Lemon is among the 16 different species belonging to genus Citrus. It belongs to the Rutaceae family and is intimately associated to lime as well as citron – also known as ‘nippled’ fruit. The lemon trees often grow up to a height of 15 feet and bear extremely fragrant fruits. The trees blossom throughout the year. This species thrives well in arid and sub-tropical climates, while it is sensitive to cold and high humidity. While lemon is extensively cultivated in orchards in the Mediterranean region, but it is believed that the species had its origin in China from where it was introduced to Italy and the Mediterranean region by Arab traders.
The peels of the lemon fruit yield an essential oil that is regarded by many as the ‘golden gift of the sun’ owing to its aptitude to induce energy and vivacity to the body, mind as well as the soul. As aforementioned, the lemon tree is indigenous to the Asian continent, but presently grows naturally all over the Mediterranean region, especially in Portugal and Spain. In addition to these places, this plant species is widely grown in different tropical regions of the world, especially in California. According to historical records, the ancient Egyptians used lemon essential oil as an antidote to food poisoning as well as treat fever epidemics. In most of the European countries people generally use this natural obtained from lemon fruit peel to treat contagious ailments and many consider it to be a panacea.
Lemon essential oil is basically multipurpose natural oil that is highly beneficial when used in a diffuser to diminish the consequences of mental exhaustion and lethargy. At the same time, this oil helps to regulate the immune system of the body and its capacity to resist against different diseases. Lemon essential oil is very useful in relieving mental conditions, such as nervous anxiety, confusion and depression. When any one is suffering from any illness or is recuperating, use of this oil brings in optimism, cheerfulness and potency. Lemon essential oil possesses antiseptic properties which makes it a natural substitute to artificially-made domestic disinfectants. In fact, this natural oil helps to sterilize stale air effectively, eliminate bacteria and also refresh the atmosphere almost everywhere where it is used. When lemon essential oil is used in steam facials, it proves to be an effective treatment for acne as well as crammed arid skin. In addition, this oil is helpful in curing wounds and contagions.
The aroma of lemon can be easily identified and is generally a favorite with most people around the world. Like its reputation as the ‘golden gift of the sun’, this oil helps to elevate the physical, mental as well as spiritual levels of an individual and makes one cheerful and energetic.
Here are some basic facts regarding lemon essential oil. Like any other essential oils which are unadulterated extractions of the chemical substances present in the plants that give them their aroma, lemon essential oil is obtained from the peels of the lemon fruits and possesses a very high intensity of fragrance. Owing to its aroma, this oil has multiple uses, including therapeutic, cosmetic and household products. Especially, it is very useful in aromatherapy. This oil possesses an unsullied and fresh aroma and is frequently made use of in domestic or green cleansing products.
The chemicals found in the essential oils are used by the plants to manufacture their own food/ nourishments, protect against raiders or hunters, and attract insects and animals that aid them in pollination and/ or convert the soil around the place where they are growing as uninviting to other competing plants. In fact, essential oils may be obtained from the leaves, stems, flowers, roots and seeds of the plants. The essential oil may be obtained by means of cold pressing, steam distillation or a process known as solvent extraction using alcohol or carbon dioxide.
Usually, lemon essential oil as well as other oils extracted from citrus is derived by the cold pressing process. To extract lemon essential oil, first the peel of the fruit is removed and drenched in hot water to make it softer. One of the processes of obtaining the oil from the peel is by placing a sponge against the yellowish side of the peel and compressing it till the sponge is completely saturated with lemon essential oil. There is another process by which you may extract lemon essential oil. This process involves using machinery. To extract lemon essential oil by this process, first remove the peels and then roll them in a machine filled with pins. The pins will shatter the oils cells in the peels and force the oils to collect in a bowl placed below. In fact, in the present day scenario, most people extract lemon essential oil using this machinery. This machine not only helps to grate the peel off the pith, but also pushes it into a spinner that compels the oil to come out and collect in a container.
