Lemon essential oil is a completely natural ingredient that also serves as a home health remedy. It’s extracted from the peel of fresh lemons through steam extraction, or less often, through a “cold-pressing” process that pricks and rotates the peel as oil is released.
Lemon essential oil can be diluted and applied topically to your skin, as well as diffused into the air and inhaled. Some people swear by lemon essential oil as an ingredient that fights exhaustion, helps with depression, clears your skin, kills harmful viruses and bacteria, and reduces inflammation.
What are the benefits of lemon essential oil?
Lemon oil has traditionally been used for a variety of purposes, including:
May reduce anxiety and depression symptoms
Can ease morning sickness symptoms
Can make your skin healthier
Can act as a pain reliever
It may help you breathe easier and soothe a sore throat
Helps you feel alert and concentrated
It may be effective in treating and preventing acne breakouts
May promote wound healing
Has antifungal properties
Like many essential oils, researchers have been working to evaluate the potential health benefits of lemon oil and its components.
How to use lemon essential oil?
You can safely use lemon essential oil by diffusing it or applying it topically.
To diffuse lemon essential oil, place 3 or 4 drops in the diffuser of your choice. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area and limit your aromatherapy sessions to 30 minutes.
To use lemon essential oil topically, mix it well with a carrier oil of your choice.
Test the mixture on a small, inconspicuous area of your skin, like your forearms, before you apply it somewhere sensitive like your face. If after 24 hours you see redness or irritation, don’t use the mixture.
To avoid skin damage, make sure you wash off lemon oil before exposing your skin to sunlight.
Are there any side effects?
Like the other essential oils in the citrus family, lemon essential oil is generally safe for topical and aromatherapy use. Notably, it’s reported to be safe for pregnant women and babies over 3 months old.
There are case reports of lemon essential oil making your skin more sensitive to irritation from the sun so it’s best to avoid direct sunlight when using any citrus essential oil.
This irritation is called phototoxicity, and it causes a temporary redness that looks similar to moderate sunburn. You may also feel a raw or burning sensation on your skin in the area where you’ve applied lemon oil.
You can usually avoid allergic reaction by properly diluting any essential oil you use and doing a patch test on your skin before you try to apply it to a larger area.
Lemon oil isn’t approved as safe for use on animals. Some essential oils can have a toxic effect when ingested or inhaled by pets. Think about your furry friends that might be nearby when you inhale aromatherapy.
The bottom line!
Lemon essential oil is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial ingredient that can help you boost your mood, find mental clarity, reduce stress, and more.
Remember, just because a product is deemed “natural” doesn’t mean that it doesn’t carry possible side effects. Never apply lemon oil directly to your skin without a carrier oil, and never ingest any essential oil.
Essential oils aren’t a replacement for prescription treatments from your doctor, but they can work as a great complement to your regular health and wellness routine.
As with any essential oil, make sure to use lemon oil safely. Always talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns before using lemon oil.