Hello dear friends!
Next up in my series of my most-loved essential oils comes something bright and fresh- the loveliness of lemon! We started out with peppermint, in all its tingly invigorating glory, and talked about my favorite ways to utilize it for both physical and mental health as well as around the house. And now it’s time for another of my top five wonder oils…
You may be familiar with lemon essential oil in terms of cleaning products or perhaps you spike your own solutions yourself to freshen the bathroom or kitchen. I know for me, it’s one of my favorite oils to throw around the house when things need cleansing or a change in energy. I love lemon so much, I incorporated it into three of my custom oil blends (psst- head over here to check them out!) and I feel that it’s a highly underrated workhorse in the essential oil world.
Lemon (or Citrus limon) is a popular fruit that grows prolifically in arid and Mediterranean climates, often in huge fragrant orchards. To preserve the flavor and brightness, the rinds are cold-pressed to extract the oil, and it takes approximately 75 lemons to make 15 ml of lemon essential oil. That’s some powerful stuff! But luckily, since it is such a common fruit, the oil is always reasonably priced which means you can pick up a pretty big bottle for under $10. Which is awesome, since it has about a hundred uses.
From a medicinal standpoint, this little yellow beauty packs a serious punch- it has strong antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions and uplift the mind. It has even been dubbed the “rational oil” by some, for it’s powerful effects to even the train of thought, increase awareness, and encourage mental fortitude. Some companies have even taken to using lemon oil diffusers around the office to increase productivity and reduce errors among their staff!
As with most citrus, lemon is great at dissolving a bad mood. It’s cheery and bright, uplifting and detoxifying, and makes for a wonderful addition to the collection of anyone who is suffering from chronic illnesses. I’ve found that it’s great for helping me break through my regular “funks” and find motivation and optimism again when things are tough. There’s just something so enlivening about this sunny little fruit and to be honest, my chronic fatigue puts me at a serious disadvantage in the enlivening department.
Lemon has a nice range of positive effects:
· Clears problem skin
· Cuts through grease and dirt
· Eats through tough odors
· Increases motivation
· Brightens the mood
· Amplifies awareness
· Lends flavor to water and food
· Repels bugs and pests
· Blends well with most other oils
· Freshens breath
· Cools and detoxifies the body (great for ayurvedic Pitta types like me!)
· Sanitizes hard surfaces
· Supports the immune system
There’s so much good stuff, it’s hard to know where to start using this citrusy gem! You can always count on lemon oil to get you out of a sticky pickle or other not-so-fun situations like:
· Acne- prone skin
· Overly oily scalp
· Grease-laden stovetop
· Musty smelling dryer
· Difficulty concentrating
· Pungent trash cans
· Mild depression
· Transient feelings of apathy
· Bland cooking oils or dressings
· Frequent colds
If you think of it from a purely energetic standpoint, lemon oil makes it grow upwards and outwards! It’s awesome for standing tall, opening your arms wide, and embracing mental spaciousness. Which can really come in handy when dealing with the sadness, apathy, and constricted feelings that often accompany chronic illnesses, or even cyclical ones like PMS or SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
You may discover your own unique and wonderful ways to use this oil, but here are just a handful of things I like to do with my lemon:
· Add a few drops to my all-purpose cleaning spray
· Use in a diffuser along with eucalyptus and clove during flu season
· Drop some into my laundry detergent
· Blend several drops into my facial oil or cream when breakouts are a concern
· Mix with my favorite light cooking oil for a new culinary twist
· Dilute one drop into salty water for a sore throat gargle
· Blend with grapefruit, bergamot, jasmine, and carrier oil in a roller ball
· Dilute into water in a spray bottle for a natural febreze
· Add a few drops to my shampoo when my scalp gets too oily
· Blend with lime or lemongrass oil to bust through sticky residue
· Add a few drops to a rosewater toner to make a face mist during the summer
· Throw a drop into tea for seasonal detoxing
· Put a few drops into low-VOC paint to minimize the smelly fumes
· Blend with tea tree, lavender, and carrier oil in roller ball for bites and stings
As you can see, those few bucks you’ll drop on a bottle of lemon oil will be cash well spent! The bright little citrus fruit can bring a feeling of joy, lightness, and refreshment to your life when used correctly. And while I’m on that subject, because it’s so powerful, lemon oil needs to be handled with care:
Never put pure lemon oil on your skin! The super astringent effects can damage, burn, and severely dry it out- so always dilute in either a carrier oil or lotion before using topically. Also beware it can cause photosensitivity (sensitivity to the sun) so use extra sunscreen when out and about! Always check the purity of your oils and if you plan to use them either on your body or take them internally, invest in the highest quality 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils.
What are some of your favorite uses for lemon oil? Has it helped lift your mood and brighten your perspective?
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~