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Lemon Essential Oil, its properties and safe usage

Essential oil

The Lemon essence is an essential oil for all purposes. It is used for both cleaning the house as it is to cleanse your organism. Its purifying and detoxifying properties make it the perfect choice for skins tending to be oily, for strengthening brittle nails and hair or to boost weight loss.

Lemon essential oil is extracted through cold pressure using the outer layer of the lemon skin. That is why it is often referred to as an essence rather than an EO (obtained by distillation).

The yield is not very high, because it takes about 3 000 lemons to obtain one kilo of the essence.

As the case may be, the lemon essential oil is part of the EOs and is indispensable in family aromatherapy thanks to its low price and its versatility. And this, even though one can show some reservation given its irritant and photo-sensitive character.


Composition and counter-indications

Lemon belongs to the Rutaceae family, all of which are photo-sensitive. Except for the distillation of the leaves and the flowers.

  • Monoterpenes:limonene (55-75%), alpha & beta pinene (5-15%) gamma terpinenes (5-15%),
  • Aldehydes (2-3%): hexanal, heptanal, octanal, nonanal, geranial
  • Sesquiterpenes: beta bisabolene (2,5-4%)
  • Coumarins et furocoumarins (>1-2%)

Lemon EO contains many allergenic components:

Monoterpenes (up to 80%-90% if they are all included) are not particularly good for the skin. They are dermo-caustic, which means that they can cause burns and, in addition, be potentially more allergenic through the cutaneous route.

-Terpenic Aldehydes (geranial): irritating for the skin – never apply purely to the skin.

-Furocoumarins = photo-sensitive = beware of applying to the skin.

Counter-indications :

  • Forbidden for babies and pregnant women in the first 3 months
  • Never apply pure. Dilute to the equivalent of 20% maximum for 80% of VO.
  • Photo-sensitive, do not go into the sun after usage. If you want to avoid irreversible stains to the skin, count at least 6 to 8 hours between usage and sun exposure. The best idea is therefore to use it at night before going to bed.


Lemon essential oil properties

Monoterpenes are numerous and give their properties to our lemon essence and its olfactive characteristics. These are:


=> perfect for cleaning (floor cleaning, WCs, basins in the bathroom, etc.)

♦Antibacterial (on streptococci) and antiviral

=> in diffusion to purify ambient air.


Aldehydes have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties


This essential oil has also interesting properties regarding;

♦digestion (stomach, gas). It drains the liver, intestines and pancreas.

=> cure to help the body in eliminating toxins.


and blood circulation (venal tonic, fluidifies the blood). It strengthens blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more effectively inside the veins.

=> acts against phlebitishaemorrhoids

Read about the different citrus oils HERE


Usage and administration routes of lemon essential oil

The information provided could not be considered as medical information nor engage Pacific Scents’ responsibility as to your usage of essential oils for yourself or anyone else. Therefore, we strongly invite you to compare the information with that of authoritative experts and the opinion of health professionals

All routes are possible: cutaneous route, oral route, inhalation and diffusion. However, this EO can be aggressive to the skin.


internalLemon EO by oral route

Yes, but diluted.
minus signYou do not swallow lemon essential oil pure or diluted in water (!!!).

Reminder: EOs are not soluble in water. Knowing that it is caustic to your skin, means that it is also caustic to your mucous.

Usage in dilution (in oil, on a sugar cube, in honey or any neutral tablet)

For problems of hepatic impairment, nausea, vomiting, in cases of travel sickness or to fight obesity (people believe it suppresses hunger)…

Finally, it can be used in the kitchen to flavour a dish (can be diluted in a fatty sauce such as oil or cream)


diffusionAerial route


For relaxation, or in case of stress. This EO is both calming and stimulating.

Its greatest advantage is that it will relax you without making you numb.

It is recommended for the nervous type of people or people who are suffering from burnout.


Useful if experiencing a cold snap, the beginning of a cold or any infection of the respiratory tract.


To make the most of its anti-stress properties while remaining passive, such as in an office where one works for example. In winter its anti-bacterial properties may help prevent illnesses.

