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:
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EO Life Hack: Sanitize and Season Wood Kitchenware

Refresh your wood cutting boards and spoons by rubbing a little coconut oil and lemon essential oil on them. The coconut oil helps season the wood, and the antibacterial properties in both the coconut oil and lemon essential oil help sanitize your kitchenware at the same time.

Frozen Yogurt Breakfast Bites

If you need a grab-and-go breakfast, give these Frozen Yogurt Breakfast Bites a try! You’ll also give your breakfast a boost in flavor and health benefit by adding a drop of essential oil. For easier eating on the run, just insert a wooden craft stick into each bite before freezing.

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Epsom Salt Scrub for Hard Water Deposits

If you live in a area with hard water, you probably have hard water deposits on everything, including bathtubs, showers and sinks. These deposits make faucets and fixtures an eyesore. We found a solution that works pretty well!

Epsom Salt Scrub uses salt crystals that are just abrasive enough to remove the hard water deposits. Added baking soda, castile soap, and lemon essential oil do the rest of the cleaning.

Epsom Salt Scrub

  • Servings: 1–2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the jar in order and stir together until well incorporated.
  2. To use, apply to dry shower walls, bathtubs, fixtures, or faucets with a warm wet cloth. Scrub for a few minutes in a circular motion. Let sit for a few minutes before rubbing again. Rinse off with warm water. Repeat if needed.


Just Add Oils to Spring Cleaning

As the weather gets warmer, many people move into spring cleaning mode. Winter clothing gets stored away, windows are opened to air out the house, and lots of deep cleaning takes place as sunshine energizes the soul. A couple weeks ago, we held a contest and gathered many great cleaning recipes from you, our readers. The winner of our contest was Heather Crabill’s Counter and Appliance Spray. Heather says, “I spray my counters and appliances with the solution, and then I wipe with a warm, wet cloth. Friends and family always comment on how lovely the kitchen smells!”

Counter and Appliance Spray

  • Servings: 8 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 8 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 8 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Carefully pour the vinegar and essential oils in the spray bottle. Swirl to combine, and then fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water.
  2. Spray on counters and appliances; wipe with a warm, wet cloth.

A lot of great cleaning ideas and recipes were submitted to us. Here are just a few:


NON-CITRUS PRODUCE SPRAY

“I’m allergic to citrus oils. So for cleaning produce, I put tea tree [melaleuca] oil (8–10 drops) and cider vinegar (1/2 cup) in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Then I fill the bottle with distilled water and spray on produce to clean!” — Brenda Rupp


CLEAN SHOWER SPRAY

15 drops Protective Blend
5 drops lavender
1 tsp. white vinegar
8 oz. water
“Combine everything in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Spray down the shower and squeegee the glass doors when finished. Looks and smells great!” — Barbara Dittrich


TUB AND SINK CLEANER

“In a glass measuring cup, pour 6 oz. of white vinegar. Microwave to a slight boil. Use a funnel to pour the hot vinegar into an 8 oz. spray bottle, and then add 1 Tbsp. of Protective Blend Cleaner Concentrate and 3 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake well, and spray all around tub. Wait 2 minutes or so and rinse off. If you have stubborn stains, scrub with a brush. Also, I put baking soda into the drain first, so that when I’m finished cleaning, the drain also gets cleared out. This treatment is nice and easy to do, and if you do it weekly, all you need to do is spray and rinse.” — Nancy Jaykka


ANY ESSENTIAL OIL CLEANER

“I save all the dribbles left in my essential oil vials and use them in my cleaning spray bottle. I purchased a cheap bottle of vodka, and I add 1 oz. of that to the 8 oz. spray bottle. Then I put in my leftover EOs and top off the spray bottle with filtered water. This solution works great on counter tops and appliances. It will even kill gnats that get into the kitchen.” — Mickie


Here are some other great recipes to help you spring clean:

Click here for more essential oil cleaning tips!

Falafel Hummus Dip

Are you ready for a new flavor of hummus? Try out our falafel hummus dip! We accidentally discovered this dip when we were coming up with our recipe for baked falafel. If you love hummus, you need to give this recipe a try!

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Hasselback Herb Potatoes with Essential Oils

Have you tried hasselback potatoes yet? They are a lot like baked potatoes, but rather than piercing the potatoes with a fork, you cut slices in them with a knife, then fill the slices with yummy ingredients either before or after baking them. When making hasselback potatoes with essential oils, it’s best to add the oils after baking the potatoes so you don’t lose the health benefits of the oils.

Start by slicing the potatoes, drizzling them with olive oil, and sprinkling salt and pepper on top before baking them. While they bake, mix up the herb butter by melting butter and stirring in the essential oils. If you happen to taste the herb butter, you may find the essential oils to be a bit strong. Just trust us, though—the final product tastes delicious!

When the potatoes are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, pull them out of the oven. Then, while they are still hot, drizzle on the herb butter. Make sure to get it in between the slices.
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Baked Falafel with Essential Oils

This Middle Eastern dish tastes fantastic with the addition of essential oils! Falafel is normally deep fried, but you can also pan fry it or even bake it as a healthier alternative. Falafel can be eaten plain, with Lemon Tahini Sauce (see recipe below), on a salad, or in a pita with tomatoes and cucumbers.

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Essential Oil Breath Mints

Making your own breath mints is pretty easy; plus, you get to add the wonderful benefits of essential oils to them! Also, if you are looking for something to give away for Valentine’s Day, these make cute (and practical!) gifts for anyone.
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Lemon Coconut Crisps

These little cookies are super cute and delicious! They are sure to be a hit with anyone who tries them! The recipe is also really easy and fun to make with kids.

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Lemon Coconut Crisps

  • Servings: 2–3 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) vanilla
  • 5–8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 cup (120 g) flour
  • 2/3 cup (57 g) shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. (165° C.).
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon essential oil.
  3. Gradually add the flour.
  4. Mix in the shredded coconut.
  5. Roll out little balls about the size of a walnut, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Flatten balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour (a fork also works, but will leave a mark).
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.