Edition 44: June 2012
Essential Oil of the month
Radiant lemon oil turns pessimism into optimism
THE HISTORY of the lemon extends as far back as the ancient Egyptians, who used lemon as an antidote to food poisoning and typhoid epidemics. It is a native to Asia and India, and was brought to Europe by the crusaders in the Middle Ages, becoming more commonplace in the 16th Century where it became known widely as a panacea, especially for infection.
Lemon oil helps to fight against infections by enhancing the body’s immune system and stimulating white blood cell production; thus increasing our ability to fight disease.
Lemon oil, with its high content of vitamins A, B and C, can help bring down fever and is effective against infectious diseases such as malarial fever and typhoid. It has effective germicidal action, making it an aid in treating colds, throat infections, bronchitis, asthma and flu. The oil has haemostatic action and tends to stem external bleeding; this combined with its bactericidal properties, makes it useful in a wash for cuts and grazes.
Refreshing lemon oil also improves the circulation in the body, easing gout, rheumatism and arthritis - conditions that benefit from its stimulating and alkalising action. Toning to the blood vessels and improving circulation means lemon oil may be used for broken capillaries, varicose veins and haemorrhoids; it also helps with nosebleeds. Lemon is thought to be appropriate for hypertension as it reduces blood pressure and works well when combined with lavender oil.
Lemon belongs in anti-cellulite blends and is very helpful in helping to reduce weight when used in detoxifying, lymphatic drainage massage. It stimulates the lymph, which helps the kidneys process toxins and eliminate them through the bladder.
Lemon oil is an effective carminative that can be used in treating various stomach disorders including indigestion, dyspepsia, cramps and acidity. Its ability to diminish the acidity level in the body plays a big role in its digestive activity.
BURNERS and vapourisers: lemon oil can be used for colds, voice loss, flu, depression, stress, lack of energy and fatigue. It also helps improve concentration, lifts the spirits, clears the mind and helps in decision making.
BLENDED massage or bath oil: Lemon oil can assist with digestive problems, lack of energy, fatigue, infections, flu, obesity, overweight, rheumatism, depression, stress and as a general tonic.
LOTIONS and creams: Lemon oil can clear congested or oily skin. It also helps to treat any cuts, boils and minor wounds.
MOUTHWASH or gargle: If dispersed in a much diluted form in warm water, it can be great to use as a mouth wash or gargle to sort out mouth ulcers.
Lemon has a decongestive and cleansing action on the kidneys and liver, which may explain why it is helpful removing urinary stones and gallstones and easing constipation.
Clearing heat and toxicity from a congested, over-worked liver is an indirect way of relieving headaches, irritability and insomnia.
Dull skin responds beautifully to lemon oil; regaining lustre from its astringent and detoxifying nature while also removing dead skin cells.
Its rejuvenating properties will brighten the skin and supposedly lighten freckles. It has a toning and astringent effect on oily skin and its antiseptic properties assists in treating pimples, clearing acne and various skin disorders.
Scar tissue may be softened with this handy oil that also prevents brittle nails. Use lemon oil as an effective hair tonic, encouraging health and shine; it works particularly well on oily hair and treats dandruff as well.
The soothing oil may be dabbed on painful cold sores, mouth ulcers, herpes and insect bites. It has been used to help remove corns, warts and verrucas.
Powerfully antibacterial, lemon oil makes an excellent disinfectant cleaner to be used for cleansing not only the body, but dirty, contaminated surfaces in the home. A superb germicidal cleaner can be made by blending lemon oil with other cleansing essentials oils (for example, clove or grapefruit) and water; such a blend doubles as a room freshener that is alsovery uplifting for the user with its stimulating, clean scent. Use natural vinegar as a carrier for cleaning windows, mirrors and even dirty drains. The distinct, bright aroma of lemon adds a clear citrus top note for perfume blends. Such blends are always favourites in candles, pot-pourris, room-sprays and even car blends to enliven the mood and create a cheerful atmosphere of freshness and purity. Use lemon oil in an oil-burner in the sick-room to prevent the spread of infection. Lemon oil also provides a zesty taste and aroma to food and drinks.
Reviving and refreshing
Lemon is radiant and reviving oil in nature that helps remove mental fatigue, exhaustion, dizziness, anxiety, nervousness and nervous tension. It has the ability to refresh the mind by creating a positive mind-frame and removing negative emotions by working synergistically on a therapeutic, aesthetic and emotional level.
Lemon oil has been proven to increase mental alertness and focus, helping to dispel mental fatigue and psychological heaviness. A Japanese study suggested that diffusing lemon oil throughout a busy office building improved concentration and typing errors decreased by 54 per cent. Therefore it is ideal to be used as a room freshener in the workspace to enhance the efficiency of employees.
Lemon oil aids the decision-making process, bringing clarity and rational thought that promotes mental agility. It is associated with the colour yellow, with warm, penetrating energy that sheds light in a foggy, confused mind, burdened by decisions and obstacles. Lemon oil clears the throat chakra, enhancing self-expression, which encourages greater trust to express one’s talents. Pessimism turns to optimism and wisdom transforms cynicism and confusion. Cynical feelings lodged in the liver and gall-bladder are released, which brightens a soured disposition, bringing a certain inner joy.
Focusing on using lemon oil with healing intent may transform damaging self-judgement and alcohol addiction may be released from the cellular memory and cravings reduced. Use the oil on the liver and gall bladder meridians to remove obstructions.
Latin name: Citrus limonum
Scent: Lemon oil has a light, tangy and true lemon aroma. Its fresh scent is similar to fresh lemon rinds except richer and more concentrated; this is the hallmark of authentic, cold-pressed lemon essential oil. The oil is pale greenish-yellow in colour and watery in viscosity.
Blends well with: Lavender, rose, sandalwood, benzoin, ginger, eucalyptus, geranium, fennel, juniper, neroli and tea tree. Lemon is a great modifier for medicinal-smelling oils such as tea tree and eucalyptus.
Oil properties: Lemon oil is extracted from the fresh fruit peel by cold expression as the high temperatures needed for steam distillation would destroy the subtle, fresh aroma.
Habitat: The lemon tree is one of 16 distinct species in the Citrus genus. It is an evergreen that grows up to about six meters and has dark green serrated oval leaves with perfumed pink/white flowers, thorns and fruit that turn from green to yellow on ripening. A single tree can produce up to 1,500 fruit per year and it is particularly well-suited to the arid, subtropical climates such as southern California and Mediterranean region, where they grow in large, fragrant orchards.
Therapeutic properties: anti-acid, anti-anaemic, antimicrobial, anti-rheumatic, anti-sclerotic, antiseptic, antifungal, bactericidal, carminative, cicatrisant, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, haemostatic, hypotensive, insecticidal, rubefacient, tonic and vermifuge.
Precautions: Non-toxic, but can cause skin irritation and sensitising in some individuals. Lemon oil increases photo-sensitivity oil and it should not be used before being exposed to the sun.