• Name : Nimbu Taila
  • English Name :Lemon Oil
  • Scientific Name :Oleum Citrus medica



Lemon Oil is obtained from the peel of Citrus limon (Linn.) Burm.; a straggling bush or small tree, 3 to 4 m high with thorny branches, cultivated in many parts of the country in orchards. It takes about 3000 lemons to produce a kilo of oil.


Morphology Description (Habit):

This thin oil is pale yellow to deep yellow in colour with a strong fragrance.


Parts Used:

Cold-pressed / Expressed Oil from the Fruit Rinds (Peel)



The chief constituent is d-limonene, a potent antioxidant.


Pharmacological Actions:

The primary pharmacological actions of this soothing and refreshing oil are summarized as under:


Central Nervous System:

i. The oil has got extremely energizing and uplifting fragrance. In a clinical study, it was observed that Lemon oil reliably enhances positive mood compared to water and lavender regardless of expectancies or previous use of aromatherapy.1

ii. The aromatherapeutic oil helps allay anxiety and mental confusion when inhaled regularly.

iii. Aromatherapy with a lemon oil blend was observed to be an efficacious non-pharmacological therapy for dementia. Aromatherapy may have some potential for improving cognitive function, especially in AD patients.2

iv. Exhibits anti-dementia effect.3

v. Lemon oil possesses anxiolytic, antidepressant-like effects via the suppression of DA activity related to enhanced 5-HTnergic neurons.4


Respiratory System:

i. Helps decongest airways when inhaled or rubbed on the chest.

ii. Few drops of lemon oil in non-dairy warm beverage soothe the throat.


Digestive System:

i. Instantly relieves nausea.


Cardiovascular System: 

i. Aromatherapy with a lemon oil blend was observed to be effective in lowering systolic blood pressure and sympathetic nerve system activity.5


Skin and Hair: 

i. Detoxifies the skin and scalp; improves blood circulation and clear away dandruff.

ii. Extremely soothing and refreshing for oily and mixed skin types.

iii. Helps clear away skin infections and inflammations.

iv. Excellent topical remedy for cold sores, corns and blisters.

v. Topical bioavailability of lipid- and water-soluble vitamins is a critical issue for protecting or anti-ageing formulations. Lemon EO helps enhance the penetration of α-tocopherol (E) and retinyl acetate (A), pyridoxine (B(6)) and ascorbic acid (C), released from O/W or W/O emulsions. Lemon EO produced only reversible modification of TEWL, and it is a safe and effective penetration enhancer for topical administration of lipid- and water-soluble vitamins.6

vi. Also serves as a preservative in natural cosmetics.

vii. Lemon oil massage as a preventive treatment for cutaneous wrinkling and ageing.7



i. Possesses strong antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

ii. The strongly antioxidant oil has got excellent anti-aging properties.

iii. Helps whiten teeth and promote oral hygiene.

iv. Exhibits anticaries activity; effectively inhibits the growth and adherence of S. mutans.8



Anti-skin aging topical preparations

Dandruff and scalp infections

Oily and acne-prone skin

Dental caries, plaque, halitosis

Maintenance of oral hygiene





1. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Graham JE, Malarkey WB, et al. Olfactory influences on mood and autonomic, endocrine, and immune function. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008 Apr;33(3):328-39.

2. Jimbo D, Kimura Y, Taniguchi M, et al. Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer's disease. Psychogeriatrics. 2009 Dec;9(4):173-9.

3. Zhou W, Fukumoto S, Yokogoshi H. Components of lemon essential oil attenuate dementia induced by scopolamine. Nutr Neurosci. 2009 Apr;12(2):57-64.

4. Komiya M, Takeuchi T, Harada E. Lemon oil vapor causes an anti-stress effect via modulating the 5-HT and DA activities in mice. Behav Brain Res. 2006 Sep 25;172(2):240-9.

5. Cha JH, Lee SH, Yoo YS. Effects of aromatherapy on changes in the autonomic nervous system, aortic pulse wave velocity and aortic augmentation index in patients with essential hypertension. J Korean Acad Nurs. 2010 Oct;40(5):705-13.

6. Valgimigli L, Gabbanini S, Berlini E, et al. Lemon (Citrus limon, Burm.f.) essential oil enhances the trans-epidermal release of lipid-(A, E) and water-(B6, C) soluble vitamins from topical emulsions in reconstructed human epidermis. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2012 Aug;34(4):347-56.

7. Mori M, Ikeda N, Kato Y, et al. Inhibition of elastase activity by essential oils in vitro. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2002 Dec;1(4):183-7.

8. Liu Y, Zhang X, Wang Y, et al. Effect of citrus lemon oil on growth and adherence of Streptococcus mutans. World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2013 Jul;29(7):1161-7.


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