Lemon Essential Oil
Organic Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus limon) is a wonderfully versatile aromatherapy oil. The best quality essential oil is cold pressed from the outer part of the fresh peel from ripe or nearly ripe fruit. It takes approximately 3000 lemons to produce just a kilo of Lemon essential oil.
It is thought that the lemon tree originated in East India and was introduced into Italy at the end of the 5th Century. From there it spread throughout the Mediterranean basin and is now cultivated extensively worldwide.
Lemon oil has a clear, pale-yellow colour, which gradually turns a browner colour with age. The scent is sharp, green and characteristically citrusy, lemony sharp and uplifting.
Making the choice to buy organic lemon essential oil means that you are investing in traditional lemon groves that are an oasis of bio-diversity. In addition to this you are also getting an oil free of the possibility of unwanted chemical residues. I always use organic aromatherapy oils whenever possible – it’s an investment in conservation of our natural world as well as in our health and well being.
Organic Lemon essential oil has the following properties / uses:-
- Immunity/Infection: Lemon oil has strongly anti-septic, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and insecticidal properties. It can be added to floor soap, washing up detergents and vaporised to cleanse the air and keep insects at bay. The oil has a powerful immunity boosting effect, stimulating the body’s white blood cells to help fight infection. It makes a wonderful addition to a sick room spray or vaporising blend and is particularly indicated for use during and after infections and for those with anaemia. Its antiseptic and antibacterial properties are also of great value in cleaning cuts and wounds, and its haemostatic properties can help to stop bleeding.
- Detoxifying: Lemon essential oil is indicated for those who are needing to cleanse their systems, either as a result of over-indulgence, cellulite, sluggishness or during convalescence following ill health. It is a powerful diuretic, and can also be useful for those suffering from arthritis or rheumatism, helping clear toxins and inflammation from the joints. It is a popular choice in lymphatic drainage massage.
- Skincare: Lemon essential oil is a mild bleach and can be helpful in brightening dull and discoloured skin. As an astringent, it is helpful for rebalancing oily skin and makes a wonderful addition to skin toners to reduce excess sebum. It can also help to prevent spots and lessen the appearance of enlarged pores. Lemon can even be used a natural treatment for corns, warts and verrucae.
- Astringent/Circulation: Lemon has a tonic effect on the circulatory system and can be useful in regular massage treatments for poor circulation. It can be particularly helpful for varicose veins and for boosting the circulation in winter to help prevent chilblains and cold extremities. It can also be of assistance with high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis although it is essential to consult with your GP or your clients GP before progressing with treatment.
- Digestive: Most citrus oils have a tonic effect on the digestive system, and can be used to help ease indigestion or trapped wind. Vaporising essential oils during meals can help create a refreshing atmosphere too.
- Respiratory: Lemon essential oil has a particular effect on helping relieve congestion and blocked sinuses, but must be used at very low dilution to avoid irritating the mucus membranes. One drop per blend is sufficient. The oil is also said to help lower temperatures.
- Musculoskeletal: Lemon is a rubifacient, and is therefore excellent to help stimulate the circulation pre or post sports, to help ease muscular stiffness, pain or inflammation.
- Nervous System: Most citrus oils have an affinity for the nervous system and can help lift the mood and the spirits. There have been numerous studies that scientifically prove what traditional medicine has cited, one of the more recent being the study by Komori (2009), who studied the effect of the inhalation of Lemon and Valerian on otherwise healthy but depressed men. The findings supported the use of Lemon as an anti-depressant. I have found it to be particularly useful for those with low mood in combination with low energy and immunity. It is also thought to stimulate and revitalise the mind, helping to bring clarity and assist with decision making.
Like most other citrus oils, Lemon is phototoxic and should not be used on the skin before exposure to sunlight. It can also be a dermal irritant and should be used in low dilution and not for those with sensitive skins. Its irritant properties increase as the oil ages. We recommend using a maximum of 1% dilution for massage and making the blend up to 3% with other oils. Do not use more than 3 drops in the bath (or 2 drops for those with sensitive skin).