Lemon (Citrus limonum)
Plant Family Rutaceae
The lemon tree is native to India but arrived in Europe with the cusaders as long ago as the twelfth century. Now the principal seat of the lemon oil industry is Sicily, though the most modern tecniques of production are carried out in other southern countries also. The essential oil has been commercially developed for its extensive use in the perfumery and flavouring industries.
Citrus oils are obtained from oil glands found in the outer rind of the fruit and are generally not distilled but expressed. Expression used to be carried out by hand, rasping the peel against an abrasive surface and collecting the resulting liquid. Modern methods of expression vary from crushing the entire fruit, with subsequent separation of the oil from the peel and juice, to machine abrasion of the outer rind. Examples of essential oils that are usually produced expression include sweet orange, bergamot, grapefruit and lemon; lime oil is usually distilled as this produces a finer product.
Lemon oil is machine-expressed from the ripe peel of the lemon. It is necessary about 1500 Lemon peels to obtain 1 kg of essential oil.
Nature of the Oil
Transparent liquid with a fresh, and citrus smell reminiscent of the ripe peel. Essential oil of lemon contains only a small amount of citral, but it is the citral that gives lemons their distinctive, refreshing and stimulating scent.
Perfumery Note – Top. The aroma lasts up to 24 hours.
|(+)-Limonene||56.6 – 70.0%|
|beta -Pinene||6.0 – 17.0%|
|gamma-Terpinene||3.0 – 13. 3%|
|alpha-Terpineol||0.1 – 8.0%|
|alpha-Pinene||1.3 – 4.4%|
|Geranial||0.5 – 4.3%|
|beta-Myrcene||tr – 2.5%|
|Citronellal||tr – 0.04%|
|Neral||0.4 – 2.0%|
|Terpinen-4-ol||tr – 1.9%|
|Neryl acetate||0.1 – 1.5%|
Stimulating, strengthens heart and sympathetic nervous system, strengthens stomach, carminative, promote urination, antiseptic and antibacterial; thins blood, alkalizing, against rheumatism, against sclerosis, vascular tonic, lowers blood pressure, promotes liver activity, against poisoning.
Lemon is primarily a refreshing, cleansing and tonifying oil, and is one of the most important bactericidal oils for any infection or putrefaction. It is a versatile oil to use in massage, oil blends, compresses, inhalations and room fragrancing. It blends well with nearly every other essential oil, and will provide a top note to ‘lift’ many fragrance blends.
Lemon is a tonic for the circulatory system and will improve a sluggish circulation and weak venous system which gives rise to chilblains or varicose veins. Its regular use is also said to reduce blood viscosity and help break down sclerotic deposits. It is a traditional remedy for the treatment of broken capillaries visible on the skin. This oil has a tonifying and stimulitory action on the digestive system. It can be used to treat obesity and als‹ debility, weakness and loss of appetite It helps to stimulate the production o pancreatic and gastric juices, and it cleansing and detoxifying propertie can be of benefit to congested live conditions and cellulite.
The moving and antiseptic properties of lemon will alleviate many respiratory conditions by combating infection and helping to eliminate mucus — use in steam inhalations or massage blend to rub on the chest to treat colds, flu, bronchitis and asthma. Lemon also helps to stimulate the production of white blood cells, thereby strengthening the immune response. It is a good preventative during epidemics of contagious disease – use it in an essential oil burner or a plant spray in the room.
The antiseptic and astringent properties of lemon are appropriate for greasy skin and also any skin infection such as boil, acne, ulcers and eruptions. Make a lemon compress to treat boils and other eruptions.
Lemon‘s astringent and tonifying properties will combat wrinkles. It is also an anti-viral oil and, applied neat, will help to eliminate warts and verrucae.
Lemon can be used against scabies and other parasitic infections. It has insect-repellent properties and will prevent insect bites from going septic. Spray it around the house to discourage household insect such as animal fleas and ants.
Skin care (oily skin), acne, boils, chiblains, warts, cellulite, arthritis, high blood pressure, poor circulation, rheumatism, asthma, sore throat, bronchitis, catarrh, indigestion, colds and flu.
Lemon oil is appropriate if you feel you need an astringent and cleansing treatment. You may have greasy hair and skin and a sluggish digestion, and perhaps feel generally unclean. You may have a tendency to body odour. Using lemon oil will help to tighten up your tissues and encourage you to feel healthier and cleaner and be more self confident.
Blends Well With
Essential oils cedarwood, eucalyptus, juniperwood, lavender, peppermint, tea tree, and other citrus oils.
Our safety advice
Because of its (+) -limonene content we recommend that oxidation of lemon oil is avoided by storage in a dark, airtight container in a refrigerator.
Like most other expressed citrus essences, lemon oil is phototoxic. Do not apply to the skin shortly before exposure to natural or simulated sunlight as it may cause pigmentation. The distilled oil is non-phototoxic. Lemon oil has a short shelf-life and should be used within six month of purchase. Once oxidized, it is much more likely to irritate the skin. Use in low concentrations.
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) shares the refreshing and uplifting properties of lemon and blends well with all citrus fruits. Lime oil strongly phototoxic and should not be used in concentration of more than 0.5% if going out into the sun within 12 hours of application.
1. C. Wildwood “The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy”, Vermont, Healing Arts Press, 1996
2. R. Tisserand, R. Young, E. M Williamson “Essential Oil Safety. A Guide for Health Care Professionals”, Churchill Livingstone ELSEVIER, 2014
3. S. Curtis “Essential Oils”, AURUM, London, 1996
4. R. Balz “The Healing Power of Essential Oils”, LOTUS LIGHT SHANGRI-LA, Twin Lakes, 1996
5. Л.ГДудченко, Г.П.Потебня, Н.А.Кривенко «Ароматерапия и аромамасаж», «Максимум», Киев, 1999