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25 Exceptional Uses of Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) Essential Oil

25 Exceptional Uses of Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) Essential Oil

May Chang essential oil is steam distilled from the fruit of the small tree or shrub which is known botanically as Litsea cubeba. It has been used for thousands of years in Asia to treat depression. More recently, its effectiveness for treating digestive problems, high blood pressure, infections and a long list of other maladies has been realized.

This is a very useful oil with a refreshing, lemon citrus aroma, although it isn’t a type of citrus. May Chang or mountain pepper is actually a spice. Litsea cubeba essential oil has antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, carminative, deodorant, disinfectant, hypotensive, insecticidal, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vulnerary therapeutic properties.

1. Treat and Prevent Viral Infections

Bacterial infection

Practice May Chang essential oil aromatherapy to treat or prevent viral infections. Its antiviral and antimicrobial properties stop viruses in their tracks. You can also apply a 1% May Chang/carrier oil blend to the skin like hand sanitizer.

2. Prevent or Treat Bacterial Infections

Apply a 1% Litsea cubeba/carrier oil blend to wounds and sores to help prevent bacterial infections. With May Chang’s antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, bacteria doesn’t stand a chance.

Litsea cubeba essential oil has been clinically proven to be an effective deterrent against a variety of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes. You can use any type of carrier oil you like to dilute May Chang oil, but coconut oil is especially good for fighting bacteria. It has bactericidal properties all its own.

*A 1% dilution rate (1 drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil) is fine for everyday use of May Chang essential oil. Stronger dilution rates tend to cause skin irritation.*

Important Note: Whatever you choose for an oil, make sure that the oils you purchase are high quality. Remember, you're breathing this oil into your lungs so essential oil quality is a terrible place to cut corners.

3. Treat or Prevent Fungal Infections

Use May Chang EO to treat fungal infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot. Apply the 1% May Chang/carrier oil blend to the infected area twice a day after washing. You might want to use an anti-fungal carrier oil for this blend. Babassu oil, coconut oil and jojoba oil all have anti-fungal properties.

4. Control High Blood Pressure

Vascular/Blood System

Practice May Chang aromatherapy to lower high blood pressure. Add 1 to 2 drops of Litsea cubeba oil to your diffuser, along with about 1/4 cup of distilled water, and run the diffuser for 30 to 60 minutes. You can also massage a 1% May Chang EO/carrier oil blend into your chest, shoulders and the back of your neck for this benefit.

If your blood pressure tends to rise while you are away from home and can’t enjoy May Chang aromatherapy, carry the bottle of Litsea cubeba essential oil with you and just take a few inhales from the bottle when you need to.

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5. Treat or Prevent Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

Practice Litsea cubeba essential oil aromatherapy to treat or help prevent lung cancer. It has been clinically proven to kill lung cancer cells. Add 1 to 2 drops of May Chang oil to your diffuser with about 1/4 cup of distilled water and run the diffuser for 30 to 60 minutes several times a day.

For a more controlled treatment, turn on the diffuser and take four or five deep inhales of the steam. You can hold the diffuser about 6 inches away from your face or hold your face a few inches away from a diffuser that’s sitting on the table to inhale the vapor before it dissipates into the air. Inhale the vapors deeply into your lungs.

6. Improve Blood Circulation

Blood Platelets

Massage a 1% May Chang/carrier oil blend into the skin to improve circulation throughout the body. Apply the oil to the chest then down the arms, legs and anywhere else that could benefit from better circulation.

7. Treat Eczema and Psoriasis

Use a 1% May Chang/carrier oil blend to alleviate eczema and psoriasis. Almond oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, babassu oil, jojoba oil and olive oil are great carrier oils for eczema. They also have eczema-healing properties.

*Do not use Litsea cubeba essential oil on children who are under the age of two.*

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8. Alleviate Dermatitis

Use the 1% May Chang/carrier oil blend to clear up red, itchy rashes or dermatitis. Apply the oil up to several times a day to speed healing.

9. Treat Skin Reactions to Allergens

Sinus or allergy relief

Apply the 1% Litsea cubeba essential oil/carrier oil blend to skin irritations due to allergies. It will quickly reduce the itching and inflammation.

10. Alleviate Cellulite

Massage a 1% May Chang EO/carrier oil blend into the skin to get rid of cellulite. It can be applied up to twice a day for this purpose.

*Do not use Litsea cubeba essential oil if you are taking antidepressants.*

11. Get Rid of Acne

acne

Dab a 1% Litsea cubeba/carrier oil blend directly on pimples then use your hand to wipe the oil over the rest of your skin. Argan oil and jojoba oil are excellent for treating acne. They balance the skin’s sebum levels, which is the heavy oil that causes acne.

12. Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation - Joint or wrist pain

Apply a 1% May Chang essential oil/carrier oil blend to reduce inflammation anywhere. You can also enjoy Litsea cubeba aromatherapy for this benefit. It is especially useful when the inflammation and irritation are in the airways.

