22 Lemon Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

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Lemon essential oilWhen it comes to essential oils, few have the number of health benefits and multipurpose uses as lemon essential oil.

It’s one of the most powerful oils you can use for your health. In fact, the oil has been used for at least 1,000 years to treat a variety of health conditions and ailments.

Studies have since found that lemon essential oil has many established health benefits; one study found that lemon essential oil is possibly the most antimicrobial of any type of essential oil.


What Is Lemon Essential Oil?

There’s a good chance that you have used products with lemon essential oil before. It’s added to many soaps, lotions, and cleaners due to its powerful scent. In fact, lemon essential oil is even more common than that. The oil comes from lemons, typically cold-pressed from their rinds (as opposed to the pulp). Lemon essential oil is distilled and highly concentrated, making it extremely potent; you can’t get the same health benefits from regular lemons or lemon juice.

Lemon essential oil contains an antioxidant called d-limonene. This antioxidant is extremely powerful and can even help lower risk of cancer. Lemon essential oil can contain up to 70% d-limonene, which in part fuels its powerful health benefits.

If you want to know how to make lemon essential oil, there are ways to do it at home, but it can be difficult to create a highly concentrated homemade oil. If you’re looking to buy lemon essential oil, doTERRA, Young Living, and other well-known brands offer the oil for affordable prices.

Lemon Essential Oil Health Benefits

1. Cure Digestive Upset

cure digestive upset

Lemon essential oil in water can help ease your stomach problems.

Lemon oil can support and improve digestion, helping with a variety of ailments. Indigestion and acid reflux can be responsible for a wide range of digestive symptoms, including diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, constipation, and stomach cramps. Using lemon essential oil in water (usually three drops per glass) can help ease your stomach problems, improving your digestion and eliminating symptoms.

2. Cleanse Your Body

cleanse your body

Lemon oil is believed to help cleanse toxins from your body.

Lemon essential oil is a powerful antimicrobial, making it effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Lemon oil also contains antioxidants. All of these combined make lemon oil one of the best essential oils for cleansing your body and improving lymphatic drain. Lemon oil is believed to help cleanse toxins from your body.

3. Improve Mood

improve mood

One study found that even just breathing the scent of lemon oil stimulated neurological activity.

It’s also believed that lemon essential oil can improve your mood and concentration. One study found that even just breathing the scent of lemon oil stimulated neurological activity. For this reason, it’s believed that lemon essential oil can be used against depression.

4. Treat Acne

treat acne

Using lemon essential oil for acne can eliminate pimples and lead to smooth, clear skin.

Since it’s microbial, you can also use lemon essential oil for your skin. Acne is typically caused by bacterial infections, and other skin disorders can be associated with fungi. Using lemon essential oil for acne can eliminate pimples and lead to smooth, clear skin. You can add it to a lotion or apply it directly.

5. Boost Immune System

boost immune system

Studies show that lemon essential oil can help improve immune function.

Lemon essential oil contains a high amount of vitamins, which means it can improve immune function. Lemon oil is also believed to stimulate circulation and white blood cell production, helping fight off infection, sickness, and disease.

6. Soothe Sore Throats

soothe sore throat

Try tea with lemon oil and honey to soothe a sore throat.

There was a reason why your mother may have given you a glass of warm water with lemon when you were sick: lemon essential oil in water can help soothe sore throats. It can be particularly good when combined with honey, which is also an antimicrobial and has anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Lose Weight

lose weight

Lemon oil is effective for reducing hunger.

Can lemon oil help you lose weight? As surprising as it may seem, the answer appears to be yes. One study found that just breathing in the scent of lemon oil increased the neural activity that helps eliminate body fat. Lemon oil is also effective for reducing hunger, which can help people on diets.

15 Lemon Essential Oil Uses

15 uses of lemon essential oil

There is also a variety of household, beauty, and multi-purpose uses for lemon essential oil—it’s not just for health!

1. Insect Repellant

Lemon oil can repel insects, particularly when mixed with certain other essential oils, which makes for a great alternative to the more toxic commercial insect repellants.

2. Hand Sanitizer

Lemon oil is antimicrobial, so it’s great for eliminating bacteria and viruses. Add it to a lotion and rub it onto your hands.

3. Disinfectant

When you’re cleaning your home, lemon oil can make a great disinfectant, killing microbes and keeping hard surfaces clean.

4. Flavor Enhancer

Just as lemons are often used to enhance the taste of food, so can a few drops of lemon oil! Add it to butter, and then use on steamed vegetables, bread, or fish.

5. Food Preserver

If you want to keep sliced or cut fruit from going bad, add them to a container with water and a few drops of lemon oil. It can keep cut apple slices (and other fruits) from turning brown.

6. Dandruff Treatment

Dandruff is often due to fungi or other skin irritants. Rubbing lemon oil onto your scalp can be an effective dandruff treatment.

7. Hair Lotion

If you want to give your hair a nice glisten or shine, lemon essential oil can improve how it looks. Oils are important for the health and appearance of your hair.

8. Nail Care

Instead of using a harsh and irritating cuticle remover, lemon oil can be used on your nails as a softer treatment that’s still effective. Apply lemon oil onto your nails to improve their appearance and help remove cuticles.

9. Residue Remover

Lemon oil can help clean sticky residue left on clothes, walls, or kitchen surfaces. If you have kids, lemon oil can also help remove crayon or pastel stains.

10. Wood Polish

If you want an all-natural wood polish that smells good too, use lemon oil.

11. Laundry Freshener

It’s easy for wet clothes to get a musty smell after sitting in the washer for too long. Adding a few drops of lemon oil in with your clothes will help remove any odors.

12. Teeth Cleaner

Lemon oil can also be used to clean and whiten your teeth. A mixture of lemon oil, coconut oil, and baking soda is effective for brightening your smile.

13. Cleanser

Lemon oil is very soft on your skin, which makes it a perfect, non-irritating cleanser to use. Wash your face with water and lemon oil.

14. Odor Eliminator

There’s a reason why cleaning products use lemon oil, and that reason is its great scent. To eliminate odors in your fridge or to improve the smell of your home, mix some water with lemon oil and spritz away!

15. Callous Removal

Lemon oil can help soften callouses and rough skin, creating a clearer, smoother complexion.

Are There Any Lemon Essential Oil Recipes?

recipes of lemon essential oil

If you are ingesting lemon oil, then you should add a few drops to a glass of water or food.

How do you use your lemon oil? This oil is quite versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Really, there’s no specific recipe that you need to use this oil.

However, if you are ingesting lemon oil, then you should add a few drops to a glass of water or to your food, rather than having it straight. Always dilute lemon oil if you are consuming it. Essential oils can have negative health effects when not taken properly.

Lemon oil is fairly safe, but it can have adverse effects if too much is taken. It’s best to consult with an aromatherapist or naturopath if you intend to harness the health benefits of lemon essential oil.

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Dr. Jeffrey Shapiro, MD

About the Author, Browse Jeffrey's Articles

After receiving athletic and academic awards at Yale and Stanford, Jeff has coached those seeking peak wellness, appeared on ABC News 20/20 and served as a consultant for CBS News 60 Minutes and The Late Show with David Letterman. As the author of many research studies and practicing anesthesiology/critical care medicine for more than 20 years, Jeff can be your guide to common sense decision making regarding drugs, supplements and vitamins. With no corporate sponsors and no vitamins or supplements... Read Full Bio »