Essential Oil Spotlight: Lemon

Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon) is cold expressed from the rinds of the fruit. In order to get a kilo (2.2 lbs) of oil, 3,000 lemons are required.

Lemon essential oil has many uses since it has the following properties: anticancer, antidepressant, antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, astringent, invigorating, refreshing, and tonic.

It is used primarily for air pollution, anxiety, atherosclerosis, bites/stings, blood pressure (regulation), brain injury, cold sores, colds (common), concentration, constipation, depression, digestion (sluggish), disinfectant, dry throat, dysentery, energizing, exhaustion, fever, flu, furniture polish, gout, greasy/oily hair, grief/sorrow, gum/grease removal, hangovers, heartburn, intestinal parasites, kidney stones, lymphatic cleansing, MRSA, overeating, pancreatitis, physical energy, postpartum depression, purification, relaxation, skin (tones), stress, throat infection, tonsillitis, uplifting, varicose veins, and water purification. See Modern Essentials for many other uses for lemon essential oil.

Historically, lemon has been used to fight food poisoning, malaria and typhoid epidemics, and scurvy. (In fact, sources say that Christopher Columbus carried lemon seeds to America—probably just the leftovers from the fruit that was eaten during the trip.)

Application Methods for Lemon Essential Oil and Safety Data

Aromatic: Use a diffuser or put a few drops of lemon essential oil on a cloth, tissue, nasal inhaler, or the palms of your hands to breathe it in. Lemon oil promotes health, healing, physical energy, and purification when used aromatically. Its fragrance is invigorating, enhancing, and warming.

Topical: Lemon essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution) when used topically. Apply directly on area of concern or to reflex points. Lemon oil can sensitize the skin to ultraviolet light within 12 hours of use. So exercise caution here, and avoid direct sunlight for up to 12 hours after using on skin.

Internal: Lemon essential oil can be taken internally, and it is often used as a flavoring in cooking. Put 1–2 drops of lemon oil under the tongue or in a beverage. It can also be taken in capsules.

5 Ways to Use Lemon Essential Oil

1. Aromatic
The aroma of lemon essential oil can help you get energized in the morning—try a few drops in the corner of your shower stall to circulate with the water vapor. Lemon aroma can also help relieve anxiety or lift a depressive mood. Diffused lemon helps disinfect the air to prevent the spread of sickness, and it facilitates recovery from colds. Try diffusing lemon essential oil alone or in one of the following recipes:

Here are a few other diffuser blends that use lemon essential oil:

2. Topical
A drop of lemon oil can relieve pain from insect bites or stings. It can also zap formation of cold and canker sores, plus speed tissue recovery from them. Rub lemon on the neck over a sore throat. Use on broken capillaries, spider veins, and varicose veins to reduce and repair. Massage over sore joints. Lemon oil also helps nourish nails and cuticles. Try a healthy nails serum!

Lemon essential oil is helpful in cleansing the lymphatic system. One of the biggest signs that your lymphatic system needs cleansing is cellulite. If you have cellulite, try massaging the following oil blend over affected areas before doing aerobic exercise.


Cellulite Reduction Massage
5 drops rosemary
5 drops ginger
5 drops coriander
5 drops lemon
4 tsp. carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil


3. Internal and Food Recipes
Add a drop of lemon oil to a teaspoon of honey for internal sore throat relief. Put a few drops in a glass or metal water bottle, shake, and drink—this purifies the water and aids digestion and detoxification. (The citric acid in lemon may break down some plastic water bottles.) Add several drops to a bowl of water for washing fruits and vegetables before food preparation, or use this produce spray.

