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Lemon essential oil is a completely natural ingredient that also serves as a home health remedy. It’s extracted from the peel of fresh lemons using a “cold-pressing” process to release the oils.
Did you know it takes approximately 75 lemons to make one 15-ml bottle of lemon essential oil?
75 lemons, wow!
Lemon essential oil can be applied topically to your skin, as well as diffused into the air and inhaled.
Some people swear by lemon essential oil as an ingredient that fights exhaustion, helps with depression, clears your skin, kills harmful viruses and bacteria, and reduces inflammation. Many have also claimed that it helps with mucus resulting from a cold, flu or allergies.
In recent years, the medical studies have examined the claims made by people who have used lemon essential oil for years. Read on to learn more about the benefits of lemon essential oil, possible side effects of using it, and more.
Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil
There are many benefits of lemon essential oil. We’ll cover just a few of them here.
May reduce anxiety and depression symptoms
You may have noticed that when you use lemon-scented products for cleaning your home, you feel more relaxed and in a better mood afterward.
Of course, some of that might be the natural result of sprucing up your environment, but the actual scent of lemons probably plays a part in that calming feeling.
A 2006 study performed on mice showed that lemon essential oil was a powerful calming and mood-improving agent during three stress test experiments.
The same study concluded that lemon essential oil was more effective at relieving stress than other essential oils such as lavender and rose.
A small 2016 study found that lemon essential oil reduced anxiety among people after undergoing orthopedic surgery. (I’m using this one now after neck and hand/elbow surgery).
There are promising indicators that diffusing lemon essential oil has an effect on alleviating some symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Nausea and vomiting are two of the most common symptoms experienced in early pregnancy (and, for some, throughout the entire pregnancy)!
Several studies have shown that lemon essential oil can relieve (or at least improve) the severity of these symptoms.
Lemon oil is one of several essential oils that can kill harmful bacteria that can grow on your skin.
In a recent study, by the National Institute for Health, lemon essential oil was shown to be effective against strains of bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. You may choose to use this topically for cleaning and disinfecting small wounds.
Other research has confirmed lemon essential oil’s effect against infection causing bacteria and may prevent skin inflammation, including a laboratory study conducted in 2017 and in vitro and in vivo research in 2018.
It also has protective properties, such as antioxidants, that may brighten and preserve your skin tone.
Lemon essential oil is sometimes used in aromatherapy as a natural analgesic. The anti-stress and antidepressant effects of this oil may have something to do with how it helps our bodies interpret our pain without panicking, which can exacerbate pain.
A 2014 study done on mice showed that lemon oil aromatherapy changed the way the animals’ brains responded to pain.
To determine how lemon oil affects humans who are in pain, more research is needed, but I have personally used this oil to help during my cancer and surgeries with good results.
If you have a cold or a sore throat, lemon essential oil is a good home remedy to try.
Set up a diffuser with lemon oil to release its sweet, tart scent in the room while resting. The calming properties of lemon oil can help relax both your mind and the muscles in your throat.
There isn’t a lot of clinical data that backs up lemon oil aromatherapy with calming the common cold, but we do know that the vitamin C and antioxidant properties of lemon juice are of benefit when you just need to breathe a little easier.
It’s possible that the properties of lemon essential oil work in much the same way when you treat a sore throat with aromatherapy.
Many have expressed that lemon oil can reduce mucus from colds, flu and allergies. I have terrible allergies and will diffuse lavender, lemon and peppermint oil to relieve my symptoms.
Remember, only certain brands have oils that are (GRAS) generally regarded as safe to ingest. Young Living Essential Oil is one of them.
May Help You Feel Alert and Improve Concentration
Lemon essential oil perks up your mood, but it also may work to boost your brainpower.
In a small 2014 of fourth graders, students who attended language lessons in a classroom where lemon oil was diffused performed much better on their exams.
Give your school-aged child a bottle of lemon essential oil to carry in their backpack.
I’ve had brain fog, since my chemo and keep a small diffuser on my desk, often diffusing lemon oil to boost my mood and help me think more clearly.
Lemon oil is often used for a variety of skin conditions, including acne.
When diluted and applied topically, lemon essential oil can kill bacteria that may get trapped in pores and cause breakouts. It can also clarify your skin with antioxidants and vitamin C, gently exfoliating dead skin cells that so often become trapped in hair follicle and pores.
I like to use an exfoliator and put a bit of lemon essential oil with coconut oil on it and use about twice a week to reduce oily skin and prevent breakouts. Even post-menopausal, we can get those pesky things!
Since lemon oil has healing properties, you get the added bonus of speedier healing from breakouts and treatment of your acne scars when you use it.
Since lemon essential oil is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and antimicrobial properties, it might not surprise you to learn that this oil might belong in your first aid kit.
As mentioned above, lemon oil may assist with wound healing.
In an animal trial, lemon essential oil promoted faster healing of tissue infected with mange.
You can cleanse the area of a small cut or scrape with diluted lemon oil to sanitize it, discourage infection, and possibly help the wound heal more quickly.
Antifungal Properties of Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil has powerful antifungal properties for treating certain skin overgrowths. In fact, a 2017 review of studies noted that lemon essential oil is effective against fungi that cause athlete’s foot, thrush, and yeast infections when applied topically.
21 Ways to Use Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is, well, essential in our home. Whether you are feeling stressed, depressed or battling stinky odors, lemon essential oil’s tangy aroma may help. Its invigorating scent is like the perfect rush-hour playlist—light, bright, and energizing!
- Snuff out stinky smells by placing a Lemon-infused cotton ball in the refrigerator, bathroom drawer, or trash can. (We make DIY deodorizing disks to place in the bottom of trash cans, musty closets and anywhere else we’d like a fresh smelling boost)
Here’s the recipe I use for DIY deodorizing disks:
1 cup baking soda.