It can also be included in a household homemade product and also not expensive when the expiry date has been exceeded for example.

dermal allowedCutaneous route

Not advised
Or if used, should be heavily diluted. It is effective if used with other EOs such as in the case of cellulite (active on the circulation). And remember to only do so at night (photo-sensitive).

lemon essential oil properties

The benefits of lemon essential oil

It is the real lemon in this little bottle, with all its acidity, the same perfume as when you chop up lemon zest in the kitchen. The energy that emanates from it makes you smile and you feel happy.

1/ the benefits of lemon essential oil on the skin

Lemon EO is often used in cosmetics, especially in products for oily skins, or skins that are tired and stressed. It allows to stretch the skin while being a tonic for conjunctive tissue such as wrinkles or cellulite. It can also be used to treat brittle nails.

Do not sunbake after using lemon essential oil on your skin. Use it preferably at night.

Cellulite and lemon essential oil


It is a great ally to get rid of this unsightly orange peel appearance.

For a better result against cellulite, use lemon essential oil in conjunction with cypress essential oil as in the following recipe:


Use this mixture in massage on the concerned zones, morning and night.

Regulating the excess of sebum

Thanks to its astringent property, the lemon essential oil can also be a great help in removing excess of sebum. It is a natural and very efficient remedy for oily skin and can therefore protect the skin from pimples, blackheads and dilated pores.

Mix it with vegetable oil or face cream.


long hairIt is one of the most effective EOs against dandruff. Its astringent quality helps eliminate the excess of sebum in hair.

Recommendation: oily hair.

Mix it in your shampoo (10 drops lemon EO + 20 drops tea tree EO in 100ml shampoo)

2/ benefits for the immune system

immune systemThanks to its high tenure in vitamin C, the lemon essential oil is well known for its ability to improve blood circulation and for its effect of stimulating white blood cells.

Lemon EO disinfects the air. It is a powerful antiseptic of the respiratory tract and is used to fight against all types of infections, colds, head colds, hay fever, coughs, laryngitis, sore throats, bronchitis, asthma and flu.


In atmospheric diffusion.
diffusionDiffuse for 15 minutes morning and night during the winter season to purify the air in the home, to get rid of nasty viruses. You can add ravintsara or tea tree essential oils.


3/ helpful to a feeling of wellbeing

Lemon essential oil is a good overall tonic with plenty of stimulating virtues.

Recommendation: fatigue or feeling depressed.

By stimulating the nervous system, it:


  • clears the mind,
  • clarifies emotional conflicts,
  • fights against apathy
  • and confusion and favours calmness and wellbeing.

Atmospheric diffusion


  • In your workspace: to boost your concentration, improve your mood and relieve stress, your mental fatigue and your feeling of anxiety.
  • In your bedroom, to fight insomnia

4/ benefits for the digestive system

digestive systemThanks to its carminative effect, the lemon essential oil is used against flatulence and intestinal gas.

Recommendation against:

  • Stomach acidity: to soothe stomach ulcers and hyperacidity because, contrarily to common belief, lemon is not an acid but an alkaline
  • Abdominal cramps


It boosts:

  • The appetite regulates digestion and fights common digestive problems.
  • The liver functions and regulates the hepatobiliary function. It is a cleansing and tonic for the liver.
  • The gall bladder and the pancreas, allowing the elimination of toxins in the organism.

It prevents intestinal, renal and urinary infections and it can be useful for

  • people with high cholesterol readings,
  • diabetics,
  • people with stress and those with deficient blood circulation,

recipePossible usage: Place 1 drop of lemon essential oil on a neutral tablet or in a teaspoon of honey and let it melt in the mouth. Repeat 3 times a day before a meal. Ideally as a cure of 3 weeks.

Did you know? Lemon essential oil blends very well with peppermint essential oil to improve digestion.


It can help in the attempt of weight loss: lemon essential oil favours the destruction of lipids.

It is also effective against nausea and is very useful in cases of travel sickness (in diffusion in the car for example).


5/ for an ‘all natural’ house-cleaning product


Disinfectant and antiseptic, lemon essential oil is also ideal in the house (cleaning of floors, kitchen area, bathroom, toilets, etc.)


