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26 January 2022 / Caitlin Devlin

May Chang Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

May chang essential oil's soothing properties can benefit our hearts and minds.

May Chang Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Although something of a newcomer to aromatherapy, having only been distilled into oil form in the last century, may chang has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years.

Also known as litsea cubeba, this cheering oil is native to Southern Asia and is sometimes known as ‘mountain pepper’ due to its small, peppercorn-shaped berries. Traditional Chinese medicine lauded it as a natural digestive aid and pain reliever, however these days we tend to use the oil for its cleansing, calming, and health-promoting qualities.

May chang essential oil is antimicrobial.

Many studies have explored the extensive antimicrobial effects of may chang oil. For example, one of the more recent studies discovered that may chang displayed high antibacterial activity against cariogenic bacteria – microorganisms that cause tooth decay. The oil has also been found to have antifungal abilities, with another study discovering that may chang essential oil was effective at combatting four different fungi. These abilities are widely attributed to the presence of the component citral in the oil.

It’s good for the heart.

Research has shown that may chang oil is able to increase blood flow in the heart. This can lower blood pressure and improve overall health. An animal study investigated may chang oil’s cardiovascular-boosting effects and found that the oil was able to improve the ECG profile of subjects with cardiac arrhythmia – another benefit that is attributed to the presence of citral.

It soothes stress and promotes sleep.

In the Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine, may chang is said to pacify excess negative energy, rebalancing spirituality. Some studies have shown that this reputation is not undeserved, as may chang can have a positive impact on anxiety and insomnia. An animal study in 2012 found that not only was may chang able to increase the amount of time subjects slept for, but it also managed to reduce their anxiety levels during a stressful task.

It’s good for the skin.

May chang makes a great skin cleanser, and not just because of its strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. The oil is also recommended for the treatment of oily skin and acne. It is said by many to have the ability to reduce excess perspiration, reducing the negative effects this can have on skin, and acting as a natural deodorant. Try using diluted may chang oil on your face or under your arms to experience these benefits.

    May chang may be a young oil, but its many benefits and its positive scent have allowed it to gain a significant amount of popularity. Research surrounding this oil is still limited, but its likely we’ll see an increase in studies in the next few years, as use of may chang oil rises.

    Shop our may chang essential oil here.

    May Chang (Litsea Cubeba) Essential Oil

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