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Guide To May Chang Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

May chang essential oil (Litsea cubeba) has uplifting properties and promotes positivity.

Aromatherapy supplies with the words Guide To May Chang Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and photo of a may chang plant.

Plant family: Lauraceae

Production: Steam distilled from the ripe fruit (berries) of a small tropical tree native to east Asia.

Aroma: Lemony

Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle

Is may chang safe to use during pregnancy? No, according to The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.

Is may chang essential oil safe for children? Do not use with children under age two.

Cautions: Do not use this essential oil on hypersensitive/diseased/damaged skin. The oil may cause skin sensitization—Essential Oil Safety recommends a dermal maximum of 0.8%. May chang is more likely to cause irritation and sensitization when used in the bath, and several sources recommend not using the oil in the bath.

Main components:

  • geranial   37.9–40.6%
  • neral       25.5–33.8%
  • (+)-limonene       8.4–22.6%
  • methyl heptenone  0.5–4.4%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

May Chang Aromatherapy Benefits

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: May chang may help reduce cellulite, stomachache, indigestion, muscle aches and pains, tendonitis, arthritis, rheumatism, acne, pimples, boils, nervous tension, anxiety, and stress.

375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols: Inhale may chang to help relieve nervous depression. The oil is useful in skin care for reducing acne and excessive oil and as an insect repellent.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): May chang may help relieve acne, greasy skin, excessive perspiration, skin spots, flatulence, and indigestion. The oil also acts as an insect repellent.

Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy: May chang is usually blended with other essential oils. The oil's refreshing scent gives a blend a brighter aroma.

The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness: The main benefits of Listea cubeba include dealing with skin problems such as acne, dermatitis, pimples, and greasy skin. Use the oil in deodorants to help control perspiration. The oil can also help relieve digestive problems when used in a massage oil or with a compress on the abdomen. May chang is uplifting and can help repel insects.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume I: Psychologically, this essential oil promotes emotional renewal and also supports discernment, insight, foresight, alertness, and optimism. Physically, the essential oil cools and calms hypertonic/tense and strong/hot conditions and decongests congestive conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of this oil is to regulate the Qi, clear heat, and harmonize the Shen. Suggested essential oil blends with may chang:

  • To relieve anxiety and insomnia: lemongrass
  • To reduce acute arthritic and rheumatic pain: lemon eucalyptus
  • To lessen general aches and pains: frankincense

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1: Suggested uses of may chang essential oil include as a digestive stimulant for indigestion, flatulence, and appetite loss and to relieve muscle tension and pain, acute arthritic and rheumatic pain, inflammation, and tendonitis. Psychologically, the oil promotes alertness and optimism and may help alleviate stress and anxiety that might lead to depression.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic: May chang helps ground and center energy for ritual. Use the oil to provide strength for self-examination during emotional turmoil. This essential oil lightens the heart, supporting happiness, hope, and renewal.

May Chang Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Cold Care Inhaler

  • 3 drops may chang
  • 3 drops myrrh essential oil
  • 4 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 5 drops cedarwood essential oil

Drop the essential oils onto the wick of an aromatherapy inhaler.

Allergy-Busting Cleaning Spray

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) distilled water
  • 17 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 12 drops may chang essential oil
  • 11 drops niaouli essential oil
  • 8-ounce spray bottle.

Combine the water and essential oils in the bottle, shake well, and use like any other all-purpose spray cleaner. Use within a few weeks.

Note: You can add a solubilizer to better disperse the essential oils in the water.

Source: Aromahead Newsletter

Stimulating Massage Blend

  • 2 drops may chang
  • 2 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 1 drop cardamom essential oil
  • 2 teaspoons carrier oil

Adapted from Tisserand Aromatherapy

Facial Oil for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

  • 4 drops may chang
  • 2 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

Blend oils. Massage a little onto oily and acne-prone areas before going to bed. Adapted from Base Formula.

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Photo Credit: LiChieh Pan / Flickr user: plj.johnny ( ), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons