“Do you know the land where the lemon trees flower?”–Goethe
Spring is the season for invigoration. If life’s work is weighing you down, allow nature’s energizer to lift you up. Lemon (Citrus limon) is a perfect pick-me-up essential oil believed to clear the mind and elevate the spirit. Aromatherapy is the art and science of using essential oils extracted from aromatic plants to create a feeling of well being. You can even do ‘green’ housekeeping with lemon’s fresh and clean smelling sunshine oil.
Turn to Nature for Refreshment
Look to the trees to awaken the mind and body. Why not pick energy-giving lemon – the oil is extracted from the rind of the fruit. It takes approximately 3,000 lemons to make only 2.5 pounds of pure lemon oil. Pam Conrad, Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, Complementary Therapy Nurse Consultant and Founder of Aromas for Healing™, studied advanced aromatherapy with some of the leading medical experts in the field. Conrad observes, “Lemon is antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral.” In addition to the pleasant scent, “The therapeutic properties offer protection from infections, offering an alternative to synthetic chemical cleaning agents,” notes Conrad. Lemon has even been used in European hospital settings. In 2008 Pam developed “The 1st in the US” evidence based hospital Aromatic ChildbirthTM program in Indianapolis. The program is published in Beginnings and IFPA. Conrad is presently developing clinical aromatherapy programs in various hospitals by educating nurses (OB, oncology and hospice/ palliative care), as well as consulting and product development with Wellspring pharmacy at Community Hospitals.
Basic ways lemon may energize
- More oomph! “Inhalation of the lemon oil is the fastest and most effective way for uplifting your mood and boosting your energy,” says Conrad. You may accomplish this with a diffuser, personal inhaler, or a drop on a tissue. A study published in the Journal of University of Occupational and Environmental Health (UOEH, 2005) revealed that, “Using lemon fragrance in a working environment mitigated exhaustion and maintained vigor.” Here’s an alternative: Have a container with lemon oil with you and take a whiff when you feel your tank is running low.
- Refreshment is lemon’s hallmark, and it is known for its stimulating and revitalizing capability. The oil is intended for external purposes and is not used internally. The cheery scent of lemon on a cool spring breeze may send a ray of bliss. Lemon blends well with certain other essences like ginger and lavender.
- Check the label The word ‘fragrance’ generally indicates the use of artificial perfumes. Instead, opt for high-quality 100 percent therapeutic grade essential oils.
- Lemon makes life sparkle! Lemon’s disinfectant qualities make it the perfect ingredient in a natural sanitizing fusion. “It is not generally used for massage or baths, mainly a cleaner, anti-infectious and refreshing room scent,” notes Conrad, “and it’s supportive to the immune system.” Try formulating freshening recipes for a non-toxic home cleansing. To reap the benefits of lemon’s purifying pleasures, be vigilant, since ‘less’ is the best policy. Conrad offers several antiseptic fusions:
(1) Add: Simply add lemon essential oil to your mop water to clean your floors and add a fresh scent to your home.
(2) Mix: Use lemon and tea tree combined for a powerful antibacterial cleaner.
(3) Diffuse: Combine the following essential oils and use in a diffuser to freshen the air and decrease unpleasant odors. Peppermint 1 drop, Lavender 2 drops, Lemon 3 drops.
Lemon oil can cause skin irritation so it must be well diluted.
Create Your Own Environmentally Friendly Blends
Refresh with dynamic do-it-yourself energizing blends created by Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, Pam Conrad. Here, she shares her favorite freshening creations.
How to do: Combine therapeutic essential oils and use in a diffuser to purify the air and decrease unpleasant odors (not for skin use).
Equipment: Use in a diffuser or spritzer
Refresh the air
- Peppermint 2 drops
- Lavender 4 drops
- Lemon 6 drops
- Lemon 1 drop
- Mandarin 1 drop
- Lime 1 drop
- Grapefruit 1 drop
- Cinnamon 1 drop
- Clove 1 drop
- Lemon 1 drop
- Keep essential oil products away from children
- Select glass containers over plastic
- Pure citrus oils are photosensitive; avoid lying in the sun or using sun beds after applying citrus oils to the skin as they can cause increased photosensitivity. Blend with unrefined carrier oils: grape seed, almond, and apricot oils, before applying to skin. Conrad recommends only 1-2 drops essential oil combined with a teaspoon of carrier lotion, as it may be irritating to the skin
- Avoid if allergic to citrus
- Avoid contact with eyes
- Discuss the use of essential oils with a professional. If you take medication, are pregnant, have asthma, epilepsy or a skin condition, seek the advice of your doctor. (Visit www.naha.org for more information.)