Scientifically Proven Benefits and Uses of Lemon Oil (Lemon Essential Oil)

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Scientifically Proven Benefits and Uses of Lemon Oil (Lemon Essential Oil)
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Lemon essential oil is a fresh aromatic oil that is good for your skin, improving your brain health, boosting digestion, and invigorating you. To get the health benefits of lemon oil, you can dilute it with a carrier oil to massage onto your skin. You can also use lemon essential oil in a diffuser to inhale its refreshing scent and boost your mood.

Lemon, of course, is a very healthy fruit full of vitamin C. It seems that the benefits of lemon essential oil are just as many as consuming fresh lemons. Lemon oil contains beneficial compounds that have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties.

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As well as lemon essential oil being good to put on your skin, you can add it to water. All you need to do is put a drop or 2 of food grade lemon oil in a glass of drinking water.

In this article, you will learn what science says as to the many reasons to use lemon oil for your health. You will also find out practical ways to use lemon essential oil to improve your skin, get rid of acne, energize your mind, and improve your digestive health.

What Is Lemon Oil (Lemon Essential Oil)?

Lemon essential oil is usually extracted from the peels of lemons (botanical name Citrus limon) using a steam distillation method. Lemon oil is also derived by cold-pressing the lemon peel which is full of goodness. This produces a zesty essential oil that has a distinct lemon smell to it.

Research into the benefits of lemon essential oil has found that its main components are limonene and beta-Pinene. These compounds have a powerful antioxidant activity that helps keep you healthy. Lemon essential oil also contains antimicrobial compounds that kill many germs. (1)

There are various types of extracts apart from lemon essential oil that also have health benefits. For example, lemon extract is usually made by placing lemon peel in alcohol to extract the goodness. Or, you can also buy lemon seed oil.

In this article, I will concentrate on the many beneficial uses for lemon essential oil.

What is Lemon Oil (Lemon Essential Oil) Good For?

The medicinal compounds in lemon essential oil mean that lemon oil has many uses when it comes to your health.

Research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in 2018 confirmed why lemon oil has been used for its therapeutic benefits for centuries. Among some of the reasons why lemon essential oil is good for you, scientists noted some of the following: (2)

  • Lemon oil has carminative compounds that help relieve stress and anxiety
  • Lemon oil contains antioxidants that improve cognitive performance and enhance memory (3)
  • Lemon oil has antibacterial properties that can keep your skin free of germs
  • Lemon essential oil contains water-soluble vitamins that protect your skin from wrinkles and signs of aging
  • Lemon oil has a repellent effect against insects and mosquitoes
  • Lemon oil has the ability to easily penetrate the skin which nourishes the skin when used with other healthy oils

Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil

Let’s look in more detail at the many reasons to use lemon essential oil on your skin, as part of aromatherapy, or to eradicate germs.

Lemon Oil Is Good for Your Skin

One of the best uses for lemon essential oil is to dilute it with other carrier oils to help keep your skin healthy.

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Research has shown that many of the benefits to your skin of using lemon oil are due to its antioxidants. Scientists say that lemon oil has an important role in cosmetic dermatology. Antioxidants in lemon oil help to protect your skin from the visible signs of aging. (4)

Other studies have revealed that antimicrobial properties in lemon oil also help protect your skin from various skin diseases. For example, lemon essential oil can kill off bacteria and germs that can infect cuts and wounds. (5)

Using lemon essential oil as part of your skin care regime also helps to treat boils, blisters, mouth ulcers, and reduce oily skin. (5)

How to use lemon oil for healthy skin

To help treat greasy skin, add 15 drops of lemon essential oil in 1 tablespoon of witch hazel to a cup of rose water and mix well. Use a cotton ball to apply the lemon oil toner to your face to cleanse your skin before going to bed. Store the lemon essential oil toner in a dark-glass bottle.

This natural toner containing lemon oil will also help prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Since lemon oil is a phototoxic, which means that it reacts when exposed to ultraviolet light, avoid putting lemon essential oil on your skin before going out in the sun.

Find out more about the best essential oils for wrinkles and to keep your skin looking youthful.

