Citrus fruits are loaded with antioxidants and health boosting properties. Have you wondered which varieties grow best in containers and provide healthful benefits too? Well look no farther, we have listed some of the health benefits you can receive and which varieties to grow year round in containers. Read on to learn more about the health boosting citrus trees to grow in containers in your own home. Throughout this article we share valuable essential oil uses and tips because citrus trees are used to make many wonderfully beneficial essential oils that nourish, uplift and aid our skin, health and well-being.
For container growing, whether indoors or on a patio, look for plants that are dwarf or patio size because they will have a smaller growth habit and still provide standard size fruit. Dwarf or patio trees grow well indoors, outside on patios or in greenhouses. One of the best ways to grown them is to bring them indoors during the cold months and then take them to the outside for the warmer months. Larger trees can be moved around using plant dollies that fit under large pots.
Now for the health tips, usage ideas and varieties to grow at home…
This small (1 1/2 inch in diameter) citrus fruit is thought to be a cross between a mandarin and a kumquat. The whole fruit is eaten, peel and all. They are juicy and can be sweet enough to eat fresh or if too tart they are great to use in marmalade or cooking recipes. The trees are hardy and the fruits mature quickly; in less than two months.
Calamondin fruit contain dietary fiber, Vitamins A, B2 and C, and calcium like many other citrus fruits. These little fruits are anti-inflammatory, expectorants, anti-ulcer, help with the digestion of food, help to reduce blood pressure levels, as well as boost the effectiveness of cardiac function.
The fruit of the Mandarin tree is similar to tangerines but mandarins are smaller and the peel has a brighter color. There are many varieties of mandarins but the best cold hardy varieties are Satsumas and Clementines. Try Clementine ‘De Nules’ or Satsuma ‘Okitsu’ and ‘Owari’.
Mandarin fruit, juice and essential oil is very beneficial for children and the elderly because of the lower acidic value of the fruit. This makes it gentler and still a good source of vitamin C. To help lift the mood Mix 2 drops of Mandarin essential oil and 1 drop of Bergamot (another citrus fruit) essential oil into hot water or black tea and drink. Mandarin is beneficial for skin so eat the sweet fruit daily. To make a whipped gel for oily skin – mix 1 teaspoon pure Aloe Vera gel with 4 drops of Mandarin essential oil, 2 drops of Cypress essential oil and 2 drops of Frankincense essential oil. Stir them together and whip with a tiny whisk. Apply to face, neck and back once a day.
These pear-shaped fruits are very small, usually no longer than 1 1/2 inches in length. They have thin skins and are eaten whole like Calamondins. Unlike other citrus fruit, the peel is usually sweeter than the pulp inside. The fruits are juicy and can be used fresh or for cooking. These trees are hardy and a good variety to try is ‘Nagami.’ Both the Calamondin and Kumquat are classified outside the citrus family but they are very similar to traditional citrus fruits. Because they are smaller in size they mature quickly.
Kumquats contain dietary fiber, Vitamins A, B2 and C, and calcium like other citrus fruits. These little fruits are anti-inflammatory, expectorant, anti-ulcer, help digestion of food, reduce blood pressure level, as well as boost the effectiveness of cardiac function. Here is a link for more information about Kumquats.
Are fun to grow because they mature more quickly than other standard size citrus fruit. Most lemon varieties will flower at least twice a year and that keeps the tangy fruit coming your way. Varieties to try include: ‘Variegated Eureka’, ‘Lisbon’ and ‘Meyer’.
Lemons and Limes have a positive effect on the liver and digestion. They are a great source of vitamin C and have anti-inflammatory properties too. Jonny Bowden cites research that says, Lemon peel contains limonene and it has been shown to be chemopreventive against mammary, liver, lung and UV-induced skin cancer. He also shares that drinking a tea made from black tea and lemon peel has been shown to deduce the risk of skin cancer by 30%! Limonene is also be found in our Remnant Remedy Lemon essential oil that is made from fresh pressed USA grown lemons. Adding a drop or two to your black tea daily can help you get the same benefits as those from fresh lemon peels.
Limonin another compound found in lemons is able to lower cholesterol. The cheery and energizing scent of lemon essential oil helps to brighten the mood, and when mixed with water and misted into the air or on surfaces – to remove bacterial and viral microbes. Lemon essential oil is antiseptic, anti-viral, bactericidal and has fever-reducing properties that make it valuable in fighting colds, flu and throat infections.
