Health Benefits Of Lime Essential Oil: Curing Scurvy
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If you’ve ever gone through a winter and started feeling rundown or out of energy -- then look no further than the humble lime as a remedy to your woes. This fruit is an amazing alternative to the orange, a fruit we all know and love and packs a whopping 35% of your required daily vitamin C dosage of 100mg. So, squeezing two of these into your tea and juice over the course of the day will boost your immune system, raise your energy levels and leave you feeling stronger in no time. So there’s no need to miss days of work by being rundown with the common cold, no need to spend money on costly flu medicines that make you feel drowsy or nauseous and no need to spend your saving on costly doctor’s fees.
The actual origin of the lime tree is unknown, but many suspect that started growing in Southeast Asia and was later carried to the Mediterranean region with the advent of trade and spice routes -- as trading between different societies became more normalized in the years after Christ’s death (AD).
They were commonly used by soldiers and sailors in British empire because the lime fruit contains more sugars and acids than oranges do (although they contain less Vitamin C than oranges do) and were highly effective in treating diseases such as scurvy and other illnesses that generally occurred on the tight and cramped living quarters of most naval vessels during those times.
However, other than being used in its natural form as potent natural antioxidant and vitamin supplement, the lime can also be used to produce a potent natural essential oil that is incredibly effective as a means of treating many different skin related issues and other internal infections, both of which are caused by harmful bacteria. So if you’re looking for a natural alternative for those skin creams and lotions, antibiotics and other pharmaceutical drugs that most of us find ourselves on at some point -- then look no further than lime essential oil!
What Is Lime Essential Oil?
Lime essential oil is basically a highly concentrated solution created by the extraction of the potent phytonutrients and the naturally occurring chemical compounds found in the skin (or rind) of the lime fruit as well as the leaves and stems of the lime tree. The oil has a wide variety of uses in a wide variety of industries and is often used as a flavorant in drinks (beverage industry), candy or other foods, household cleaning products and even as an active ingredient in many different cosmetic and hair care products.
As limes have become a reasonably common ingredient in many dishes, drinks, and other DIY household recipes, they are often readily available year-round, which means that the oil is relatively easy to find and less costly than certain rarer oils such as Ylang Ylang or oils that are expensive to make like Rose oil. This means, including it in as many of your household recipes as possible, is a reasonably easy thing to do and won’t cost you a lot of money.
The essential oil is produced through steam distillation. It’s one of the oldest methods of distillation known to man and still produces one of the cleanest finished products with no additional chemicals (something that often gets left behind during solvent extraction methods) and has no impurities left in the finished product.
Oils produced by this method are the purest forms of the extract available on the market and are most suitable for medicinal, aromatherapeutic and edible purposes. Solvent extraction methods produce an extract that would be more suitable for use in cleaning products than oil burners and skin use, so be sure to know how your oil was produced before using it!
How To Make Your Own DIY Lime Essential Oil
If you’re like me and a lot of other people, then you love DIY projects! They’re a great way to spend time over your weekends and are a productive way for you to save money and gain experience and insight into how and why things work the way they do. Not to mention the fact that they’re incredibly fun and nothing is more rewarding than being able to stand back after you’ve completed a project and say “I did that!”
Essential oils are a great place to start if you’re thinking of going the natural route in life and can save you a ton of cash in the long-run. However, it’s important for me to stress that I will be giving you a tried and trusted recipe for a lime oil infusion and not the pure essential oil extract. This can only be made through steam distillation and that’s a different product for a different weekend as there are many variables that one has to take into account to produce a clean finished product that’s free of impurities and chemicals -- it’s somewhat of a scientific process.
However, this recipe gives an idea of what to expect from the pure, distilled essential oil and is very cheap and easy to make. You can also blend a few drops of your lime essential oil with this infusion to help increase the amount that you have at home and make your stock last longer. What you will need:
- 2x Cups of Canola oil.
- 4x Limes.
- 1x Paring knife.
- 2x Kaffir leaves or a few stalks of dried lemongrass.
- 1x Cheesecloth or muslin cloth (for filter).
- 1x Plastic or glass container/jar.
What to do: Making the oil infusion is really quite simple and shouldn’t take you longer than an afternoon.
First, clean and dry your limes properly. Then add your oil to a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Now, remove the rind from the lime with the paring knife (you can also use a zester for this) and be sure to try and keep them in strips (or as close to strips as possible). Be sure not to include the white pith in your cuttings. Reduce the heat on your pan to a medium and add both the lime strips and the Kaffir leaves or cut lemongrass stalks. Let this simmer for 10 minutes and stir regularly. Now take the pan off the heat and cover with a lid or plate for three hours.
Once the time has gone by, you can use the cheesecloth of muslin to strain the oil and filter into your plastic container or glass jar. Then add the lime trimming and Kaffir leaves or lemongrass to the container and seal tightly. You can store this in a cool dry place like a cupboard or a pantry. The oil lasts up to two weeks, so be sure to use it before then.