Citrus essences are more fragile and keep for a shorter time. Indeed, it is advised not to use them beyond 3 years as the components of the oil change with time and could be the cause of allergies.

Keep away from heat.

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All yogurts (animal or plant-based) can be flavored with essential oils. In an unsweetened yogurt, add a spoonful of honey in which you’ll dilute the essential oil of your choice. For a classic flavor, add two drops of citrus essential oils. For an exotic yogurt, add a drop of Ylang Ylang essential oil. This also works for whipped cream!


Flavor your olive oil: for 1 liter of edible oil, add 15 drops of rosemary or basil essential oil (or 8 drops of each) to one liter of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Shake well to mix the different oils and let it rest for about a day before using it to season salads, pasta, vegetables, fish fillets, and more.


Add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil to half a spoonful of honey, agave syrup, or mashed fruit, mix it into an ice cube tray, cover with water, and freeze!

Here are some quick ideas to get started


  • In the case of a cake, chocolate mousse, or pancakes: add essential oils directly to the batter, which is sweet and rich in fats.
  • For syrup to drizzle over your cakes after baking, or for your ice creams: mix 250g of sugar syrup with about 4 drops of citrus essence (4 drops of one citrus or 1 drop of 4 different citruses, for example).
  • Jams, marmalades, or honey: add a few drops of essential oils (e.g., lavender, thyme, or citrus essences).
  • Season a pasta dish: add 4 drops of Clary Sage essential oil to a 400g pasta dish.
  • Flavor rice: add one drop of Lemongrass essential oil to 400g of rice.
  • Enhance an apple crumble with cinnamon essential oil

The essential oils most commonly used in cooking:







Le+ santé




Allium sativum

Odeur forte difficile à utiliser

.aïoli or garlic butter

. enhance the flavor of your sauces (tomato, dressing)


natural antibiotic

helps lower bad cholesterol and reduce blood sugar levels 

Difficult to digest




Anethum graveolens

Slightly  anised and fresh 

cream-based sauces to season fish, especially salmon

vegetables (potato, zucchini)

salads (cucumber)


Stimulates digestive secretions and the gallbladder

Risk of nephrotoxicity after prolonged and high dose ingestion



Ocimum basilicum

The essential oil of Basil has a stronger taste than the aromatic herb we know:

fruit desserts

poultry (chicken)

fish (calamari)

sauces (tomato, garlic)

pasta (garlic-olive oil, tomato)

vegetables (tomato, zucchini, coco beans)

olive oils


Relieves all intestinal and gastric problems Recommended for flatulence, bloating, and abdominal pain



Java citronella

Cymbopogon winterianus

Acidic and lemony flavour


Indian or Asian-inspired dishes

marinades, sauces (coconut milk)





Coriander (seeds)

Coriandrum sativum

Earthy and slightly camphorated fragrance

savory dishes (such as hummus)

Asian and Mexican cuisine

soups (pumpkin, carrot)

sauces (tomato, béchamel, coconut milk)



Aid for various digestive issues, bloating, and stomach-aches




Artemesia dracunculus

Light note

gratins, seasoning oils, and sauces (béarnaise, sour cream)

vegetable dips

meats (rabbit, beef)


Effective against colitis and intestinal spasms

Not recommended for use with anticoagulant treatments or coagulation disorders


Sweet Fennel

Fresh taste


gaspacho, tomato tart, fougasse, salads

Against flatulences and indigestions



Bay Laurel

Laurus nobilis

Sweet, bitter and fresh flavor


vegetables or fresh cheese

meats (game, pork, pâté, terrine)

fish (tuna, sardine)

sauces (béchamel, tomato)

vegetables (potato, tomato)



Pairs well with thyme



Origanum majorana


Sunny vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers… In savory tarts or pizzas

Recommended for hypertensive individuals

Closely related to oregano with a finer flavor



Mentha arvensis

Milder flavor than Peppermint


Hepato-digestive stimulant

Very potent taste; a single drop is sufficient to season your dishes and drinks


Mentha piperita


Ideal for salads (cucumbers), cold soups (peas), fresh cheeses, mixed with chocolate, or in your drinks Ideal for salads (cucumbers), cold soups (peas), fresh cheeses, mixed with chocolate, or in your drinks

Facilitate digestion



Mentha spicata

An even milder flavor than Peppermint or Field Mint


Moroccan tea


If you like the scent and taste of fresh mint, we recommend using this essential oil in your dishes instead.

