Litsea cubeba is a mountain pepper and exotic or tropical verbena. The plant is a relative of rosewood, cinnamon, and the laurel tree. It's botanical name is May Chang, a tree belonging to the Lauraceae family. The tree bears whitish-yellowish flowers that have a characteristic citrusy fragrance and fruits that resemble peppers (that’s where the word ‘cubeb’ comes from).
The essential oil is extracted from the ripened and dried fruits of the Litsea tree.
The plant is native to south China, Indonesia, Java, Sumatra and other regions of Southeast Asia. It is widely cultivated in Japan and Taiwan for its commercial uses although China remains the largest producer and exporter of the oil.
Litsea oil has been used for hundreds of years in ancient Chinese and Indian health care to treat digestive-related issues. The acidic quality of the oil helps to stimulate a reaction in your digestive system that allows you to digest food faster and can be used to ease flatulence by preventing the formation of gasses in your intestines.
The oil also works well as an appetite enhancer and can help you gain weight (if you’re trying to build muscle mass) or to help those affected by naturally weak appetites etc. The oil can be ingested or applied topically to your belly to help the digestive process.
Do you want to learn more about aromatherapy and essential oils? Join me on Facebook where you can connect with me personally about how these oils work and how to use them for improved health benefits.