The Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil
Like many essential oils, the health benefits of lemon have been known for centuries. Many cultures have used lemons to treat a variety of ailments for a very long time. Lemons themselves are a rich source of Vitamins C, which is one of nature’s best antioxidants.
So it is not surprising that the concentrated essential oil extracted from the lemon peel has so many uses today. Lemon essential oil has exactly the clean, fresh citric scent you would expect from the fruit, it reminds me very much of childhood holidays in Spain, but it has many uses beyond its simple aromatic properties. Whether you want to lift your mood, treat your breath or freshen up the house; lemon essential oil can play its part.
Pure lemon essential oil has a high limonene content as do most citrus oils. Limonene contains many of the anti-inflammatory, anti-stress properties as well as imparting its citrus aroma. Research has also shown that d-limonene may have a role in preventing and treating breast cancer. (1)
Uses of Lemon Essential Oil
• Potential anti-cancer effect
Lemon essential oil is wonderful versatile oil with a great number of therapeutic and household benefits making it the perfect addition to your medical cabinet. It is the perfect tonic for your mind and has a number of benefits for your psychological wellbeing.
1. For Stress and Anxiety
Modern lifestyles can be incredibly stressful and many of you will be all too familiar with the crippling effects of anxiety. Some essential oils are known to help us in dealing with anxiety and stress and many people have reported that lemon essential oil is one of them.
Indeed, several scientific studies support the notion that lemon oil can help us to combat stress and anxiety. One study published in 2006 concluded that lemon essential oil had both anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. (2)
If you need to boost your mood then inhaling lemon essential oil can provide you with the mood boost that you are looking for. Preliminary research involving 56 healthy participants of both sexes revealed that lemon essential oil could have a positive effect on mood and was in fact more effective than lavender essential oil. (3) Researchers found consistent and clear evidence that lemon essential oil enhanced positive mood.
3. Cognitive Function
Lemon essential oil might be good for our brain health in other ways too. It might even have implications for the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
A 2009 study published in Psychogeriatrics was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of certain essential oils on patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The study which evaluated rosemary, lemon, lavender and orange essential oils gave us some very promising results.
All of the patients showed a significant improvement in cognitive ability and researchers concluded that essential oils including lemon have the potential to treat loss of cognitive function related to dementia. (4)
4. For Oral Health
If you have problems related to your mouth or your teeth, then lemon essential oil can help with a range of oral issues. Lemon essential oil can be used to strengthen your gums, remove unwanted stains from your teeth and leave your breath smelling clean and feeling fresh.
- A few times a week, simply add a few drops of lemon essential oil to your toothbrush after brushing and softly go over your teeth and gums again. You can also make your own healthy oral blend by combining your lemon oil with peppermint, cinnamon, clove or spearmint.
Be careful to rinse and then spit and not to swallow. You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a glass of water and gargle for a few minutes to help maintain clean smelling breath.
5. For Nausea and Vomiting
Lemon essential oil can have help relieve the feelings of nausea and even vomiting which may be caused by a number of factors including motion, pregnancy and stomach problems. Many pregnant women claim that lemon essential oil can help them overcome nausea and vomiting caused by morning sickness and recent research was able to back up those claims.
100 pregnant women were required to inhale the oil as soon as they experienced feelings of nausea and reported a significant decrease in the severity of their nausea and a reduction in vomiting. (5)
If you are feeling nauseous, you can simply inhale the oil directly from the bottle alternatively add a few drops to a handkerchief and inhale whenever necessary.
6. For Coughs and Colds
One of the most common and well known uses of lemon essential oil is for coughs and other cold symptoms like congestion. If you are feeling congested, try rubbing a few drops of lemon essential oil on your chest or throat a few times a day until you are feeling better. It is better to dilute your lemon oil with a suitable carrier oil before applying it to your skin.
- To treat a runny nose, simply combine a drop of lemon essential oil with a carrier oil and dip your finger into it, then dab a little of the mixture onto the underside of your nose.
- An added bonus is that lemon oil can help promote a solid night of sleep as congestion and coughing is a curse for anybody that wants to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
If you are going to apply lemon essential oil directly to the chest or neck areas be aware that it can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight and your skin should not be exposed to direct sunlight for at least 72 hours after applying lemon essential oil topically.
7. For Hair
If your hair is looking tired and worn, lemon essential oil can give it a boost. Many people claim that lemon oil can help give their hair added gloss and shine as well as helping overall strength and health of the hair. Lemon essential oil is also used to reduce dry skin and dandruff.
8. For skin
I have often seen lemon essential oil recommended for skin complaints such as acne and for general skin care but because of concerns related to its photosensitivity, we cannot recommend it for direct use on the skin.
9. For Weight Loss
There is some preliminary evidence that lemon essential oil can help you to lose weight but it is too early to draw any conclusions solid enough to recommend it for weight loss purposes.
10. Around the Home
As well as its therapeutic uses, you can put your lemon essential oil to work around the home in a number of ways.
- As an air freshener-wither diffuse it or add it to water in a spray bottle.
- Make a spray to repel mosquitos and other unwanted bugs.
- Freshen up your laundry by adding a few drops of lemon oil to your washing soap or adding a drop or two to your final rinse cycle.
- Use it to disinfect your worktops or your moldy bath and shower area.
Lemon essential oil is considered to be safe and is non-toxic but there are a few precautions that you should be aware of before using it for the first time.
- Lemon oil should be diluted with a carrier oil before you apply it topically and you should always do a spot check on a small area of your skin to ensure that you do not have an allergic reaction.
- Like many citric essential oils, lemon oil is phototoxic and can increase the skin’s sensitivity to direct sunlight. If you do apply it directly to the skin, be sure not to expose the treated area to the sun for at least 72 hours.
- There is some evidence that citrus essential oils can corrode diffuser machines so check with your manufacturer before using it in a diffuser.
- While many people take lemon essential oil internally with no adverse effect, it is not recommended that you take any essential oil internally without consulting a medical expert
- Organic lemon oil (and citrus oils in general) are recommended. We believe it is important with citrus based oils as the Cost difference is usually low and some research has shown typical biocides used in conventional citrus farming can make it through essential oil distillation process (6).