When life gives you lemons… for your own sake, you better know how to use them! You’ve been given an alchemy that is vibrantly stimulating in some situations and quietly calming in others, always on standby to boost your spirits with a citrusy aroma that’s been scientifically proven to improve mood and concentration.[i] Mother Nature gave us a golden treasure, going so far as to stain it the color of sunshine in order to help us comprehend its worth.
Lemon essential oil has proven invaluable in the fight against dozens of ailments, both physical and mental. It is disinfecting, detoxifying, antiseptic, antifungal, astringent, de-greasing, anti-bacterial, deodorizing, and chock-full of limonene, citric acid, and vitamins. Use lemon to flavor your food, freshen up your drink, and help save your life.
Just a few drops of lemon essential oil…
1 - Combats stomach discomfort and pain.
Lemon oil has carminative properties, meaning that helps in the prevention of gas in the gastrointestinal tract, combatting bloating and flatulence. Lemons are natural diuretics; added to a bit of warm water, they morph into a gentle laxative which helps the body flush out excess sodium and thus relieve bloating. Plenty of teas can help with bloating—fennel, ginger, and bilberry amongst them—but lemon reigns king, thanks to its powerful secretions of D-limonene.
- For an upset stomach: Add just three drops of lemon oil to a glass of water and drink to your health—you’ll notice reduced heartburn and acid indigestion. We’d drink to that!
2 - Rejuvenates you from the roots of your hair to the tips of your toes.
Lemon oil helps kill the germs in public water, but it does wonders as a key ingredient of your personalized, nourishing shower gel – just add a couple of drops for every 8 ounces of water and reap the benefits; your kidneys, liver, and digestive system will thank you profusely. Lemon oil refreshes and heals hair follicles, strengthening your hair and giving it that radiant healthy shine. It also softens corns, bunions, calluses, and nail cuticles; rub a couple of drops against your hardened skin each night before bed, and you’ll progressively enjoy softer skin. Given its antiseptic and detoxifying properties, it should come as no surprise that lemon oil is a surefire strategy to fight pimples, brighten skin, and treat various skin disorders, giving you the confidence and radiance to take on the world.[ii]
- For all-natural highlights: Shake up a few drops of lemon oil in a bottle of water and spritz it onto your head before exposing yourself to the sun.
- For skin care: add a few drops of lemon oil to your favorite facial cleanser and very gently massage onto face, avoiding the eyes; your complexion will brighten with the removal of dead skin cells and excessive oil.
3 - Helps you focus.
Too late for caffeine, but a nap isn't anywhere in your near future? Don’t fret. A few drops of lemon oil, diffused in the air, can rejuvenate you, body and soul. You can just as easily rub your hands with a drop or two and inhale. It's an excellent pick-me-up—an indominable combination of effective, healthy, and delicious—for when you need a little extra boost to concentrate on an exam or a work project. Oxford Academic attests to additional findings, with research studies revealing how citrus fragrances promoted happiness in 45.5% of study participants, while 34.1% of participants reported that they felt more alert, and 8% agreed that they felt soothed; 95% of participants claimed a notable positive impact due to the aromatherapy.[iii]
4 - Boosts your immune system.
Feel yourself beginning to melt down in a fever? Lemon is delightfully brimming with vitamins, which enrich and stimulate blood cells, improving circulation and further supplying your body with the strength to combat infectious diseases. It's been prescribed even in the face of typhoid and malaria[iv]; that's one highly underrated little yellow fruit that packs a lot of punch...
5 - Soothes a sore throat.
Trade off your scalding, scratchy throat for a smile of relief with just a few drops of lemon essential oil. The citric acid breaks up mucus and increases salivation (helping lubricate a sore throat) while soothing inflammation, acting as a balm against the raging pain. Lemon’s components of Vitamin C and antioxidants help boost your immune system, while its antiseptic property helps ward off bacteria and viruses.[v] The easiest recipe is to just add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a mug of hot water and honey—if only all medicine was as sweet!
6 – Serves as an all-natural beauty enhancer.
While the deodorants, perfumes, body lotions, and body scrubs (and pretty much every single beauty product that’s commercially available on the market) are marketed as beauty-enhancing, healthy, natural, sexy, and effective, what their creators are not as keen to divulge to you is the fact that they’re chock-full of carcinogens and toxic chemicals.[vi] Essential oils serve as a delightfully effective and truly organic alternative—with even better results and, when properly used, no harmful short-term or long-term side effects.
