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INCI: Litsea cubeba
CAS: 68855-99-2
EINECS:  290-018-7
Flavouring according to EC regulation 1334/2008

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Litsea cubeba (Lauracee)

Origin: Vietnam

Originally from China (where it's known as "May Chang"), Litsea cubeba is also traditionally cultivated in Japan and Taiwan.
It's a tropical evergreen tree with fragrant leaves and flowers. Its fruit is small, similar in shape to peppercorns. It's also widely appreciated for its heartwood.


The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the seeds and leaves and is a clear, straw-yellow liquid with a fresh, fruity fragrance that's similar to lemon. It combines well with all the other citrus oils (especially Grapefruit, Lemon and Neroli) with spice oils and with Verbena oil.

(according to
popular herbalist tradition)

In the Far East, the flowers, leaves and fruit of litsea cubeba are traditionally used in herbal medicine as remedies for various ailments.

The essential oil is non-toxic and non-irritant, and is used in aromatherapy for its refreshing and anti-depressant effects. A remedy for acne and dermatitis, it's also effective as a treatment for excessive sweating.

It's widely used in the formulation of air fresheners, colognes, soaps and personal hygiene products. In the fruit-based beverages industry, it's long been used as a flavouring agent. Its most important use is as a base for the extraction of natural citral, and for the synthesis of vitamin A.

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