Liquid Sunshine

Lemon Essential Oil

According to Forbes Magazine, worldwide interest in using lemons is experiencing a steady increase. According to Google Trends, the most popular search terms used in association with lemons, are "lemon and water" and "lemon in water." Typical uses include using it as a garnish, in cooking, as a naturally active cleaning agent and in health and beauty regimes. However, Lemon Essential Oil has recently achieved its gains in popularity. For instance, the oil is favored by people who spend a lot of time outdoors, as it provides needed bursts of energy, and is also used to purify water and is useful as a hand sanitizer.

A lemon tree can potentially produce from 500-600 pounds of fruit annually. Typically, a 15 ml bottle of Lemon Essential Oil requires the oil from approximately 45 lemons to fill it. The oil's primary chemical components consist of a-terpinene, a-pinene, b-pinene, camphene, sabinene, myrcene, limonene (a powerful anti-cancer antioxidant), Linalool, b-bisabolene, trans-a-bergamotene, neral, and nerol.

"Liquid Sunshine"

People often refer to Lemon Essential Oil as “liquid sunshine,” because of its bright yellow color and invigorating aroma. Among its many uses, the oil is popular oil aromatherapy treatments for stress relief, anxiety, and for the treatment of physical and mental fatigue. It can also help with cognitive function and concentration.

More and more businesses are embracing the practice of diffusing Lemon Essential Oil in the workplace after a Japanese study (2008), suggested that its presence eliminated work-related errors by as much as 54%. An additional Japanese study that was published in Nutritional Neuroscience (2009), indicated that lemon pure essential oil worked to improve the memory of subjects who were impaired with dementia. Similar controlled studies are being conducted throughout the United States in medical centers, hospitals and in assisted living centers where there are high incidences of impaired memory among residents. In addition to working as a memory improvement aid, it has also been shown to help eliminate some of the symptoms of depression.

Lemon Essential Oil is also used for its benefits to skin and hair. It can also be used to treat kidney stones and various fungal infections.


Lemon Essential Oil comes from the familiar yellow fruit that grows on trees in warm climates. Early Romans referred to it as “median fruit.” The first historical, literary references to lemons were made in a 10th century Arabic piece about farming. Lemon trees are believed to have first been cultivated in India. Through the years, they began a slow journey throughout Europe and the Middle East, via trade and migration. The tree was first cultivated for commercial use in the Mediterranean region around the year 1150. However, the fruit of the lemon tree was not embraced for culinary use until the 15th century.

Christopher Columbus introduced lemon tree seeds to Hispaniola in 1493, where they were planted for medical and ornamental purposes. By the mid-1700s, the trees were being commercially cultivated in California. They arrived in Florida in the 1800s. However, that state stopped producing lemons after a particularly treacherous freeze in 1894.

In the early 1930s, the Principal and Founder of a famous medicinal and commercial herb school in England, Maude Grieve, stated in a book about herbal medicine, that she considered the lemon the most valuable fruit for preserving health. However, at that time, she did not recognize the valuable properties inherent in its oil.

Today, lemons are commercially grown in Brazil, Argentina, China, India, Mexico, Iran, Italy, Turkey, Spain, and in the United States. Each of these countries produces Lemon Essential Oil. The fruits are harvested by hand under specific standards and are usually picked while they are still green. As the lemons are transported to oil production facilities or stores, they slowly go through the process of turning their familiar yellow color.

How is Lemon Essential Oil extracted?

Lemon oil is extracted from the fresh fruit peel by the cold expression method. The peel contains the highest concentration of nutrients, regarding fat-soluble phytonutrients.

What is cold expression?

Cold oil expression involves a process in which the skins of either whole fruit, or just the fruit peel, are punctured, and the essential oil is pressed out. With this method, a small amount of juice is also extracted, which is later separated from the essential oil.

Uses for Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil has a wide array of uses that include, but are not limited to:

Respiratory treatment 

When used with a diffuser, Lemon Essential Oil can contribute toward the cessation of wheezing, colds, cough and other problems of the upper respiratory system.

Throat treatment

When added to warm water and honey, Lemon Essential Oil can help quell a sore throat, slow a cough and eliminate fever. Its bacteria fighting properties are joined by anti-virus properties to add double protection.


