Lemons are a beloved fruit in the culinary world thanks to their tangy flavor and high vitamin C content, but believe it or not, lemon essential oil has a wide range of benefits too. But what is lemon essential oil, and how should you be using it in your home?
From its fresh scent to its antibacterial properties, lemon essential oil is a must-have in any home.
So, let’s get to the juicy details of what exactly this oil is all about and how you can start taking advantage of all of its benefits today.
What is Lemon Essential Oil?
Essential oils are highly-concentrated plant extracts that are typically used for therapeutic or aromatic purposes. They’re made by distilling or cold-pressing the leaves, flowers, stems, or roots of various plants.
Lemon essential oil is made by cold-pressing the rind of fresh lemons, which releases the aromatic compounds and produces a bright, citrusy oil.
Whether you’re imagining a tall glass of iced lemonade on a hot summer day or the zingy scent of lemon cleaning products, there’s just something about lemons that screams “refreshing”. So it’s no surprise that lemon essential oil has become a staple in the world of aromatherapy.
What Does Lemon Essential Oil Look and Smell Like?
Let’s start by talking about the smell – because it’s absolutely divine. Lemon essential oil has a bright, citrus scent that can lift just about anyone’s mood. The oil is typically yellow or green in color and has a thin, watery consistency.
You might think that the oil is made from lemon juice, but it’s not. Lemon essential oil is actually made by steaming the peel of the lemon, which is why it has that lovely, concentrated aroma.
Where Does it Come From?
The short answer is lemon essential oil comes from lemons, but the long answer is a bit more complicated than that.
While lemons are grown all over the world, the top producers of lemon essential oil are Italy, Spain, and the United States. The essential oil can be found in a variety of products like candles, cleaning supplies, and even beauty products.
What is Lemon Essential Oil Good For?
While lemons are a common household ingredient, many people may not be aware of the versatility of lemon essential oil.
One of the primary uses of lemon essential oils is for aromatherapy. The invigorating scent of lemon essential oils may uplift your mood, relieve stress and promote relaxation. You can use a diffuser to release the scent in the air or add a few drops of oil to a hot bath for a stress-relieving soak.
Lemon essential oil is a great addition to your skincare routine. It’s said to be beneficial in treating acne and brightening skin in age spots.
You can mix a few drops of lemon essential oil with your holy grail moisturizer or create a toner by diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil. Nourishing your skin with this essential oil has the potential to lead to bright and glowing skin. You can even make a sugar scrub!
This essential oil is also an excellent natural option for household cleaning. The citrus-based components of the oil act as a natural disinfectant. You can mix a few drops of lemon essential oil with water and vinegar to make your all-purpose cleaner. This mixture can be used for dishwashing, countertop cleaning, and floor cleaning.
And don’t forget about its many applications in the kitchen! Unlike lemon juice, lemon essential oil is highly concentrated that you only need a few drops to enhance the flavor of your dish or drinks. You can add a drop or two to citrusy marinades, stirfries, or vinaigrettes for a tangy punch.
Last but not least, lemon essential oil can be used as a natural and lovely air freshener. You can add a few drops of lemon essential oil to an oil diffuser so that it can create a refreshing scent in your home.
What Are the Touted Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil?
Let’s start with the good news – there are plenty of benefits to using lemon essential oil. One major advantage is that it may help to boost your mood and improve mental clarity. The fresh, citrusy scent is uplifting and energizing, making it a potentially great choice for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, or low energy levels.
In fact, research has found that inhaling lemon essential oil may improve cognitive function and increase feelings of well-being.
Another benefit of lemon essential oil is its digestive support properties. The oil is believed to have a natural antispasmodic effect that may soothe the digestive tract and relieve symptoms of indigestion, bloating, and gas. It may also help to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which may improve nutrient absorption and optimize gut health.
Lemon essential oil also has natural antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it a great choice for fighting off infections and boosting immunity. Research has found that lemon essential oil may help to kill harmful bacteria and viruses, including those that cause colds, flu, and respiratory infections. It’s also a popular choice for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces around the home.
What Are the Disadvantages of Lemon Essential Oil?
While lemon essential oil is generally considered safe for most people to use topically or aromatically, there are a few things to be aware of. For starters, lemon essential oil can be photosensitive, meaning it may cause skin sensitivity and sunburn when exposed to sunlight. This is why it’s important to avoid using it topically before spending time in the sun.
It may also be irritating to the skin and mucous membranes in some people, particularly those with sensitive skin or respiratory issues. It’s always a good idea to do a patch test before using any new essential oil and to dilute it with a carrier oil to reduce the risk of irritation.
Finally, lemon essential oil may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before using it if you’re on any prescription medications.
Are There Any Substitutes for Lemon Essential Oil?
Despite the many benefits of lemon essential oil, there are some cases in which it may not be accessible to everyone – or you may want to experiment with new scents. Fear not! There are plenty of alternatives to lemon essential oil that you can use in your daily life.
Lemongrass essential oil has a bright and tangy scent that has a lot in common with lemon essential oil. It is made by distilling the leaves and stems of the lemongrass plant. In aromatherapy, it is commonly used to uplift the mood, relieve stress, and ease muscle pain.
Lemongrass essential oil is also a great choice if you’re looking for an insect repellent, as it is known to ward off mosquitoes and other insects.
Another good option is mandarin oil. Mandarin essential oil is a close relative to both lemon and orange essential oils. Its sweet, citrusy aroma makes it an excellent substitute for lemon essential oil. Mandarin essential oil is also widely used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation and relieve anxiety.
Next up is bergamot. Bergamot essential oil is made from the rind of the bergamot orange, a type of citrus fruit. It has a unique, powdery scent that is often used in perfumery. Bergamot essential oil is versatile and can be used as a substitute for lemon essential oil in skincare and aromatherapy.
Other good options also fall in the citrus family, including grapefruit and lime.
What is the Shelf Life of Lemon Essential Oil?
On average, lemon essential oil will maintain its potency for about 2-3 years if stored correctly.
After that point, the oil will start to degrade and lose some of the benefits that fresh lemon oil provides. However, if you follow the guidelines below, you may be able to get even more time out of your lemon oil.
How to Store Lemon Essential Oil
Proper storage is the key to a long shelf life for any essential oil, including lemon. Keep your bottle of lemon essential oil in a cool, dark place, away from any sources of sunlight or heat.
Heat and light can both speed up the oxidation process, which can cause your oil to lose its effectiveness. A cabinet or drawer in a cool room is an ideal place to store your lemon oil. If you have a large bottle that you won’t be using all at once, consider storing it in smaller bottles to minimize the amount of air that comes into contact with the oil.
Another tip for extending the shelf life of your lemon essential oil is to avoid exposure to air as much as possible. Oxygen can also contribute to the oxidation process, which can cause your oil to lose potency more quickly.
When you’re using your oil, make sure to close the cap tightly, rather than leaving it open for extended periods of time.
If you live in an area with high humidity, you may want to take extra steps to protect your essential oils. Moisture in the air can cause your oil to degrade more quickly. Consider investing in a dehumidifier for the room where you store your oils, or placing a packet of silica gel in the drawer or cabinet where you keep them.
Lemon essential oil is a versatile and natural remedy that offers a range of benefits.
From cleaning products to skincare, natural insect repellent to – let’s face it – it just smells great!, lemon essential oil is a must-have in every household.
Be sure to add it to your essential oil collection and start enjoying its refreshing fragrance (and many other benefits) today.Links on this page may be affiliate links, for which the site earns a small commission, but the price for you is the same