Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus × limon)


Lemon may also be referred to as Citrus Limonum. It is typically processed using cold pressed/expressed or steam distilled as a method for extracting oil from the citrus rind (peel).


Lemon oil comes from the rind of lemons, the fruit of Citrus limon trees. It has a fresh citrus scent. It has an antiseptic effect.

Lemon Essential Oil has a powerfully fresh traditional lemon fragrance that is quite energizing and uplifting. Lemon Essential Oil is a good choice to diffuse when trying to clear a room of the smell of cigarette smoke or other unpleasant aromas.

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Citrus Fresh Fruity Lemony Sweet

  • Common Name(s): Citrus Limonum
  • Botanical Family: Rutaceae
  • Botanical Genus: Citrus
  • Chemical Family: Monoterpenes
  • Major Compounds: (+)-Limonene, B-Pinene, Gamma-Terpinene, a-Terpineol, a-Pinene, Geranial
  • Perfumery Note: Top
  • Consistency: Thin
  • Strength of Initial Aroma: Strong
  • Aroma chemistry: D-Limonene is a terpene (C10H16) from the monoterpene chemical family and is found in very high percentages in citrus essential oils. Limonene may be one of the most researched chemical components found in essential oils. Limonene has been found to have antioxidant properties. This allows it to counteract the effects of free radicals, which affect DNA mutations and are cancer causing. As an antioxidant, limonene can prevent cell damage and reduce the risk of cancer. Limonene builds up in the tissues, which is a good thing. Limonene is a boost to the immune system. In studies with rats, limonene was proven to produce more antibodies when exposed to foreign antigens. It also has been shown to fight bacteria and reduce allergic reactions. Limonene is effective as a minor pain reliever. Limonene reduced widespread pain in the bones and muscles of mice. Limonene may reduce depression, stress, and anxiety as well as inflammation. D-Limonene is a selective activator of the adenosine A(2A) receptor on cell membranes. These receptors are vital for nervous system function. The lack of their activation is associated with anxiety, insomnia, and impaired dopamine transmission (addictive tendencies and lack of motivation). A lack of activation of adenosine A(2A) receptors on immune cells results in a hyperimmune response (allergic reactions). Limonene is a skin penetration enhancer. It does this by disrupting the cells of the horny layer of the skin, so when it is included in any skin formulation, the formula will be absorbed into the dermis faster and easier. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Very helpful in treating arthritis, bursitis, and fibromyalgia Limonene was found to dissolve gallstones in a recent study. It activates several of Phase I and Phase II liver detox enzymes responsible for clearing toxins. The terpenes of d-Limonene literally dissolve fat sludge. Think of it as an internal degreaser! Limonene is also an anti-proliferative --- aka kills cancer cells So, you can see how lemon is a powerfully medicinal oil for the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental bodies. The Citrus oils can contain anywhere between 66 and 95 percent d limonene!
  • Color: Pale Yellow to Deep Yellow
  • Indigenous Country: Italy or South Africa
  • Cultivation: Distiller is Certified Organic
  • Processing Methods: Cold Pressed/Expressed or Steam distilled
  • Part Typically Used: Citrus Rind (Peel)
  • Shelf Life: 2-3 years
  • Ethically and sustainably sourced Ethically and sustainably sourced
  • Organic Organic
  • Vegan Vegan

Essential Details

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Lemon:

Don't expose the skin to sunlight after using lemon oil.

Cold pressed Lemon Essential Oil is phototoxic. Steam distilled Lemon Oil is not phototoxic. Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum of 2.0% for the cold pressed oil to avoid the risk of a phototoxic reaction. They precaution to avoid topical use of Lemon Oil, regardless of method of distillation, if it has oxidized. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 87, 330-331.]

Lemon Oil may cause skin irritation or sensitivity in some. [Julia Lawless,The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 120.]

Safety Precautions for Lemon:

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Energetic, Spiritual, and Emotional Qualities


Lemon Articles or Publications: