Lime always seems to be overshadowed by lemon when citrus is called for in a particular dish or even cleaning products. However, these beautiful green fruits boast just as many nutritional benefits as their yellow colored cousin.
Lime essential oil is often used in aromatherapy blends due to its stimulating and refreshing scent, but that’s not all it is good for! Lime essential oil is an astringent, antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and a disinfectant. Due to all of these properties, this versatile essential oil can be used to cure infections, reduce fever, disinfect food and surfaces, and prevent signs of aging – to say the least!1 Lime essential oil boasts a lot of health benefits and is a great addition to your daily routine. You can find this oil and more in portable diffusers like Ocean and Forest MONQ.
The History of Lime
Limes originated in Southeast Asia and were introduced around the 10th century into Egypt and Northern Africa. Around the 13th century, they were introduced into Spain and spread from there throughout the rest of Europe.
Columbus took these beautiful green fruits with him on his second voyage in 1493, which led to the plants being cultivated in the warm Caribbean climate. Limes grown in the West Indies were widely used by British explorers to prevent scurvy due to their high Vitamin C content.2
Limes weren’t introduced to the United States until the 16th century when Spanish explorers brought them to the Florida Keys. Now we know where Key limes originated from!
Lime essential oil is extracted from fresh lime peels by means of cold compression. This form of extraction is also commonly referred to as ‘expression’. In some cases, lime essential oil can be extracted from dried peels through steam distillation. The resulting oil has a very strong citrus scent and a light green/yellow color.
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If the oil has been extracted through cold compression it can be phototoxic, so it’s important to exercise caution when using it topically. When applied directly to the skin and then exposed to the sun, phototoxic essential oils can cause swelling, darkening of the skin or extreme sunburn. To reduce this risk, safely dilute the oil before applying to the skin and avoid direct sunlight for at least 12 hours. It’s recommended that you use 4 drops of lime essential oil in an ounce of carrier oil.3
All of its beneficial properties come from the various chemical compounds that make up the oil, including:
- Geranyl Acetate
- Neryl Acetate
All of these chemical compounds are what give the lime essential oil its incredible medicinal properties.4
Uses for Lime Essential Oil
Heals Minor Wounds and Prevents Infection
Due to its antibacterial properties, lime essential oil can be applied to minor bites, scrapes, burns, and cuts to help speed up healing time and prevent bacterial infections.
You can also add a couple of drops onto a cold compress and apply to the affected area. Be sure not to apply essential oils directly to open wounds, and be sure to cover up if you’ll be in the sun afterward .5
Protects Against Cold and Flu
Lime essential oils antiviral properties make it an ideal oil to help ward away cold and flu viruses. By diffusing this oil throughout your home, it cleanses the air and reduces your chances of getting ill.
Alleviates Pain From Toothaches
If you’re suffering from toothaches or gum disease, lime essential oil can help alleviate some of the pain. Its antibacterial properties kill any bacteria that may be present, and its astringent properties help to strengthen the gums. Simply add a drop or two to your toothpaste before brushing! You may also add a drop into 4oz of water and swish it around your mouth before spitting it out.
Applying a few drops of diluted lime essential oil to the affected areas can help limit breakouts and clear up acne. Simply apply with a cotton ball right before bedtime to allow all of its healing properties to soak into your skin overnight. Lime essential oil can also help brighten up the dull-looking skin. If using this oil on your skin, it’s important to either avoid the sun for 24 hours afterward or thoroughly wash the oil off of your skin before sun exposure.
Stimulates Digestive System
The stimulating properties of lime essential oil can help your digestive system work more effectively, allowing your food to be digested more easily. This oil can also kill harmful bacteria present in your digestive tract, which can help alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea and food poisoning.6
Maintains Healthy Respiratory Function
Are you having trouble breathing due to congestion? Inhaling lime essential oil may provide the relief you need. Lime essential oil is found in our Sexy, Ocean, and Forest blends, allowing you to easily inhale this oil on the go.
You can also inhale this essential oil through steam inhalation by adding five to six drops of oil to steaming water. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl of water, focusing on breathing in the aroma for approximately five minutes. Afterward, you should find that you are breathing much easier.
The uplifting scent of lime essential oil makes it ideal for reducing stress, anxiety, and indecision. It helps to promote mental clarity and increase energy and focus. Simply inhale one of our uplifting blends or diffuse throughout a room of your house to reap all of these benefits.
Maintains Healthy Immune System Function
Lime essential oil can strengthen the immune system and help reduce your chances of becoming ill, due to its high limonene content. For an easy daily immune boosting routine, add a drop of lime essential oil to four ounces of water before every meal. You may also add a drop of this oil into a tablespoon of honey and ingest once or twice a day.
If you’re suffering from a dry, itchy scalp, adding a drop or two of lime essential oil into your shampoo can help reduce dandruff. Simply massage into your scalp and wash out as usual.
