Boronia oil is well known in Australia for an exotic rich, spicy, fruit-like fragrance with floral undertones and is often used for perfumery and fragrance applications. It is a high cost oil, which is why it isn’t commonly used for holistic aromatherapy, but it does have a number of benefits. Some of the therapeutic uses of Boronia oil include antidepressants, stress relief and as a aphrodisiac. Here is a little more information about the exotic and highly sought after Boronia oil.
Boronia megastigma belongs to the Rutaceae family and is native to Western Australia, Australia, and Tasmania. Boronias are renowned for their spectacular floral displays and unusual scent. Also known as Mountain Pepper, Cornish Pepper Leaf, Brown Boronia, Boronia megastigma has been harvested for many years from natural bush stands in Western Australia for cut flowers and essential oil production. The plant is a genus of approximately 90 to 100 species of small shrub in the citrus family. It is a perennial that generally grows in open forests and woodlands, reaching only about one to two meters in maximum height with narrow, thick leaves arranged in whorls around thin stems that remain evergreen year round. Though the leaves are scented, it is the flower of the plant used in the production of Boronia essential oils. Each flower is about a centimeter wide, dark reddish-purple or chocolate brown on the cup and bright yellow in the inside and extremely fragrant. These are stunning flowers florists often prefer for the beautiful fragrance they have, which can fill the room. Here is what the varieties of plants and flowers could look like scattered across the landscape of Australia.
Boronia is a rare and precious oil, often thought of as one of the most expensive on the market because it is difficult to cultivate the plants, and oil production is fairly rare. The Boronia oil itself is dark green with a watery viscosity and highly fragrant. It is extracted with a complex solvent extraction process. Boronia flowers in spring and is harvested when 80% of the buds are open. The flowers are combed off the plants by hand or machine. Prototype mechanical harvesters have been developed by several commercial producers. It should be noted that very strict requirements are placed on the level of leaf matter mixed with the flowers as the leaves contain waxes, which alter the composition of the oil extracted. Once the heat has been removed from the harvested flowers by refrigeration, the flowers can be stored at -18°C for a period of time before the oil is extracted. The oil is extracted from the flower petals using liquid carbon dioxide or a hydrocarbon solvent such as hexane. The initial crude extract is then further refined into either a waxy solid called “concrete,”, or a liquid called “absolute.” This extraction process is more complicated than the steam distillation process used for other essential oils, such as fennel and parsley.
Sure, Boronia oil has a great, exotic smell that some say is as close to heaven as you can get, but what is it made of? The chemical compounds of this oil are Ionone, eugenol, triacontane, phenols, ethyl alcohol, ethyl formate, etc. More detailed research by J.A. Plummer, J.M. Wann and Z.E. Spadek also shows that Boronia absolute can be purified from the concrete by alcohol washing or distillation. Flowers yield about 0±4–0±8% concrete, and the concrete yields about 60% absolute. The absolute is used primarily in food flavouring to impart a unique richness to many fruit essences. More than 150 compounds have been detected, and about half of these have been identified. Many compounds contribute to the aroma and these may be substantial components or present in very small quantities. Research by Davies and Menary (1984) found four major compounds in the volatile fraction providing the typical boronia fragrance. These were β-ionone, dodecyl acetate, (Z)-heptadec-8-ene and an unidentified compound ‘sesquicineole’. The monoterpene hydrocarbons: α-pinene, β-pinene and limonene were present in varying proportions in the three clones examined. These compounds do not impart a favorable effect on the aroma. Basically, these components are why Boronia oil smells the way it does.
Boronia Essential Oil Benefits
Due to the lack of widespread production, and a ban on Rutaceous plants in the United States, there is an overall decline in interest in this species for essential oils, but still several niche markets remain.
Top 10 Boronia Oil Uses
- Boronia Oil as Antidepressant
There are many essential oil and oil combinations you can use to treat depression naturally, including Boronia oil. Depression: It’s an affliction that millions and millions of people deal with all around the world. Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, anti-anxiety medications, and other prescription drugs – maybe you’ve tried them. But did you know, there are natural antidepressants that work just as fast (generally faster) and effective than the plethora of chemically-induced drugs out there? The magical fragrance of the Boronia oil is similar to that of Rose oil, which deeply affects emotion and helps center the mind.
- Boronia Oil for Relaxation and Stress Relief
Everyday aromatherapy has been a ritual in Australia dating back to the Aborigines. No doubt they found the fragrance of the Boronia flower to be fresh, uplifting and refreshing. If you are looking to relax or unwind after a particularly stressful day, then there is no better way than either submerge your body in the uplifting fragrances of favorite therapeutic essential oils like that of relaxing lavender, uplifting rosemary or soothing Ylang Ylang, or smother yourself, perhaps, in your favorite scent of Boronia oil. Adding drops of your favorite essential oils to a luxurious bath, or mixing with carrier oils made from grapeseed, Sweet Almond and wheatgerm for a smooth, wonderful massage is the perfect antidote to stress, tension and an overworked mind and body. But there are all sorts of ways to relax, like bath oils in as many fragrances as you can think of, some aromatherapy inspired from traditional recipes or others simply some of the most treasured and highly prized scents and aromas in the world. Most are also available in ultra moisturising lotions and massage oils too. You might even make your own handcrafted pillow sprays as an ideal way to surround yourself in a haze of your favorite aroma as you drift off or while you are asleep.