Lemon essential oil is often used in aromatherapy to bring down high temperatures during fevers, augment blood circulation as well as alleviate the pains caused by headaches and arthritis. Lemon essential oil is considered to have a significantly high acid concentration that helps in elevating the mood and spirit. You may either inhale lemon essential oil using it in a diffuser or apply it topically onto the skin. Specific types of diffusers are made use of to inhale this essential oil – you may place a small bowl over a candle or place a few drops in a bowl of simmering water and inhale it. In case you intend to apply lemon essential oil topically onto your skin, always remember to dilute it with suitable carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or olive oil. If you are using concentrated lemon essential oil, it may result in skin irritation or even cause skin allergies.
For therapeutic uses, lemon essential oil may be used alone or in combination with other natural oils. The bright and fresh aroma of this natural oil makes it an active and essential element in several skin care, hair care and bath products. Lemon essential oil also possesses gentle antiseptic properties and, hence, it may well be brought to use topically to cleanse trivial injuries as well as cure acne. In some cases, lemon essential oil is also used as an additive in foods to enhance their essence. It may be mentioned here that lemon essential oil has the aptitude to cut grease and, therefore, it may be used in ecologically friendly cleansing products like vinegar to clean the counters in kitchen. In addition, lemon essential oil may be used to disinfect or sterilize the surface areas in the bathrooms.
The usefulness of lemon essential oil can be demonstrated by the fact that just smelling this oil has the aptitude to clear the mind, enhance memory as well as augment the energy levels. Several people who are using the ‘Master Lemon Cleanse’ are aware of the fact that adding one or two drops to their lemonade drink facilitates in detoxifying their body of wastes and, at the same time, cleanse and alkalize the body more effectively.
There are several condition specific uses of lemon essential oil. Here we present a brief description regarding some, hope they will be useful for you.
- Lemon oil to flavour water
- In order to add essence to water, put a few drops of lemon essential oil in the water. You will be surprised to note that this will not only change your glass of water into a revitalizing drink, but drinking water mixed with lemon essential oil is much more safe compared to compressing the lemon slice that comes along with your glass of water.
- Lemon oil as a room freshener
- This oil has several beneficial properties – it is revitalizing, sterilizing and its citrus aroma not only help to refresh, but also uplift ones mood and spirits.
Lemon essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties. This oil is invigorating, disinfecting and citrus aroma is extremely refreshing as well as inspiring. Blend this oil (approximately 10 to 20 drops) with water and spray the solution briefly in your room for a pleasant and enjoyable ambience and hygienic atmosphere. People, who prefer laundry having a lemon aroma, add a few drops of the essential oil on a small cloth and put it in the dryer. Alternately, add a few drops in the final rinse while washing your hands.
- Lemon oil to flavour tea
- Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil along with lemon to your tea. You will be surprised to experience the incredible flavour of your tea now. In fact, adding one or two drops of lemon essential oil to your tea will flavour it naturally – making your tea, served hot or cold, a revitalizing and delicious beverage.
- Lemon oil to purify water quickly
- If you are residing at a place where the water is not properly purified or traveling to some place where you may not avail fresh water, just add two drops of lemon essential oil in your glass of water and stir it well. Leave the solution for a couple of minutes allowing the insoluble impurities contained in the water to float on the top. Next, remove these floating impurities with a spoon or, alternately, you may place a clean napkin or a paper towel on the top of the water and allow them to soak up the pollutants. Now, the water is sanitized for drinking.
- Lemon oil to balance pH
- Among its various therapeutic properties, lemon essential oil is known to be very effective as well as a satisfying means to facilitate balancing pH. In fact, scientists have ascertained that the pH of lemon essential oil is almost ideal for the human body. Therefore, in the event of your body being prone to be to acidic, drink a few drops of lemon essential oil in water twice or thrice everyday to remain healthy.
- Lemon oil to augment flavour in lemonade
- When you add one or two drops of lemon essential oil to your lemonade, you will find that it amazingly enhances the flavour of the drink.
