Ask The Pharmacist: 8 fantastic ways to use lemon essential oil

Suzy Cohen

Lemon essential oil is in my refrigerator or purse at all times. It is just great to have around the house for various uses. I sprinkle it in water for an uplifting lemon zing flavor and put a few drops on top of the wet clothes in my dryer to make the clothes fresh.

If you have a test to study for, or a blog to write, you can simply diffuse it next to you and take note how it stimulates your brain to think faster and with more clarity. Lemon makes you more alert.

Essential oils can be used to aid healing cuts and bruises and mitigate stress.

What’s most fascinating is that there are studies proving how it can spur lymphatic drainage, which is very important if you have the flu.

Look at these four important findings next. 

Alleviate nausea

In studies, lemon essential oil proved to effectively ease nausea, when inhaled. A 2014 double blind study revealed that when feeling nauseous, if pregnant women inhaled lemon essential oil, they immediately felt some relief from nausea.

Freshens breath 

Lemon essential oil, especially when combined with two other oils, tea tree oil and peppermint, was able to significantly reduce bad breath. You can put a drop onto your toothbrush or you can put it in salt water and gargle with it. 

Promotes weight loss

A recent animal study found that when mice were supplied with polyphenols from lemon essential oil, they were able to drastically reduce abdominal fat, reduce elevated blood sugar, and reverse insulin resistance. Furthermore, a 2013 study found that lemon essential oil, when combined with grapefruit increased fat-burning potential.

Fights cancer

Scientists have only begun to unearth the many cancer-fighting powers of lemon and other citrus essential oils including grapefruit and orange oil. For example, A 2010 study found that lemon essential oil can stop cervical cancer cells from growing and induce apoptosis (cell death) in surrounding cells.

The terpenes activate olfactory receptors which then trigger a signal to your immune system, to prompt the attack and destruction of certain cancer cells. It’s rather sophisticated, if you think about it, considering this effect comes from a lip-smacking fruit! 

Lemon essential oil is one of the most potent and most affordable essential oils on the market today. Certainly, if lemon is not your cup of tea (and yes you can put it into tea), then try another citrus-based oil such as wild orange, tangerine, clementine or grapefruit.

Here are eight fantastic ways to use lemon essential oil.

  1. A drop in ice water or tea.
  2. In a spray bottle with water and/or other oils to freshen the laundry in your dryer.
  3. In your cleanser, just add a few drops.
  4. A few drops in lotion to your abdomen.
  5. Sniff it straight out of the bottle.
  6. Diffuse it in your room.
  7. A few drops to your shower floor, then get in.
  8. Soak your dirty dishes in hot sudsy water with a few drops of lemon oil.

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Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit