Friday, 16 December 2011

Essential Oil in Focus - Lemon

Essential Oil                                    Lemon                                     
Latin / Botanical Name             Citrus Limon

Family                                                 Rutaceae
Family Description                      Commonly known as the rue or citrus family, is a family of flowering plants.  Species of the family generally have flowers that divide into four or five parts, usually with strong scents. They range in form and size from herbs to shrubs and small trees.
Synonyms                                         C. limonum, cedro oil, Expressed lemon oil
Note                                                     Top

Method of Extraction               Cold expression from the outer part of the fresh peel. A terpeneless oil is also produced on a large scale (cedro oil).

Colour                                                 Pale to deep yellow

Consistency                                    Thin

Aromatic Description               Aroma is similar to fresh lemon rinds except richer and more concentrated.

Description                                     A small evergreen tree up to 6 metres high with serrated oval leaves, stiff thorns and very fragrant flowers.  The fruit turns from green to yellow when ripe.

Distribution                                    Native to Asia, probably east India, grows wild in the Mediterranean region especially in Spain and Portugal.  It is cultivated extensively worldwide in Italy, Sicily, Cyprus, Guinea, Israel, South and North America (California and Florida).

Personality Profile                     They sparkle and are full of life, with a very positive approach, in the form of an unshakeable confidence in everything that they do.  Lemon is like a breath of fresh air; positively wonderful to have around, not too bothered by the struggles and strains of living, able to take everything quite calmly.  They radiate with energy, are very active and positive.

History and Myth                        Lemon juice was considered the best of all anti-scorbutics (a remedy for scurvy).
English ships were required by law to carry sufficient lemon or lime juice for every seaman to have once daily after being at sea for ten days or more.

Blends                                               Lavender, neroli, ylang ylang, rose, sandalwood, olibanum, chamomile, benzoin, fennel, geranium, eucalyptus, juniper, oakmoss, lavandin, elemi, labdanum and other citrus oils.

Points of Interest                        Studies in Japan found that when lemon was dispersed through the room, typing errors reduced by 54%.
                                                                Lemon is said to alleviate fears of emotional involvement and of losing oneself in another person.
                                                                The fragrance of lemon enables deeper meditations and it is spiritually cleansing.

Therapeutic Uses                        Skin:     Acne, anaemia, brittle nails, boils, chilblains, corns, cuts, greasy skin, herpes, insect bites, month ulcers, spots, varicose veins, warts.
                                                                Circulation, muscles and joints:         Arthritis, cellulites, high blood pressure, nosebleeds, obesity (congestion), poor circulation, rheumatism, toxaemia, cellulite.
                                                                Respiratory System:  Asthma, throat infections bronchitis, catarrh.
Digestive System:        Dyspepsia
Immune System:          Colds, flu, fever, infections.
Nervous System:          Mental fatigue, helps clear the mind, calming (emotionally overwrought).

Therapeutic Actions               Anti-anaemic, antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, antirheumatic, antisclerotic, antiscorbutic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, cicatrisant, depurative, diaphoretic,  diuretic, febrifuge, haemostatic, hypotensive, insecticidal, rubefacient, stimulates white corpuscles,  tonic, vermifuge.

Mode of Administration         Massage, compress, bath, ointment, inhalation – direct, diffuser, oil vaporiser.

Safety Information                    Non-toxic, can cause dermal irritation or sensitisation reactions in some individuals (apply in moderation).  Lemon is photo-toxic – do not use on skin exposed to direct sunlight.
Contra-indications                      Avoid during first trimester of pregnancy
Lemon may be irritating for stomach ulcer.
Principle Constituents            Limonene, terpinene, pinenes, sabinene, myrcene, citral, linalool, geraniol, octanol, nonanol, citronellal, bergamotene.

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