Plant/Part: Fruit/Peel (Source : Europe, Florida and California)
Latin Name: Citrus Limonum
AROMA: A citrus fragrance which is fresh and sharp.
PROPERTIES: It has antibacterial and tonic properties, making it useful for relief of cold symptoms. Widely used in beauty care. It cleanses, refreshes, cools and stimulates. Astringent and antiseptic oil. Useful for oily skin. Can be used to lighten dull, stained hands or to tone and condition nails and cuticles. Blends well with other oils A superb tonic to the circulatory system, liquefying the blood and aiding How thus easing pressure on varicose veins. An effective heart tonic and often used in bringing down high blood pressure. Restores vitality to red corpuscles easing anaemic conditions. At the same time stimulates the white corpuscles thereby invigorating the immune system and aiding the body to fight infectious disease.
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS: Limonene, Terpinene, Pinene, Myrcene, Citral, Linalol, Geraniol, Citronellal.
PRECAUTIONS: Do not use Lemon on the skin or in a bath for 12 hours prior to sun or sunlamp exposure.
BLENDS: Benzoin, Cardamom, Camomile, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Frankincense, Ginger, juniper, Lavender, Linden Blossom, Neroli, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang.
Digestive: stimulates the production of gastric juices (carminative), relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract, relieves stomach upsets, used for dyspepsia, heartburn, constipation (laxative), diarrhoea. tones the liver.
Genito/Urinary: increases the production of urine (diuretic), tones the kidneys.
Respiratory: antiseptic, antispasmodic, used for asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, throat infections.
Circulation: tones the heart, improves circulation, lowers blood pressure (used for hypertension). lowers the level of blood sugar and helps to remove toxins from the blood.
Muscles/Joints: used for arthritis and rheumatism.
Skin/Hair: stops bleeding (used for cuts and wounds, nosebleeds and bleeding gums) and assists in the formation of scar tissue. antiseptic, astringent, controls the production of sebum, used for oily skin , oily dandruff and acne. revitalizes the skin by improving circulation and encouraging the elimination of wastes (used for cellulite); gently exfoliates and enlivens the complexion. with long application reduces broken capillaries and varicose veins, softens scar tissue on scars and corns. it is also said to strengthen brittle nails.
Emotions/mind: cooling, refreshing and uplifting. clears the head, improves concentration and memory. helps to combat depression, bitterness, irrational fears, mental blocks.
Other: enhances immunity by stimulating the production of white blood cells. combats fever. causes sweating.
Caution: photosensitizing. might cause dermal irritation in sensitive individuals.
The Lemon tree (Citrus Limonum) is thought to have originated in India, and to have been introduced into Italy towards the end of the 5th Century. From Italy, cultivation spread throughout the Mediterranean basin, and particularly to Spain and Portugal, though California now rivals the traditional growing areas in commercial terms.
The essential oil is pressed from the outer rind of the lemons (it takes as many as 3,000 of them to produce a kilo of essential oil). The oil is a pale greeny-yellow in colour, and has the unmistakeable smell of fresh lemons. Its active constituents include pinene, limonene, phellandrene, camphene, linalol, acetates of linalol and geranyl, citral and citronellal.
Lemon oil has a number of very important properties, of which one of the most important is its ability to stimulate the white corpuscles that defend the body against infection. This is of great value, both in the treatment of external wounds and in infectious illnesses. JEAN VALNET mentions tuberculosis, typhoid, malaria, syphillis and gonorrhoea, but it is very important to remember that he is speaking from the standpoint of a fully qualified doctor of medicine. The aromatherapist without such qualifications should never be tempted to treat such conditions, except as a back-up to treatment by a doctor or naturopath. In less serious conditions, though, such as bronchitis, 'flu, and gastric infections, Lemon also has the property of reducing temperature. For this purpose, slices of lemon in water, or the fresh juice squeezed into water with a little honey, can be given as often as the sick person feels like drinking.
The ability to stimulate the body's own defence, in the action of the white corpuscles, is also very good reason for using Lemon for all kinds of cuts and wounds; and, in addition, Lemon is also haemostatic, i.e. it helps to stop bleeding. It can be used for minor and not so minor injuries, as well as to arrest bleeding after tooth extraction, and for nosebleeds. If the gum is bleeding after a looth has been extracted, take some fresh Lemon juice and hold it in the mouth for as long as possible. Don't swill it about, as the movement will prevent the clotting which is needed to stop the bleeding. A mouthwash of Lemon juice is also a good gum tonic, a treatment for gingivitis and for mouth ulcers. For nosebleeds, soak a small pad of cotton wool in Lemon juice and insert it into the nostril.
Lemon is a powerful bacteriride, which is yet another excellent reason for using it in treating CUTS etc. Dr. Valnet cites research which has shown that the essential oil will kill diphtheria bacilli in 20 minutes, and even in as low a dilution as 0.2% it will make tuberculosis bacilli completely inactive. The juice of one lemon can be added to each litre if you are ever doubtful about the source of drinking water.
The third very important property of Lemon is its ability to counteract acidity in the body. This may at first appear surprising, in view of the obviously acid nature of lemons, but the citric acid is neutralised during digestion, giving rise to carbonates and bicarbonaies of potassium and calcium, and these help to maintain the alkalinity to the system. This has useful applications in all conditions where the acid/alkaline balance of the body is unbalanced in the direction of excessive acidity, the example that first springs to mind being gastric acidity, leading to pain and ulcers. Lemon is also a good general tonic to the digestive system, including the liver and the pancreas.
Other situations, in which too much acidity in the body gives rise to painful symptoms, include rheumatism, gout and arthritis, when the body does not rid itself effectively of uric acid, and this forms crystals which cause pain and inflammation of the joints. Lemon has a tonic effect on the circulatory system, and is especially appropriate in treating varicose veins. It is helpful in cases of high blood-pressure too, and can be used in preventive regimes against arteriosclerosis.
Among the minor uses of Lemon are a number of applications in skincare - it is a mild bleach, and is useful in brightening dull and discoloured skin, especially the neck, and it might have some effect on freckles, if applied every day over a period of time. It is astringent, and will therefore help greasy skin, and the same antiseptic properties which make it helpful for cuts, etc., are equally valuable in treating spots and BOILS.
Oil of Lemon can be used as an alternative to chemical treatments to remove corns, WARTS and verrucas. You can use oil of Lemon undiluted for this purpose, though some sources suggest 2 drops of Lemon oil in 10 drops of cider vinegar. Whichever you choose, apply it daily to the verruca, corn or wart, taking care to avoid the healthy surrounding skin. Cover the area with a plaster in the daytime, but leave it open at night. Repeat this every day for as long as needed. If wished, mix or alternate with Ti-tree.
There is some suggestion that Lemon has an anti-aging effect. There doesn't seem to be enough evidence to support this, but the tonic, anti-acid and other beneficial effects could certainly help to prolong vigour.
Lemon oil can cause skin irritation unless used in very low dilutions, so do not exceed 1% in massage oils, making the blend up to 3% with other oils. In the bath, not more than 3 drops should be used, or even 2 drops for people with sensitive skins.
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