Lemon Essential Oil Benefits: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Oil!
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In the days of old, travelling across the ocean was truly a nightmare. I mean, really death-defying stuff! To think, just arriving at your destination was considered a miracle, let alone in good health or in one piece too. Sailors would often contract horrible diseases on board, such as scurvy, polio, cholera or the measles – amongst others. This was generally caused by a lack of fresh water or much needed vitamins and nutrients, not to mention the often appalling conditions and sheer cramped, closeness most of the crew was forced to endure in their lower quarters.
Thankfully, today travelling long distances has become a much more accessible and manageable task. Whether by air, sea or road, the chances of you arriving at your destination safely and in good health are very high – practically guaranteed! However, that doesn’t mean that our bodies don’t still go through a little stress when travelling and we can become rundown nonetheless. Anyone who’s flown long distances will know what being jet-lagged feels like – the pits! When you’re jet-lagged, you’re vulnerable to developing a cold, which could develop into influenza and worsen from there if not treated correctly and can really spoil a holiday – when the last thing you want to be doing is sniffing and sneezing in bed.
I highly recommend lemons and lemon juice as a travel-friendly solution to these ailments and always pack a small bottle of the stuff or bring a vial of lemon essential oil with me. They’re easily available wherever you are in the world and very cheap and can be used for a variety of issues. Keep reading to find out more!
What Is Lemon Essential Oil? Where Does It Come From?
The lemon tree is an evergreen tree that is native to Asia, yet is currently cultivated in most parts of the world as they’re easy to grow, produce a big yield and because lemons (including their products) are almost always in demand, they tend to generate a good income for farmers – depending on the markets of course.
Lemons contain high amounts of Vitamin C (roughly 64% of our daily 100g dose) as well has a high amount of citric acid, an ingredient that is commonly utilized in the industrial processing of the lemon fruit for a wide variety of products – from cleaning agents/detergents to food and drink products and many more. Some of the biggest producers of commercially viable lemons at the moment are India, Mexico and China.
Like most other oils produced from citrus fruits, lemon essential oil is cold-pressed or steam distilled from the rinds (skin) of the lemon fruit. On an industrial scale, cold-pressing will usually be the most viable method of extracting the oil from the fruit and essentially means that the skins are subjected to huge amounts of pressure in a large, industrial press. The oil is basically squeezed from the rind. Steam distillation is a much slower and more meticulous process.
In this scenario, the essential vitamins and minerals are evaporated from the rinds of the fruit via exposure to steam. The steam is then carried down a series of glass tubes and collects in a cooling chamber where they form droplets that constitute the basis of the essential oil. Due to the lemon fruits wide popularity and easy availability, lemon essential oil is quite easy to get a hold of and can help you in a lot of ways – so I recommend that you always have a vial of it in your home.
Benefits And Uses Of Lemon Essential Oil For Hair
Lemon essential oil is really helpful for keeping your hair healthy, nourished and restoring its sheen – which can be lost over time due to sun overexposure or by over-using chemical treatments. The citric acid contained in the juice of the fruit is used in most hair care products and shampoos for its strong antibacterial qualities. Lemon essential oil is commonly used as a natural remedy for dandruff and can effectively treat the problem from the root of the issue (no pun intended!).
Along with the oils’ natural antibacterial qualities, it also acts as a natural astringent – which means that it helps to contract the tissue cells in your scalp. These qualities are provided by the lemon’s high content of tannins (also found red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon). So, the oil itself clings to and removes the dead skin cells that form the most obvious symptom of dandruff and the astringent nature of the oil seeps into your scalp and slows the production of excess sebum oil and the rate of skin cell death by contracting the pores on your scalp and moisturizing the skin at the same time. When the skin is moisturized, it is less irritable and less itchy, so you won’t scratch it as often – another reason for the formation of the dandruff flakes.
By regularly applying a mixture of lemon essential oil and almond essential oil to your head via a warm oil treatment, you can also stimulate hair growth and slow hair loss (this works for both men and women). Both lemon and almond essential oils act as inhibitors of a chemical that forms at the roots of your hair follicles known as 5 alpha -reductase. This compound essentially blocks your pores and ultimately slows hair growth and can even lead to fallout – the most common cause for natural hair pattern baldness in men.