Limes come from two main types the West Indian or Key Lime and the Persian. When allowed to grow to maturity and tree ripeness, limes will be yellow in color. The green limes we purchase in stores have been harvested before they were fully sun-ripened. Varieties to try are ‘Bearss’ or ‘Tahiti’. Lime juice and the essential oil pressed from the peel has a crisp refreshing taste and scent.
Lime essential oil is beneficial for nails and cuticles. The essential oil is contained in the peel of the lime and you can access it by scrunching up pieces of the peel and rubbing and squeezing it over your nails. You can also use Remnant Remedy Lime essential oil and massage a drop into each fingernail and the surrounding skin. Limes are a good source of vitamin C and can be substituted for lemons in most dishes. They also provide the tang in fresh salsa recipes and lime juice is delicious squeezed over crisp tortilla chips.
To help the lymph system drain, mix 2 drops of Lime essential oil with 4 drops of Cypress essential oil and 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Massage into the lymph areas in the neck, underarms and groin. Make long sweeping strokes towards the center of the body. Did you know that Lime essential oil is antiseptic, anti-viral, bactericidal and has fever-reducing properties? It is valuable in fighting colds, flu and throat infections and it has anti-rheumatic properties.
Orange trees are delightful and the fragrance when they are in bloom is incredible. The fruit is classified as either sweet or sour. To grow the sour variety try ‘Seville’ or ‘Chinotto’. Sweet varieties include ‘Valencia’, ‘Navelina’, ‘Washington’, ‘Moro’ (a blood orange) or ‘Salustiana’.
You will get more health boosting benefits from eating a whole orange than you will from drinking orange juice, especially if it is packaged in a container. Many of the cancer-fighting limonoids that are present in lemons can also be found in oranges. In fact, there are more than 170 cancer-fighting phytochemicals and 60 flavonoids and Vitamin C and antioxidants (The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D, C.N.S). Oranges also contain Hesperidin which works in conjunction with Vitamin C to lower the risk of stroke, reduce inflammation, lower LDL cholesterol and lower high blood pressure. Oranges are a source of potassium, folate and calcium, too.
Did you know that the Bitter Orange tree (citrus aurantium) is used to make two different essential oils? The blossoms of the Bigaradia variety are used to make Neroli essential oil which has many uses and benefits and is among the more expensive essential oils. For a more affordable Neroli, try our Neroli Blend which provides pure Neroli oil pre-mixed with Fractionated Coconut Oil (which is a carrier oil that has a long shelf life). The leaves from the Citrus aurantium bigaradia are used to make Petitgrain or Orange leaf essential oil. Petitgrain is beneficial for supporting memory function, reducing fatigue, insomnia and uplifting the mood. It has been used as a major component of fine perfume for hundreds of years.
The Citrus aurantium var bergamia tree produces very sour fruit and is grown exclusively to produce Bergamot essential oil that is made from pressing the peel of this orange. Bergamot essential oil is used to make the famous Earl Grey tea. You can make your own by adding a drop of Bergamot essential oil to a cup of plain black tea for a noticeable lift in mood.
Citrus Sinensis is the Sweet Orange tree that is used to make Orange essential oil. This lovely oil helps to create feelings of joy and happiness. It is beneficial for indigestion by blending 3 drops of Orange essential oil with 4 drops of Neroli Blend. Massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction one or two times per day.
- Bergamot, Lemon and Lime essential oils create a temporary photo sensitivity on the skin. Refrain from using tanning beds/booths or being out in the sun for 24-48 hours after using these essential oils on the skin. Remnant Remedy does offer a version of Bergamot that is NOT photosensitive.
- Many brands of essential oils contain synthetic isolation’s of the main constituents found in 100% natural essential oils. They also have solvents and other chemicals that remain after processing but you won’t find this information on the label. This is why we only use Remnant Remedy brand. Each bottle is 100% pure and natural essential oil with no solvent residue, no synthetic oils, no added chemicals, flavorings or fragrances. It is the ONLY brand that we would use – especially in beverages or recipes!
I hope you will try to grow a few citrus trees indoors and I know that the fragrance and fruit will be a blessing. Email me if you would like more information about Remnant Remedy essential oils or more specifics about using them for the health and well-being of your family.
If you missed our companion article How to Grow Citrus Trees Indoors you can read it here.
For more information, recipes and ways to use citrus fruit, juice or essentials made from citrus trees, search our website.