Xanthoxylum Essential Oil Uses and Benefits


Xanthoxylum essential oil is a natural product that has many beneficial properties. Want to know more about it? Read on! We combined all aroma knowledge to the list of the essential oils with the description of use.

What is xanthoxylum?

Xanthoxylum armatum, also called prickly ash, belongs to the Rutaceae family. It is a small deciduous tree or shrub with prickly branches and fragrant leaves and has yellow flowers and red fruits. These small berries, when dried, are often added to a spice called Sichuan pepper. However, this tree is neither an ash tree nor a pepper. By analogy, Europeans refer to it as such and use it as an ornamental plant. Its bark was traditionally used as a toothbrush.

The plant is common in East Asia. The shrub blooms in China from April to May and bears fruit from August to October, in Nepal it blooms in the same months and fruit is available all year round. In India, it blooms from March to April. Essential oil is produced from this medicinal plant by steam distillation of dried fruits. Anti-infective and soothing, it’s useful for treating pain, infections, or stress.

Main constituents


  • limonene
  • beta-phellandrene
  • myrcene
  • paracymene
  • alpha-phellandrene
  • gamma-terpinene
  • terpinolene
  • alpha-terpinene
  • sabinene
  • alpha-pinene
  • beta-pinene


  • linalool
  • terpinen-4-ol
  • alpha-terpineol


  • methyl cinnamate


  • (Z)-linalool-oxide
  • (E)-linalool-oxide


  • phellandral


  • krypton

Main characteristics

Extraction method: the essential oil is extracted from the fruit by steam distillation

Physical characteristics: oily, fluid pale yellow liquid.

Aroma: peppery, spicy, warming, balsamic, sweet, and fruity, with floral and citrus tones.

Blends well with: hibiscus, black pepper, black spruce, orange, lemon, frankincense, bodhi tree, cedar, lavender, clary sage, copaiba, elemi, geranium, jasmine, pink lotus, neroli, sandalwood, Fujian cypress.

Xanthoxylum oil uses and benefits

The fragrance of Xanthoxylum oil is unique, combining floral, fresh, and fruity elements to create an exotic bouquet that can help soothe all body systems. It’s popular for cold season sleep support as it promotes clear breathing and allows the body to find deep relaxation to help restore well-being. The oil also soothes the muscles and is a good remedy for abdominal cramps.

Himalayan healers use Xanthoxylum essential oil mainly for respiratory ailments and to improve vocal performance by stimulating and moisturizing the larynx. This makes it a most interesting throat gargle oil for singers, actors, storytellers, and public speakers. 

Several reputable sources recognize the therapeutic benefits of the oil for a variety of problems, including PMS and menstrual cramps. Because of its high linalool content, this essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties for swollen joints and muscle cramps. A wonderful remedy to use as part of massage blends.

Xanthoxylum oil has also been researched as an effective mosquito repellent. Due to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, this oil can be used to clean indoor air.

It’s great for creating natural perfumes. It brings exotic spicy, lightly fruity, and floral notes to the fragrances. 

Healing properties

Analgesic, anti-allergic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-arthritic, anti-flatulent, normalized digestion, antipyretic.

This oil helps battle against:

  • respiratory system diseases (bronchitis, tracheitis, catarrh, spastic cough, hoarseness of voice)
  • flu and cold
  • gastrointestinal dysfunctions (flatulence, diarrhea, poor digestion, intestinal cramps)
  • infections: cholera, tropical diseases
  • PMS, menstrual pain and cramps
  • decreased libido, frigidity
  • irritability, stress, nervous tension
  • decreased physical and mental performance
  • distracted attention
  • asthenia, hypersensitivity to changes in the environment, allergies
  • rheumatism, arthritis, polyarthritis, muscle pain and spasms, dental neuralgia

The oil is also known to purify and disinfect the air and repel insects.

Psycho-emotional effects

Antidepressant, sedative. Recommended for relieving nervous tension and fatigue. Xanthoxylum oil can be used to diffuse before bedtime or when returning home to relax after a stressful day. This exquisite oil also helps during meditation.


  • For bath: 2-4 drops per base product
  • Essential oil spray: 6-10 drops per 5 ml of water
  • Aroma lamp: 1-3 drops
  • Bath salt, soap: 25 drops per 1 kg/2.2 lbs. of base product
  • Massage oils, aroma candles, oil serums: 1-4 drops per 50 ml/1.7 oz. of base oil
  • Deodorant: 3-4 drops per 5 ml/0.1 oz. of base oil
  • Hair conditioner, shampoo: 4-6 drops per 10 g/0.3 oz. of base product
  • Hair loss lotions – 5-7 drops per 20-25 ml/0.6 – 0.8 oz. of base product

Side effects and precautions

Do not use during pregnancy and lactation as well as for children under six years of age. For people with sensitive skin, a tolerance test is recommended. Use only in diluted form.

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