Essential Oils: Lemon

When life gives you lemons, you make all kinds of stuff. One of the most recognizable scents in the world. This citrus fruit is one of the most widely used throughout the world. It has a very high concentration of vitamin C. One pound of lemon oil requires about 1,000 lemon peels. That’s a lot of lemons. However, you don’t necessarily have to use the lemon oil, the fruit itself will suffice. However, most of us don’t want a bunch of lemons lying around. People drink it in their water (or sweet tea for us southern folk), use it in their cleaners, and even in skincare. It is very versatile and one I recommend as a starter oil.


Background

Citrus limon or lemon is grown all over the world. Lemons and lemon oil has been used for thousands of years. Ayurvedic medicine uses it to treat all kinds of health problems. Ancient Indians, Egyptians and Romans used it as a remedy for infectious disease.  Sailors also used the fruit to protect from scurvy. The health benefits of lemon are amazing and have been well researched and backed by science. (We love science around here!)

Benefits

Digestion. One of my favorite uses for it. It soothes an achy belly and can relieve constipation. A 2009 study found that when lemon oil was given to rats, gastritis symptoms were reduced. In human studies, research shows that when lemon, peppermint and rosemary was massaged onto the abdomen, the individual experienced less constipation and more bowel movements. Those effects lasted for two weeks after the experiment had ended. 
Immune Booster. Lemon is high in vitamin C which we all know helps keep us healthy. It also stimulates white blood cells and increases the ability to fight off disease. It also contains vitamin B, calcium, potassium and fiber. All great for ensuring a healthy immune system. 
Weight Loss and Detox. Lemon contains d-limonene, which supports metabolism and lymphatic glands. Both of those are critical for weight loss. It can also help reduce appetite, so that lemon water is doing more than you think! On top of all that, it helps detox your body. Because it stimulates the lymphatic system, it promotes lymphatic drainage. This rids the body of wastes and toxins. A 2016 study found that lemon oil given to rats with liver and kidney damage, was able to reduce the stress and damage to both organs. 
Skin Care. Need to restore your dull skin? Lemon oil is your answer. Not only does it rejuvenate sagging, tired skin, it also acts as an astringent. So, basically any age or skin type can benefit from a little lemon. Studies have even proven lemon is effective in reducing cell and tissue damage to keep you looking like a snack. 
Cleaner/Antimicrobial. Lemon is an excellent cleaner not only for your body, but for your home. It will disinfect just about any surface. Counters, dishes, clothes, lemon has your back. It also helps reduce food contamination. It inhibits bacterial growth and keeps things fresh and free from pathogens. 

Group of fresh lemon on an old vintage wooden table; Shutterstock ID 289188959; PO: today.com

Application

Lemon is fairly gentle, but I still recommend using a carrier when applying to the skin. I use it in my anti-aging beauty products. A few drops in your face wash or moisturizer will have you looking like a new person! I also rub it on the bottoms of my feet for immune support, add it to my cleaners, and even a few drops in my laundry detergent for a boost of germ fighting, delicious smelling goodness. Just be careful because it is photosensitive, which just means to be careful with sun exposure.  
Diffusing is always a good option. It will have your house smelling like a summer breeze. I diffuse it when I want to make my house seem cleaner than it really is (:
Tons of people like lemon in their drinks or food. I use it all the time in my food and have never had a problem. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY. Like one drop is basically a lemon wedge. Don’t use it with plastic containers though. Citrus oils will eat away at plastics and you don’t want all that in your body!

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