- Lemon oil to get rid of tree sap or gum
- The essential oil extracted by cold pressing lemon peels is known to be an effective substance to get rid of the stains of tree sap, gum or almost anything that is dense and sticky from the skin or any other surface. In case you happen to accidently brush against any tree exuding sap, use a few drops of lemon essential oil to remove the gooey and sticky substance from your skin and clothes. You will be amazed to find that this natural oil works so effectively and fast. Often, price tags of clothes or other merchandise leave behind residual glue that almost seems to be unyielding. You may be tired and frustrated trying to remove it, but in vain. However, using a few drops of lemon essential oil will do wonders. Even if children or pets get some tar on their body, lemon essential oil is useful in removing it. If you are worried how to remove gum from your hair or any piece of furniture, try using lemon oil – it will help to get rid of the nuisance almost instantly.
- Lemon oil as an antioxidant
- Chemical analysis of the essential oil extracted by cold pressing lemon peels has been found to contain 68 per cent d-limonene, which is known to be a very potent antioxidant.
- Lemon oil to polish wooden furniture, molding and others
- In addition to its other uses, lemon essential oil can also be used to polish wooden furniture, molding and other things. Since this oil is a natural cleanser, it helps to remove all dirt and stains from their surface as well as bring back the original gleam of these products. Using lemon essential oil to cleanse and polish wooden furniture or molding, helps in adding a stunning shine and aroma of lemon.
- Lemon oil to unwind and calm nerves
- Inhaling lemon essential oil is highly effective for relaxing and calming the nerves. To avail the best use of this oil for this purpose, open the bottle containing lemon essential oil and bring it close to your nose and take a deep breath inhaling the pleasant aroma of this natural oil slowly. You need to take several deep breaths at one time and then put the bottle down for a few seconds of normal breathing. Next, take up the bottle and repeat the inhaling process. When you inhale the aroma of this natural oil, you will experience how the effect of lemon essential oil removes the tension and apprehension and uplifts your mood and spirits something comparable to the sun brightening up the day! You may repeat this process three or four times or even more depending on your comfort level.
- Lemon oil as a wonderfully aromatic natural cleanser
- Lemon essential oil is an effective natural cleanser and, at the same time, fills the atmosphere with its pleasing aroma. You may use around 10-15 drops of lemon oil in two cups of water and wash all the counters in your kitchen. When the cleansing is over, you will notice the gleam on the counter as well as the fragrant smell filling the air inside the kitchen. You will also find that rubbing the dishes and other crockery with lemon oil and water is helpful in getting rid of the obdurate marks. When you have washed your dishes just add a few drops of lemon essential oil during the final round of rinsing them in the dishwasher for your dishes to retain the refreshing flavour of lemon.
- Lemon oil on corns, calluses and bunions
- Rubbing the essential oil obtained from lemon peels on corns, calluses (hardened or thickened parts of the skin) or bunions (swellings of the first joint of the big toe that is usually displaced to one side) in the mornings and evenings provides soothing relief as well as helps in softening the skin.
Blends well with
- coughs and flu
- fluid retention
- gum infections
- high blood pressure
- hyperacidity of stomach
- kidney infections / stones
- mouth and tongue inflammations and ulcers
- oily and open pores
- poor circulation
- premenstrual tension
- varicose veins
Lemon essential oil has a very short shelf life and, hence, does not keep well for a long period. Therefore, when you are buying this natural oil, always remember to check the manufacturing and expiry dates of the product. At the same time, be careful never to apply old lemon essential oil onto the skin as it may result in acute allergic reactions. People, who are undergoing chemotherapy for treatment of cancer, should avoid using lemon essential oil. As with most essential oils, even lemon essential oil should be used in low concentrations. Hence, it is advisable that you dilute this natural oil obtained from lemon peels adding other suitable essential oils before use.
One ought to avoid exposure to direct sunlight or ultra violet (UV) rays following the application of lemon essential oil on the skin for a period of at least 12 hours. It may be mentioned that all natural oils obtained from citrus plants are highly reactive to sunlight and may result in staining or bruising of the skin when they come in contact with light within 12 hours of application. This natural oil extracted by cold pressing process from lemon peels may prove to be harmful for children and, hence, always keep it out of their reach. At the same time, never use lemon essential oil on infants or babies for it may prove to be detrimental for their health. Also, remember that this natural oil should never be applied on the skin when you are close to any fire, flame, heat or sparks.