Who doesn’t like the scent of lemons? It’s fresh, crisp, and in some strange way, happy. We scent our cleaning supplies with it (think dishwasher detergent, furniture polish, etc.), we mask heavy flavours with it (fish oil, anyone?), and we have air fresheners with it. It makes sense that we’d also be attracted to lemon in an EO as well.
Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon) isn’t like other EOs in that it’s derived from the peel of the fruit and isn’t from the flowers, stems, or another part of the lemon tree. Because it is cold pressed from the peel, it has a bit of a shelf life, unlike other EOs. Most EOs are ‘shelf stable’ and lose no potency over time, but because the citrus oils have a different derivation, they can lose some of their potency beyond about 6-7 months time.
Lemon oil does more than just smell good, though. It contains 68% d-limonene, which is a powerful antioxidant, and has been shown to increase concentration and focus by 54% (over not using anything to enhance concentration and focus).
D-limonene (which honestly sounds a bit Elvish to me) is also being studied for its properties in relationship to cancer cells – preliminary information coming from the studies suggest that malignant cells will implode upon themselves in the presence of concentrations of d-limonene. More study is needed, of course, and Young Living isn’t permitted to make claims about the efficacy of their EOs to treat, cure, or prevent disesases, per the FDA. Lemon EO contains no vitamin C.
We use lemon oil here almost every day. Brendan has a terra cotta diffuser that he wears around his neck and I regularly drop lemon oil on it. We also diffuse it during lessons when he doesn’t wear the pendant, or we dab it under his nose. It’s not considered a “hot” oil, so we don’t cut it with a carrier oil, and he gets the full benefit of inhaling it. Even he was amazed at how well it works – and he now asks for it when we tackle world history or he has to concentrate on something. We were using peppermint oil for concentration-enhancement, but peppermint has a lower success-rate in increasing concentration than lemon oil.
But what if you don’t want to diffuse it or wear it on a pendant? There are multiple uses around the house for it, including dropping it in your water and drinking it. If you do drop it in water, however, be sure to use a non-reactive container (glass or stable reuseable bottle). Lemon oil’s properties will cause styrofoam to melt in its presence (and create a huge mess) and there’s a chance that the petrochemicals that go in to making things like PET plastic and styrofoam could end up being ingested. So don’t do that. Here are some ideas for using YL’s lemon oil:
- Add 1 teaspoon of lemon oil to a cup of mineral oil and use as furniture polish. The citric acid in the lemon oil will help cut through grime and the mineral oil will soak in to wood.
- Use it straight to remove gum, adhesive, oil, grease spots, and wood stain from clothing or skin (or hair, in the case of gum)
- Add a few drops to your dishwasher to prevent spots on your dishes
- Add to water (alone) or combine with peppermint for an energizing lift
- Freshen the air in your home by putting 10 drops or so on a cotton ball and putting it in your vacuum cleaner bag.
Because we use lemon oil nearly daily, I don’t worry so much about it expiring on us. And it’s an inexpensive oil, with the retail price being just about $13 for a 15ml bottle. As always, if you’d like to order it, I’m happy to help. If not, no worries – there’s never any pressure here, just learning about the natural things that can help us.