Lemon Essential Oil: The Research, The Results & How To Make It Yourself

The fresh scent of lemon is instinctively invigorating. We equate it with cleanliness, and much more. Did you know there is a growing body of science behind that preference?

Lemon essential oil has many uses, from aromatherapy to your favorite ingredient for making DIY fragrances, cleaning solutions, and much more. Recent research is telling us that its effects are much more than imaginary. Lemon essential oil is safe both for topical application on the skin, and ingestion as food.

The Research

2018 study reviewed research into lemon oil. One study found that inhaling lemon essential oil aroma reduced stress in mice, by acting on dopamine – the pleasure hormone – among other things.

• After 2 weeks exposure to lemon essential oil, rats showed changes in the neuronal circuits involved in anxiety and pain.
• Inhaling lemon essential oil reduced the intensity of morning sickness nausea by 33%
• Lemon EO significantly enhanced attention level, concentration, cognitive performance, mood, and memory of students during the learning process
• It’s even effective as an insect repellent.

2010 study on rats found that exposure to lemon essential oil was associated with improved learning outcomes. The rats in the group that were given lemon essential oil were able to navigate their way through a maze more quickly.

The researchers noted,

Attention is very effective on working memory and visual concentration, and it has a determining role in directing cognitive learning. In the labyrinth test, the rats in the experiment group found the target more quickly than the ones in the control group.

Here are a couple of DIY recipes so you can make it easily at home.

Lemon Essential Oil Recipe #1

This one is super easy, but requires about 3 or 4 days to get the most extraction of oil from the peels.

1 lemon
2 cups cold-pressed olive oil

• Zest the lemon using a fine grater or a very sharp knife, taking care to take as little of the white pith as possible.
• Place the zest in a clean glass jar, and then pour the oil over it.
• The oil should more than cover the lemon peels. Add more if necessary.
• Cover the jar, and set it on a windowsill or other location where it will get direct sunlight.
• Leave the bottle in place for 3 to 4 days, shaking it 3 or 4 time per day.
• When it’s ready to use, strain, and store it in an airtight container at room temperature.

Lemon Essential Oil Recipe #2

This works if you need it the same day, but you will need about 3 hours where you can keep an eye on the double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a large pot, with a heat-proof bowl that will allow for some exposure to the hot water without falling in.

1 lemon
2 cups sweet almond oil

• Peel the lemon with a sharp knife, taking care to take as little of the white pith as possible.
• Fill the bottom of a double boiler halfway with water and bring to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil, turn the heat to a low setting, and place the upper half on top.
• Add the lemon peels to the top of the double boiler, and then pour the oil over them to cover.
• Cover the double boiler, and heat the oil for about 3 hours.
• Do not allow the oil to boil – but it should be very hot.
• After 3-4 hours, turn off the heat and allow the oil to come to room temperature.
• Mash the peels with a fork or potato masher to squeeze out the remaining oil
• Strain the oil into a clean glass jar or bottle.
• Store in a cool dry place for up to six months

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