Feb 27 , 2015
By Amelia E. Stone, RN
Common Name: May Chang
Latin Binomial: Litsea cubeba
Other Common Names: Exotic Verbena, Tropical Verbena, Pheasant pepper tree
Production Method: Steam Distilled
Countries of Origin: China
Typical Constituents: Geranial (37.9- 40.6%), Neral (25.5-33.8%), [+]-Limonene (8.4-22.6%), Methyl heptenone (0.5-4.4%), b-Myrcene (0.5-3.0%), Linalool (1.2-1.7%), Geraniol (0.5-1.6%), Sabinene (0.1-1.6%), Linalyl acetate (0.8-1.6%), α-Pinene (0.8-1.4%), b-Pinene (0.4-1.2%), Nerol (0.2-1.1%)
Description of Oil: pale yellow to clear, intensely lemon-like, fresh and sweet aroma (sweeter than lemongrass but less tenacious)
Description of Plant: A small tropical tree with fragrant leaves and flowers. The small fruits, shaped like cubeb peppers, are used to produce May Chang.
History, Folklore and Myth: Used in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of conditions.
Properties and Uses: antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, galactagogue, insecticide, stimulant, tonic, creates a ‘sunny’ atmosphere
Precautions and Contraindications: HAZARDS: Drug interaction; teratogenicity; skin allergy
CAUTIONS (DERMAL): Hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin, children under 2 years of age, diabetes medication, pregnancy
MAXIMUM DERMAL USE LEVEL: 0.8%
Other Interesting Information: The bark and leaves of the plant produce two other oils. At this time they are of no commercial significance.
References: Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Virginia, Queensland, Australia: The Perfect Potion. 1995.
Lawless, Julia. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Shaftesbury, Dorset. Element Books. 1995.
Tisserand, Robert, and Tony Balacs. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. 1995.
Sellar, Wanda. The Directory of Essential Oils. London: Random House. 2005