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Guide To Lemon Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

"Lemon clarifies everything through upliftment and focus… The spiritual cleansing of lemon enables the entire psyche to react to the positivity in mortal as well as divine love," writes Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. She says the emotional benefits of lemon essential oil (Citrus x limon) are to encourage clarity, direction, awareness, concentration, and liveliness.

A Guide To Lemon Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses | Top photo of lemons. Bottom photo of essential oil dropping into water.

Basic Lemon Facts

Plant family: Rutaceae

Production: Mechanically expressed from the peels of lemons. (Steam-distilled lemon oil is available but not commonly used in aromatherapy.)

Aroma: Bright, refreshing, uplifiting, lemony

Perfume/Aromatic note: Top

Is lemon safe to use during pregnancy? Yes, according to Aromatherapy and Massage For Mother and Baby.

Is lemon safe for children? Yes, but do not apply to the skin of babies.

Cautions: When applied to the skin, lemon essential oil can cause skin to become photosensitive. That means your skin is more likely to burn when exposed to UV light from the sun or tanning beds.

The risk of photosensitivity from lemon is low if you use no more than a two percent dilution (2 drops essential oil in one teaspoon carrier oil), according to Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand. Otherwise, avoid direct sun and tanning beds for at least 12 hours after applying lemon to your skin.

Avoid old or oxidized lemon oils, as they may cause skin sensitization.

Note: Distilled lemon does not cause photosensitivity.

Main components:

Cold-Pressed Lemon

  • (+)-limonene      56.6–76.0%
  • beta-pinene        6.0–17.0%
  • gamma-terpinene 3.0–13.3%

Distilled Lemon

  • (+)-limonene      64.0–70.5%
  • beta-pinene        8.2–14.0%
  • gamma-terpinene 8.4–10.7%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Lemon Aromatherapy Benefits

Lemon oil is known for its clean, energizing, and invigorating aroma. The Heart of Aromatherapy states, "Lemon is passionate about helping people experience each day as a vibrant slice of life." The book lists the following  lemon essential oil benefits:

  • Clears mucous and congestion
  • Energizes and inspires
  • Has cleaning properties
  • Helps reduce swelling and pain
  • Soothes allergies and sinus congestion
  • Supports the respiratory system and immune system

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Lemon is an antioxidant, preservative, and antiseptic. Lemon essential oil for skin and hair care works best for oily skin and hair and skin impurities.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Use lemon to help relieve digestive problems, loss of appetite, cellulite, flu, sore throat, laryngitis, exhaustion, fatigue, anxious depression, nervous tension, and inability to concentrate or focus.

The Fragrant Mind: Lemon promotes joy, emotional clarity, awareness, concentration, and clarity of thought. It helps relieve apathy, lethargy, bad attitudes, mental blocks, irrationality, and fear.

Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy: Lemon oil has a refreshing scent that stimulates the liver and has a gentle, calming effect. This oil is perhaps the most effective essential oil for disinfecting room air using a diffuser.

Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine lemon is cool and dry and clears heat, dampness, and phlegm. "It is one of the best oils to decongest, cleanse, and detoxify."

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume I: Psychologically, lemon stimulates the mind, promotes alertness and optimism, and promotes discernment and foresight. Physically, the essential oil is restorative and decongestant. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of lemon is to raise the clear Yang, resolve damp, and strengthen the Shen.

The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing: Spiritually, lemon connects you with your divine nature. Mentally, the essential oil enhances clarity and focus. Emotionally, the oil promotes self-confidence.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Lemon clears and cleanses. It clarifies, uplifts, and invigorates the mind. The oil is especially useful for the sixth chakra, where the scent promotes objectivity, concentration, and mental vitality.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic: Lemon provides a clear perspective when preparing for divination and dealing with everyday problems. The oil raises awareness, which increases psychic abilities and inspires movement to a higher spiritual plane.

Lemon Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Uses for lemon essential oil include diffusing it to create a more focused environment or uplifting atmosphere.

Lemon Essential Oil for Cleaning

Lemon oil in cleaning solutions helps get rid of germs while leaving behind a fresh, clean scent:

  • Make a lemon air freshener: Put 10 to 20 drops in about two cups of distilled water in a fine spray bottle. Shake well and spray into the air. Do not spray directly on wood, velvet, or silk.

  • Freshen drawers or other small spaces: Saturate cotton balls with lemon oil and place them in the corners of a room, in cupboards, or in out-of-the-way places (out of reach of children and pets).

  • Use as toilet cleaner: Stir 2 drops lemon into 2 tablespoons baking soda and use mixture to scrub toilet.

  • Add a few drops to your floor, window, or surface cleaning solutions.

  • Freshen your carpet cleaning: To one gallon of carpet cleaning solution, add 10–15 drops of lemon oil.
  • Make lemon oil furniture polish. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon essential oil to 1/2 cup olive oil. Apply a small amount to wood furniture and buff well.

General Purpose Cleaning Spray

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons liquid castile soap
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 30 drops lemon
  • 25 drops orange essential oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil

Blend all ingredients in an eight-ounce (240 ml) spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spot test delicate surfaces.

Lemon Essential Oil for Skin Care

Use lemon in blends for oily skin or blemishes. Best used at night.

To soothe or prevent corns, callous, or bunions, rub lemon oil on the area twice a day.

Pet Care

Lemon essential oil may help repel fleas and ticks on dogs. To make a flea and tick spray, add about 25 drops of lemon oil to eight ounces of distilled water. Shake well and mist a little of the blend on your dog, avoiding the eyes. You can also spray this mixture anywhere you think bugs may be breeding.

Uplifting Blend

This lemon essential oil recipe is said to attract joy and happiness:

  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 5 drops orange essential oil

Use a few drops in an aromatherapy diffuser or make an air spray by combining the oils with distilled water in a two-ounce spray bottle.

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Photo Credits: Lemons from Pixabay and essential oil bottle from 123RF.