May Chang essential oil is also commonly referred to by the tree's botanical name: Litsea. The essential oil is steam distilled from the seeds of a small tropical tree native to eastern Asia. Also known as mountain pepper, exotic verbena, and tropical verbena, the tree is known for its scented flowers and foliage, and small berries shaped like peppers. The aroma is often compared to Lemongrass, though it is considered by many to be finer, and may be the better choice from a purely aromatic standpoint.
May Chang may be a real treasure, and significantly underused. Its antimicrobial properties are easily employed in blends for oily skin and acne care: use up to 5% in an astringent carrier oil such as Hazelnut or Grapeseed. It has a gentle cooling effect, and acts as an excellent overall skin tonic.
Other uses include support of digestion and reducing flatulence; a low concentration belly-massage formula in any carrier may be an effective means for utilization. The essential oil is also thought to help with excessive persipiration
The calming effects of May Chang may be helpful for those in need of deep sleep. The oil can blend well with Roman Chamomile and Lavender essential oils for this purpose. This blend can be massaged on the feet, used in a bath or in a diffuser. Interestingly, the oil has been found to lessen heart arrhythmia -- both of these aspects correlate with its potential to lower stress levels.