Lemon Essential Oil is an effective treatment for nail fungus. Regular application can also help stop its occurrence. 

Calmative agent 

When used with a diffuser, or in a hot bath, Lemon Essential Oil can calm the nerves and instill a feeling of peaceful calm. 

Clarity of thought/concentration

Diffuse Lemon Essential Oil to result in clearer thinking and an increase in the ability to concentrate.

Teeth whitening agent

Mix baking soda, Lemon Essential Oil, and coconut oil to form a paste. Rub on teeth for approximately 2 minutes and then rinse.

Weight loss support

Placing two drops of Lemon Essential Oil in drinking water three times daily can support metabolism and weight loss.

Immune system support

Lemon Essential Oil supports lymphatic drainage and assists in helping overcome colds quickly. Mix it with coconut oil and apply to the neck area.

Complexion wash

Use Lemon Essential Oil to nourish the skin deeply. To make a natural acne free face wash, mix the oil with baking soda and honey.

Nausea and vomiting

Diffused and inhaled, Lemon Essential Oil can work to cease feelings of nausea and vomiting rapidly.


The Central Food Technological Research Institute in India found that geraniol, an ingredient found in Lemon Essential Oil, is useful in the reversal of diabetic neuropathy.

Other uses for Lemon Essential Oil:

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    Toothbrush sanitizer
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    Toilet bowl cleaner
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    Body cleanser
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    Insect repellent
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    Flavor enhancer
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    Food preservative
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    Treatment for dandruff
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    Hair shine
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    Nail care
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    Residue remover
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    Wood polish
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    Laundry freshener
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    Odor eliminator and air freshener
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    Callous remover
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    Treatment for allergies and hay fever
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    Runny nose
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    Energy booster
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    Halitosis (bad breath)
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    Minor wounds
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    Canker sores
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    Glass cleaner
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    Kitchen disinfectant
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    Air freshener
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    Prolong shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables

How to Use Lemon Essential Oil

The Central Food Technological Research Institute in India found that geraniol, an ingredient found in Lemon Essential Oil, is effective in the reversal of diabetic neuropathy. 

Aromatically in a diffuser
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    Affects mood
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    Cleanses the air
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    Opens airways
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    Quickly absorbs through the skin
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    Full body benefit
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    Immune support
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    Immediate comfort

Apply a few drops directly on the skin with a carrier oil, and rub in.

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    Benefits mouth and throat
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    Supports digestive system
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    Supports immunity

Place 1 to 2 drops under the tongue, or mix in a glass of water and drink, or place a drop in an empty capsule and swallow

Allergic reactions and precautions

Lemon Essential Oil can result in a possible skin sensitivity to sunlight. Therefore, one should wait at least 8-12 hours after applying it to experience full sun exposure.

Even though Lemon Essential Oil is classified as non-toxic, like any essential oil, its potency can be diluted with any carrier oil, such as almond, coconut or olive oil, for those with sensitive skin.

It is crucial to keep Lemon Essential Oil away from children. Women who are under a doctor's care, pregnant, nursing, are advised to consult their physicians before using Lemon Essential Oil. One should avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas when using this oil.

Resource links



Fukumoto, S., Morishita, A., Furutachi, K, et al (2008) Effects of flavour components in Lemon Essential Oil on physical or psychological stress. Stress & Health, V24, Issue 1, 3-12

Components of lemon essential oil attenuate dementia induced by scopolamine
Wenjun Zhou, Syuichi Fukumoto & Hidehiko Yokogoshi
Nutritional Neuroscience Vol. 12 , Iss. 2, 2009 




Trasad, SN Muralidhara, (2014), Protective effects of geraniol (a monoterpene) in a diabetic neuropathy rat model: attenuation of behavioral impairments and biochemical perturbations, Journal of Neuroscience Research, Sept; 92(9)1205-16.

Trieu, R (2014) Lemon Craze: Consumption Up 150% Globally In Growing Economies, Forbes Business, August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/rosatrieu/2014/08/08/lemon-craze-consumption-up-150-globally-in-growing-economies/#2a6cd2644191

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