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Flor de azahar

Orange blossom flower

It is the white flower of the bitter orange tree that symbolizes purity. Its name comes from the Arabic az-zahr meaning flower. Although it refers to different white flowers, it is popularly associated with the orange blossom. A beautiful flower with a unique and delicate aroma and highly appreciated therapeutic properties.

Orange blossom (Citrus aurantium) is mainly used in infusions, perfumes and oils. These delicate flowers are harvested freshly opened or still closed in mid to late March and then dried or used to make orange blossom water or oil.

Orange blossom is available in three different formats: dried flowers e.g. for infusions, extract or oil.

Therapeutic properties:

  • Calming effects: it is used in infusions to fall asleep and in case of nervousness, anxiety or stress problems. To enhance the effect, it is often combined with other medicinal plants such as lemon balm or lime blossom.
  • It helps to eliminate gas and colic (carminative capacity).
  • It has antispasmodic effects (muscle relaxant).
  • Helps to purify the liver.
  • Cosmetic properties: moisturizes and regenerates the skin. It is mainly used to reduce stretch marks and scars, for sensitive and dry skin, irritations and anti-aging treatments.

Orange blossom water

It is used both for its therapeutic properties and for its flavor in the preparation of sweets, such as roscón de reyes or cupcakes, and other dishes, especially in North African countries. In different Arab countries orange blossom water is also used to say goodbye to guests and to wish them to return.

Neroli

The essential oil, also called neroli, is extracted from the flower. It is a difficult process, 1,000 kg of orange blossom petals are needed to obtain 1 liter of oil. It is used in aromatherapy and to make eau de cologne and perfumes along with other aromas. It is also used as an air freshener.

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Cover photo by http://naturalesante.blogspot.com.es/

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