Updated: Aug 8, 2018
Botanical name: Citrus Limon
Believed to have originated from India, lemons were introduced to the Middle East around 100 AD by Arab traders, but did not reach Europe until the eleventh or twelfth century via the Crusades. They arrived in the New World with Spanish and Portuguese explorers from the late fifteenth century. Naturally high in vitamin C, they were used by the British Navy to counteract the risk of scurvy on long sea voyages.
Lemons grow from a small evergreen tree which grows up to 20ft / 6m high with serrated oval leaves, stiff thorns and fragrant flowers. The fruit ripens from green to yellow. The 'essential' oil is extracted by cold expression from the outer part of the fresh peel.
Lemon essential oil stands out for having highly antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Its potency is due to its most prominent component,
d-limonene. With a sharp, fruity, invigorating and uplifting aroma this oil has a variety of uses, some of which are listed below:
Used in aromatherapy for its uplifting yet calming citrus fragrance - good to use in a diffuser / oil burner, therapeutic massage or bath.
A natural powerful cleaner / disinfectant - a fantastic alternative to bleach which is very harsh! It can be used for cleaning metal surfaces, dishes, and clothes. For a homemade all-purpose vinegar cleaner: Add 20 drops of lemon essential oil to 8oz distilled water, 8oz (190 proof) grain alcohol and 8oz white vinegar will make a very effective cleaner with a beautiful fresh scent. Great for ridding worktops of germs and cleaning the shower!
With the help of a drop or two of lemon essential oil, remove sticky marks, gum, oil and grease stains from surfaces!
Used for skincare
Useful for the treatment of warts, corns and verrucas - applying to the affected area on a regular basis can improve the appearance of these annoyances. Effective treatment for acne, greasy skin, brittle nails, chilblains, boils, herpes, insect bites, mouth ulcers, throat infections and tonsillitis.
For muscles, joints and circulation - To improve high blood pressure, poor circulation, arthritis, varicose veins and rheumatism.
For the Respiratory System - For allergies, hay fever, asthma, catarrh and bronchitis.
The Immune system - Colds, flu, reducing fever and infections.
For the digestive system - Dyspepsia.
Blends beautifully with chamomile, juniper, lavender, rose and sandalwood.
Phototoxic: Avoid sunlight and sunbeds for at least 12 hours after use on the skin
Storage: Store in a cool area to maintain optimum freshness - avoid oils that are oxidised and old. Preferably keep in the fridge.
Dilution: Ensure that you properly dilute with a maximum dermal use of 2%.
Please seek professional advice if considering taking essential oils internally.
Finally, always make sure you buy from a reputable company, organically sourced. Ensure oils are 100% pure, unfiltered and free of chemicals and toxins. Ensure the botanical name (i.e Citrus Limon) is on the bottle. If you see the word 'fragrance' on the bottle steer clear as this generally would mean there are other additives.