Kaffir lime leaf essential oil is a precious and delightful oil that exudes radiance with its sparkling and uplifting aroma, identical to that of its fresh leaves. This magnificent oil is made from the leaves of the Citrus hystrix plant, which belongs to the Rutaceae family. Kaffir lime is a small shrub or tree that grows up to 5 meters high and has dark green, glossy leaves with a wavy edge.
Kaffir lime leaf essential oil is a highly concentrated oil that is extracted from the leaves of the Citrus hystrix plant. The oil has a strong green, slightly sweet citrus aroma that is famous in Thai cooking and is highly concentrated in the oil. The oil extracted from the rind produces a tart citrus aroma, which is also known as Thai Bergamot or Combava. The essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the same plant, which are also referred to as Combava Petitgrain, Makrut and Kaffir Lime.
The Citrus hystrix plant primarily grows in tropical locations such as Madagascar, Indonesia, and many Southeast Asian countries. The Kaffir Lime leaves are widely considered the most aromatic, both in essential oil and when used as fresh leaves in Thai cuisine. These leaves are used in many traditional Thai dishes, including soups, curries, and stir-fries.
In addition to its culinary uses, Kaffir lime leaf essential oil is also commonly used in aromatherapy due to its uplifting and refreshing qualities. It is also believed to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties that can help with various health issues.
However, not all Kaffir lime leaf essential oils are created equal. Many locations do not use fresh leaves. Instead, they allow the leaves to dry before distilling them. Artisan distillers, on the other hand, know that the most fragrant aroma and the highest percentage of all volatile constituents come from distilling fresh Kaffir Lime leaves only, resulting in a more aromatic and superior quality essential oil. The oil is extracted through steam distillation, which is a gentle process that ensures the oil retains its full flavor and aroma.
The components in Kaffir lime leaf essential oil are vastly different from those in the rind. The essential oil that comes from fresh leaves contains a high amount of ß-citronellal, which has a fresh, citrusy, and slightly sweet aroma. This compound is also found in lemongrass and is widely used in perfumes, soaps, and candles. The oil that comes from the rind mainly consists of limonene and ß-pinene, which have a more tart and citrusy aroma. The unique aroma of Kaffir lime leaf essential oil is believed to come from the (–)-(S)-enantiomer in citronellal, which is coupled with linalool, the dominant component found in the leaves. This combination gives the oil a distinct aroma that is both refreshing and uplifting.
In conclusion, Kaffir lime leaf essential oil is not only a valuable ingredient in Thai cuisine but also a precious oil that has many therapeutic benefits. It is known for its antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties and is widely used in aromatherapy and skincare products. The oil's unique aroma makes it a popular ingredient in perfumes, candles, and other fragrant products.
Batch specific GC/MS analysis for this essential oil is available by clicking on the green tab above.