Lemon eucalyptus essential oil boasts a number of health benefits, such as strengthening the immune system, preventing respiratory infections, repelling disease-bearing insects, relieving pain, soothing inflammation, healing wounds, improving digestive health and treating fungal infections, among others. Some of the side effects of lemon eucalyptus oil include serious stomach upset when ingested, as well as topical skin irritation and complications for people with certain medical conditions or prescriptions.
This powerful essential oil is derived from a lemon-scented gum eucalyptus plant, which goes by the scientific name Eucalyptus citriodora. The pleasant smell of this essential oil, combined with its insect repellent properties, made it a standard in traditional medical uses, but it has now reached the global mainstream for its other apparent health benefits. You will find this essential oil in everything from aromatherapy treatments and insect repellents to massage oils and essential oil diffusers, thanks to its wide range of effects. Native to northern Australia, the lemon eucalyptus plant is highly sought after due to its high concentration of citronellal, limonene, linalool and other antioxidants, as well as various nutrients and active compounds.
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Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Benefits and Uses
The impressive essential oil of lemon eucalyptus is very popular with people suffering from chronic pain, inflammatory conditions, indigestion, fungal and bacterial infections, cough, cold, flu, fever, body odor, arthritis, bronchitis, poor circulation and sinus infections, as well as people in areas with mosquito- and insect-borne diseases.
Effective Insect Repellent
The most common use of lemon eucalyptus essential oil is for repelling insects; the significant content of citronellal is extremely effective for driving away insects, including those that bear diseases, for up to 8 hours after application. In fact, lemon eucalyptus essential oil has been praised as a viable replacement for DEET and other dangerous insecticides, and has proven to be just as effective.
Improves Respiratory Health
When you inhale this essential oil, or allow it to be diffused in your home, you can give your respiratory system a major boost. The active ingredients in this oil are known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe the respiratory tracts and prevent coughing and additional congestion. Some of the antioxidant compounds in this oil can also attack the underlying infection to speed healing. This oil is often included in chest rubs to lower congestion, when applied before going to sleep.
Limonene and citronellal are both known as stimulating substances, which can impact the metabolism and circulation. This means more oxygenated blood and resources for cells in the extremities of the body, in addition to an energetic boost to your day.
Commonly used to relieve joint disorders and pain from muscle aches and workout strains, this oil can be topically applied (a few drops is all you need) to the affected area for rapid relief. It has specifically been praised for its effect on osteoarthritis. When it comes to inflammation, however, it can affect the body in countless ways, so both inhalation and topical applications are recommended.
Boosts Immune System
Anti-fungal, antioxidant and antiseptic qualities make lemon eucalyptus essential oil the ultimate immune booster. Aboriginal populations in Australia used to apply the oil of the lemon eucalyptus leaves to open wounds, cuts and scrapes in order to prevent infections from attacking the wound. It can also help to support the immune response and stimulate the production of additional white blood cells.
Pain comes in many forms, and the traditional use of lemon eucalyptus essential oil included a wide range of pain-relief applications. From chronic pain of disease or injury to the acute pain of headaches, muscle strains and surgery, this essential oil can be inhaled or topically applied for fast results.
Prevents & Heals Insect Bites
Not only does lemon eucalyptus essential oil repel insects, but it can also speed the healing of insect bites, particularly of those from mosquitoes, gnats, beetles, and biting flies. If you have already applied the oil, then a bug bite is unlikely, but it is good to know that this oil is both a preventative measure and a treatment.
The anti-inflammatory properties of this essential oil make it ideal for soothing indigestion and stomach upset. If you suffer from chronic constipation, diarrhea, nausea, bloating, cramping or poor digestion of any kind, inhaling this oil as a daily boost to your digestive system is a very good idea.
Diffusing lemon eucalyptus essential oil is a popular choice, given its invigorating properties and ability to improve respiratory and immune health. However, some people report sensitivity in their eyes when the oil is spread throughout the room, so use this oil in oil diffusers with caution, particularly if your eyes are sensitive.
Side Effects of Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
There are a few side effects of lemon eucalyptus essential oil, including allergic reactions, skin inflammation, eye irritation, and complications for pregnant women and those with certain other medical conditions.
- Skin Reactions – As is the case with many essential oils, the concentrated nutrients and chemicals can cause skin inflammation, particularly if too much of the oil is used. It is always best to apply a small amount to a patch of skin, and then wait a few hours for any potential reactions, before putting in on a larger area of your skin.
- Eye Irritation – Some of the more common complaints include irritation in mucus membranes, particularly the eyes, when this oil is diffused throughout a space. If you experience bloodshot eyes or itching, consider using this oil in a different way than in a room diffuser.
- Pregnancy – This oil is not recommended for pregnant women or children, considering the potent concentrations of so many active compounds and volatile acids. If you want to benefit from the insect-repellent qualities of this oil, but are pregnant, be sure to speak with your doctor before adding it to your regular pregnancy health regimen.
- Internal Consumption – Under no circumstances should this essential oil be consumed, as it can result in serious stomach symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and painful cramping. Even when applying this oil topically, it is highly recommended that you use a carrier oil to dilute the oil slightly.