Lemon essential oil is easy to add to your favorite recipes. Just substitute 1 drop of lemon oil for 1 tsp. of lemon zest. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to help you get started:

4. Household Cleaning Products
Lemon oil is a natural replacement for many disinfecting cleaning products that may contain harmful chemicals. Neutralize odors in the air with several drops of lemon in a spray water bottle. (Shake frequently during use or use this emulsifier to help mix the oil and water.) Use that same spray bottle to clean and disinfect countertops, cutting boards, and fixtures. Add a few drops of lemon to the dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer to deodorize. Remove adhesives, grease, or gum from hands, hair, and other surfaces. Try using lemon oil with these cleaning recipes:

5. Body Care Products
Because lemon essential oil is known to be antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral, it is great to add to body care products such as hand sanitizer, breath spray, and soap. Try using lemon oil in the following recipes:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 81–82.
Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller & David Schiller

Essential Oil Spotlight: Black Pepper

black-pepperBlack pepper essential oil is steam-distilled from the berries of a tree in the Piperaceae family. Its odor is spicy and musky with herbaceous undertones.

Some properties of this oil include analgesic, anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, aphrodisiac, expectorant, laxative, rubefacient, and stimulant (nervous, circulatory, and digestive).

Pepper has been used for thousands of years to treat malaria, cholera, and other digestive problems. It is currently also used to increase cellular oxygenation, support digestive glands, stimulate the endocrine system, increase energy, and help rheumatoid arthritis. Black pepper essential oil may also help with loss of appetite, catarrh, chills, colds, colic, constipation, coughs, diarrhea, dysentery, flatulence (combine with fennel), flu, heartburn, nausea, neuralgia, poor circulation, poor muscle tone, sprains, and vertigo.

Research has found that inhaling black pepper essential oil can reduce cravings for cigarettes and symptoms of anxiety in smokers.

Applications of Black Pepper Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Dilute black pepper essential oil with a carrier oil for children and those with sensitive skin. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma of black pepper essential oil directly. The aroma of black pepper is comforting and stimulating.
Internal Application: Black pepper essential oil can be used as a flavoring in cooking.

5 Ways to Use Black Pepper Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Here are a couple great diffuser blends to help you get energized and motivated:

2. Use in a Massage Oil

Black pepper essential oil is beneficial for warming cold or stiff hands. Try this Hand Rejuvenator recipe—massage into the hands starting at the fingertips, then work your way up the arm to the shoulder.

Hand Rejuvenator:
5 drops grapefruit
5 drops black pepper
5 drops spearmint
5 drops ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. (23 ml) fractionated coconut oil
(or other carrier oil)

Black pepper is also really great at helping to relax muscles and relieve aches and pains. Here is a recipe for a Sore Muscles Salve. You can also try one of the following massage recipes:

Muscle Relaxer
Massage Blend:

10 drops ginger
10 drops cypress
5 drops juniper berry
5 drops black pepper
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Sesame Seed Oil
(or other carrier oil)
Aches & Pains
Massage Blend:

4 drops black pepper
4 drops Roman chamomile
4 drops marjoram
2 drops lavender
2 Tbsp. (24 g) Coconut Oil
(or other carrier oil)
Sore Muscles
Massage Blend:

15 drops ginger
9 drops ylang ylang
6 drops black pepper
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Sesame Seed Oil
(or other carrier oil)

3. Roll on for Constipation Relief
Black pepper essential oil has been used for helping with digestive problems, including constipation. Try rolling this blend on your lower back and lower abdomen to help get things moving.

Constipation Blend:
1 drop black pepper
1 drop lavender
1 drop marjoram
1 drop fennel
1 tsp. (5 ml) carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, or double the recipe if using a 10 ml roll-on bottle. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil.


4. Add to a Warm Bath
Black pepper can help you warm up when cold. Try this warming bath when you feel particularly cold.

Warming Bath Salts:
2 drops black pepper
5 drops juniper berry
5 drops lavender
1 cup (240 g) epsom salt
Mix ingredients together. Add 1/4–1/2 cup (60–120 g) of bath salts to the bathtub as it fills up with water.

