Saturday, April 23, 2016

Lemon Essential Oil: Properties, Uses and Recipes

Lemon (citrus limon) essential oil is one of the most versatile and commonly used essential oils.


  • Reduces anxiety: One study has shown that prolonged exposure to lemon essential oil reduced anxiety in rats¹
  • Decreases pain: Lemon essential oil can reduce inflammation⁴ and has been shown to reduce pain behaviors in rats¹
  • Contains antioxidants: Lemon is one of a number of essential oils shown to contain antioxidants⁵
  • Reduce physical and psychological stress³
  • Antifungal⁶
  • Antimicrobial²: Lemon has been used to treat the common cold and the flu, due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties.⁴

Uses and Recipes

Around the House:

  • Enhance dishwasher soap: Add 1-2 drops to your dishwasher soap. Utilize the antibacterial and antifungal properties of lemon to get extra clean and spot free dishes.
  • Disinfect your cutting board: Simply put a few drops on a wet sponge to scrub your cutting board, before cleaning as usual.
  • Silver polish: Put lemon essential oil on a cloth to shine up your silver.
  • All-natural Febreze:
    • In a spray bottle, mix 1 cup vodka or rubbing alcohol, 1 cup of white vinegar and 10-20 drops of lemon essential oil (or a scent of your choice)
  • Cleanse the air: Is your room smelling stale? Diffuse lemon for a fresh scent that also helps rids the air of bacteria and viruses.
  • Clean your fruits and veggies: Put a few drops of lemon essential oil in a bowl of water to clean your fruits and vegetables naturally.
  • Clean your toothbrush: Add a drop of lemon to your toothbrush once a week to keep it fresh.
  • DIY Car Air Freshener: Can’t get rid of that odor in your car? Try putting a few drops of lemon essential oil on a cotton ball and place in the air vent or secure with a clothespin. If you’re feeling creative, try making one of these decorative air fresheners (via Frugally Blonde)

Health and Well-Being

  • Reduce anxiety: The scent of lemon has been shown to reduce anxiety¹ and stress³. Try diffusing or applying to pressure points (*When wearing topically, be cautious going to the sun. Citrus essential oils can cause photosensitity and may cause you to be more likely to get a sunburn⁴).
  • Upset Stomach?: Lemon essential oil has been used for upset stomachs, by aiding digestion⁴. Try this roller bottle blend to rub on your stomach:
    • In a 10mL roller bottle, combine:
      • 10 drops of lemon essential oil
      • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
      • Fill with a carrier oil, such as almond oil or fractionated coconut oil
  • Cold Sores: The antiviral properties of lemon essential oils may help speed up healing time for cold sores. Put a drop on a cotton ball and dab onto the sore.
  • Toenail Fungus Fighter: Lemon has antifungal properties that make it effective against toenail fungus.  Try mixing 10 drops of lemon essential oil into ½ cup of epsom salt. Dissolve into hot water for a cleansing foot bath.
  • Fight off colds and respiratory infections: Lemon in your diffuser can help fight off illnesses. Try combining with Thieves blend.
  • Freshen your breath: keep your breath fresh by gargling with lemon water.
  • Allergy season relief:
    • In a roller bottle, combine:
      • 6 drops of Peppermint essential oil
      • 6 drops of Lemon essential oil
      • 6 drops of Lavender essential oil
      • Fill with a carrier oil, such as almond oil or fractionated coconut oil
    • In a diffuser, combine:
      • 2 drops of Peppermint essential oil
      • 2 drops of Lemon essential oil
      • 2 drops of Lavender essential oil
      • Combine with water in accordance with your diffusers directions
  • Acne: Use a drop of lemon essential oil to reduce blemishes.
  • Boost energy: Diffuse 3 drops of lemon with 3 drops of peppermint for a fresh energy boost.

Note: You will be many posts that advise adding lemon essential oil to water. While this many have a number of health benefits, ingestion of essential oils should be done under the supervision of an experienced aromatherapist. Ingestion of lemon essential oil is Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS), however, many people have experienced throat or stomach irritation. If, after consulting a professional, you would like to ingest lemon, adding diluted lemon oil to a capsule is one of the safest methods of ingestion. Please understand that even though essential oils are natural, they can have some serious side effects, so always use carefully..

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

  1. Ceccarelli, I., Lariviere, W. R., Fiorenzani, P., Sacerdote, P., & Aloisi, A. M. (2004). Effects of long-term exposure of lemon essential oil odor on behavioral, hormonal and neuronal parameters in male and female rats. Brain Research, 1001(1-2), 78-86. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2003.10.063
  2. Fisher, K., & Phillips, C. (2008). Potential antimicrobial uses of essential oils in food: Is citrus the answer? Trends in Food Science & Technology, 19(3), 156-164. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2007.11.006
  3. Fukumoto, S., Morishita, A., Furutachi, K., Terashima, T., Nakayama, T., & Yokogoshi, H. (2008). Effect of flavour components in lemon essential oil on physical or psychological stress. Stress and Health, 24(1), 3-12. doi:10.1002/smi.1158
  4. LEMON: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings - WebMD. (2009). Retrieved April 23, 2016, from
  5. Misharina, T. A., & Samusenko, A. L. (2008). Antioxidant properties of essential oils from lemon, grapefruit, coriander, clove, and their mixtures. Appl Biochem Microbiol Applied Biochemistry and Microbiology, 44(4), 438-442. doi:10.1134/s0003683808040182
  6. Perdones, A., Sánchez-González, L., Chiralt, A., & Vargas, M. (2012). Effect of chitosan–lemon essential oil coatings on storage-keeping quality of strawberry. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 70, 32-41. doi:10.1016/j.postharvbio.2012.04.002

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