Relieves Muscle and Joint Pain
To relieve the pain of sore muscles or joints, mix four drops of lime essential oil into one ounce of carrier oil such as almond, jojoba or coconut and massage into the affected area. Alternatively, you can add a couple of drops of this oil into a relaxing bath.
Lime essential oil is often used to help treat anorexia due to its ability to increase appetite. Simply inhaling this energizing essential oil can stimulate the secretion of digestive juices, awakening your digestive system and increasing your hunger.
Prevents Signs of Aging
Due to its high limonene content, lime essential oil is a natural antioxidant. Antioxidants help to remove free radicals that damage cells, including those of the skin. This helps reduce signs of aging such as fine lines, sun spots, and wrinkles. Its astringent properties help keep the skin firm, reducing sagging. Simply add a drop or two into your moisturizer or lotion and apply as usual.
Alternative Uses for Lime Essential Oil
Using lime essential oil topically, internally and aromatically provides plenty of health benefits, but that isn’t all this powerful oil can do! You can also use it to disinfect surfaces, repel insects, remove stains and more.7
Lime essential oil is a popular ingredient in many natural cleaning products. In order to make your own easy disinfectant, mix approximately 15–20 drops of lime essential oil to half a cup of water and half a cup of vinegar. This works as a multi-purpose cleaner that’s especially effective at cutting through grease. The strong citrus scent leaves behind a fresh, clean aroma.
For a quick and easy insect repellant, mix 10 drops of lime essential oil into a spray bottle filled with water. You can spray this mixture around your kitchen to repel ants, or spray onto clothing to repel mosquitoes in the outdoors. If using cold-pressed oil, don’t spray directly onto the skin before being exposed to the sun.
Due to its powerful abilities to cut through grease, lime essential oil is perfect for removing stains. It’s also especially effective at removing sticker residue. Be sure to patch test first to ensure that it doesn’t harm the material you’re using it on. If the patch test is fine, you can scrub the affected area with a few drops undiluted oil on a cotton pad.
You can use a drop of lime essential oil in almost any recipe that calls for a splash of citrus! It’s especially good in salsas, citrus desserts or marinades for meats and vegetables. Since the essential oil is so concentrated, it’s recommended to start with half of a drop and add more to taste. To effectively disperse into the whole dish, mix the drop of oil into a lipid such as olive or coconut oil first.
Storing Lime Essential Oil
Unfortunately, lime essential oil is one of the essential oils that last for the least amount of time. It is also especially prone to oxidation and should be avoided if you suspect that it has oxidized. Lime essential oil commonly lasts between one to two years if stored correctly.
The three main factors that affect the quality of your essential oil are light, heat, and oxygen. Because of this, you shouldn’t keep the lid off of the bottle for extended periods of time. It’s recommended that you store your lime essential oil in the refrigerator to keep it away from heat and light.8
So how can you tell if your bottle of essential oil has oxidized? Luckily it’s easy to determine if your oil has gone bad. When you first open your bottle, become familiar with the scent. If the scent begins to disappear or seems ‘off’, it’s a clue that the oil has oxidized. Oxidized oils can also cause adverse reactions when applied to the skin, so if you begin to experience redness, itching or irritation, stop topical use immediately.
Oxidized oils shouldn’t be used topically, internally or aromatically. But they can still be used for cleaning (be sure to wear gloves!)
Safety and Precautions
Lime essential oil is non-toxic and non-irritant, so it is typically safe for topical, internal and aromatic use.
Even so, as previously mentioned cold-pressed lime essential can be phototoxic, so extreme caution should be used when using topically. If applying directly onto the skin, it is best to avoid sun exposure for at least 12 hours to reduce the risk of skin problems.
Applying undiluted essential oils onto the skin can cause adverse reactions to those with sensitive skin. So, it’s always recommended to dilute the oil in a carrier oil before applying. You should also perform a patch test to ensure you don’t have any negative reactions before applying to larger areas.9
As with any essential oil, you should always be sure that you are purchasing 100% organic oils for the best results. This is especially important when purchasing essential oils that you will be using internally. Because essential oils are so concentrated, you should only add one or two drops to your water or recipes.
If you are pregnant or currently breastfeeding, it’s advised to avoid using all essential oils unless specifically directed by your doctor. Consult your medical practitioner before attempting to use essential oils to cure any chronic conditions.
With a bit of caution, lime essential oil can be a versatile and beneficial part of your daily routine!
This popular, citrusy scent holds many beneficial factors that can help your body and mind, as well as provide many practical uses such as disinfectant or bug repellent around the house. Lime essential oil in one of the main ingredients in MONQ’s personal aromatherapy diffusers, Sexy. Its blend of jasmine, patchouli, and lime can help you to feel a warmth of charisma and confidence. If you’ve already tried Sexy, let us know how you like it in the comments below!