Ingredient spotlight - Litsea Cubeba

During my journey making skincare and soap I've discovered a lot of new ingredients. I've recently discovered an essential oil from a plant with the intriguing name of Litsea Cubeba. Also known as May Chang, its oil is extracted from the pepper-like fruits of this evergreen shrub native to China, Taiwan, Indonesia and other parts of southeast Asia. 

litsea cubeba in bloom

One of the main components of Litsea Cubeba essential oil is citral, the main component of citrus peel. This makes up roughly over 70% of the phytonutrient content of the oil and along with other natural alcohols and aldehydes give Litsea oil its strong antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.

The smell of this oil is absolutely divine! I'm always partial to a good citrus aroma, but litsea has fair stolen my heart. It's so intensely lemony, almost more lemon than lemon itself, if that's possible, and also a little bit spicy; it has an almost peppery overtone that intensifies the citrus and makes it more punchy. It holds well in soap (citrus essential oils can lose their scent in the cure process) and best of all is grown and produced sustainably.

You'll be seeing this citrus superstar more in Oh Goodness products from now on :)

Ana