Essential oils are one of our favorite healing modalities in the nurse-midwifery practice, and lemon is one of the more favored essential oils in our boutique. There are few other aromas more invigorating than lemon. There are a number of health benefits and a multitude of daily uses for lemon essential oil.
The high limonene content is the source of its powerful antioxidant and disinfectant properties. Egyptians used lemon oil to cleanse their bodies of toxins in ancient times. It has been known to aid in digestion, to support respiratory function, and provides immune system support, especially during seasonal changes.
The interesting thing about citrus oils is that rather than distill them through the expression process, they are cold pressed with high mechanical pressure to squeeze out the oil from the rind of the plant. One lemon tress can produce between 500 and 600 pounds of lemons in a year. It takes about 45 lemons to fill up a 15 mL bottle.
Diffusing essential oils is one of the more effective and pleasing ways to utilize this healing modality. To simply improve the aroma in a room, drop 2-4 drops in a diffuser. This method is also helpful for improving mood or awakening the mind, particularly when studying. Rubbing 1-2 drops into one’s palm and inhaling can invigorate the mind and body. Our previous nurse, Gretchen Knight, was known in our practice for using essential oils in the vent of her car. Lemon would be especially wonderful used in this way.
Ingesting essential oils is controversial. Lemons however, are ingested on a regular basis. The essential oils of the lemon can be added in a single drop to baked goods, beverages, or favorite entree. Adding a few drops to honey can be immune boosting, and adding water to lemon and honey can be smoothing to the throat. Adding a drop to your tongue, or toothbrush, can also refresh the breath.
Topically, lemon essential oil can be applied neat (directly) to the hands for disinfecting purposes. Like most essential oils, it can be applied to the skin to improve circulation.
My dear husband has spent hours upon hours helping me prepare, organize and clean the boutique. Having a number of apothecary jars for our bulk herbs, we have had to remove an extraordinary amount of stickers from the glass. I was a proud essential oil enthusiast when I heard my husband explain to my son how to use lemon essential oil to remove the glue residue from the glass. The same technique can also be used for gum, oil, grease, sap, or crayon.
How do you use lemon essential oil? Share your favorite uses here.