Indigenous to Asia, the Kumquat (Fortunella japonica) fruit is the size of a large olive and can be eaten whole – including the peel. The peel has been described as being sweet, and the flesh sour. The skin produces a versatile essential oil known to have both cleansing properties and aromatic benefits. In aromatherapy, Kumquat essential oil can help uplift mood, invigorate the mind, and help provide a new perspective when tackling daily challenges.
The kumquat tree produces a small fruit that resembles a conventional orange but is the size of a large olive. Depending on the size of the tree, it can produce hundreds or even thousands of fruits each year. The essential oil, cold pressed from the rind of the fruit, is composed primarily of cyclic monoterpene limonene, the same as in Lemon, Lime, and other citrus essential oils. As a result, Kumquat oil shares many of the same features and benefits as other citrus oils and can often be used interchangeably. However, Kumquats are unique in the citrus family with the sweetest part of the fruit is the outside peel.
The English name “kumquat” derives from the Cantonese word meaning “golden orange” or “golden tangerine.” The plant is native to South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. The earliest historical reference to kumquats appears in literature of China from the 12th century. They have long been cultivated in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and southeast Asia. The kumquat was introduced to Europe in 1846 and brought to North America shortly after that.
Kumquat Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
Depending on the harvesting conditions, Kumquat essential oil is anywhere from 70%-95% limonene. However, of its other 105 known constituents, 46 have not been found in any other essential oil. So, while Kumquat does offer the same surface cleansing and mood uplifting benefits of its limonene-containing counterparts, many of its properties are all its own.
One study showed that, along with providing a pleasant citrus taste like many other citrus fruits, Kumquat oil may also offer a boost of antioxidants when taken internally. The low levels of monoterpene myrcene indicate Kumquat may have a calming effect when inhaled.
With powerful cleansing properties, Kumquat may have applications in skin and hair health along with being great for use on your kitchen counters. These added skin benefits may be due to low levels of alpha-Pinene, which is found in higher concentrations in essential oils known for supporting skin health, such as Frankincense and Helichrysum.
Other uses include:
- Add a drop to your facial cleanser, shampoo, or toothpaste for added cleansing properties.
- Combine in a diffuser with Lemon, Lime, Wild Orange, or Bergamot for a refreshing citrus aroma.
- Diffuse to cleanse the air and energize mood.
- Add one to two drops to a homemade surface cleaner for added cleansing properties.
The primary benefits of Kumquat essential oil include:
- May help support healthy cardiovascular, digestive, immune, metabolic, and nervous system health.
- Diffuse to uplift mood and refresh mind.
- Stimulating aroma provides feelings of revitalized energy.
- Can be used as a surface cleaner as well as an aromatic, topical, and internal cleanser.
Whether used aromatically, topically, or internally, Kumquat offers many of the benefits associated with citrus essential oils, but with a twist.
Directions for Use
You can diffuse Kumquat Essential Oil, rub it on your skin and take it internally.
- Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
- Internal: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid. You can also place two drops in a Veggie Capsule and take with water.
- Topically: Apply one to two drops to the desired area. You may want to dilute with Fractionated Coconut Oil or other natural oil to minimize any skin sensitivity. Avoid UV rays for 12 hours after applying the product.
As with all essential oil blends, please be aware of possible skin sensitivity. Keep Kumquat Essential Oil out of the reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician before using Kumquat oil.