Lemon (Citrus limonum)

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Botanical name  Citrus limonum

Family  Rutaceae

Source  Fruit peel

Origin  Italy

Processing Method  Cold Pressed

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.

Product Abstract

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.

Harvesting/Extraction Information

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.

Common Usage

  • Treats Indigestion
  • Treats Fever
  • Dental Care
  • Hair Care
  • Skin Care
  • Cures Burns
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Promotes Weight Loss
  • Soothens Respiratory Disorders
  • Treats Cholera
  • Relaxes Foot
  • Treats Rheumatism
  • Reduces Corns
  • Throat Infections
  • Controls Blood Pressure


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.


Key constituents

(þ)-Limonene 56.6–76.0%

b-Pinene 6.0–17.0%

g-Terpinene 3.0–13.3%

a-Terpineol 0.1–8.0%

a-Pinene 1.3–4.4%

Geranial 0.5–4.3%

Sabinene 0.5–2.4%

p-Cymene tr–2.3%

b-Myrcene tr–2.2%

Neral 0.4–2.0%

Terpinen-4-ol tr–1.9%

Neryl acetate 0.1–1.5%

Quality  Lemon oil may be adulterated with natural or synthetic limonene, natural or synthetic citral, and numerous other cheap products. These may include orange terpenes, lemon terpenes or by-products.

Safety summary
Hazards  Skin sensitization if oxidized; phototoxic (low risk).

Contraindications (dermal)  If applied to the skin at over maximum use level, skin must not be exposed to sunlight or sunbed rays for 12 hours.

Cautions  Old or oxidized oils should be avoided. Maximum dermal use level: 2.0%

Our safety advice
Because of its (þ)-limonene content we recommend that oxidation of lemon oil is avoided by storage in a dark, airtight container in a refrigerator. The addition of an antioxidant to preparations containing it is recommended.

Regulatory guidelines
Has GRAS status. In Europe, essential oils containing furanocoumarins must be used so that the total level of bergapten will not exceed: (a) 15 ppm in finished cosmetic products intended for application to skin areas likely to be exposed to sunshine, excluding rinse-off products; or (b) 1 ppm in sun protection and in bronzing products. In the presence of other phototoxic ingredients, the sum of their concentrations shall not exceed 100%.

Organ-specific effects
Adverse skin reactions  Undiluted expressed lemon oil was moderately irritating to rabbits and three different lemon oils were mildly irritating to mice but three further samples were not. Tested at 10% or 100% on two panels of 25 volunteers expressed lemon oil was not irritating. In a modified Draize procedure on guinea pigs, lemon oil was non-sensitizing when used at 20% in the challenge phase. Tested at 10% on 25 volunteers it was not sensitizing.

Reproductive toxicity   The low developmental toxicity of (þ)- limonene, b-pinene, a-pinene, sabinene and  b-myrcene  suggests that expressed lemon oil is not hazardous in pregnancy.

Systemic effects
Acute toxicity  Expressed lemon oil acute oral LD50 in rats >5 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg.
Antioxidant/pro-oxidant activity  Lemon oil has demonstrated marked DPPH radical scavenging activity.
Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential  Lemon oil was not mutagenic in the Ames test, and did not produce CA in Chinese hamster fibroblasts.

Expressed lemon oil has not been studied for long-term photogenotoxic or photocarcinogenic effects. Lemon oil is also produced by distillation, notably for particular flavor applications, such as soluble essences for lemon drinks. Distilled lemon oil is non-phototoxic but has an inferior odor to that of expressed lemon oil.

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