicine.

It can be diffused, inhaled, or used topically with a carrier oil to enjoy the benefits of this ancient flower. There are also convenient creams and essential oil blends available that already contain this powerful ingredient, like our Recovery Collection

Recovery combines the skin healing and protecting powers of osmanthus with frankincense, helichrysum, and 7 other essential oils all specifically chosen to promote faster recovery of sore muscles and other injuries.  So you can get back to doing what you love, faster!

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