I recently bought myself a new bottle of Lemon Essential Oil. As I was filling my diffuser and getting ready to enjoy my new purchase, I decided I wanted to know more. More about this fruit (and EO) that has been around for thousands of years, providing us with a multitude of benefits.
Ever since I can remember the lemon has been a common part of my life and probably yours too. Grandma always used lemon hand soap. Mother always used lemon dish soap. Many cooking recipes contained lemon in one form or another. I love lemon meringue pie, lemonade, lemon loaf, lemon tea…..the list goes on. The lemon is a very versatile fruit and is a part of common life for many people.
The word lemon is a little complicated. It is thought to derive from the Middle East. Although there is no concrete evidence of the origin, here are a few examples of words describing it and the locations they originated:
- laymun or līmūn – Arabic
- limun (the generic term for citrus fruit) – Persia
- limon – Old French
- limone – Italian
The active chemical composition of the lemon is what makes it so useful, more on the chemical side of things later. In our everyday lives we see lemons and Lemon EOs being utilized in the following ways:
- home cleaning products
- to purify the air as well as surfaces
When you consider the benefits of lemon essential oil (and lemons in general), you have to agree that the lemon is one amazing little fruit.
Genetic Study Tells Us Where Lemons Come From
Did you know that the lemon is a hybrid of two other fruits? The other fruits are “citron” and “orange”. The citron is an original citrus fruit from where all other citrus types came from through hybrid speciation or artificial hybridization. The citron has been called the granddaddy of the lemon. I did not know this before doing the research for this article. You can click here to read more about the genetic study.
Like many things in history, the lemons’ place of origin is not known exactly. It is thought that this fruit first grew in northeast India, northern Burma or China. It is interesting to note that, originally, the tree was only used for decorative purposes (the fruit was left on the tree). Once the benefits of the lemon were discovered, cultivation began. Over time, the tree spread throughout the world. It reached North America in 1493 when Columbus arrived in Hispaniola, bringing the seeds with him. During the 19th century lemons were cultivated in vast numbers in California and Florida.
Cleaning and Cooking With Lemons
Why are lemons good to clean with?
Lemons contain citric acid, malic acid and ascorbic acid (otherwise known as Vitamin C). In addition to this the lemon has a low pH balance. The combination of high citric acid levels, antibacterial properties and low pH levels make Lemon EO a popular ingredient in many household cleaners. Not to mention the clean fresh smell left behind to enjoy!
Try making your own natural cleaner. All you need is a clean spray bottle and Lemon EO. Use it to clean windows, wooden surfaces, counter tops and more. Click here to go to a recent article containing more information and recipes to make your own cleaner.
What makes a lemon sour?
The reason lemons taste sour can be attributed to the organic acids within the fruit (specifically the citric acid) as well as the low pH balance. Pure lemon juice contains 5%-6% citric acid, giving it the very distinctive sour taste. This is what makes that lemonade and lemon meringue pie taste so great!
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More Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon Essential Oil has a reputation of being cleansing, invigorating and purifying. In aromatherapy, Lemon EO can be used to:
- relieve cold and flu symptom
- reduce depression and stress
- clear nasal passages and lungs
- boost energy levels
- improve mood
- improve concentration
- improve metabolism
The many benefits of Lemon Essential Oil can be attributed to its astringent, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, energizing and soothing properties. Some people refer to this EO as “liquid sunshine”, I can see why!
All you need is a diffuser and Lemon essential oil to start enjoying the benefits listed above.
Many people make and use their own personal products using Lemon Essential Oil. Some examples include soap, shampoo, hair rinse, face wash, lotions, massage oils and lemon spray (used to deodorize the air and other household items).
Lemon Essential Oil, Memory and Cognitive Functions
I ran across some interesting research which stated that Lemon EO had positive results in humans in respect to:
- Attention and Concentration
- Cognitive performance
A number of experiments were performed using Lemon EOs in the workplace and school environments. Employee performance improved to over 50%. WOW! An increase was also noted in student attention, memory and cognitive success.
If you would like to read further information regarding the above, click here to go to the article.
Lemon EO is POTENT, and should be treated in the same manner you would treat any medication. Here are a few things to be aware of prior to using it:
- Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or currently on prescription drugs
- Store Lemon Oils (and all EOs) safely out of reach of children
- Once applied topically, avoid the sun as the oil may sensitize skin to UV rays
- Avoid using Lemon EO near ears, eyes, inner nose and other sensitive skin areas
- Always dilute Lemon EO
- Re. allergy concerns – Perform a skin test prior to applying topically (dilute with a carrier oil and rub into a small area of non-sensitive skin)
I enjoyed researching, writing and learning about lemons and Lemon EOs. I have always enjoyed learning!
I would like to hear from you if you have any comments regarding this topic.
Have an awesome day!
Angela (founder of Your Aromatherapy Store)