This plant may be related to citrus, but there is not a lot of citrus in this gorgeous floral. Boronia absolute oil is used in natural perfumery, where her long tendrils of green cherry woods and forest vines add a richness impossible to find elsewhere. The fragrance has a a huge, wild and exuberant presence, and is a must for any natural perfumer. It is not for the faint of heart and blends well with bergamot, cinnamon, clary sage, helichrysum and sandalwood.
One of the major applications for Boronia oil is for flavoring foods and beverages. The fragrant Boronia flowers provide a source of essential oil with an aroma of cinnamon and tobacco, sold as boronia absolute used in food manufacture to create black currant flavor and to enrich other fruit flavors in beverages, ice creams, candy and baked products. As an additive, this extract produces the character of fruit, esters, and honey. It also enhances natural fruit flavors like raspberry, strawberry, peach and plum.
- Boronia Oil as Aphrodisiac
In this hectic world, many people are suffering from lack of sexual interest, temporary impotency, erectile dysfunctions and libido. Boronia absolute oil comprises amazing aphrodisiac property due to which it is highly effective in treating sex-related troubles. It stimulates sexual hormones like testosterone and estrogen, which puts you in a naughty or frisky mood that is ready for bedroom fun! If you are suffering from any of these problems you might look into giving Boronia oil a try.
- Boronia Oil Sooths the Skin
Much like lavender, Boronia oil is cooling and soothing to the skin. But be careful not to use too much as it may over stimulate the senses and cause nausea. If you are going to topically apply the oil you should dilute it with several drops of a carrier oil, like coconut oil, before rubbing it directly into the skin. This is also why Boronia essential oil is often listed as part of the ingredients in lotion and or massage oils, because of these skin soothing properties.
Boronia absolute oil has rich scent that has a positive effect on mind and body. Some of its benefits are:
- Clears the mind
- Uplifts mood
- Treat depression, stress and anxiety
- Connects you with your emotion while removing confusion
- Supports in meditation
- Disperse unwanted thoughts
- Helps in treating insomnia
- Boronia Oil for Perfume and Deodorant
It is often used in addition in perfumes due to its rich, intense aroma and long-lasting properties. In fragrance the boronia oil is used with violet, honeysuckle and mimosa bases to enhance the naturalness and richness of the fragrance. It has an intense flowery aroma, combination of green freshness of cassis and ripening hay, it then develops an exotic fruit undertone of yellow freesias with a slight woody dry out. You can disperse the fragrance of Boronia oil with an oil burner or vapouriser to help scent your home, or add notes of the oil to other fragrances to create a unique combination all your own. Some even add small amounts of oils to unscented body care products like lotions or soaps.
- Boronia Oil for Room Fresheners
It has a huge, wild and exuberant presence and a must for any natural perfumer.The fresh flower aroma is consistent with natural green freshness and floral undertones of rose, jasmine and freesias. It also has light characteristics of ripening hay and a woody tea like undertone. Boronia has a rich history of being used by aromatherapists and perfumers for its rejuvenating aroma.
- Boronia Oil for Thyroid
Do you have an underactive thyroid? Oftentimes essential oils can bring you relief and restore thyroid health. The thyroid is the master control center for the metabolic function of every single cell in your body. Because of this, it has the power to disrupt every part of your body and produce serious changes in every aspect of your life including serious disease, mood, weight gain and low energy levels. Boronia oil can help. The best way is to topically apply the oil directly to the bottoms of your feet because the feet boast the largest pores on the body and allow for quick absorption. Use it in combination with lemongrass, myrrh and Frankincense. If you have sensitive skin you will want to dilute the blends a little more by using a carrier oil like almond or coconut.
Boronia absolute is used in blend with essential oils and absolutes. It is quite concentrated, thus it is not safe to be used undiluted. It blends well with Sandalwood, Bergamot, Orange Essential Oil Sweet, Myrrh, Neroli Essential Oil Bigarade, Jasmine Absolute, Clary Sage, Violet, Helichrysum, Costus and other oils from floral family. Two to three drops of boronia absolute are enough for a blend. You can use Boronia oil in conjunction with your favorite oil in oil burners or essential oil diffusers to perfume home and for aromatherapy. Here is a review of some of the top diffusers available that you can use with Bornonia essential oil.
One should always seek proper medical consultation from an expert before using Boronia essential oil. Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oil absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children.
Looking for a high-grade, natural extract to help cleanse your body, boost your mood and just smell great? Boronia might be just the exotic oil you want.
Sources & References:
J.A. Plummer, J.M. Wann and Z.E. Spadek. Intraspecific Variation in Oil Components of Boronia megastigma Nees. (Rutaceae) Flowers. Annals of Botany. 1999 (83); 253-262.
T.K. Lim. Edible Medicinal and Non Medicinal Plants. Jan 1, 2014 (Vol. 8: Flowers); 748-753.