Citrus Essential Oils for Diffusing: The “Happy” Oils

by Joel Rubin June 04, 2015


Citrus essential oils are often described as the “happy” oils because of their ability to create a better atmosphere with their uplifting and light aromas. Citrus oils are popular with children too who relate to their positive properties. One of the best ways for everyone to feel the benefits of citrus essential oils is by diffusing them. Here's a quick look of some of the most popular types of citrus essential oils for diffusion.


Therapeutic Benefits of Citrus Essential Oils

Citrus essential oils have several common therapeutic properties; these include use for digestive issues, skin care problems, and stress, depression, and anxiety. If you are diffusing citrus essential oils to create a better atmosphere, you will want to concentrate on their ability to ease stress, depression, and anxiety.


The Orange Essential Oils

There are several varieties of orange essential oil available for diffusing labeled from anything such as “wild orange” to “orange essence.” However, if you take note of the botanical name on the bottle, it is usually a species of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) or bitter orange (Citrus aurantium var. amara). Sweet orange oil is often a favorite for its “happy,” orange aroma.


Lemon and Lime Essential Oils

Lemon (Citrus limon) and lime (Citrus aurantifolia) essential oils are used interchangeably for their therapeutic properties. However, lemon has a light, fresh citrus scent whereas lime might be a bit sharper for some people. Both essential oils are refreshing. Lemon essential oil is said to help promote confidence in young children who may be clingy, in addition to being a good essential oil to diffuse at parties to encourage socialization.


Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) essential oil is thought to be one of the most effective essential oils for relieving the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Diffuse bergamot essential oil to relieve a stressful atmosphere, or if you are suffering from the effects of depression and anxiety.

In addition, include bergamot essential oil in a blend for a personal inhaler, to carry with you in your purse, as needed.


Tangerine and Mandarin Citrus Essential Oils

Tangerine (Citrus reticulata (blanco)) essential oil is popular in the United States as a citrus oil. It has a sweet, citrus aroma. Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) essential oil is very similar to tangerine essential oil, with a light, citrus aroma, but is more common in use in Europe. Mandarin and tangerine are related, with mandarin being the “original” species. Both essential oils are popular with children for their calming properties.


Cautions for Using Citrus Essential Oils

The majority of citrus essential oils are photo-toxic, with a few exceptions. However, if you are diffusing citrus oils to create a better atmosphere, photo-toxicity should not be a problem. Just remember to consult a certified aromatherapist on the suitability of diffusing a citrus oil in individual circumstances – particularly for vulnerable groups such as children and babies, the elderly, in pregnancy, or with specific health conditions.


Question: What is your favorite citrus essential oil and how does it make you feel?



  • Falsetto, Sharon, 2014, Authentic Aromatherapy, US: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

Keywords: Citrus Essential Oils, Orange Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, Bergamot Essential Oil, Lime Essential Oil, Tangerine Essential Oil, Diffusing Citrus Oils, A Better Atmosphere

Joel Rubin
Joel Rubin


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