May Chang – Shiny, Happy and a Little Bit Effervescent

May Chang flower

May Chang flower

I looked into my oils today and it jumped out at me and I thought “what a lovely oil”. That’s what I’ll write about today.

So here goes…….

May Chang   Listea cubeba

May chang berries - sometimes called mountain pepper

May chang berries – sometimes called mountain pepper

This gorgeous, sparkly essential oil is made from the berries of the tree which is native to China and south-east Asia. I was first introduced to it when a friend brought some back from her holiday in Thailand about 15 years ago. It’s part of the Lauraceae family which also holds cinnamon and rosewood. May chang, and these oils too, have a subtle peppery note about them too.

It is a lemon scented oil and is high in neral and geranial which is are monoterpenoid structures within the oil. It is however, more than that. It smells like bubbly lemonade. It has a 3D effervescence about it, and that’s probably not possible – can you smell effervescence?. Well I reckon you can in this lovely oil.

Mainly used for fragrance in soaps, May chang does have some therapeutic properties too. In traditional Chinese medicine according to Salvatore Battaglia:

“….May chang is used to treat dysmenorrhoea that is relieved with heat or pressure, stomach aches, lower back pain, chills headaches and muscular aches from external conditions.”

So from this we can see that is has a warming quality to it, which you would expect from the local name of ‘mountain pepper”.

Also described as a great oil for respiratory issues like asthma is it also being used in heart research in China.


I call it a happiness oil.

Like all the other citrus oils it is uplifting, fun, sweet and sparkly. (Once again I suppose you can’t really use the word “sparkly” to describe a scent, but hey, I’m going to anyway).

Try these recipes:

1. Scent Your Space

In a classic oil burner or a diffuser add these oils:

“Secret May Chang Business”

To introduce a fun, easy atmosphere in your home –

May Change       15 drops

Lavender              5 drops

Geranium             5 drops


“I’ve Got The Power”

To give you a lift if you need energy to carry on –

May Change        10 drops

Cardamom            5 drops

Rosemary             5 drops

Orange                 5 drops


2. Skin Scrub

Add these oils to a cup of fine sea salt, a splash of your favourite carrier oil and some water to make a slurry –


May Chang                     3 drops

Roman Chamomile 3%   3 drops


3. Space Cleansing Mist

In a 50ml mist bottle add these oils:

Anime Alchemist”

For an uplifting aura cleanse –

May Chang                15 drops

Rosewood                   5  drops

Juniper                        5 drops


4. Pure Pulse Point Perfume

In a little dish mix these oils and anoint your pulse points or chakras – 3 drops of essential oils and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil – always patch test first!

“I’m Effervescent”

To help inspire feelings of vitality

May Change    2 drops

Cinnamon        1 drop


Princess May Chang

Princess May Chang

And just for fun May Chang, also refers to this gregarious little anime character who seeks the secrets and tools of alchemy to restore her family’s name. She travels with her pet panda too. CUTE!

I also made a few interesting, repetitive typo’s while writing…….. May change ……… May change ………… May change………………………………..

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

3 thoughts on “May Chang – Shiny, Happy and a Little Bit Effervescent

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