Lemons: not just for lemonade
Lemon, a fruit commonly used in drinks and to enhance food, but there is so much more that this super fruit can do. It can help with cleaning the body and the home. It helps to heal the body inside and out. The health benefits of lemon seem almost endless.
The Origins of Lemon
The lemon tree originates from India but can now be found throughout Southern Europe as well as Florida and California. It is a small but thorny evergreen tree producing fruits once a year.
Lemon was popular with the Greek and Romans in the early part of the first century and became well known in Europe during the Middle Ages for its healing and cleansing properties.
It continued to gain popularity when the British Navy started to use lemons to ward off the effects of scurvy during long voyages to the New World.
Lemons belong to the Rutaceae family in the genus Citrus. With at least six different varieties of lemons grown throughout the world it remains true to its original origins. There are also two different types of lemons; they can either be sweet or acidic.
Lemons are the smallest of the Citrus genus the tree can grow between 10-12 feet or 3-4 meters in height. Mature fruit turn from green to yellow and are about 2-3 inches or 5-8 cm in diameter and weight approximately 2-3 oz. or 50-80 grams.
The lemon tree flourish and thrive in temperate tropical locations but can be grown in other climates though their growth can be severely affected in cooler climates. Lemons can also be grown indoors which is a great option for those in cooler climates to still enjoy the benefits of their own lemon tree in their home.
Lemon has a strong aroma, which can be very pungent or sweet. Its liquid is thin in consistency and colorless or greenish yellow in color.
The word lemon is believed to originate from the Middle East drawing from old French, limon, Italian, limone, Arabic, laymūn or līmūn, and Persian, līmūn all meaning citrus fruit; in generic terms. The word is in conjunction with the Sanskrit word nimbū which means lime; a very close relative to lemon.
Lemon Benefits for Your Health
Both lemon oil and the fruit of the lemon have a variety of health benefits.
Lemon provides a great, natural option for cleaning your house. It’s antibacterial, antiseptic and safe. It also helps to purify the air in the process.
Lemon is also great for bodily detoxification. It improves digestion while assisting the body in purging dangerous toxins and free radicals.
The internal benefits of lemon continue as well. It supports a healthy respiratory function, is a boon to proper circulation, increases the production of white blood cells and fights off infection.
Lemon also supports healthy mood and cognitive function by lifting up the emotional being a promoting focus and clarity in the mind.
Lemon also helps to calm as well as helping to stimulate. A blend of contradictory benefits which can be very beneficial.
15 Lemon Essential Oil Health Benefits
Antioxidants: Lemon contains high amounts of antioxidants which help to rid the body of toxins and harmful free radicals. Lemon is then indicated for use and beneficial when sick, having an internal or external infection or in weight loss.
Brain: Lemon essential oil helps to promote cognitive abilities. It helps to increase concentration and awareness. It also helps to increase a persons spiritual and psychic awareness as well. Trying diffusing or inhaling lemon essential oil throughout your workday to help increase your cognitive abilities and concentration.
Cleaning: Lemon essential oil is a powerful cleaning aide and natural disinfectant. It helps to disinfect all types of surfaces ridding harmful bacteria that can cause infections. It can be used along or diluted in water and/or vinegar to clean any and all surfaces in your home safely. It is also great for cleaning clothing, dishes and even the body.
Depression and Anxiety: Lemon essential oil is known for boosting the mood and helping to fight depression and anxiety. It helps to awaken the senses to clear the mind of unwanted distractions. It helps to reduce self-doubt, confusion and lack of enthusiasm helping to promote energy levels, level headedness and self-belief. Combined with lavender and diffused in a room will help to chase those blues away. Or try having a lemon bath to help reduce stress and fatigue commonly associated with depression.
Digestive System: Lemon is a carminative meaning it helps to reduce the build-up of gas in the stomach and digestive system. This is important when not only trying to reducing bloating and gas in the digestive tract but is also important in reducing acid in the stomach, indigestion, cramps and even an upset stomach.
Fever: Lemon essential oil helps to reduce fevers by increasing perspiration and detoxification of the body. The increase in sweating helps to reduce inflammation and toxins in the body.
Related: 5 EO Remedies for Coughs
Hair Care: Lemon essential oil is a highly effective hair tonic as it helps to promote healthy, strong and shiny hair. It is also known to help reduce if not eliminate dandruff helping to promote healthy skin and hair on the head.
Related: 9 Essential Oils for Hair Growth
Immune System: Due to lemons high vitamin content it makes it a perfect immune booster. Lemon is high in vitamin C which is great when boosting the immune system and warding off infection such as colds. It helps to stimulate blood flow and circulation while increasing white blood cell counts which are all very important in fighting infections.
