Wednesday, October 26, 2016

When life gives you lemons, make lemon oil!


 I love my lemon oil - its uses are almost too numerous to mention! It is an emotionally uplifting oil that helps diffuse odors, support GI discomfort, support the immune system, and is often used for its cleansing and de-toxification properties.

DoTerra's lemon oil (citrus limon) is sourced from Sicily, Italy and is cold-pressed from the rinds of the lemons. There's a wonderful article in the Spring 2015 DoTerra Living magazine about the co-impact sourcing of this oil and how it not only procures the high quality oil we enjoy, but also supports the livelihood and heritage of multi-generational family businesses.

This oil is high in monoterpenes; specifically d-limonene. This gives it excellent antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-viral properties. Studies have been done that show d-limonene can aid in reducing cholesterol and can act as an inhibitor of secondary tumors in research settings (see footnotes).

DoTerra's lemon oil has GRAS status, which means it is generally regarded as safe as a food additive or flavoring by the FDA. It is not for use undiluted in children under 6. Lemon oil is also photo-toxic - avoid direct sunlight for up to 12 hours after topical use.

Some of my favorite uses:
  • In place of goo-gone - the smell of goo-gone was a trigger for me when I was pregnant and even now it still makes me gag. Plus - ugh, all those toxins! I use lemon oil instead to get rid of sticky residues on the floor, fridge, and pretty much wherever the kiddos have put tape or gum.
  • In a cup of hot water first thing in the morning: I battle reflux, and I have found that drinking a glass of hot water with 1-2 drops of lemon oil first thing in the morning helps me wake up and reduces the feelings of yuk in my esophagus.
  • Flavoring: I make a lemon-white chocolate chip bread for almost every family gathering and I've NEVER had leftovers. In the past I have scraped up my knuckles zesting lemons, no longer! A drop or three of lemon oil suffices and actually tastes better (I think). I've included the recipe below!
  • Glass/mirror cleaner: I mix a ratio of 1/2 water to 1/2 vinegar in a spray bottle and add about 15 drops of lemon oil. I use this to clean my mirrors and windows in the house. I get sparkly shiny windows and mirrors and everything smells divine!
  • Hand cleansing: if I forget my gel sanitizer, I will toss a drop of lemon oil on my hands instead to take advantage of those anti-fungal, antibacterial, and anti-viral properties.
  • Seasonal discomfort support: whenever spring hits, I sneeze and wheeze in the breeze. I've been told that the combination of lemon, peppermint, and lavender oils can help reduce those feelings of seasonal discomfort. The combo can be taken internally (2 drops each in a gel cap twice a day) or just diffused. Given our insane Colorado weather, I've started this within the last week. So far so good!
  • Hangover relief: red wine is so yummy but even one glass of it gives me the WORST hangover. I have found that smelling/drinking lemon oil (generally in combo with peppermint) actually helps me feel better sooner than I otherwise would.
  • Morning diffuser blend: I absolutely love diffusing lemon, wild orange, and grapefruit in the morning. It just makes me happy! I did a little test on my family one super difficult morning as well - fighting kids, grumpy man, frustrated me. I diffused this combo and within half an hour, the kids were giggling and the man was humming red hot chili peppers. Win!
The list goes on, and on, and on...

Fun fact - it takes about 45 lemons to make a 15ml bottle of DoTerra's essential oil, and one lemon tree can produce between 500-600 pounds of lemons a year.

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Bread
   .5 c warm water
   1 c warm milk
   2 tbsp butter (softened)
   2 tbsp sugar
   1.5 tsp salt
   4 c flour
   2 tsp dry yeast
   1 egg
   2 drops DoTerra Lemon Essential Oil
   1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips

Add the water, milk, 2 tbsp sugar, and yeast to a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes
Add the egg, butter, lemon oil, 2 cups flour, and mix well
Add the salt and rest of flour
When this is mostly mixed, add the chocolate chips and knead well
Let rise for 1/2 hour, shape, and bake at 375 for an hour!
Antioxidative effects of lemon oil and its components on copper induced oxidation of low density lipoprotein.
Grassmann J1, Schneider D, Weiser D, Elstner EF.
Arzneimittelforschung. 2001 Oct;51(10):799-805.

Citrus peel use is associated with reduced risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.
Hakim IA1, Harris RB, Ritenbaugh C.
Nutr Cancer. 2000;37(2):161-8