Monday, February 28, 2011

Lemon - The Natural Sanitizer

If you've ever zested a lemon, you probably remember the wonderfully fresh smell as you were working, and perhaps you noticed an oily feel on your hands afterwards – that's pure, unadulterated lemon essential oil. The essential oil resides in the outer rind of the lemon (INCI: Citrus Limonum), why the essential oil is not steam-distilled, but 'fresh-squeezed'. It takes about 3 whole lemon rinds to make a mere 20 drops of the essential oil. Just as I would never use the zest of a non-organic lemon, neither would I ever consider using anything but organic lemon essential oil.

Internal Magic
One of lemons' many attributes is its ability to stimulate the production of white corpuscles (those are the ones that defend the body against infection). It also has a tonic effect on the circulatory system. One of the most unlikely properties, though, is it's ability to counteract acidity in the body. As illogical as that sounds, here's how it works: the citric acids of lemon are neutralized during digestion, causing carbonates and bicarbonates of potassium and calcium. These help to maintain the alkaline balance of the system. Lemon is therefore an effective tonic for gastric acidity.(1) 

External Magic

Lemon has been used throughout history for cuts and wounds. It is quite an effective haemostatic (helps stop bleeding). Try using fresh lemon juice for any type of bleeding in the mouth, gum sores, or mouth ulcers. For nosebleeds, soak a small cotton wool pad in fresh lemon juice and insert into the nostril.

Attributes of The Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil is a powerful bactericide, and has been shown in studies to kill diptheria bacilli in a mere 20 minutes.
It is also
Astringent
Antisceptic
A mild bleach
A disinfectant
A deoderizer
It's natural freshness makes lemon essential oil a wonderful 'scent fixer'. Adding a drop or 2 to a blend that 'isn't quite working' will more often than not help balance the composition. I've rescued many experimental blends by adding lemon.

Hydrosol – Almost, Well, Yes
One wouldn't think it possible to make a hydrosol from lemon, as the essential oil is not produced by steam distillation. A lemon 'hydrosol' is however offered from one of my suppliers. They inform me it is made with evaporated and condensed organic lemon juice, has a large concentration of the aromatic molecules in the water, and is mild and skin-friendly. I placed a small test order recently to check it out, and it does indeed function like other hydrosols. The scent is also so refreshing that it's tempting to take a sip!

Cautions
Lemon is mildly phototoxic, and therefore not to be used on skin in direct sunlight. It can also be irritating to sensitive skin. If zesting a lemon doesn't bother you or irritate your skin, you can probably tolerate products with the essential oil.

LisaLise Products With Lemon

Personalized Skin Tonics, Cocoa Butter Cream Cleanser, Citrus Buff Cleanser, Himalayan Crystal Detoxifying Salt Scrub, Himalayan Crystal Exfoliating Salt Scrub, Melissa Body Fresh Deoderant

TIPS: Household Uses for Lemon Essential Oil

- as an antibacterial toilet cleanser (a few drops directly into the bowl, brush, then flush. This really works, and it is an environmentally friendly alternative to commercial products)

- as an antibacterial agent and freshener (add a few drops to the final rinse in the washing machine - great for bedding and towels)

Reference

(1) Davis, Patricia: Aromatherapy An A-Z, 2000, p180

4 comments:

Fru. Ekelund said...

Hej Lise

Spændede læsning. Tak for alle de gode tips. Det der med dufte, der kikser, kan jeg nikke meget genkendende til! Jeg bruger også citronsaft til afkalkning, der er IKKE nogget afkalkningsmiddel, der kan hamle op med citronsaft.

Kh Rikke

Lise M Andersen said...

Tak Rikke,
ja det har du ganske ret i -- citron er bare sagen til så mange ting!
:)

Alicyn said...

thank you! very informative. :)

Lise M Andersen said...

Thank you kindly Alicyn :)