Insect Repellant: Lemon essential oil is a powerful insect repellant due to its citrus properties. When combined with other essential oils such as peppermint or eucalyptus it can help to repel a number of insect inside and out of the home that can be bothersome especially during the summer months. Try using it as a bug spray on your body.
Related: 7 EOs for Bee Stings, Bug Bites
Respiratory System: Lemon essential oil is helpful in treating respiratory ailments such as asthma. It helps to open the airways and reduce sinus build-up promoting better airflow and movement helping a person to breathe with more ease. This is important for those with asthma as it helps to open the airways during an attack to help the person breathe easier thus reducing the length and severity of the asthma attack.
Related: How to Safely Inhale Essential Oils
Weight Loss: Lemon essential oil has been shown to help with weight loss. It helps to promote detoxification, reduce appetite and promote the feeling of “being full” longer. By promoting detoxification in the body it helps to rid the body of unwanted toxins and free radicals which can increase weight gain. By drinking lemon in water daily it will help to increase urination which also helps with weight loss through detoxification.
Skin Care: Lemon essential oil is great in bringing out the natural look of skin helping to reduce the look of dry dull skin. It helps to detoxify the skin reducing sagging and bags under the eyes making the skin look more youthful, soft and supple. The antiseptic properties are great when cleansing the skin as it helps to reduce acne and pimples as well as other skin disorders. It also helps to reduce excess oil on the skin.
Related: 11 EOs for Healing Scars
Sleep Aide: Since lemon essential oil is calming in nature it makes is great as a sleep aide. Lemon helps to promote sleep by relaxing the mind and body. This helps to reduce the number of sleepless nights that can be common with insomnia. It helps to increase the length and quality of sleep which is also important in reducing stress, anxiety and depression as well as healing infections and boosting the immune system.
Related: 17 EOs for improved sleep
Stress: Lemon is calming in nature. It helps to reduce mental fatigue, anxiety and nervousness which all associated with stress. It helps to create a positive mindset by removing negative emotions that may be present. By relaxing the mind and body it can help to promote stress reduction thus making a person more productive and positive.
Sore Throat: Lemon essential oil helps to soothe a sore throat. Its antiseptic properties along with its immune boosting properties make it perfect for healing the throat. Try having a cup of hot lemon tea with or without honey, honey helps to soothe the throat even more coating it and helping to reduce coughing. Or try gargling with lemon essential oil to help reduce the infection, pain and swelling.
Related: 8 EO Remedies for a Sore Throat
Lemon Essential Oil Recipes
When it comes to lemon essential oil and recipes there are so many to choose from. Lemon is easy to use on its own and it also pairs nicely with other essential oils. It’s qualities make it a great oil for those seeking easy health benefits and make it perfect for use in many different types of recipes.
Here are some simple uses:
- Place a drop or two on your finger and apply directly to a canker sore to help reduce the pain and rid the mouth of the sore
- Use lemon essential oil along with peppermint and/or lavender in a diffuser to help with respiratory problems especially during a cold or flu.
- Soak a cloth in lemon essential oil and use on your leather furniture or clothing to help clean and protect them.
- Use a couple of drops on a rag to polish your silverware or other metals you may have.
- Add a few drops to you daily water to help increase circulation and detoxification in the body. Also helps with weight loss and suppressing the appetite.
- Add a few drops to hot water with some honey to help soothe that sore throat.
- Massage a drop over the heart daily to increase connection and decrease feeling of depression and loneliness.
- Add a few drops to your favorite summer time lemonade blended drink to make a refreshing drink.
- Got some stinky laundry in the house add a drop or two of lemon essential oil to your detergent to help clean, disinfect and reduce the smell of your laundry.
Lemon Essential Oil Nail Rescue
- In a small glass jar heat the beeswax over a pot of simmering water.
- When fully melted and runny add in the lemon essential oil. Mix well.
- Once mixed well add in the coconut oil gradually stirring as you go.
- Once all the coconut oil has been added, melted and mixed in remove from heat and pour into a glass container.
- Apply to fingers and nail once a week to help restore and repair.
Lemon Essential Oil Deodorant
- In a small bowl combine together the baking soda and arrowroot (or cornstarch) and mix well.
- Add in the coconut oil as well as the lemon essential oil and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to a deodorant container or jar.
- Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to cool and harden. Apply daily as needed.
Uplifting Essential Oils Blend
- Combine the essential oils together.
- Use in a diffuser to be uplifted in home or office or put the blend in an inhaler in inhale throughout the day as needed.
Lemon Essential Oil Wood Polish
- 30-40 drops lemon EO
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
- Combine all ingredients together in a glass spray bottle and mix well.
- Spray on wood surfaces and polish with a rag.
- Be sure to shake well prior to every use.
Lemon Essential Oil Cookies
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 10 Tbsp. butter – softened
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 8-12 drops lemon EO
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Mix all the above ingredients together, except powdered sugar, until fully combined.