Lemon Oil Helps Get Rid of Acne

One of the benefits of using lemon essential oil on your face and neck is that it can help treat outbreaks, pimples, and pustules.

Scientific studies have shown that citrus oils such as lemon essential oil are good for treating acne. Citrus oils have an astringent effect and they can kill off bacterial strains that are linked with acne lesions. Lemon essential oil also has an anti-inflammatory effect to reduce redness and swelling in pimples. (6, 7)

How to use lemon essential oil to treat acne

Make an anti-acne mask with lemon oil, lemon juice, and baking soda to cleanse pores and prevent them from clogging up.

Put 3 or 4 drops of lemon essential oil in 1 tablespoon of baking soda and add enough water to create a thick paste. Gently apply the acne facial mask to your face with light circular motions. Leave for 10 minutes to help kill off bacteria and shrink pores. Rinse off with warm water.

Did you know that there are many other essential oils you can use to help get rid of acne pimples?

Lemon Oil is Antimicrobial (Antibacterial and Antifungal)

One of the reasons that lemon essential oil has many uses is because its compounds like limonene kill off bacteria and fungus.

The journal Lipids in Health and Disease reported that lemon essential oil is an effective antimicrobial agent against strains of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli. (8)

Other research has shown that lemon essential oil also kills off strains of Candida fungus and could have potential use in oral hygiene. (9)

How to use lemon essential oil to kill off germs

Use lemon oil as a natural disinfectant to kill germs from work surfaces. Fill a 16-0z. (470 ml) spray bottle with water and add 20 drops of pure lemon oil and 15 drops of tea tree oil. Spray on surfaces to disinfect them and wipe with a clean cloth.

Learn what else you can use around your home as a natural cleaner and alternative to bleach.

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Lemon Oil Strengthens Your Immune System

Using lemon essential oil in aromatherapy could also have a strengthening effect on your immune system.

Low mood levels and depression often cause the immune system to weaken. Researchers have found that deeply inhaling citrus aromas such as lemon oil has an anti-depressive effect. Sniffing the citrus fragrance helped to balance hormones and strengthen the immune system. (10)

How to use lemon essential oil to boost your immune system

To inhale the citrus aromas of lemon to strengthen your immunity, put some lemon oil in your diffuser at home or at work. The lemon scent will help lift your mood and help you feel better.

Find out what else you can do to strengthen your immunity and keep yourself free from infection.

Lemon Oil Helps Reduce Symptoms of Allergies and Asthma

Lemon essential oil benefits you if you suffer from respiratory or breathing problems because it helps to open up your airways.

Scientific studies have revealed that limonene in lemon oil has an anti-inflammatory effect when you inhale it. This lemon compound inhibits allergic responses in the lungs and could have a potential use for treating symptoms of asthma. (11)

One study found that a nasal spray containing lemon essential oil can help treat symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever). (12)

How to use lemon essential oil for allergic rhinitis

To help breathe easier and reduce respiratory inflammation, inhale lemon essential oil directly from the bottle. You could also put a few drops of lemon essential oil on a cotton ball and put on your pillow to support better breathing while you sleep.

If you suffer from asthma or breathing difficulties, learn about other essential oils that can help you.

Lemon Oil Promotes Good Brain Health, Concentration, and Clarity

Antioxidants in lemon essential oil also help to boost cognitive function and help increase mental endurance.

Scientists have found that the positive benefits of inhaling lemon oil include helping to prevent oxidative stress that results in reduced brain function. (13)

Research has found that breathing in lemon aroma actually increases concentration and improves learning ability. For example, a study in Japan found that when lemon aroma was used in the workplace, worker errors decreased by 54%. (14)

You can also use lemon oil as an essential oil for studying because lemon aromas help you concentrate for longer.

How to use lemon essential oil to enhance your brain function

You can improve your concentration levels at work and help get rid of brain fog by diffusing few drops of lemon oil while you are working. You can also use a combination of lemon oil and rosemary essential oil, which has also shown to improve memory and brain function.

As well as using lemon oil to help you concentrate better, there are many other herbs that can boost your brain function.

