Botanical name Citrus x limon L.
Processing Method Steam Distillation
Color/Consistency A thin, colorless to greenish yellow liquid.
Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma A top note with a strong aroma, it has a strong bright lemony scent.
Blends With Bergamot, Lime, Mandarin and Orange.
The health benefits of lemon are due to its many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and protein. It is a fruit that contains flavonoids, which are composites that contain antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties. It helps to prevent diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, fever, indigestion, as well as improves the skin, hair, and teeth. Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlight the fact that lemonade or lemon juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals.
The origin of the lemon is unknown, though lemons are thought to have first grown in Assam (a region in northeast India), northern Burma or China. A study of the genetic origin of the lemon reported it to be hybrid between bitter orange (sour orange) and citron.
Lemons entered Europe near southern Italy no later than the second century AD, during the time of Ancient Rome. However, they were not widely cultivated. They were later introduced to Persia and then to Iraq and Egypt around 700 AD. The lemon was first recorded in literature in a 10th-century Arabic treatise on farming, and was also used as an ornamental plant in early Islamic gardens. It was distributed widely throughout the Arab world and the Mediterranean region between 1000 and 1150.
Lemons are ready to pick as soon as they are yellow or yellow green in appearance and firm. The fruit will be 2 to 3 inches in size. It’s better to wait until they are the right size and not worry so much about color than to wait for them to be completely yellow.
Cold pressed Lemon essential oil is perfect for Aromatherapy and diffusion use as the gentle extraction process maintains more of the oil’s natural benefits. Unlike our other Lemon Essential Oils this means that the oil has more to give but also has a certain level of phototoxicity, which means it may irritate the skin when you go out in the sunshine. You should not use the oil undiluted and be careful when going out into the sun if using on the skin.
This Essential Oil has phototoxic properties and exposure to the sun must be avoided after application to the skin. Due to their presence, please consult a physician prior to using this oil. Dilute well before use; May cause skin irritation in some individuals; a skin test is recommended prior to use. Contact with eyes should be avoided.
Neryl acetate 3.7–7.4%
a-Terpinyl acetate tr–7.3%
Linalyl acetate tr–6.5%
Geranyl acetate tr–4.0%
Hazards Drug interaction; teratogenicity; skin sensitization (low risk).
Cautions (oral) Diabetes medication, drugs metabolized by CYP2B6 (Appendix B), pregnancy.
Cautions (dermal) Hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin, children under 2 years of age.
Maximum daily oral dose in pregnancy 84 mg
Maximum dermal use level 1.2%
Our safety advice
We recommend a dermal maximum of 1.2% to avoid skin sensitization, and a daily oral maximum in pregnancy of 84 mg. This is based on 50% citral content, with dermal and oral citral limits of 0.6% and 0.6 mg/kg (see Citral profile, Chapter 14). Because of its (þ)-limonene content we recommend that oxidation of lemon leaf oil is avoided by storage in a dark, airtight container in a refrigerator. The addition of an antioxidant to preparations containing it is recommended.
IFRA recommends a maximum dermal use level for citral of 0.6% for body oils and lotions, in order to avoid skin sensitization (IFRA 2009). IFRA recommends that essential oils rich in limonene should only be used when the level of peroxides is kept to the lowest practical level, for instance by adding antioxidants at the time of production.
Adverse skin reactions Undiluted lemon leaf oil was not irritating to rabbits, but was slightly irritating to mice and pigs; tested at 10% on 25 volunteers it was neither irritating nor sensitizing. It is non-phototoxic. Citral is a potential skin sensitizer, and autoxidation products of (þ)-limonene can cause skin sensitization.
Cardiovascular effects Gavage doses of 10, 15 or 20 mg/kg/ day citral for 28 days, dose-dependently lowered plasma insulin levels and increased glucose tolerance in obese rats.
Reproductive toxicity Citral is dose-dependently teratogenic because it inhibits retinoic acid synthesis, and this can affect fetal development.
Acute toxicity Lemon leaf oil acute oral LD50 in rats >5 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg.
Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential No information was! found for lemon leaf oil, but it contains no known carcinogens. Citral, (þ)-limonene, geraniol and citronellal display anticarcinogenic activity.
Drug interactions Antidiabetic medication, because of cardiovascular effects, above. Since citral and geraniol inhibit CYP2B6, there is a theoretical risk of interaction between lemon leaf oil and drugs metabolized by this enzyme.
The main producer of this oil is Italy, and compositional data is for Italian lemon leaf oils.