Yuzu (Citrus junos)

Yuzu is a small tree that produces yellow-golden coloured citrus fruits resembling small oranges or tangerines. The peel of the fruit produces a delightful citrus fragrance with a floral overtone which is quite unique and difficult to describe. Its bitter dry aroma reminds of grapefruit and is of incredibly high quality. It matches well the other citrus oils, as it prolongs their, often short-lasting odor. This fruit is the most popular in Japan and like most citrus fruits will yield an essential oil by cold expression. In Japan during the late autumn, the small fruits ripen from dark green to a yellow-golden colour, and now resemble oranges which measure about 7 cm in diameter. The peel is much less smooth than that of an orange, often having a more 'pitted' and 'bumpy' appearance. It is used to make a refreshing lemonade-type beverage, blended in salad dressings, made into marmalade and is even employed in ice-cream!

The essential oil is extracted by cold expression of the rind, producing a pale yellow essential oil with an exquisite citrus aroma. This body of this fragrance exists somewhere between grapefruit and mandarin, with subtle overtones of bergamot and lime. It has a very dry, tangy quality whilst producing an almost floral note that is very appealing.

Traditionally in Japan the fruits were used in a hot bath on the day of the winter solstice (Toji) to ward off a range of winter ills, such as colds and flu. To make a 'Yuzu yu' (Yuzu bath), the whole fruits or just the peel are added to the hot bathtub, and just as in aromatherapy, a nice long relaxing soak would bring about a feeling of wellbeing.

Using in aromatherapy, yuzu oil is very similar in action to bergamot, having a refreshing and uplifting effect on the body whilst calming the mind. Also in common with bergamot, this oil has a powerful anti-bacterial action which makes it effective against colds and flu.