Benefits of Lime Essential oil for Hair Use
Lime essential oil is a great source of a variety of oxygenated chemical compounds such as 1,8-cineole, linalool and a few acetate compounds which makes it great for treating a dry and irritable scalp. The oil can be added to your normal shampoo (8-10 drops should do) and can help to relieve your scalp of any inflammation or itchiness that generally lead to dandruff. In fact, lime essential oil is a common ingredient that’s used in most anti-dandruff shampoo, so using it in it’s natural form is a great way to make an effective treatment out of any herbal or normal shampoo/conditioner.
The high 1,8-cineole content found in lime essential oil also makes it highly effective in treating male pattern baldness in middle-aged men or those who have a genetic disposition towards the ailment. Male pattern baldness is generally the result of excess testosterone that get blocked under the surface skin layer of the scalp. The hormone is then converted, over time, to a chemical known as 5 alpha-reductase.
This reductase blocks the pores that hold the hairs in place and can starve them of essential nutrients that they need to remain healthy and strong, which can lead to breakages and even hair loss. By rubbing the oil directly onto your scalp, you effectively prevent the build up of this reductase and will stimulate the migration of blood cells to your scalp, allowing more nutrients to reach your hair follicles and ensuring that they have a stronger grip on the scalp. Thus reducing hair loss.
In addition, the oil is rich in natural acids that will help to cut through and ultimately remove excess sebum oil on your scalp which means that your hair will be less oily and more balanced. After continued use, this will leave your hair feeling and smelling much better, lighter and it will add volume to your hair without the addition of chemical agents that could dry your hair out. It’s an all natural solution that’s safe and non-toxic -- a rare quality in most hair care products.
Lime Essential Oil for Skin and Acne Treatment
The humble lime is one of nature’s richest sources of antioxidants along with the lemon and the orange. The oil of the fruit is a highly concentrated version of the fruit and has high levels of natural phytochemical compounds and polyphenols that make it a potent and non-toxic antioxidant. This means that it’s great for using on your skin directly or by mixing it into your normal/current face cream. The antioxidants in the essential oil allow it to contain and remove free-radical molecules that are one of the main causes of cell degeneration and other more serious diseases such as cancer.
Little is still known about what exactly causes free-radicals to occur in our system and what makes them react, but what we do know is that they bond with molecules in our body and can be especially dangerous when they bond with our DNA. Any number of reasons (such as overexposure to the sun, an unbalanced diet or a genetic predisposition) can cause them to start a chain-reaction which can cause serious damage in our bodies.
The free-radicals can occur through means of fatty foods, exposure to air pollutants and even medication that we ingest on a regular basis. Regularly flushing your body and skin with antioxidants is a great way to protect and prevent free-radical damage, and help to slow the aging process dramatically in younger people or those entering middle-age.
The oil is also a great natural skin toner and can be used to remove excess sebum that usually occurs with combination and oily skin types. The high acid content of the oil also helps to clear your pores of any foreign impurities and dead skin cells, promoting the growth of new cells and helping to heal acne scars faster, giving you a better complexion overall.
To apply the oil, simply add 2-3 drops to a clean cotton swab and wipe your face and neck after your normal facial routine. However, the oil in its raw form can cause skin discoloration when it comes into direct contact with the sun’s UV rays and should always be rinsed off before entering direct sunlight. On top of this, I highly recommend that you stick to a minimal and regulated dosage in order to minimize the possibility of any skin irritation in general, although it’s rare with this non-toxic oil, prevention is always better than the cure in my opinion.
What Does Lime Essential Oil Blend Well With?
Lime oil is definitely distinguishable from lemon oil in that it has a sweeter, more floral scent than the lemon’s more fixative and musky odor. It’s a light scent but is immediately noticeable and blends well with other floral essential oils such as orange, jasmine, geranium, ylang-ylang, palmarosa, bergamot and lemongrass essential oils. By using the oil in combination with any of these other essential oils, you’ll also maximize its medicinal properties as they generally share common traits with one another when it comes to chemical makeups and nutrient content.
In essence, I highly recommend lime essential oil as a natural alternative for your everyday hair and skincare treatments. It’s a safe, non-toxic and a non-irritant extract that has all the healing and moisturizing benefits of any over-the-counter or on-the-shelf cosmetics products that you’ll pay a small fortune for in the beauty aisle of your local supermarket or at your local chemist.
The oil is an active ingredient in most of those products anyway, so you might as well try it out in its natural form, free from other harmful and irritating chemicals and see what it does its raw form. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. If companies and manufacturers are willing to use it in their product lines, then you can be sure that it works well enough for them to trust it. But ultimately, only you can be the judge of whether you trust it or not.
I’ve found it incredibly useful to carry in my first aid kit to help treat wounds and insect bites as it has really potent natural antiseptic qualities which are incredibly useful for getting rid of harmful bacteria and preventing any infections from slowing the healing process or making you ill. As a rule of thumb, I’ll always go with an all-natural product over a chemical soup any day of the week. Lime essential oil is a fantastic addition to my arsenal of holistic products and it’ll work for you, like it has for me.