The high amounts of limonene and linalool found in both oils actively suppress the 5 alpha -reductase compound which allow the hair follicles to grow more freely and then nourishes your hair from the roots – leaving your hair healthy and rejuvenated – not to mention smelling great, too!
— Wellness Warrior (@lisadouthitww) February 25, 2017
Lemon Essential Oil For Skin And Acne Treatment
The natural antioxidants and antibacterial qualities of the lemon fruits essential oil also makes it an amazing natural toner for treating facial blemishes, skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis and as a moisturizer. The natural astringent qualities of the essential oil help to heal cuts, wounds and acne sores by speeding up cell regeneration and contracting skin tissue – essentially encouraging coagulation. This means that it can be applied topically as an antiseptic to treat open wounds and kill off any germs that may lead to infection as well as speed up the healing process.
Blackheads and blemishes are quite common in our everyday experience and are generally caused by a buildup of excess sebum oil and other impurities that we come into contact with on a daily basis (whether it’s pollutants found in the air or a result of the application of comedogenic make-up, usually of the cheaper variety). It is important to treat your skin daily as this constant exposure to harmful chemicals and bacteria will lead to a continuation of blemishes and sometimes even worsen the effects of acne.
By wiping the sebum oil, germs and other bacteria away with a natural, non-chemical treatment, you essentially rejuvenate your skin’s moisture and balance the oil levels as well as clean and clear your pores without any risk of additional harm or damage to your skin.
What Is Lemon Verbena Essential Oil?
Lemon Verbena essential oil is basically oil that is produced from the natural chemicals and nutrients found in the leaves of the Verbena plant. The Verbena plant is native to South America, but has been cultivated around Europe and North Africa (as well as some South-East Asian countries) since the late 19th century for its use in culinary dishes. It is often used as a substitute for lemongrass in both cooking dishes and when blending essential oils and shares many of the same properties (high geraniol content, loads of limonene and linalool and strong citrul properties).
The oil is also commonly used in aromatherapy to help reduce stress and anxiety levels as well as in hair and skin care products as a natural fragrance and antimicrobial agent. It is easy to cultivate and is often used in the adulteration of other essential oils such as lemongrass, sandalwood and bergamot.
How To Make DIY Lemon Essential Oil
Making your own lemon essential oil at home is really easy – however, it’s important to note that it is not pure extract! That stuff contains all the goodness and in high concentration too. However, it is easy enough to make your own substitute for cooking or basic aromatherapy uses and can even work mildly well as a hair care treatment too. Although, for best results I recommend an organically produced pure extract (preferably through steam distillation). To make your own homemade lemon oil:
- 2-3x lemon (or more, depending on the quantity you would like to make).
- 1x bottle of carrier oil (almond essential oil, sandalwood or extra virgin olive oil for cooking purposes).
- 1x glass jar with seal-able lid.
Firstly, grate the outside of the lemon into a bowl so that it fills roughly half the size of the bowl. You’ll want a little pile of zest here, so be sure to grate vigorously. Now add the zest to your glass jar. Then add the carrier oil and make sure that it fills the rest of the jar. Leave the glass jar on a windowsill with lots of direct sunlight and shake well for a few minutes once a day. Leave the glass there for at least 3-4 days. After that, store in a cool, dry place and shake well before use.
Lemons have been in our society for well over 200 years for their incredible healing properties and wonderful, unique citrus odor. Whether they’re used in food, drinks, fragrances or even for medicinal reasons – they certainly do provide a real bang for their buck. Very few fruits can be so easily cultivated and even fewer can be utilized in such a wide variety of ways as the lemon can. Lemons are already a part of your everyday life – you might not even know it yet!
Your shampoo, the deodorant you use, the marinade you buy for supper, the detergent you wash your clothes with – the list is almost endless. So why not go straight to the source and see what some pure, lemon essential oil can do for you. Your home already contains a long list of other products with versions of it in them – so don’t just take my word for it!