Lemons are known for being nutrient powerhouses, but what many don’t know is that their peels are even more powerful. Lemon essential oil comes from cold-pressing lemon peels, which are the most nutrient dense part of the lemon.
Lemon oil is a powerful detoxifier with antimicrobial action and an energy-boosting aroma. Besides promoting health and beauty, lemon oil also serves useful functions around the home.
Lemon essential oil benefits and uses
1. Antimicrobial agent
A research study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that lemon oil was the most powerful antimicrobial agent out of all the essential oils.
This makes it great for household cleaning, as it protects you from a host of health-threatening bacteria, like E. coli and Salmonella.
To make a lemon oil cleaner that disinfects surfaces but doesn’t leave toxic residue behind, fill an empty cleaning spray bottle with distilled white vinegar and add 10 to 15 drops of lemon oil. Your home will smell like fresh citrus.
This cleaner also works to repel insects, since insects can’t stand the aroma of lemon oil.
Because of lemon oil’s antimicrobial abilities, it can also be taken internally and gently cleanse your organs.
It’s been found to detoxify the liver, kidneys and digestive system by killing pathogens, boosting circulation and working as an astringent.
You can take lemon oil in capsules or add 3 drops to an 8-ounce glass of water. Add raw honey to improve the taste and provide an extra detox boost.
For the best results, take lemon oil in the morning before food.
3. Immune booster
Lemon essential oil can also protect your body from viruses like colds and flus by giving your immune system a boost.
It’s rich in vitamin C and contains properties that stimulate the production of white blood cells, which kill off infections.
When you feel cold or flu symptoms coming on, you can dilute 3 drops of lemon oil in 8 ounces of water and mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw honey.
Drink this once a day to boost your immune system. You can also add a few drops of lemon oil to boiling-hot water in a mug or bowl and inhale the vapors until the water cools.
4. Sore throat and bad breath reliever
Another way you can use lemon oil as a natural remedy when you’re sick is to soothe a painful sore throat and kill the germs that are causing it.
Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a small glass of warm water and gargle with the mixture, then spit it out and repeat until it’s used up or until you feel relief.
Lemon oil works as an oral antiseptic, so to kill bacteria and leave your mouth smelling fresh, add 3 drops of lemon oil to a small amount of water and swish it around as a mouthwash.
5. Canker sore treatment
To treat a canker sore, apply a drop or two of lemon oil to a cotton swab and put it directly onto the site.
This reduces pain and inflammation while killing off the bacteria causing the sore, so that it heals faster.
6. Gum, label and crayon remover
Besides using it as a disinfectant, you can also use lemon oil to remove gum from hair or carpet, and to remove the residue from old labels stuck on jars and bottles.
If you have little kids, chances you’ve experienced crayon markings on your walls. Instead of scrubbing them to no avail, use lemon oil as a quick crayon eraser.
Just apply a drop of lemon oil to your finger and use it to easily rub off the crayon marks.
7. Hair tonic
Lemon oil’s rich supply of nutrients makes it a great tonic for strengthening and beautifying your hair. It eliminates dandruff and leaves you with a healthy shine.
Dilute lemon oil at a 1:1 ratio with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and massage it onto your scalp, working your way through your hair from the roots.
You don’t have to get your hair soaking with the tonic, because the oils are powerful and a small amount that just lightly greases your hair is enough to do the job.
Coconut oil, in particular, is known to nourish and condition hair, which makes it a great addition to lemon oil. Let the tonic sit for 20 to 30 minutes, and then wash out.
8. Skin treatment
As a vitamin-rich astringent, lemon oil can help you with various skin complaints, including dry skin, oily skin and acne.
Lemon oil works to remove dead skin cells while nourishing and detoxifying living cells. Add a few drops of lemon oil to a facial cleanser to give it a boost.
When you have a pimple, use a cotton swab to apply a drop or two of lemon oil directly onto it. Continue applying it every couple of hours until it’s gone.
Lemon oil can also soften tough skin and heal calluses, corns and bunions when you massage it directly onto the area.
9. Mood, energy and concentration booster
Lemon essential oil is widely revered for its aromatic benefits. When used as aromatherapy, it improves your mood, counteracts depression, energizes your mind and boosts your focus by increasing dopamine levels.
Add a few drops to a diffuser to help you wake up in the morning or to give yourself a pick-me-up during the day.
To create a lemon oil aromatherapy spray for your home, combine 6 tablespoons of water with 2 tablespoons of alcohol (vodka works well) and add 10 drops of lemon oil.
Alternatively, you can add 5 drops of lemon oil and 5 drops of another aromatic oil, such as lavender, and wear this spray as a perfume.
10. Nausea reliever
Lemon oil has been found to suppress nausea, and it’s known to be safe for pregnant women.
A study on pregnant woman found that participants experienced significant decreases in morning sickness after taking lemon oil for just 2 days.
Add 3 drops to a glass of water and mix it with raw honey.
Besides drinking it, using a diffuser to take in the aroma can also provide relief.
Otherwise, you can mix lemon oil with a carrier oil at a 1:1 ratio and apply it to your feet. Your feet will absorb the oil and give you the same nausea-relieving effect.
11. Heartburn and indigestion reliever
Lemon oil is highly alkaline and works as a powerful acid buster.
Dilute 3 drops of lemon oil into a glass of warm water and drink it as a natural remedy for heartburn or indigestion.
12. Cancer fighting agent
Amazing research has been published about d-limonene, a compound found abundantly in lemon oil.
D-limonene has shown to detoxify carcinogens from tissue and thereby prevent the formation or growth of tumors.
In lab studies on rats, it’s even caused the regression of mammary carcinomas, which are present in breast cancer patients.
Lemon oil is one of the best essential oils to keep on hand at home because of its many incredible uses.
Using it as a household cleaner reduces your exposure to harmful chemicals and helps out the environment.
By using lemon essential oil as a natural remedy, whether for canker sores, sore throats or heartburn, you avoid the toxins and side effects that come with taking medications.
Be sure to opt for a certified pure essential oil if you plan to ingest lemon oil.