5. Add to Cooking Recipes
Black pepper essential oil can be added to any of your favorite cooking recipes. Just use 1 drop of black pepper oil for every 1/4–1/2 tsp. (0.5–1 g) of ground black pepper. For recipes that call for less black pepper, try dipping a toothpick in the oil and stirring it into the mixture. These are a few of our recipes that include black pepper essential oil:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 43.

Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol & David Schiller

Essential Oil Spotlight: Cinnamon

Cinnamon essential oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is steam-distilled from the bark of the tree. It contains antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-infectious (intestinal, urinary), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic (light), antiviral, astringent, immune-stimulant, purifying, sexual-stimulant, and warming properties. It also enhances the action and activity of other oils.

Cinnamon essential oil is commonly used for airborne bacteria, bacterial infections, bites/stings, breathing, diabetes, diverticulitis, fungal infections, immune system (stimulates), infection, libido (low), mold, pancreas support, physical fatigue, pneumonia, typhoid, vaginal infection, vaginitis, viral infections, and warming the body.

Historically, this most ancient of spices was included in just about every prescription issued in ancient China. It was regarded as a tranquilizer, tonic, and stomachic and as being good for depression and a weak heart.

This oil may be beneficial for circulation, colds, coughs, digestion, exhaustion, flu, infections, rheumatism, and warts. Cinnamon oil fights viral and infectious diseases, and testing has yet to find a virus, bacteria, or fungus that can survive in its presence.

Applications of Cinnamon Essential Oil and Safety Data

Cinnamon essential oil is one of the strongest essential oils, and care should be taken when using it.
Topical Application: Before applying cinnamon oil topically, make sure to dilute it 1:3 (1 drop essential oil to at least 3 drops carrier oil). Please note that repeated use of cinnamon essential oil can result in extreme contact sensitization, so make sure to dilute well, avoid when pregnant, and frequently give your body a break in between uses.
Aromatic Application: When diffusing cinnamon essential oil, be careful to not inhale directly from the diffuser, as it may irritate the nasal membranes.
Internal Application: Cinnamon essential oil can be used in cooking, but make sure to start with only a toothpick and add more if needed.

5 Ways To Use Cinnamon Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Try this blend in your diffuser to increase your mental alertness:

2. Use in a Romantic Massage Oil
Because cinnamon essential oil is known to be an aphrodisiac and is a warming oil, it makes a great addition to a romantic massage oil. Here is a great recipe to help you and your spouse enjoy an intimate massage together:

Romantic Massage Oil:
5 drops ylang ylang
1 drop cinnamon
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, or Jojoba Oil.

3. Add to a Breath-Freshening Spray
Try adding 2–3 drops each of cinnamon and orange essential oil to this Essential Oil Breath Spray recipe.

4. Add to Cooking Recipes
Cinnamon essential oil is great to add to any of your favorite recipes. We had a difficult time picking from our recipes that use cinnamon essential oil, but here are some of our favorites:

5. Protect Your Plants with This Gardening Spray
Keep birds and bugs from eating your plants with this garden spray.

Protective Gardening Spray

  • Servings: Yield=1 gallon (about 4 liters)
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. To a small glass bowl, add the emulsifier, essential oils, and dish soap in order; gently stir after adding each ingredient. Pour a little (up to 1 cup or 250 ml) water into the bowl, and stir to combine.
  2. Pour mixture into a gallon-sized (4-liter) water jug (mostly full of water). Place the cap on, and carefully shake to combine. Pour mixture into your 16 oz. glass spray bottles.
  3. To use, spray the tops and bottoms of the plant leaves. It is best to spray on a cloudy day or in the evening so the sun and cinnamon essential oil combination doesn’t burn the plants. Apply every couple weeks or as needed. Wait 2–3 days after spraying to harvest any food.

To learn more about cinnamon essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 48–49; 329–30.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Frankincense


frankincenseFrankincense essential oil is steam-distilled from the resin of trees and shrubs in the Burseraceae family. The aroma helps to focus energy, improve concentration, and enhance meditation.