Lemon Oil Helps Improve Mood

The positive effect of using lemon essential oil in a diffuser to improve cognitive function also helps to boost your mood.

A randomized controlled trial involving 56 men found that lemon aromas have a positive psychological effect. The participants reported experiencing a more positive mood when inhaling lemon essential oil. It was reported that lemon oil had a better effect than lavender as a mood enhancer. (15)

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How to use lemon essential oil boost your mood

Put 4 or 5 drops of lemon oil on a tissue, hold to your nose, and breathe deeply. Continue inhaling the lemon oil vapor to use this essential oil to lift feelings of depression.

Find out what other essential oils can benefit you if you suffer from depression.

Lemon Oil Can Alleviate Stress and Anxiety

You can also use lemon essential oil to cope with stress better because lemon scent is a natural anti-anxiety remedy.

One study involving rats found that long-term exposure to citrusy aromas such as lemon oil had a stress-relieving effect. Breathing in lemon essential oil made significant changes in neurological patterns which are connected with pain and anxiety. (16)

How lemon essential oil can be used to reduce stress

Lemon oil is one of the essential oils that help with anxiety. So, put 5 drops of lemon essential oil in your diffuser at home to help get rid of stress.

You could also dilute lemon oil in a carrier oil to create a stress-relieving massage oil. Mix 4-5 drops of lemon essential oil with a tablespoon of sweet almond oil or other carrier oil. Gently massage the lemon oil into your temples and behind your ears to relieve stress and anxiety.

Alternatively, you could add a few drops of lemon oil diluted in a carrier oil to a warm bath to help relax and lift your mood. Use a ratio of 10-12 drops of essential oil per 1 oz (30 ml) of carrier oil, and add to your bath water.

Please read this article for more ideas on how to get rid of stress and cope with anxiety.

Lemon Oil Can Help Lower Cholesterol

Another of the ways that lemon essential oil benefits your health is that it could help to lower your cholesterol levels.

Researchers observing the effects in rats of taking lemon oil found that limonene has a cholesterol-lowering effect. The study revealed that a combination of antioxidant compounds in lemon oil had a positive effect on cholesterol. (17)

How to use lemon oil to lower cholesterol

There are no studies on humans proving or disproving that lemon oil can bring down levels of cholesterol. However, you can boost your general health by adding 1-2 drops of food grade lemon oil to a glass of water and drinking it 2-3 times a day.

Learn about ways you can improve your cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol naturally.

Lemon Oil is Good for Your Digestive Health

Pure lemon essential oil can also benefit your digestion because its antioxidant compounds protect your gastrointestinal tract.

One study found that limonene from bitter orange essential oil improves gastric mucosa. Limonene has a gastroprotective action on the gut when consumed. The researchers concluded that limonene has a promising use as a therapeutic remedy for gastric damage. (18)

Lemon essential oil in aromatherapy massage could also help increase the number of bowel movements in people with constipation.

One clinical trial involving elderly people found that aromatherapy and an abdominal massage using lemon oil, rosemary, and peppermint resulted in fewer bouts of constipation. (19)

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How to use lemon oil for better digestion

Mix 4 drops of lemon oil, 4 drops of rosemary oil and 3 drops of peppermint oil in 1 oz (30 ml) of a carrier oil and message your belly. You can learn how to do a belly massage in my article about the amazing benefits of abdominal massage according to science.

Lemon Oil Helps to Reduce Feelings of Nausea and Vomiting

Deeply inhaling citrus essential oil from lemon may help you get rid of feeling like you want to throw up.

A randomized controlled trial involving 100 pregnant women found that lemon essential oil aromatherapy helped reduce nausea and vomiting. The women immediately inhaled lemon aroma as soon as they felt nauseous. The lemon essential oil remedy was significantly more effective than not doing anything. (20)

How to use lemon oil if you feel nauseous

Help relieve feelings of nausea and prevent vomiting by sniffing lemon oil directly from the bottle as soon as you feel as if you want to throw up.

Learn more about the causes of stomach issues and what you can do to alleviate nausea after eating.

