You may be used to putting wedges of lemon in your drinks or cooking with lemon juice, but did you know you can also get lemon essential oil too?
Lemon oil comes from the fruit of lemon trees, which are native to Asia and were reportedly used by ancient Indians and the Egyptians and Romans to treat infectious diseases. These trees are believed to have been brought to Europe in the Middle Ages and the fruit was once used by sailors to protect against scurvy and vitamin deficiencies.1
How is it made?
Lemon essential oil is a completely natural ingredient that’s made by extracting the peel from fresh lemon and using a cold press to prick and rotate the peel. This process releases the natural lemon oil.2
Interestingly, lemon trees are harvested in the summer for their fruit, and in the winter to make lemon essential oil and lemon juice.3
How long have people been using lemon essential oil for?
Both lemons and lemon essential oil have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to treat all sorts of health issues. Today, lemon essential oil is widely used in perfumery and cooking and to help improve concentration, among many other things.4
How can it be used?
There’s so much you can do with lemon oil. You can:
Clean with it
Add 5 to 6 drops of lemon oil to 1oz of water in a spray bottle to clean, disinfect and deodorise countertops, sinks, tables, wood cutting boards, appliances and other surfaces. For greasy cookers, counters and dishes, mix 20 drops of lemon oil with 1 cup of white vinegar in a 16oz spray bottle and fill to the top with water.5
Infuse your laundry
With the citrusy freshness of lemons by adding 5 to 8 drops of lemon oil to the rinse cycle when washing clothes and towels.6
Put 3 to 4 drops into a diffuser and breathe in the fresh and citrusy aroma.7
Dilute 5 drops of lemon essential oil with 10ml of Miaroma base oil.8
Bathe in it
Run a warm bath and then add in 4 to 6 drops of lemon oil. Then relax in the bath for at least 10 minutes to allow the aroma to work.
Breathe it in directly from the bottle.
Fill a spray bottle with half a cup of water and 8 drops of lemon oil, 8 drops of tea tree and 8 drops of eucalyptus essential oils to create a room spray that will help eliminate stale odours.9
Lemon essential oil benefits
Lemon oil has antiseptic and energising, as well as calming powers.10 As a result, there are lots of benefits to using it, including these:11
- Reduce feelings of anxiety – according to a study carried out on mice in 2006, lemon essential oil was proven to have powerful calming and mood-improving qualities. The same research also found it to be a better stress reliever than lavender and rose oils.12
- Aid breathing – thanks to its Vitamin C and antioxidant properties that can potentially help clear the nasal passages13
- Aid natural healing – lemon essential oil contains vitamin C, antioxidants and has antimicrobial properties. Diluted lemon oil can be used to sanitise cuts and scrapes.14
- Improve mood – as well as helping with anxiety, research has found that inhaling the aroma of lemon essential oil can help elevate mood levels.15
- Reduce breakouts – due to its antiseptic properties, lemon essential oil can help restore the skin’s natural balance and reduce excess sebum.16
How to use it safely
Always do a patch test to make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin and always dilute it first with a carrier oil before putting it on your skin. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to use it.17
Citrus oils, such as lemon oil, have also been known to increase skin sensitivity in the sun. Lemon oil should never be applied immediately before going out in the sun and sunscreen should always be used to help prevent sunburn.18
Some interesting facts about lemons and lemon oil
- Lemons are widely referred to as being the ‘fruit of health’19
- Lemon essential oil is called Liquid Sunshine because of its vibrant colour, refreshing scent and the burst of energy it provides20
- Almost 1,000 lemons go into making 1lb of lemon oil21
- Lemon oil is the most powerful anti-microbial activity of all the essential oils22
We hope you’ve found this guide to lemon oil useful. For more lemon insight read, ‘How lemon juice can help your skin.’
Last updated: 11 September 2020