- For homemade organic deodorant: Mix together 2 tbs. baking soda and 2 tbs. arrowroot (or GMO-free cornstarch). Add in 4 tbs. extra virgin coconut oil and 5-10 drops of lemon essential oil; continue mixing with a spoon. Transfer the mixture to a deodorant container or jar, and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes. Use as you’d normally use deodorant (sparingly, since the coconut oil warms up with body temperature).[vii]
7 - Abolishes asthma and allergy symptoms.
Inhale the aroma of lemon oil and let that fragrance to its magic by clearing up your nasal passages and sinuses. You can make a chest rub or another topical lotion that can inhibit the release of histamines (which trigger asthma or allergy attacks) and thus prevent the symptoms from even developing in the first place.[viii] While essential oils aren’t meant to replace conventional asthma treatments, or treatments for chronic allergy patients, most physicians encourage a supplementary strategy through more organic remedies; it’s best to first consult with your doctor.
- To tackle allergies: mix up 3 drops of lemon, lavender, and peppermint oil; dab that topically behind your ears and neck (look no further for an all-natural perfume with powerful benefits!), as well as to the bottoms of your feet.
8 - Disinfects your surroundings.
Given how thoroughly and harmlessly lemon can be used to cleanse your body, it should come as no surprise that it is equally potent as a household cleaning solution. Naturally antibacterial and antifungal, lemon oil is best used when fused with citrus vinegar. The results can meet and exceed those of any marketed and overpriced cleaner—sans all the carcinogens and toxic chemicals (for a breakdown of those, feel free to freak out by visiting this site).
9 – Puts insomnia to rest.
There are few things more vexing than tossing and turning all night, checking your phone every few minutes and realizing that each ticking minute means one less minute that you could have been pleasantly, soundly asleep. That each ticking minutes means that you’ve got five—nope, four—no, wait, two more hours to go before you’ve got to get up and ready for the day; you can already prophesize that you’ll be in zombie mode. Luckily, lemon essential oil can come to the rescue, thanks to its limonene characteristics that can help reduce anxiety, relax muscles, and encourage the duration of sleep.
For the sleep-deprived:
- Add a drop to your evening chamomile tea
- Use the lemon oil in a diffusor
- Create a soothing skin lotion by mixing some coconut oil with 1-2 drops of lemon oil.
10 - Delights the taste buds.
Given that it's healthy, natural, inexpensive, readily accessible, and delicious, who could truly withstand adding the zest of lemon to better appreciate a meal? Lemon essential oil in particular has long been used to enhance the flavor of steamed vegetables and fish, with a couple drops added to softened butter. There are so many ways to use lemon essential oil, and it’s so potent that you’ll never need more than a handful of drops is all you need! We love this citrus olive oil pound cake by Pink Slip Jam company founder Suzanne Fuoco, as featured in Pure Green Magazine[ix]:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons cherry brandy
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 drops Lemon essential oil
- 2 drops Citrus essential oil
Optional Lemon Glaze
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 drops Lemon essential oil
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Prepare a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan by cutting parchment paper to size and fitting to bottom of pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1 cup of the sugar.
- Whisk in the olive oil, milk, brandy, liqueur, lemon zest, orange zest, and 1/4 cup of the orange juice.
- Add the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk. Add in batches to wet ingredients and stir just until thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in pan at least 10-15 minutes before removing. When cake has cooled, simply lift the parchment out with the cake intact, and pull sides down so it can continue to cool.
- After about 1 hour, remove parchment and store in airtight container.
- For optional lemon glaze, in a medium saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool. Drizzle over cake once both the syrup and cake have cooled.
The Essence of Balance…
While essential oils can genuinely be characterized as natural alternatives that are beneficial for our physical and mental health in practically hundreds of ways, they are some of the most pure sources of compounds; even in tiny doses, they can be extremely potent. While essential oils are generally considered a safe alternative medicine with minimal adverse effects, it is important to remember that overdosing on anything never bodes well. As with any sort of medicine, excessive consumption can ensue in sensitization and other side effects. Consult with an expert before usage. Ensure that you do not exceed recommended dosages or durations, especially if underage, pregnant, or consuming other forms of medicine. Some essential oils shouldn’t be taken for over a few weeks at a time to avoid straining the kidneys or liver; others should only be topically applied and never ingested.