4 tablespoons distilled water.
1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
15 drops Lemon Essential Oil.
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil.
Mix well and spoon into a silicone or other mold.
2. As mentioned above, lemon essential oil can help you stay energized and focused. Add some to your wrists or diffuse on your desk to stay on task when working on that big business presentation or last-minute school project.
3. Rub lemon essential oil on toenails to help reduce or greatly improve toenail fungus.
4. Blast some great tunes on the radio—and Lemon oil in your Car Vent Diffuser—to channel your inner road warrior and help reduce road rage 😊
5. Didn’t get enough sleep last night or need an energy boost? Use the energizing aroma of Peppermint and Lemon oils when you need an aromatic pick-me up! Take a drop of each and dilute with 8 drops V-6 or other carrier oils. Apply the blend to your temples or behind your ears.
5. Add to Your Skin Care Routine. Chemical peels have nothing on these lemon peels! Radiant-looking skin is a real thing thanks to Lemon essential oil. Add a few drops to your skin care routine if you’re ready for glowing, gorgeous skin. Remember to use Lemon on your skin only at night or wait at least 12 hours before heading outdoors.
Or add lemon essential oil to your favorite night cream.
6. Give your face a boost of hydration with a DIY face mask:
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 drop Lemon oil.
Apply and let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
7. Wash away the day’s stress and impurities with a Lemon-infused cleanser like Young Living’s ART® Gentle Cleanser.
8. Treat the rest of your body to the skin-smoothing power of DIY loofah soaps and enjoy the sunny citrus scent of this at-home spa experience!
- 3 natural loofah sponges about 5-6 inches long each
- 2 pounds clear glycerin soap
- Soap dye (optional)
- Lemon essential oil
- Round silicone molds about 3 inches in diameter
9. Lemon Essential Oil for Cleaning
The scent of lemon signifies to many, the smell of clean. That’s why commercial cleaners add lemon scents (artificial, however) to their products. When it comes to cleaning your home naturally, Lemon essential oil and other natural cleaners are one of the best. If best in safe were a category, they’d win that too! Add a few drops to your natural cleaners (See DIY Bathroom Cleaning Recipes).
11. Gum in your child’s hair? Don’t despair! Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to the hair and gum and slide it right out.
12. Little one used your wall to discover their inner artist with crayons? Yep, use a few drops of lemon essential oil on a sponge and wipe away!
13. Lemon oil cuts grease, too! Use on greasy stovetops, counters, and dishes with a mix of Lemon and vinegar. Mix 20 drops with 1 cup white vinegar in a 16-ounce spray bottle and fill to the top with water. Spray those sticky surfaces and wipe clean with a damp cloth.
14. Want clean and fresh smelling clothes without paying a fortune for Unstoppables (like we used to)? Infuse your laundry with the citrusy freshness by adding 5-8 drops of lemon essential oil to the rinse cycle when washing clothes and towels.
15. Use Thieves® Household Cleaner—lemon is a main ingredient! —to get every part of your home sparkling. Check out these posts to learn some tricks for your bathroom and kitchen and the rest of your home.
16. Get rid of hard-water buildup and stains by making a paste made of baking soda, a little bit of water, and Lemon essential oil.
17. We have stainless steel appliances and sticky fingerprints used to drive me crazy! Now I use 3 drops of lemon essential oil on a damp rag and polish those appliances to a beautiful shine.
18. Remove sap from your body or clothes by combining a drop of lemon essential oil with a drop of V-6 or your favorite carrier oil and work it into that sticky spot.
Add to Your Food!
Lemon Vitality™ is amazing! —a little bit tart, a little bit sweet, and a lot of citrusy goodness. Add a splash of citrus to your favorite vinaigrette or a burst of lemon to your oatmeal. Lemon essential oil is the perfect spice cabinet sidekick, whether you’re sipping or sautéing. We run out of this monthly, so I always have one on order!
19. Add a healthy snack to your kid’s lunch by packing sliced apples in their lunchbox. Toss them in 2 drops of Lemon Vitality essential oil. Lemon Vitality provides powerful antioxidants and will also help keep those vitamin-packed wedges from turning brown. And, adds a delicious punch of flavor, too!
19. Add a few drops of lemon vitality essential oil to a batch of lemon cookies. It’s an easy way to add some lemon punch to a great lemon cookie (or cake) recipe!
20. Give your morning and energy and mood boost by adding a drop of each of Lemon Vitality and Grapefruit Vitality. This dynamic duo supports your immune system and may help support your weight-loss regimen.
21. Add a couple of drops to your daily water intake. This invigorating, calorie-free citrus flavor will brighten your day and bring a little sunshine into even the drabbest of offices. Check out this article on the benefits of drinking lemon water from Medical News Today.
Potential side effects of Lemon Essential Oils and Cautions
Like the other essential oils in the citrus family, lemon essential oil is generally safe for topical and aromatherapy use. Notably, it’s reported to be safe for pregnant women and babies over three months old.
If you find any redness or other “side effects”, try diluting the oil with a carrier oil, such as fractionate coconut oil, jojoba oil or V-6 oil.
Lemon oil isn’t approved as safe for use on animals. Some essential oils can have a toxic effect when ingested or inhaled by pets. Think about your furry friends that might be nearby when you inhale aromatherapy.
How do you use lemon essential oil? Did you learn anything in this post? I’d love to hear about it! Drop me a note in the comments below.
I’d love to help you get some lemon essential oil or lemon Vitality oil to revolutionize your home cleaning and personal care routine.