18 October 2021 / Laura Garvin Gomez
Lemon Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits
The historic 'fruit of health' has great benefits for skin, gut and overall wellbeing.
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From its bacteria-fighting abilities to its use in treating morning sickness, lemon essential oil has many possible applications.
Lemons have been considered one of the most benefit-rich foods in the world for centuries now.
Referred to as 'the fruit of health' by societies in ancient India, Egypt, and Rome, they used to be grown primarily for their medicinal properties.
Today, lemon essential oil is affectionately known as “liquid sunshine”, and many people still use its uplifting properties to combat nausea, infections, and inflammation.
What is Lemon Essential Oil?
Adopted by many for home cleaning purposes, lemon essential oil carries a citrussy, fresh scent commonly associated with feelings of positivity, cleanliness, and health.
Originating in Argentina, Spain, and Italy – among other regions – the lemon itself has been used in the everyday lives of humanity for centuries due to its culinary benefits.
Lemon oil is generally pale yellow in colour, and is extensively used in beauty products, cleaning agents and pharmaceuticals for its appealing scent and varied health properties.
What are the different types of Lemon Essential Oil?
Lemon essential oil is extracted via two primary methods: cold pressing and steam distilling.
In both methods, it is the peel of the oil that is collected rather than the fruit, as the peel carries a stronger natural aroma, and is more nutrient-dense.
- Cold pressing involves pressing the oil out of the peel in a spiked drum. The oil then drips down through small holes in the base of the drum and is collected.
- Steam distilling involves passing steam through a closed chamber containing the peel, and letting the oil condense on top of the water.
How do I use lemon oil safely?
There has historically been some debate around the safety of applying citrus oils to the skin, as cold-pressed citrus oils are known to be phototoxic.
This means that, after application, exposure to sunlight can cause redness and irritation.
However, steam distilled citrus oils are very safe to apply to the skin when properly diluted with a carrier oil.
The furocoumarins that cause photosensitivity take longer to evaporate than many of the other constituents in essential oils, and so are separated from the rest of the oil in the steam distilling process.
Regardless of what you choose, however, be sure to always perform a patch test before using any lemon essential oil on the skin.
Do not use any form of lemon essential oil on the skin if the oil has oxidised, as this can lead to severe irritation.
What oils blend well with lemon essential oil?
As lemon is a citrus oil, it is generally considered to blend extremely well with other citrus oils of its kind, such as sweet orange, bergamot, and lime.
Mostly though, lemon works pretty well in almost any essential oil blend. Floral oils like lavender are largely preferred, as they add a sweeter and more gentle element to the zesty kick of the lemon.
Bright and herbaceous oils such as peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree are also popular choices for blending with lemon, as they add to the uplifting effects of the citrus.
What are the benefits of Lemon Essential Oil?
Lemon essential oils can carry a variety of powerful benefits for the skin, the body, and the mind. Some of the ailments that lemon oil has been known to fight against include:
- Morning sickness
- Stress & low mood
- Reduced concentration
How can lemon oil fight against harmful bacteria?
A 2019 study found that lemon oil is among the most effective essential oils for fighting various microbes and bacteria, mainly due to the presence of a chemical constituent known as d-limonene.
D-limonene gives lemon its anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, and its presence is what makes lemon oil such a popular addition to homemade cleaning products.
If you’re interested in making your own homemade spray using lemon essential oil, why not check out our very own recipe here?
The anti-microbial properties of lemon oil also make it effective at preventing receding gums and tooth decay, as the d-limonene attacks the bacteria and stops it from building up.
Because of these properties, oil pulling with a carrier oil and a drop of lemon oil is a great way to improve oral health and naturally whiten teeth.
Can lemon essential oil be used to treat acne?
When diluted with a carrier oil and applied with a warm cloth, lemon oil can act as a very effective facial cleanser.
Not only is it anti-microbial, but it is also an astringent, meaning that it can shrink and tighten pores and leave skin brighter.
In some cases, this astringency allows it to shrink the tissue around areas affected by inflammatory acne, reducing the inflammation, whilst the d-limonene attacks the P.acnes bacteria.
This was found in a 2018 study testing lemon oil benefits on the skin.
Does lemon oil help to ease symptoms of morning sickness?
An exciting new area of research has recently discovered the positive effects of lemon essential oil on morning sickness.
A study conducted in 2014, found that, when tested on one hundred pregnant women, inhaling lemon oil relieved symptoms of morning sickness to a greater degree than inhaling a placebo oil.
Since then, diffusing lemon oil has become a common way to safely cope with nausea in the early stages of pregnancy.
Though we still don’t know a lot about this association, research is ongoing and could look very promising for the future.
What are the benefits of using lemon essential oil to combat stress and low mood?
Lemon oil, like many other citrus oils, is commonly used to uplift the mind and promote feelings of positivity and renewal.
It is because of these mood-boosting benefits that lemon is also used in various cleaning products, as the process of cleaning your space can help dispel low feelings and provide a sense of relaxation and calm.
A 2006 study performed on mice concluded that lemon essential oil could even be more beneficial in combating stress and low mood than popular oils like lavender.
How do I use lemon oil for focus and concentration?
Aside from simply boosting your mood, lemon oil has been known to help increase performance levels during study and at work, as well as perk up your general levels of focus.
Two small studies, conducted in 2006 and 2008 respectively, have found that inhaling lemon essential oil can be incredibly beneficial for cognitive functioning and improvement.
How to use Lemon Essential Oil
Fresh, fragrant, and classically zesty, lemon oil is a fantastic choice for diffusing around your home if you desire an uplifting, familiar aroma.
Due to its benefits for focus and concentration, lemon essential oil is also a good choice to diffuse around the office, or during periods of study to boost cognitive processes.
Add a few drops to your chosen diffuser or oil burner, or place on a handkerchief to utilise on the go.
Adding a few drops of lemon oil to your bath can not only make it smell lovely, but also help to reduce feelings of stress and low mood.
The antibacterial properties within lemon essential oil are great for cleansing the skin, while its astringent properties can help with tightening pores and creating a more youthful effect.
Diluted lemon essential oil can also be used to spot-treat acne.
Lemon oil makes for a perfect homemade cleaning agent. Add a few drops to a spray bottle with water and use on top of regular cleaning for an extra boost of wellness and anti-bacterial power.
What is the history of Lemon Essential Oil?
The first mention of the lemon in historical texts dates back as far as 90 BC, where they’re described as being thrown at a high priest during a festival in Jerusalem. They were then introduced to Southern Italy during the first century AD.
Greeks and Romans believed that the lemon could be used to support a healthy digestive system, and well over a thousand years later they were adopted by the Royal Navy to treat scurvy.
Lemon essential oil is extremely versatile, having both medicinal and cosmetic applications, and is supported by a fascinating medical history.
Whether applied topically or inhaled, it can have a huge number of benefits, many of which are still being explored centuries later.
|100% Pure Lemon Essential Oil|
|Botanical Name||Citrus Limonum|
|Benefits & Uses||Cleaning Agent, Energising, Fresh|
|Suitable for Diffusers?||Yes, this lemon essential oil is perfect for diffusers.|
|Suitable for Candles and Soaps?||Yes, this lemon essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.|
|Extraction Method||Steam Distillation|
|Bottle Type||Tamper proof and UV resistant|