Aromatherapy is rising in popularity over the past few years, and, for a good reason. The thing is certain smells can trigger a physiologic response in the body, making aromatherapy a safe and effective method for dealing with a number of ailments.
Lemons are extremely beneficial for this use mostly because of its unique and tangy smell. Plus, this citrus fruit packs high vitamin C content, vitamins A and B complex, along with a range of essential minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and powerful antioxidants.
One of the greatest benefits of lemon aromatherapy is in relation to breathing problems caused by asthma, colds or allergies. In other words, cutting lemons and leaving them on your bedside table can clear your throat and air passages by the next morning.
Lemon Oil Works Even Better!
Lemon oil provides even greater health benefits because it’s more concentrated. Lemon essential oil has been found beneficial for soothing anxiety, stress, and anger as a result of the phytochemical limonene.
There’s a long list of health benefits of lemon aromatherapy including:
- Eases bronchitis
- Eases and prevents asthma
- Kills bacteria that cause staph, strep, and pneumonia
- Alleviate breathing
- Soothes a sore throat by killing offending bacteria
- Reduces nausea and vomiting
- Improves cognitive performance
- Pain relief
- Inhibits liver cancer growth
- Cures yeast infection
- Tones and clears skin
- Clears dandruff and nourishes the scalp
Other benefits include:
- Freshens air without harsh chemicals that can cause respiratory and skin problems and hormone disruption
- Brightens and deodorizes laundry
- Insect repellant
Asthma is one of the most common respiratory problems affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs as a result of chronically inflamed air passages in the lungs; even a slight irritant constricts air pathways, preventing normal oxygen supply to the lungs.
On the other hand, limonene, a powerful phytochemical found in lemon essential oil, is a unique ozone scavenger which attaches extra electrons to depleted ozone molecules. According to a study published in the journal Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, inhaling the natural limonene found in lemons can prevent an asthma attack and reduce inflammation.
A 2008 study published in the journal of Psychoeuroendocrinology found that:
“Self-report and unobtrusive mood measures provided robust evidence that lemon oil reliably enhances positive mood compared to water and lavender regardless of expectancies or previous use of aromatherapy. Moreover, norepinephrine levels following the cold pressor remained elevated when subjects smelled lemon.”
It’s all in your head.
As mood is significantly influenced by hormones secreted in the brain, and aromas are directly linked to the brain, a 2014 Japanese study found that inhaling lemon essential oil can do wonders for improving mood and brain function:
“…the essential oil exhibited antioxidant activities as typified by ferric reducing property, Fe2+-chelation and radicals [DPPH, ABTS, OH, NO] scavenging abilities. The inhibition of AChE and BChE activities, inhibition of pro-oxidant induced lipid peroxidation and antioxidant activities could be possible mechanisms for the use of the essential oil in the management and prevention of oxidative stress-induced neurodegeneration.”
Lemon oil provides a range of potent antioxidants which prevent cell and nerve damage thus promoting overall brain health. It could even protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Lemon oil has also been found beneficial for other organs as well. A 2014 Russian study found similar protective effects of lemon oil on the liver. In addition, lemon oil mixed with ginger extract has been found effective in reversing spleen damage caused by radiation.