13. Get Relief from Arthritis Inflammation

Use the 1% May Chang/carrier oil blend to relieve inflammation from arthritis. For pain relief, add 2 to 4 drops of ylang ylang essential oil along with 1 drop of Litsea cubeba to 1 or 2 teaspoons of carrier oil.

Ylang ylang EO blends nicely with May Chang to present a lemony-fresh, floral fragrance and has great pain-relieving properties. You can apply this blend up to several times a day.

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14. Treat Gout

Gout

Gently, apply a 1% May Chang EO/carrier oil blend to the afflicted joints to relieve inflammation, increase circulation and quickly alleviate the uric acid build-up. You can use the arthritis blend to reduce pain, too. If you prefer, you can put a few drops of the blend on a wet, warm or cold washcloth and use it as a compress to treat gout.

15. Treat Oral and Genital Herpes

Apply a 1% Litsea cubeba EO/carrier oil blend to oral and genital herpes sores several times a day to speed healing. It has excellent antiviral properties. You can also use May Chang in a blend along with Melissa oil, sandalwood oil, tamanu oil and aloe vera gel.

16. Treat Upper Respiratory Infections

Practice May Chang essential oil aromatherapy to treat upper respiratory infections. You can also massage the 1% Litsea cubeba/carrier oil blend into the chest, throat, neck and back for relief.

17. Quiet Coughs

Cough suppressant

Practice Litsea cubeba essential oil aromatherapy for relief from coughs. You can apply the 1% blend to the throat and chest to help stop the muscle spasms and coughing.

18. Treat Muscle Cramps and Spasms

Massage a 1% May Chang/carrier oil blend into cramping muscles. It will quickly stop the spasm and soothe the muscles.

*Apply a dab of 1% Litsea cubeba oil/carrier oil blend to an inconspicuous area and wait for ​at least a few hours to see if you get a reaction before you begin using it all over.*

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19. Lift your Spirits

Practice May Chang essential oil aromatherapy to put yourself in a better mood. For a quick and dirty mood improvement while you are away from home, take a few inhales directly from the bottle of Litsea cubeba essential oil.

20. Improve Cognitive Abilities

Use Litsea cubeba aromatherapy to boost your cognitive abilities. It is excellent for the treatment of memory loss.

21. Dispel Depression

Practice May Chang aromatherapy several times a day to alleviate depression. Run the diffuser with 1/4 cup of distilled water and 2 drops of Litsea cubeba oil in it for 30 to 60 minutes each time.

22. Alleviate Anxiety, Nervousness and Stress

Anxiety

Enjoy a 30- to 60-minute May Chang aromatherapy session to calm anxiety and reduce stress. If you suffer from anxiety or feel overwhelmed by stress while you’re away from home, just take a few deep inhales through your nose directly from the Litsea cubeba essential oil bottle.

23. Improve Digestive Tract Function

Improve digestion or appetite

Massage the abdomen with a 1% Litsea cubeba EO/carrier oil blend to improve digestion. May Chang aromatherapy can be beneficial for digestion, too. You can also take a warm May Chang essential oil bath for this benefit.

Mix 1 to 2 drops of May Chang EO into 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and add 5 to 6 drops of the blend to your bath. Use a lighter carrier oil whenever you make essential oil bath oils. Abyssinian, grape seed oil and rosehip seed oil are good for making bath oils.

*Litsea cubeba essential oil should not be added to bath water beforefirst diluting it in a carrier oil.*

24. Relieve Bloating and Flatulence

Massage your abdomen with a 1% Litsea cubeba oil/carrier oil blend after eating. It will help you get rid of the gas and soothe your digestive tract. Aromatherapy and a warm May Chang oil bath can also help with excessive gas, bloating and flatulence.

25. Repel Insects and Pests

Use a 1% May Chang/carrier oil blend to repel biting insects and pests. Just apply it to exposed skin before going outdoors. You can mix 10 drops of the 1% Litsea cubeba EO/carrier oil blend in a cup of warm water in a spray bottle and spray yourself with the oil, too.

Shake it up thoroughly and often while spraying and be careful not to get it in your eyes or nose. It will irritate sensitive mucous membranes.

Was this list helpful to you? I was pleasantly surprised by all the great uses for Litsea cubeba essential oil. This is one of the more affordable oils, too. A 15 ml bottle usually costs between $10 and $12 and, since you only need to use a 1% dilution rate, you really can’t beat the price. What a deal!

Please leave a comment to let me know if this list helped and share your own experiences with May Chang essential oil, if you have already used it. We can all learn from each other’s experience with this oil and keep adding to the on-going list of its great uses. Be sure to share, too, so that others can become aware of all the uses for this essential oil.

References:

About the author

Reannan Raine

Reannan worked in the non-profit sector for 30 years. Now she devotes her time to freelance writing and sharing knowledge about alternative ways to stay healthy. She believes we could all benefit from the use of fresh herbs and spices in our cooking, essential oils in our medicine cabinets and daily meditation.

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