Historically, frankincense was used in the Middle East as an ingredient in holy incense for sacrificial ceremonies and to improve communication with the Creator. The French use it for asthma, depression, and ulcers.

This oil acts as an antidepressant, anticancer, antiseptic, and sedative. It is commonly used to treat allergies, bronchitis, colds, headaches, sores, strep throat, and typhoid. Frankincense is generally recognized as safe for consumption by the FDA and can be used topically, diffused, or taken orally.

To learn more about frankincense essential oil and many other pure essential oils, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 63.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Clove

cloveClove essential oil is steam distilled from the bud and stem of the Myrtaceae. Its spicy, warm, and woody aroma is said to be a mental stimulant.

Historically, clove was used for skin infections, digestive upsets, intestinal parasites, hernia, childbirth, and toothaches.

The French use clove for impotence, intestinal parasites, memory deficiency, pain, plague, toothache, and wounds. The Chinese also use cloves for diarrhea, hernia, bad breath, and bronchitis.

Clove oil is believed to support the cardiovascular, digestive, immune, and respiratory systems. It may also be used to treat arthritis, insect bites, rheumatism, and warts. Clove is known to have antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.

Used aromatically, clove may influence healing, improve memory, and create a feeling of courage. It is regarded as safe for human consumption by the FDA and can be taken internally or used topically.

To learn more about clove essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 52.

 

Essential Oil Spotlight: Petitgrain

Petitgrain essential oil (Citrus aurantium) is obtained from the bitter orange tree. It is distilled from leaves and sometimes the tips of young twigs, but in earlier centuries it was extracted from unripe oranges, picked when they were still green and no bigger than a cherry, hence the French term petit grain, meaning “small grain.” This was uneconomic because in the effort to produce petitgrain essential oil, the crops of mature oranges were reduced drastically. So rather than producing oil from the unripe fruit, producers started distilling oil from the leaves of the tree and kept the oil’s original name. Because of its very pleasing scent, petitgrain has been used extensively in high-quality perfumes and cosmetics.

Petitgrain essential oil contains antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, and stimulant (for digestive and nervous systems) properties.

It is commonly used for depression, focus, greasy/oily hair, stress, and uplifting one’s mood. This oil may also help with acne, dyspepsia, fatigue, flatulence, greasy hair, insomnia, and excessive perspiration.

Petitgrain essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution) on adults when used topically on area of concern or reflex points. It can also be diffused or inhaled directly and is generally regarded as safe for internal use (often consumed in small amounts in capsules).

5 Ways To Use Petitgrain Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Petitgrain is a great oil to diffuse because it has the ability to uplift one’s mood and may help with stress, focus, and depression. Try these blends in your diffuser:

2. Roll on for Sleep
Petitgrain essential oil is also beneficial in helping with insomnia (especially when sleeplessness is caused because of loneliness or stress). Here is a good recipe to put in a roll-on bottle to rub on the bottoms of your feet at night when you need a little help falling asleep:

Sleepy Time with Petitgrain Roll-on Blend:
2 drops lavender
2 drops Roman chamomile
7 drops petitgrain
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on for short-term use or a 10 ml roll-on for daily use. Fill the roll-on the rest of the way with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil.

