When Sir Abraham Hume, an English floriculturist and member of parliament, brought mandarin samples from China to England in 1805, Europe immediately fell in love with this fragrant fruit. Immediately afterwards, mandarin arrived in Malta, and from there it quickly reached southern Italy, from where it spread to the Mediterranean, where it is grown in abundance now. In 1840, an Italian diplomat took it to the United States where plantations were created in the south, in Florida and California. It was named after the characteristic colour of its skin, which resembles the robes worn by Mandarin dignitaries, educated public figures in the Chinese court.
Some ancient Chinese texts mention that mandarins were grown in China in the 12th century BC. They are believed to have originated from wild oranges native to northeastern India, from where they reached China and then conquered the world. Today, there are several subspecies of mandarins – they are all fragrant, juicy and very healthy: one hundred grams of this fruit has only 47 calories, but it is full of vitamins and minerals which mandarin can give us when we need them most – in wintertime. Vitamins C, A and B1, folic and pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, potassium, as well as plenty of fibre, contribute to healthy digestion and metabolism, strengthen the immune system – the body’s ability to fight viral infections and cancer cells – regulate blood pressure, strengthen the cardiovascular system and enhance brain function and eye and skin health.
MANDARINE, METABOLISM, BRAIN
Like all citrus fruits, mandarin, Citrus reticulata, is ideal for boosting metabolism and our overall health. Mandarin has a carminative effect – it prevents bloating and improves digestion. Flavonoids, alkaloids, coumarins, limonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, and have cardio and neuroprotective action. Pectin additionally prevents sudden spikes and drops in blood sugar and reduces the feeling of hunger, so it is great for diets, especially because the nutritional value of mandarins is ideal: they are low in calories and abound in many useful elements.
This fruit has been proven to contain more flavonoids than other citrus fruits. The healing properties of mandarins are special because they are very rich in hesperidin and nobiletin and have a great antioxidant effect. Hesperidin, a flavonoid glycoside, otherwise participates in the protective mechanism of the plant itself, and this defence function is transferred to us when we eat mandarin. Today, hesperidin is recognized in modern medicine as a potential therapy for inflammation, high blood sugar, diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity, high blood pressure, high lipid levels, cholesterol, digestive and microbiota disorders. Some studies have started to indicate that mandarin flavonoids may play a role in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, because they have shown the ability to increase neurogenesis – creation of new nerve cells in cerebral ischemia. Nobiletin also plays a significant role when it comes to beauty.
MANDARINE AND THE SKIN
Mandarin is delicious and is also extremely beneficial for the skin. Mandarin essential oil immediately captivates us with its scent, which awakens optimism and fills us with joy. If applied correctly to the skin, its beneficial effect will help us with the following conditions:
- increased sebum
- tired, lifeless skin
- clogged pores
- inflammation and infections
- skin damage
- scars, wrinkles, stretch marks
Mandarin essential oil stimulates the growth of new skin cells, while the flavonoid nobiletin it contains stimulates the elimination of toxins and smoothes out cellulite. The antioxidants it is rich in stimulate the production of collagen, which results in the smoothing out of wrinkles, scars, including those from acne, stretch marks and other skin damage. This oil is very mild and does not cause irritation, so it is also suitable for children’s skin.
All these claims are scientifically proven. Citrus reticulata acts as a toner and astringent; research has shown that mandarin peel contains certain active components to a far greater extent than the fruit we eat. And it is the mandarin peel extract that contains almost magical elements that regenerate the skin by acting strongly against collagenase and elastase. Collagenases are enzymes that break down collagen bonds, while elastases break down proteins. Air pollution, unhealthy diet and harmful UV radiation are leading to premature skin ageing today more than ever before. The main role in this is played by free radicals created by oxidative stress, and the cause of wrinkles and sagging skin should be sought in elastases and collagenases. Collagen and elastin are the main elements of the skin that maintain its tone, firmness and elasticity. Mandarin contains all the elements that help these precious fighters.
In addition to tightening and maintaining skin tone, mandarin has been shown in scientific studies to heal and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria, which is why it can be used for wounds, burns and injuries, inflammation and skin damage caused by acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. The bacteria against which mandarin extract has been proven to be effective are Staphylococcus aureus and Candida tropicalis, although its effect is certainly wider but has not yet been sufficiently investigated.
SOMETIMES ITS SCENT ALONE SUFFICES…
Mandarin oil will also refresh our home: in addition to disinfecting our living space, its refreshing scent will improve our mood, relieve nervous tensions, depression, stress and insomnia. If we add it to our bath, it will relax our muscles, and it is especially useful in massage oils because, in addition to its relaxing effect, it also prevents the formation of cellulite. Mandarine peel oil contains an interesting set of ingredients that give it a specific scent. Research has shown that citrus scent has a therapeutic effect – it has a beneficial effect as an anxiolytic, it lowers stress levels and helps us sleep better.
Due to all these great properties, mandarin essential oil is also found in the most popular Devi balm: Devi skin regeneration balm contains an abundance of high-quality and completely natural butter and oils that contribute to the regeneration of the skin, wound healing, elimination of scars, elasticity and hydration. Therefore, in addition to daily care, it is also ideal for psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, burns, including sun burns, irritations, infections, inflammation, insect bites, wrinkles, increased sebum secretion, acne scars, lack of tone…With mandarin oil and the brilliant Devi balm, we can have a healthy skin and a cheerful spirit!
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