These days we can buy supercritical carbon dioxide extract of tropical Hibiscus seeds grown in Ecuador, or certified organic combined fractions of Ylang Ylang essential oil — so Lemon essential oil is just not that interesting anymore! But the practitioner interested in therapeutic activity should never forget how amazing Lemon really is. It has a very diverse set of effects, which comes down to it being a great “pick me up” any way you look at it. Here’s a review of these effects, and how you can very easily make use of them every day.
The most common use of Lemon oil, and how many people get introduced to it (and to aromatherapy in general) is adding it to drinking water. Folks have been adding the oil to tap water just to add some flavor for a long time, before the idea of purifying your water was a big deal. With a little more understanding of what the oil does, however, now we know we’re NOT just making it taste better, but we’re purifying the water AND ourselves.
Lemon’s antiseptic properties make it an excellent choice for skin care for those dealing with oily skin, however, the challenge with the oil is its photo-toxicity. If using for antiseptic skin care effects, it should really only be used on parts of the body not to be exposed to direct sunlight for 48 hours after application. However, a more reasonable skin care application is that for dissolving warts. The oil is mentioned in a number of texts for this purpose; apply a single drop directly on the affected location up to 3 times daily. Frankincense can be used at the same time or interchangeably if desired.
Diffusing cold pressed Lemon essential oil is one of the simplest pick-me-up aromatherapy practices on the planet. The oil, being considered the “highest note in aromatherapy” has an accompanying “high vibration” to go along with it. The aroma is a first choice to clear the mind during those mid-afternoon work doldrums. It’s thought to aid in decision making without being over-stimulating. For all these uses, use Lemon alone in either an ultrasonic, fan, or nebulizing diffuser (avoid a “warming” type), and if you want to get a little fancy, mix it with any of the other citrus oils: Bergamot and Sweet Orange will make for a really enjoyable blend.
The oil has been the subject of other research directly related to our “smarts”. In one study, Japanese office workers were exposed to Lemon essential oil from a diffuser, and 54% fewer errors were made in the tasks being performed. This makes sense, as the oil is one that has been scientifically confirmed to reduce the activity of acetylcholinesterase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down acetylcholine, the primary information-processing neurotransmitter. This results in a higher amount of this chemical being available in our brains. This is the reason people consume choline supplements! The use of essential oils which have this property have also been suggested for use in preventing senile dementia. Bottom line is inhaling Lemon vapor can can clear up the mind, and may help us multitask during busy days.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to lemon essential oil than we usually give it credit for. We can ingest it for detoxification, purify our water with it, clean with it, and inhale it for mental and emotional stimulation. Who would have thought!