In this installment of the aromatherapy series, I want to talk about lemon. Lemon is a scent that most of us recognize pretty easily. Whether you like the taste or scent of lemons or not, there are many great uses for it.
Like the previous scents I have covered, lemon is very versatile. It is used in food, first aid, cleaning, beauty products and more. Another great thing about lemon is that it is readily available in many forms, and very cost effective. You can buy or grow the fruit, use the juice, or buy the essential oil.
Lemon naturally contains high quantities of d-Limonene which is an anti-oxidant and immune booster. The most effective part of the lemon to use is the peel. Lemon essential oil is derived from cold-pressing the peel of the lemon, so essential oil is a great option, and in most cases is safe for consumption in moderation.
Health and Wellness
Lemon has been used for cleansing and purification for thousands of years. It is a great addition to your natural first aid kit and can be used for some pretty common complaints.
Respiratory Health: Try diffusing some lemon oil, or adding a few drops to a beverage to help with respiratory complaints such as colds and coughs. You can also try diluting some lemon oil with a carrier oil like coconut and rubbing it on the back of your neck to get rid of cold symptoms.
Fight Nausea, Vomiting, and Morning Sickness: Try using a few drops of lemon oil for a couple of days to treat nausea and vomiting. Lemon is safe for use during pregnancy, so this is a great option for women suffering from morning sickness.
Immune Health and Prevention: Using lemon is a great way to give a boost to your immune system. If you tend to get sick a lot, drinking tea or water with a few drops of lemon oil every day is a good way to help keep your immune system functioning well. There has also been a fair amount of research about lemon being used for prevention of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
Weight Loss: Try adding lemon to a glass of water 3 times a day. It will help to promote a healthy metabolism, and may help aid in weight loss. Of course, it is best when combined with a healthy diet and exercise, which is the most effective way to lose weight for most people.
Mental and Emotional Support: Lemon is a great pick me up. It is energizing and promotes positive feelings. It is great to diffuse or inhale during the winter to kill those winter blues, or aid in fighting depression.
Clear Up Athlete's Foot, Cold Sores, and Warts: Using a couple drops of lemon oil topically in the morning and at night can help to clear up Athlete's Foot, Cold Sores, and Warts.
Lemon may be most associated with cleaning. It is used in a variety of popular cleaning products. There is a good reason for this.
Surface Cleaner: Try adding lemon juice or oil to your surface cleaners, or make your own cleaners using lemon. Try adding lemon oil to a base of water and vinegar for a great natural surface cleaner and disinfectant. You can also play with adding other cleansing oils such as tea tree, lavender, or eucalyptus.
Laundry: If you have wet laundry and you don't want it to get that musty smell, add a few drops of lemon essential oil, and it will get rid of that odor.
Dish Cleaner: If you want your dishes to really shine, try adding a few drops of lemon to the soap container on your dishwasher.
Preserve Leather, Silver, and Wood: Wipe down your leather furniture, clothing, etc. with a lemon soaked cloth. It will keep the leather clean, soft, and supple. Lemon will also help to remove tarnish from silver and leave your jewelry and silverware shiny and clean. Spray some lemon water on your dusting cloth to shine up wood surfaces, or add it to your floor cleaner to use on wood floors.
Get Rid of Goo: Lemon is great for getting gum off of things, removing sticker residue, or cleaning anything else that is sticky or gooey.
Cosmetics and Beauty
You can find lemon in a lot of beauty products for skin and hair, or you can add it to products you already use.
Hair Highlighting: Try adding lemon to your favorite hair products and then spending some time in the sun. It is a great way to get natural highlights, and a lot cheaper than going to a salon.
Clean Hands: Add a couple drops of lemon oil to your soap if your hands are oily or greasy. The lemon will cut the oil and grease and leave your hands clean.
Skin Care: Lemon is great for your skin. It is cleansing and leaves skin soft and supple. Try adding it to face or body wash to help treat acne, or put it on callouses, corns, or bunions to help soften them.
Teeth Whitening: Want whiter teeth but don't want to pay a lot for it? Try adding lemon essential oil to a base of coconut oil and baking soda. Rub it on your teeth, leave it for 2 minutes and rinse. Lemon will also help to clean and disinfect your mouth, which makes it great for fighting bad breath.
What is your favorite way to utilize lemon? Leave your ideas in the comments!
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to using a combination of bodywork and education to help people live a better quality of life.