Rosemary Cineole or Verbenon

Rosemarinus officinalis


Meats, fish, soups Poultry (chicken, turkey) Vegetables (zucchini, garlic) Sauces

Verbenon variety: detoxifying and liver protection

Pairs well with Bay Laurel and Thyme


Savory (Winter)

Satureja montana

Spicy, phenolic flavour

Pizzas, saucy dishes, mefrenats

Stimulates natural defenses



Clary Sage

Clary sage


pasta, broths and soups


Pairs well with Rosemary or Bay laurel


Thyme Linalol

Thyumus vulgaris

Very strong taste, best used in cooked dishes

Marinades, sauces (tomato), vinaigrettes, and vegetable preparations




Thyme  Thujanol

Lighter taste than Thyme Linalool

meat, fish, sauces





Flowers– Fruits 





The  +



Citrus bergamis

Tangy and sweet flavour


Poultry (chicken breast)

Fish (carpaccio, en papillote)


Sauces (olive oil)

Pastries (cake, shortbread, madeleine)

Fruit salads (citrus, banana)

Infusion (iced tea)


Aids digestion, prevents constipation and intestinal infections Appetite stimulant



Citrus limonum


Desserts or beverages

Fish sauces

Cake or sorbet preparation

Flavoring plain yogurt

Meat (veal)

Poultry (hen, chicken breast)

Shellfish (scallops)

Braised dishes (tagine)

Marinades (alone or with thyme, basil, cloves)


Cleanses and stimulates the liver. It also eases digestion and helps reduce gas and bloating

Pairs well with mint / peppermint essential oil

Geranium Rosat

Pelargonium graveolens

Floral flavour



Red fruit desserts (crumbles, panna cotta, muffins, strawberries…)

Creams (crème brûlée, ice cream)

Fruit salads (kiwi), pairs well with red fruits, nectarines (peach)


Appetite suppressant to regulate blood sugar



Lavandula angustifolia

Floral, herbal scent


Candy, shortbread, sorbets

In savory dishes, in flavored olive oil for salads

Jams (apricot)

Pastries (crème brûlée, ice cream)




Green Mandarin

Citrus reticulata


Sweet and tangy flavour


Juices or cocktails

Pumpkin soups

Poultry (poultry breast)

Shellfish (scallops)

Fish (monkfish, whiting)



Digestive tonic, against aerophagia Anti-inflammatory for the intestines Useful for heartburn, acidity


Orange (Sweet)

Citrus sinensis

Sweet and fruity


Chocolate desserts

Meat (beef, pork)

Poultry (duck, guinea fowl)

Fish (white fish)

Soups (carrot)

Sauces (olive oil, mayonnaise)

Pastries (cake, madeleine, cheesecake)

Creams (crème brûlée)

Fruit salads (with cinnamon)


Bitter tonic, against stomach spasms

Pairs well with  Cardamom or cinnamon

Petit Grain Bigarade 

Citrus aurantium

Fruity, with a flavor close to orange blossom

Fruity preparations (crumble, jam).

Pastries (cake, shortbread, madeleine, crepe)

Creams (custard, crème brûlée, flan caramel)

Fruit salads


Pairs well with citrus fruits (orange), honey, nectarines (peach)


Difficult digestion, bloating, digestive spasms, stomachaches


in eggnog for better sleep:

1 drop with 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of honey and 25 ml milk to drink at bedtime



Citrus paradisi

Tangy and sweet

Avocado salads and desserts galore: tarts, syrups, shortbread, or sorbets


Suppresses appetite Difficult digestion


Lemon Verbena 

Lippia citriodora

Lemon scented


Dairy products, pies, fruit salads, smoothies, or infusions

Fish (monkfish, sea bass)

Shellfish (oyster)

Fruit compote (peach, pear)

Desserts (ice cream, parfait, panna cotta, custard, crème brûlée)

Pastries (madeleine, shortbread, cake)



Internal worms


Ylang Ylang Complete


Pronounced floral scent

Chocolate and apples









The +


Cinnamon (bark)

Cinnamomum verum

Warm and sweet flavor

All desserts: fruits in all forms, cakes, compotes…

Braised dishes (tagine, curry)


vermifuge and helps combat digestive disorders, gastric pain, urinary or intestinal infections.

