About 6 months ago Jay and I decided to put together a presentation on essential oils and how to safely use them. We had been getting tons of questions at markets, specifically about lemon essential oil and if ours was food grade; I cannot tell you the horror we experience when we get asked this question. So we politely as possible respond with, “YOU SHOULD NEVER INGEST YOUR OILS!” Food grade only means the oils are packed or distilled in a facility that is inspected a food handling premise. The next big question are they therapeutic grade? This is tricky because there is NO grading system for essential oils, and there are no agencies that monitor any such grades. However in my research I have learned that the term therapeutic oils, is used by many companies to reflect the purity and purpose of their oils. Buying“Therapeutic” oil also does not mean that it becomes safe to consume, it just means that higher precautions have been taken to distill package and store the oil for the highest quality.
Why does lemon essential oil become unsafe to consume? Lemon essential oil is very potent oil that can be used to strip glue, grease and even kill warts. When you add a drop of lemon essential oil to a Styrofoam cup, it will eat right through the foam. One argument for this is that fresh lemon can ruin your enamel, but lemon essential oils can ruin your insides. Just try that foam cup experiment for yourself. I could go on and on however the point of this article is to give you some great tips on how to safely use this oil, but for more info on ingesting or not please have a look at this great article from The Hippy Home Maker.
So here you are my 5 favorite tips for using lemon Essential oil:
- Cleaning: I love adding this oil to my home made cleaner, it helps to kill bacteria, mold and also leaves a fresh clean scent without all the chemicals. My mix is usually 5-10 drops in large spray bottle with 3/4 water and 1/4 vinegar. I also like to add a few drops of clove and a few drops of grapefruit to the mix.
- Diffuser: It wasn’t until very recently I bought a diffuser to test out in my home and I have to say I love it. There is a study we read a while ago that said the sight or smell of lemons in the office can increase productivity by 30%! The smell of lemons is uplifting and refreshing. A few drops in your diffuser can give you that extra boost for the day. Don’t want to spend the moola on a diffuser, try adding a few drops to an old sock and place in vents in the home, or a few drops on the furnace filter.
- Hair Health: We have an amazing Hair blend that we use lemon oil in, not only does it smell awesome, but it can help fight dandruff and promote growth but will leave the hair smelling wonderful. You can make your own hair blend by adding a few drops of lemon, 2 drops of rosemary and a drop of peppermint to your shampoo or conditioner, give it a good shake and apply like normal.
- Bug Repellent: 2 drops of lemon essential oil mixed with 2 drops of lemon Eucalyptus added to 2 tbsps of your favorite lotion or a carrier oil such as coconut oil will also help to keep bugs away. When applying lemon to the skin though avoid direct sun exposure as this oil is phototoxic.
- Cellulite: I like to add a few drops to my favorite unscented babassu butter and massage onto any of my lumpy parts. I’m not entirely sure its magic but it does help to promote circulation and is reported to help break down cellulite. Again remember that a couple drops goes a long way and you always want to dilute in a carrier oil or lotion. Also avoid direct sunlight after topical application.
My favorite saying is “friends don’t let friends ingest their oils”, but I do LOVE oils and all the amazing mental and physical healing properties they have. Currently in my stock I have over 75 different oils, and my collection continues to grow. Oils are a wonderful addition to your home even if you are just using them to replace your glade plug ins. So don’t be scared just make sure you are using them wisely and with respect.
Love, Purpose and Fresh Smells,