- Form into 1 ½ inches balls and roll in powdered sugar.
- Place the balls into cookie sheets about 2 inches apart as they will spread out.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes or until bottom is golden brown and edges and top are not.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes in pan prior to removing from pan and placing on cooling rack.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Eat and enjoy.
Interesting Facts About Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is interesting in how it is made as well as where it comes from. Here are some very interesting facts about lemons.
- Lemons are packed full of vital nutrients.
- Lemons are low in calories, only 29 calories per 100 grams.
- It has not fats or cholesterol.
- It is a high source of dietary fiber.
- Lemons acidic taste comes from the citric acid it is made up of; containing 8% in its juice.
- High in vitamin C; providing about 88% of the daily recommended intake in one lemon.
- Immune system booster due to its high vitamin C content and other nutrients making it a natural antioxidant.
- Lemons are high in antioxidants making them great for detoxifying the body and riding the body of dangerous free radicals.
- It is a calming as well as stimulating essential oil.
- It has antibacterial, anti fungal and antiseptic properties which make it great for cleaning the home and body.
- It takes about 3000 lemons to produce 1 kilogram of essential oil.
- It blends well with many other essential oils.
- It is great for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh. It helps apples, for example, from going brown after being cut.
- Lemons help to enhance taste of many foods and drinks such as fish, vegetables, desserts and water.
- Lemons help to soften the cuticles and restore the health to your nails and nail-beds.
- Lemons have been known to soften calluses, corns and bunions.
- It can be useful in removing sticky substances such as gum from hair or residue from stickers off bottles and jars.
- It can also help to remove crayon marks from walls.
- Lemon essential oil mixed with baking soda can help to whiten your teeth.
- Lemons can help to naturally bleach your hair.
- Lemons are commonly used in perfumes, soaps and cosmetics.
- On long voyages across the ocean sailors would eat lemons to help ward off scurvy.
Lemon Essential Oil Side Effects and Cautions
Just as with any other essential oil, medication or food you need to use caution. Be sure to do your research on the essential oil and know and understand what common reactions as well as what uncommon reaction are.
- Avoid direct sunlight at least 12 hours after use.
- If you have highly sensitive skin test the essential oil on a small patch of skin first.
- You may want to dilute the essential oil prior to application especially if you have sensitive skin
- Excessive use of any essential oil can lead to skin sensitization. Use should be stopped immediately.
- Keep away from eyes, ears and the nose.
- Due to its high acidic content when applied to the skin a burning sensation can occur especially when it comes into direct contact with the mouth, tongue, open wound or sore. Be cautious when applying in any of these areas
- If taken in large amounts lemon essential oil can induce and cause serious stomach problems; exacerbating acid-peptic disease or stomach ulcer problems.
- Use caution if you have either of these stomach ailments or any other digestive ailment that could be complicated by the use of lemon essential oil.
- Caution should be used by those pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Caution should also be exercised around children especially under the age of 12.
What to Look for when Purchasing Lemon Essential Oil
When it comes to purchasing essential oils it is important to look at the quality of the product that you are purchasing because not all essential oil are made equally. Some manufacturers cheapen their essential oils by adding or diluting the essential oil thus making it not a true essential oil.
Be sure to research the manufacturer you are purchasing your essential oil from; you want to be sure you are purchasing your essential oil from a reputable company. Be sure they harvest the fruit at the appropriate time of year as well as using the proper distilling processes.
Check the ingredients to ensure what is actually in your essential oil. You want the purest form possible; so less is more when it comes to the ingredients list.
Research where the lemons are harvested from to ensure they are proper lemons and not a hybrid of some sort.
Remember that each batch of essential oils will be different from the next as each harvest can be affect by the weather, climate, sunlight and other environmental factors.
Be sure you store your lemon essential oil in a dark glass bottle and away from sunlight in a cool and dark place to ensure the longevity of your oil.
How to Make your own Lemon Essential Oil
When it comes to making lemon essential oil it is a pretty easy process. No complicated distilling method has to be done which makes it much more enjoyable to make for future use. Let’s take a look at how lemon essential oil is made.
What you will need:
- Small glass bottle
- Glass jar
- Olive oil
- Take the lemon and grater; grate the lemon’s peel into a bowl.
- In the glass jar place the grated lemon peel. Fill the jar at least half way.
- Next fill the glass jar up with olive oil.
- Set the glass jar aside to cure for a few days. Place it in a sunny and warm location.
- Be sure to shake the jar a few times a day.
- When ready strain the contents of the jar through a strainer and into a bowl.
- Pour the lemon essential oil into a dark glass bottle and store in a cool dark location.
Hopefully this article has been helpful for you. If you have any questions of comments please let us know in the comment section below.