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A Guide To Kaffir Lime Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

Kaffir lime essential oil (Citrus hystrix) is an uncommon oil also called combava, leech lime, or makrut lime. Two types of this essential oil are available:

Photo of kaffir lime (combava) tree with the words Guide To Kaffir Lime Essential Oil Benefits and Uses.
  • Kaffir lime leaf is steam distilled from the tree's leaves. It's also called kaffir lime petitgrain or combava petitgrain—not to be confused with petitgrain essential oil, which is from the bitter orange tree.
  • Kaffir lime peel is usually steam distilled from the fruit's peel but is sometimes cold expressed from the peel.

Plant family: Rutaceae

Aroma: Citrusy.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Top to middle.

Is kaffir lime safe to use during pregnancy? Consult a professional.

Is kaffir lime essential oil safe for children? Probably, for children age 2+. Consult a professional.

Cautions: Kaffir lime peel that's cold-expressed may cause photosensitivity.

Main components:

Kaffir lime leaf contains mostly citronellal at 58.9–81.5%. Other constituents include citronellyl acetate, isopulegol, sabinene, and linalool.

Kaffir lime peel:

  • beta-pinene 25.9–31.5%
  • sabinene      15.6–20.4%
  • citronellal    0.4–16.8%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Kaffir Lime Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

Kaffir Lime Leaf (Combava Petitgrain)

The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness: The leaf oil stimulates the senses, supports the immune system, and calms and relaxes when you're feeling depressed or anxious. The essential oil is also great in aromatherapy cleaning products.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume 2: Use kaffir lime leaf to help relieve tense and hot conditions with anxiety, agitation, and insomnia and in blends to help reduce arthritic pain.

Essential Oils in Spiritual Practice: Kaffir lime leaf is a catalyst for energetic protection and energetic cord cutting and also supports letting go of limiting thoughts and behavior patterns. The oil supports the third and fourth chakras. This essential oil can help you develop specialization in your desired field so as to cultivate mutually beneficial outcomes and clear inharmonious energies.

Nature in Bottle: Kaffir lime leaf essential oil may help relieve cold or flu-like symptoms. In skin care, this essential oil can benefit oily skin and help reduce acne, when used at an appropriate dilution. The leaf oil also helps manage pain and inflammation, support a healthy immune system, and ease muscle spasms. Emotionally and energetically, the oil refreshes and uplifts and can help deal with situational anxiety and depression.

Aromatherapeutic Blending: Combava petitgrain is indicated for musculoskeletal pain and tension, respiratory support, acne, stress, tension, and insomnia. Suggest essential oils to blend with kaffir leaf oil:

  • To help relieve musculoskeletal pain and tension: black pepper, coriander seed, ginger, lemongrass, nutmeg, plai, turmeric, vetiver, or yuzu.
  • To support the respiratory system: eucalyptus globulus, fragonia, ginger, pink pepper, or sandalwood.
  • To help heal acne: patchouli, sandalwood, white champaca, or ylang ylang.
  • To relieve tension and stress: ginger, lemongrass, palmarosa, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, or ylang ylang.

Uplifting Citrus Forest Diffuser Blend

  • 3 drops kaffir lime leaf essential oil
  • 2 drops geranium essential oil
  • 1 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 1 drops fir needle essential oil

Adapted from Mountain Rose Herbs

Kaffir Lime Peel

Essential Oils: A Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice: Kaffir lime peel is a stimulating, activating oil that may help alleviate depression and stress.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume 2: The peel oil is a stimulant decongestant for congestive/damp condition of the liver and gall bladder.

Aromatics: To help relieve queasiness, make an aromatherapy inhaler using kaffir lime peel essential oil. To improve your energy and help relieve melancholy, diffuse the essential oil.

Aromatherapeutic Blending: Combava peel is indicated for musculoskeletal pain, respiratory support, low mood, depression, and stress. Suggested essential oils to blend with the peel oil:

  • To relieve musculoskeletal pain, inflammation, and tension: clove bud, lemongrass, plai, sandalwood, or turmeric.
  • To support the respiratory system: eucalyptus globulus, fragonia, ginger, pink pepper, or sandalwood.
  • To relieve low mood, depression, or stress: clary sage, coriander seed, geranium, patchouli, rosemary, sandalwood, or ylang ylang.

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Photo Credit: peganum from Small Dole, England, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons