Part 4: Uses of Lemon Essential Oil


Part 4 of our “Uses of” belong to Lemon!

The name is derived from the Arabic ‘laimun’ or the Persian ‘limun’.   Early forms of the lemon are believed to have originated in China; traveling to Italy and the Mediterranean with Arabian merchants. The fruit contains significant percentages Vitamins A, B and C and was given to sailors in the Royal Navy to alleviate scurvy and other vitamin deficiencies.

Christopher Columbus took lemon seeds to the New World, including Haiti in 1493. He was followed soon after by the Spanish adventurer and explorer, Ponce de Leon, who was searching for the elusive “Fountain of Youth”. Ponce de Leon alighted on the shores of Florida and instructed his sailors to plant 100 lemon seeds wherever they landed – this was the beginning of the great citrus industry in Florida!

The juice and peel of the lemon are used as cooking seasonings in countries worldwide.  In Spain, lemon is considered a cure all – especially for infectious illnesses. Lemon has also been used historically to help break fevers, such as those associated with malaria or typhoid.  In Japan, it is used in diffusers in banks to reduce worker-error and it is a popular flavoring agent for food and perfumes.

Lemons are harvested while they are still green to yield higher quality oil. It takes over 3,000 lemons to produce 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) of expressed oil.

Research Says

  • A Japanese study suggested that after diffusing lemon oil throughout a busy office building, typing errors decreased by 54%.
  • James Lind, the Scottish physician, proved in 1753 that citrus fruit prevents scurvy.

Helpful Uses of LemonTips

  • Simply add a few drops of lemon essential oil to your glass of water to purify it.  It’s also good for indigestion, heartburn and intestinal parasites.
  • Use a few drops to help remove gum stuck in hair, or on clothing, furniture, etc.
  • Apply a few drops to oil or grease stains on clothing before washing.
  • Diffuse lemon essential oil in the air to help concentration while studying.
  • Lemon essential oil is generally recognized as safe by the FDA (21CFR182.20) for use in cooking.  There are many great recipes available online using Lemon Essential Oil.
  • Make your own furniture polish by adding several drops to half a cup of olive oil or beeswax.
  • Rub a few drops over sticker residue to remove old stickers from walls or windows.
  • Add 5 drops to your dishwasher to create a clean smell and add sparkle to your dishes.

Therapeutic properties

Lemon oil has an extensive list of therapeutic properties. It is anti-anemic, anti-microbial, anti-rheumatic, anti-sclerotic, antiseptic, bactericidal, carminative (reduces gas and flatulence), cicatrisant (forms scars to close wounds), depurative (purifying), diaphoretic (increases perspiration), diuretic, febrifuge (reduces fever), haemostatic (stops bleeding), hypotensive (reduces blood pressure), insecticidal, rubefacient (reddens the skin by increasing circulation), tonic and vermifuge (expels intestinal worms).


Lemon oil is powerfully astringent and antiseptic. Because it can cause skin irritation if used by sensitive individuals in dilutions exceeding 5%, it should not be applied undiluted to skin. Five drops or less of lemon oil should be added to a teaspoon of carrier oil. Lemon oil can contain up to 2% furanocoumarin compounds, including bergaptene. These compounds act as photosensitizing agents, which can increase the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light, causing accelerated burning and skin damage. Do not expose the skin to direct sunlight for 24-78 hours after using lemon oil. Don’t use lemon oil on the skin in the presence of sunlight.

Certain oils can be very toxic to cats. Pine and citrus products and oils, in particular those that are not of therapeutic grade, can be especially problematic.  Please consult your vet if you are not sure about applying any essential oil to your pet.

What does lemon blend well with?

Although most essential oils blend well together, Lemon Oil blends well with Benzoin, chamomile, cistus, elemi, eucalyptus, fennel, frankincense, geranium, juniper, lavender, neroli, oakmoss, rose, sandalwood, and ylang ylang.