Lemon is best known for it’s ability to cleanse toxins from any part of the body and is widely used to stimulate lymph drainage, to rejuvenate energy, purify skin and act as a bug repellant.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology last year, lemon oil may actually be the most powerful anti-microbial agent of all the essential oils.
Another study published in Experimental Biology and Medicine found that breathing in the scent of lemon essential oils improved neurological activity that promotes the breakdown of body fat.
Lemon oil is one of the most “essential” oils to have on hand and can be used as teeth whitener, laundry freshener, cellulite cream, face wash and household cleaner.
From what we can tell, Ayurvedic medicine has been using both lemons and lemon essential oil to treat a wide spectrum of health conditions for at least 1,000 years. The health benefits of lemon essential oil have been well established scientifically.
Lemon Oil Benefits
According to Alva’s Ayurveda Medical College assistant professor Dr. J.V. Hebbar, the benefits of lemon include:
- Cleansing and purification
- Oral health and remedy for halitosis (bad breath)
- Thirst quencher
- Remedy for abdominal colic pain
- Cough relief
- Calms stomach and relieves nausea
- Prevents malabsorption
- Improves digestion
- Nourishes the skin
- Promotes Weight loss
Lemon and lemon essential oil are also used to decrease cholesterol deposition in the blood vessels and prevent heart disease!
Top 10 Lemon Essential Oil Uses
As you’d probably expect, there is a laundry list of lemon oil uses in addition to all of these medicinal effects. Here are some of my favorites:
- Laundry – In case you leave your laundry sitting in the washer too long, just add a few drop of lemon EO and your clothes won’t get that nasty smell.
- Teeth Whitener – Mix lemon essential oil, baking soda and coconut oil and rub on your teeth for 2 minutes and then dense as a natural teeth whitener.
- Clean Hands – Got greasy hands from working on your car or bike and regular soap isn’t doing the trick? No worries, just add a couple drops of lemon EO with your soap and get your clean hands back!
- Natural Disinfectant – Want to steer away from alcohol and bleach to disinfect your countertops and clean your moldy shower? Add 40 drops lemon oil and 20 drops tea tree oil to a 16-oz spray bottle fill with pure water (and a little bit of white vinegar) for a traditional cleaning favorite.
- Face-wash – Lemon essential oil uses for skin can can improve your complexion and leave your skin soft and supple. Lemon oil benefits skin by deeply nourishing. You can make lemon oil with baking soda and honey for a natural acne free face wash.
- Wood and Silver Polish – A lemon oil-soaked cloth will also help spruce up your tarnished silver and jewelry! Lemon oil for wood cleaning is also great.
- Goo-Be-Gone – Un-stick the sticky goo your kids leave behind with stickers and gum with lemon oil.
- Promotes Fat-Loss – Putting 2 drops of lemon oil in your water 3x daily can support metabolism and weight loss.
- Improves Mood – Diffusing lemon essential oil in the air can lift mood and fight depression.
- Immune Support – Lemon oil can support lymphatic drainage and help your overcome a cold fast, mix it with coconut oil and rub it on your neck.
Lemon Oil Research
At the time I wrote this article, there were 519 scientific studies referring to lemon essential oils. The secret to lemon’s success appears to be d-limonene, a powerful cancer fighting antioxidant.
Some reports even speculate that lemon oil contains up to 70% d-limonene! It’s no wonder that science is quickly catching up to 1,000 years of therapeutic use and is finally confirming many of the various Ayurvedic medical applications of lemon essential oil.
Another important thing to note, lemon essential oil comes from the cold-pressing the lemon peel and not the inner fruit. The peel is the most nutrient dense portion of the lemon in terms of fat soluble phytonutrients.
A study was published this past March that evaluated how lemon aromatherapy affects pregnant women during bouts of nausea and vomiting.
Astoundingly, of the 100 women that participated in the study, reports of symptoms dramatically decreased just after 2 days compared to the placebo group. After 4 days the essential oil group experienced an average of 33% decrease in nausea and vomiting!
Regarding lemon oil supplementation, researchers from the Central Food Technological Research Institute in India took a look at how geraniol (a powerful phytonutrient found in lemon) can help reverse diabetic neuropathy.
It was discovered that sciatic nerve damage were markedly reduced by lemon oil (geraniol) supplementation. Interesting, cellular function was also restored during the 8-week study, which suggests that regular lemon essential oil usage can help regulate our energy stores and play a role in preventing disease, cardiac dysfunction and premature aging.
If this weren’t enough, the researchers also observed that depleted dopamine levels were improved which helps people overcome addictions and improves mood to fight depression.
And let’s not forget about cleaning and food protection. In a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it was discovered that by adding lemon essential oils to food it protected the food against human pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella. Which is another reason why lemon essential oil is an ideally household cleaner.
Finally, lemon oil for skin health is also research and popular today. Lemon essential oil benefits for skin can include reducing acne, nourishing damaged skin and hydrating skin. Use lemon oil on the skin with baking soda or with raw honey as a natural homemade face facewash cleanser.
If you want to learn more about the incredible health benefits of essential oils, check out this free Dr. Axe’s Guide to Essential Oils.
How do YOU use lemon essential oil?