All-Natural Deodorant3. Add to Deodorant
Try putting petitgrain in your all-natural deodorant. You could even make your own using this recipe and replace the oils with this blend:
4 drops lime
4 drops orange
2 drops clove
2 drops petitgrain

4. Add to a Warm Bath
Petitgrain is most known for its ability to help with depression and for supporting the nervous system. It is a good alternative to use in place of bergamot essential oil when needed over a long period of time or when the photosensitive nature of bergamot is a problem (petitgrain essential oil is not a photosensitizer). Try adding petitgrain essential oil to your baths! Just mix the oil with epsom salt before adding to warm bathwater. Here are a few recipes to try:

A Refreshing Calm:
5 drops petitgrain
5 drops ylang ylang
5 drops orange
1/4 cup (60 g) Epsom Salt
Relaxing with Petitgrain:
5 drops petitgrain
5 drops lavender
3 drops fennel
2 drops orange
1/4 cup (60 g) Epsom Salt
Good Morning, Sunshine:
4 drops rosemary
6 drops grapefruit
5 drops petitgrain
1/4 cup (60 g) Epsom Salt

Bath woman

5. Care for Greasy/Oily Skin and Hair
Petitgrain essential oil has many applications in skincare because it helps to reduce over-production of sebum and is a gentle but effective antiseptic. This makes it a good oil for acne or oily dandruff. Just put a few drops in the final rinse after shampooing greasy hair, or apply after washing your face.

To learn more about petitgrain essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 101.
Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller & David Schiller
Aromatherapy: An A–Z by Patricia Davis
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson

Essential Oil Spotlight: Rose

RoseRose essential oil is steam-distilled from flowers in the Rosaceae family. It can be applied topically, diffused, or inhaled. Its pleasant floral aroma may promote emotional balance.

Historically, the healing properties of rose were used as a medicine to aid with digestion, menstrual problems, headaches, poor circulation, and skin issues. It is still used widely in the East.

Rose has antihemorrhagic, anti-infectious, aphrodisiac, and sedative properties. It may be used to treat asthma, frigidity, sprains, nervous tension, ulcers, and wounds.

To learn more about rose essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th Edition, p. 155.

 

Essential Oil Spotlight: Cedarwood

Cedarwood

Cedarwood essential oil is steam-distilled from the wood of the Juniperus virginiana tree. Its warm, woody aroma has a calming effect.

Historically, cedarwood has been used for its strong antiseptic, diuretic, and insect-repelling properties. The French use it to calm anger and nervous tension as well as treat hair loss, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections.

Cedarwood is commonly used as a sedative and to treat cellulite, tension, tuberculosis, and dandruff. It may also help acne, congestion, and water retention.

Cedarwood essential oil may be used topically or aromatically to benefit the nervous and respiratory systems.

To learn more about cedarwood essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th Edition, p. 98.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Lemongrass

Lemongrass

Lemongrass essential oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of the Cymbopogon flexuosus. Its lemony, earthy aroma may promote awareness and purification.

Historically, lemongrass has been used for infections and fever, as an insecticide, and as a sedative to the central nervous system.

The French use it to treat bladder infections, fluid retention, edema, and varicose veins and to heal the digestive system and connective tissue.

Lemongrass is believed to support the immune system and strengthen muscles and bones. Other possible uses of lemongrass are to improve circulation, wake the lymphatic system, treat respiratory problems, and improve eyesight.

Use topically, aromatically in a diffuser, in capsule form, or as a flavoring in cooking.

To learn more about lemongrass essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th edition, p. 135.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil is solvent-extracted or vacuum-distilled from the Citrus bergamia fruit (Kaffir lime) or pressed from the rind or peel.

Bergamot was used in Italy to relieve fevers, protect against malaria, and expel intestinal worms. Some believe that Christopher Columbus brought bergamot to Italy from the Canary Islands.

The French use it to calm agitation, treat appetite loss, colic, depression, infection, and intestinal parasites, and relieve rheumatism. Other possible uses are to improve skin conditions and to treat coughs, respiratory infection, sore throat, insect bites, and nervous tension. It is commonly used to heal cold sores and urinary tract infections, and for depression, stress, or insomnia.

Due to antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, bergamot may support the body systems that affect digestion, emotional balance, and skin.

Its uplifting and refreshing aroma is energy-giving and mood-lifting. It can also be effective as a deodorant or dietary supplement.

To learn more about bergamot essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 7th edition, p. 92.