Litsea Cubeba, or May Chang, is also known as the Oil of Tranquility. Its intense, fresh, lemon like aroma has a woody undertone that truly sets it apart. One of the most beautiful oils in nature, the sweet-green scent inspires creativity, happiness, and banishes anxiety and stress. This heavenly little oil is sure to get both you and your energy moving, resulting in nothing less than pure radiance.

Litsea Cubeba

Litsea cubeba  is native to Southern China. This evergreen shrub can grow from 16 to 40 feet in height. Litsea cubeba is a member of the Lauraceae, or Laurel family. Surprisingly this makes it a distant cousin of cinnamon, sassafras, and avocados. Litsea cubeba is also sometimes called “mountain pepper”, or “may chang”. 

Litsea cubeba produces clusters of delicate yellow- white lemony flowers. The plant flowers from March to April. These blooms are not where we get the essential oil from, however they are often used in tea in China. Litsea cubeba produces fruits from August to September. These spherical fruits are green at first, and then ripen into a deep red to brown hue. Once dried these fruits resemble large black peppercorns. This is what the essential oil is distilled from. You can also distill the oil from the leaves, but this oil is considered to be a lower quality oil. 

Fun Facts

Litsea Cubeba can be used as a substitute for Lemon Verbena. Some also use it as a substitute for lemongrass, but its properties are pretty different. 

This plant has a long history of use in Chinese herbal medicine. The fruit, flowers, leaves, bark, and roots are all used to provide remedies for asthma, back pain, chills, digestive problems, dysmenorrhoea, headaches and muscular aches and pains. 

Litsea cubeba was believed to have carcinostatic properties and therefore was used to treat some forms of cancer. Current studies are finding that the essential oil does indeed prevent some types of cancer. 

Litsea cubeba is an Important member of the Chinese Medicine Apothecary. 

It is used extensively as a spice by the aboriginal peoples of Taiwan. Litsea cubeba is seen as a distinguishing feature of aboriginal cuisine.

Litsea cubeba essential oil did not become available in the Western world until the early 1950’s and that is when it obtained the name May Chang.



Litsea Cubeba is a pioneer plant. It is often found along the edges of rainforests and is often used in Thailand for reforestation projects. Litsea cubeba is a triple win for such projects. It grows fast, produces shade that discourages weed growth, AND attracts seed spreading animals. Litsea cubeba grows so fast the trees produced from cuttings can bear fruit when it's only 2 - 3 years old. 

Litsea Cubeba loves the sun, but can tolerate partial shade. It prefers its soil moist, but it is not picky as to what type of soil. Litsea will tolerate sandy, loamy, or clay ridden soil. It is most often propagated through cuttings.  

Properties of Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil:

Analgesic, Antimicrobial, Antispasmodic, Anti-inflammatory, Sedative,  Calming, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, alleviates anxiety, purifying, uplifting and stimulating, astringent, tonic, stimulant, anti-viral, antiseptic, carcinostatic

Litsea Card

Skin and Hair

The skin LOVES Litsea Cubeba. It a tonic to the skin with both astringent and clarifying properties. This makes it an effective choice to combat acne and overly oily skin. It also has firming properties. It is a good choice to use in blends that fight cellulite. Add a few drops to your regular facial moisturizer and marvel at its effects. Eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis all recoil in the presence of Litsea Cubeba. It will also help banish fungal infections such as athlete's foot. Litsea Cubeba is a powerful addition to any skin care regiment and will leave your skin soft, smooth, and simply radiant. 

Muskulo-Skeletal System:

Litsea Cubeba stimulates circulation. This speeds recovery for overworked and strained muscles. It can also help ease the symptoms of arthritis.

Digestive System

Litsea cubeba helps with a number of digestive issues. It can soothe nausea caused by motion sickness. General indigestion and flatulence also are no match for Litsea Cubeba.  This oil will also get your digestive energy flowing, stimulating your appetite. 

Circulatory System

New studies have shown that Litsea Cubeba can help lower blood pressure, fighting off  hypertension and coronary heart disease.


Litsea Cubeba is an overall tonic and elevates both the mind and spirit. Known as The Oil of Tranquility, this oil banishes stress, anxiety, fear, and depression. Its energy pushes away lethargy and fatigue. Litsea Cubeba balances your emotions. Not only does it banish the bad, it attracts the good. It boosts strength, happiness, and hope.  Wanna feel more confident and creative? Put Litsea Cubeba into your plant apothecary.

Energetic properties

 Litsea Cubeba is a centering oil that is sure to ground you. This youthful oil is the secret to eternal youth. Embrace your inner child while you enjoy the rejuvenating effects of Litsea Cubeba. Let go of your worries and fears. Litsea Cubeba’s joy keeps from taking things too seriously. 

Home Use

Litsea Cubeba antiseptic properties are used in homemade disinfectants and insect repellents.


This oil may interact with certain drugs, may cause skin allergies, and is potentially teratogenic. Avoid while pregnant. Never use essential oils undiluted, in eyes or mucus membranes. Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.

Litsea Cubeba, its dainty green citrus scent is too bright to let this exquisite oil live in the shadows. The Oil of Tranquility is a must in any aromatherapy kit. Its benefits to mind, body, and spirit cannot be overstated. A relatively new oil to those of us in the West, Litsea Cubeba is sure to grow in popularity in the years to come. Your radiant skin will not know what you did without it. You won’t remember what you were so worried about. Litsea Cubeba will remind you of the joy you had in your youth. Let her lemony scent transcend you. 

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Erzulie Freda

Erzulie Freda, the Vodou loa of love, has taste for only the finest things in life. This is why Litsea Cubeba is a vital ingredient in our blend honoring her. This blend will keep you centered, calm, and completely radiant. 

The Maiden

The Maiden essential oil blend is empowerment. The Maiden promotes growth, expansion, movement, and discovery. The Maiden is where we discover ourselves. The Maiden is how we seek adventure and new beginnings. The Maiden cannot be put in a cage. Let the Litsea cubeba in this blend remind you of what it was like to be young and free.