Increases appetite.

Very potent oil that should not be used undiluted


Elettaria cardamomum

Spicy favour

Savory dishes or fruity desserts (orange, peach).

Ideal in coffee or black tea

Carrot salad

Basmati rice


Aids in the prevention of aerophagia


Clove bud

Syzygium aromaticum


Curry dishes

Apple desserts

Breath freshener



Curcuma longa

Savory and discreet flavo


Mayonnaise, rice, potatoes, or fish



Bloating, colitis, difficult digestion



Zingiber officinale

Spicy and lemony flavor

Soups, gingerbread, shortbread, rhubarb pies


Useful in case of constipation, nausea


Black Pepper 

Piper nigrum

Spicy, hot, woody


for seasoning meats, poultry, sauces, and vegetables (mashed potatoes, mushrooms)

Bloating, hepatic-pancreatic insufficiency, difficult digestion, lack of appetite.



Pink Pepper

Schinus molle

Peppery, hot, spicy


Meats (beef carpaccio)

Poultry (duck)

Fish (salmon)

Shellfish (oyster)

Fruits (apple)”

Top of Form


Digestive disorders, intoxication, intestinal infections


Digestive and Purifying Essential Oils:

  • Dill, Celery, Cumin, Fennel, Basil, Lemon, Tarragon, Mint


Tonic and Antibacterial Essential Oils:

  • Ceylon Cinnamon (bark), Ginger, Mint, Thyme (linalool chemotype), Lemongrass, Turmeric, Clove, Savory


Soothing and Mild Essential Oils:

  • Cardamom, Lavender, Sweet Orange, Lemon Verbena, Lemon, Mandarin, Bitter Orange Petitgrain, Vanilla (resinoid), Ylang-Ylang



Precautions When Using Essential Oils

First and foremost, several essential oils are toxic and should not be ingested. While essential oils like lemon or coriander can be used, it’s essential to steer clear of curly parsley oil, which is highly toxic.

Therefore, it is crucial to research each oil before adding them to your recipes. Ingesting toxic essential oils can lead to symptoms ranging from mild irritation of the mouth’s mucous membranes to nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some essential oils can even cause seizures or respiratory problems.


At-Risk Individuals

  • Prohibited for pregnant women in the first 3 months of pregnancy, as well as infants under 3 months.
  • Pregnant women beyond 3 months and those who are breastfeeding should exercise caution in both aromatic cooking and aromatherapy. Some oils are contraindicated for them.
  • Keep essential oils out of the reach of children.


Essential oils can trigger allergic reactions.




  • Only use 100% pure, 100% natural, and chemotyped essential oils, preferably certified as organic. This ensures a high-quality product with a known chemical composition and free from pesticides.


  • Avoid using essential oils in baby food (up to 3 years old): firstly, some essential oils may be contraindicated for young children, and secondly, babies already have a wide range of flavors to discover!


  • For children under 6 years old, their palates are still developing a taste for “classic” flavors. They may not appreciate the unique aromas of aromatic cooking. It’s better to introduce them gradually starting from the age of 6, beginning with familiar flavors like citrus, for example.


  • Never swallow essential oils undiluted or even on a sugar cube because they are highly concentrated.


  • Always dilute essential oils in a fatty and/or sweet substance: honey, oil, cereal syrup, cake batter, etc. Water, broth, or milk is not sufficient; a syrupy or fatty substance is required. Dosage must be precise to the drop!


Sometimes, one drop too many can render the preparation inedible. So, respect some basic rules:

  • Never incorporate the oil directly into the dish with the dropper, as an accidental drop can easily happen.
  • Always dilute the drop(s) in a spoonful of fatty or syrupy substance before adding it to the preparation.
  • Follow the number of drops indicated in the recipe or, if in doubt, stick to 1 drop per dish.

Indulge in bliss