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Lemon oil is one of the most versatile essential oils, besides being safe for use in infants and during pregnancy and lactation.
Lemon oil is cold pressed from the rind of lemons, and a pound of the oil requires about 1,500 lemons. Extraction of lemon essential oil was once a home industry in which all the family members participated. The fruit is pressed with a sponge to absorb the oil released from the skin glands. On becoming saturated with the oil, the sponges are passed through a press to extract the oil. The pale greenish yellow oil thus obtained has a sharp, citrusy smell.
Here are 10 ways lemon oil can benefit your health:
1. Works as a natural disinfectant – Lemon oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that make it an excellent surface cleaner in the house. Being non-toxic, it is ideal for use on kitchen counter tops and door knobs. Rub a few drops of lemon oil between the hands in place of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Spray water containing a few drops of essential oil into the air to improve indoor air quality.
We know a squeeze of lemon or lemon zest can make even the blandest food palatable. But it can do more than adding flavor to our foods. The cuisines in tropical countries, where food can deteriorate fast in the humid heat, liberally use lemon for its antimicrobial activity.
International Journal of Food Microbiology recently published a study that found lemon oil to have the most potent antimicrobial effect among all essential oils tested. It was found to be particularly effective against E. coli and salmonella, two of the most common causes of food poisoning.
2. Improves oral health and hygiene – Lemon oil can greatly boost oral health by keeping the microbial population under check. This non-toxic, edible oil is a great alternative to chemical antiseptic solutions like Listerine.
Bacterial gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis can be prevented and treated with lemon oil. Regularly gargling with water containing a few drops of lemon oil can act as a preventive. To treat existing gum disease, make a paste with baking soda and lemon oil and massage the gums with it twice a day. It can help whiten the teeth and prevent bad breath, too.
3. Relieves cough and sore throat – A warm drink of lime juice and honey is often used to relieve coughing during the night. Adding one or two drops of lemon oil enhances the smoothening effect of this drink. Throat dryness and sore throat are relieved by gargling with warm salt water, to which a few drops of lemon oil are added.
Lemon oil is particularly useful during the cold and flu season. It helps in lymph drainage, relieving stuffy nose and sinuses. For a trouble-free sleep, dab some lemon oil on the pillow and massage the chest with a few drops of it mixed in a teaspoon of coconut oil just before bedtime.
4. Relieves nausea – Children with motion sickness are often offered lemons to take with them during long trips to avoid nausea and vomiting. Whenever they develop a queasy feeling, all they need to do is nick the skin of the lemon with the nails and sniff it.
The ability of lemon oil to prevent and relieve nausea in pregnant women has been tested and proven. It is useful in relieving post-surgical nausea, too.....more here