Lemon Oil Water May Help You Lose Weight

Drinking lemon essential oil in water may help boost your efforts to shed unwanted pounds and shrink your waistline.

Scientists in one trial fed mice a diet supplemented with lemon polyphenols extracted from the peel. Over a 12-week period, the scientists observed that the lemon peel extract helped suppress weight gain and fat accumulation. (21)

Another trial involving rats found that aromatherapy with citrus essential oils such as lemon and grapefruit affected certain nerves that helped inhibit body weight gain. (22)

Although these trials involved rodents, there is evidence that increased water intake can you tackle obesity and help you lose weight. (23)

How to use lemon oil to boost weight loss

Use 1-2 drops of food grade lemon essential oil in a glass of water and drink 2 times a day to help boost your weight-loss efforts.

Learn about more ingredients that you can use to make delicious flat tummy water. These healthy drinks help boost your metabolism and promote healthy weight loss.

Lemon Oil Vapors Have Pain-Relieving Properties

One of the lemon essential oil benefits in aromatherapy is its analgesic properties that can lessen the sensation of pain.

In one lab trial, scientists found that lemon essential oil aromas increased certain chemicals that are connected with pain sensation. The researchers concluded that breathing lemon essential oil vapors has an analgesic (pain relieving) effect. (24)

How to use lemon oil for pain relief

To help soothe pain, mix 3-4 drops of lemon essential oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil or other carrier oil. Gently massage the lemon oil into your temples to help soothe the pain.

Find out about other essential oils to ease pain and reduce inflammation.

Lemon Oil Has Anticancer Properties

The powerful antioxidants in lemon essential oil have benefits when it comes to treating various types of cancer.

Scientific research has shown that limonene from lemon peel extract has the potential to inhibit the growth of some tumors. (25)

Research into the benefits of lemon essential oil shows that its bioactive compounds can help reduce oxidative stress which is connected to diseases such as cancer. (17)

Although there are promising results on the use of lemon essential oil in cancer treatment, more research needs to be carried out.

Other Uses of Lemon Oil

Using lemon essential oil for cleaning purposes

There are various ways that you can use lemon essential oil as a cleaning agent around the home.

For example, you can make an industrial-strength cleaner with lemon essential oil. Add ½ cup of borax to 1 gallon (4 liters) of warm water and mix in 10 drops of lemon oil and 10 drops of tea tree oil. Use the lemon oil cleaner in place of your regular household cleaner.

Use lemon essential oil to get rid of a cold sore

Researchers say that you can use lemon oil for viral infections such as cold sores (fever blisters) and herpes. (5)

Mix 4-5 drops of lemon oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil or other carrier oil. Dab a little of the lemon oil remedy on your lips at the first sign of a cold sore. Apply several times throughout the day and continue using until the cold sore has gone away.

Learn about other natural remedies to treat fever blisters quickly and help prevent them from getting worse.

Use lemon essential oil as a flavoring

You can zest up your food by adding a drop of food grade lemon oil to any recipe. Remember, lemon oil is very concentrated and you will only need a tiny amount to add lemon flavor to any dish.

Use lemon essential oil to get rid of insects

Researchers have found that limonene (the main component of lemon oil) is an insecticide. (26) Other studies have shown that limonene can help eradicate larvae. (27)

Put 10 drops of lemon oil and 10 drops of eucalyptus oil in a 16-Fl.oz. spray bottle filled with water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Shake the bottle well. Spray around windows, doors, and other entry points to your home to help prevent insects from coming in.

Use lemon oil as an air freshener

Fill 16-Fl.oz spray bottle with water and add 8-10 drops each of three different air-freshening essential oils such as lemon, lavender and eucalyptus. Mist spray around your home whenever you want to freshen the air.

Side Effects and Precautions

As with most essential oils, you should not apply lemon essential oil undiluted on your skin. It is a good idea to do a test on a small skin patch to make sure you don’t develop any skin irritation.

Lemon essential oil is great for your skin; however, lemon oil is a phototoxic essential oil. (28) This means that you should avoid putting lemon essential oil on your skin before going out in the sun.

If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This e-book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

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