Lemon Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

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Lemon essential oil is a type of essential oil commonly used in aromatherapy. Sourced from the peel of the Citrus limon plant, lemon essential oil is said to offer a number of health benefits. This is different from lemongrass essential oil.

Lemon essential oil
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Health Benefits

The uses of lemon essential oil include easing stress, elevating mood, stimulating the immune system, alleviating pain, and promoting weight loss. In addition, lemon essential oil might be used to address conditions such as acne, athlete's foot, and warts.

Although research on the health effects of the aromatherapeutic use of lemon essential oil is limited, there's some evidence that lemon essential oil may offer certain benefits:

  • Anxiety: Lemon essential oil is known to be a natural stress reliever. Inhaling this aromatic oil has been shown to stimulate serotonin and dopamine production, which contributes to decreased anxiety.
  • Mood: Preliminary research indicates that lemon essential oil can act as a mood enhancer. Researchers have found that inhaling the aroma of lemon essential oil improves mood and promotes relaxation.
  • Weight loss: Lemon essential oil has been shown to suppress weight gain and improve metabolic markers, such as cholesterol and triglycerides. However, due to a lack of clinical trials testing the effects of lemon essential oil on fat breakdown, it's too soon to recommend it as a weight-loss aid.

Possible Side Effects

Lemon essential oil shouldn't be ingested. There's some concern that applying lemon essential oil to the skin may increase your sensitivity to ultraviolet light emitted by the sun and—as a result—raise your risk of skin cancer.

When using lemon essential oil on your skin, it's crucial to protect against ultraviolet light exposure by applying sunblock.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, natural remedies may not always be safe; therefore, pregnant women and children should consult their primary health care providers prior to using essential oils.

With any essential oil, there is a risk of contact sensitivity. A skin patch test should be done before using any new essential oil. 

Dosage and Preparation

When diluted with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado oil), a drop or two of lemon essential oil can be applied to the skin or added to baths.

Pure lemon essential oil shouldn't be applied directly to the skin or used in larger amounts than recommended (the oil is absorbed through the skin and using too much can be harmful).

Lemon essential oil also can be inhaled after sprinkling a drop of the oil onto a cloth or tissue (or by using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer).

What to Look For

Widely available for purchase online, lemon essential oil is sold in many natural-foods stores and stores specializing in self-care products.

A Word From Verywell

While it's too soon to recommend lemon essential oil as a treatment for any condition, using the healing scent may have benefits for the mind and body. While you can schedule an aromatherapy massage or facial, the oil can also be used at home. Be sure to consult an aromatherapist or gain an understanding of how to use powerful essential oils safely.

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