What is your favorite thing about spring? Is it the refreshing scent of citrus fruits like lemons and oranges? Mine too! If you are looking to make this spring vibe last all year around then citrus oils are definitely worth a shot. They are all-natural and can do a lot for your skin, immunity, and mood.
Today we’ll be discussing how to use these brilliant citrus oils to revitalize your health. Can they help you drop a few pounds? What about pain relief? Can they disinfect your produce? We’re discussing all that and more.
But first, what exactly are citrus oils?
Citrus oils are the top favorite essential oils among naturopaths. A few popular scents are lemon, lime, grapefruit, mandarin, tangerine, orange, and bergamot. They are not made by squeezing lime or orange in oil. The procedure is a little different.
Essential oils are generally extracted from the leaves, bark, roots, and seeds of a plant via steam distillation. But citrus oils are extracted from the rind of tangy fruits only. They can either be cold-pressed or steam distilled and then packed in tiny amber-colored bottles for easy use. They evaporate rapidly if they come in contact with light and heat and that’s why they are stored in dark-colored bottles only.
You can use these essential oils individually or mix and match a few to your liking. Now let’s look at how you can actually use these fragrant oils.
First up, try aromatherapy.
Are you down in the dumps? Do you want to raise your mood a little? Or simply want to bring in a refreshing change to your surroundings? Then diffusion can do exactly that. It is so easy to make your home smell like a spa.
You can buy an aroma diffuser online or from a specialty store. Use 3 to 4 drops of citrus essential oil and relax. Bergamot essential oil has shown amazing stress-relieving properties. According to studies it can lower the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, get rid of fatigue, and put you in a great mode. You can even blend it with other oils like rose, lavender, sandalwood, or tea tree.
Lemon essential oil has also been studied to reduce anxiety and depression in study animals. Remember to enjoy your aromatherapy sessions in a well-ventilated environment. Also, keep the session under 30 minutes.
Another study showed citrus oils to improve cognitive function in people suffering from Alzheimer’s. It means that it can positively affect your brain functioning.
If you’re having a rough time falling asleep then defuse these oils with lavender essential oil. The gentle sedative properties can nudge you to fall asleep quickly. You can also spritz the combination on your pillow to ensure a well-rested sleep.
Did you know they could prevent cancer?
Citrus essential oils are great antioxidants. That’s why they are also called immunity boosted oils. Just add a few drops to your body care products like soaps, lotions, conditioners, shampoos, and deodorants. They will blend seamlessly and give a citrusy fragrance. You can even buy a few scented candles that have organic citrus oils.
Sweet orange, mandarin, and grapefruit essential oils contain a compound called d-limonene, which has been proven to be extremely therapeutic. It inhibits the growth of tumor cells. Scientists found it could trigger cancer cell death or apoptosis. The phytochemicals from citrus oils also help to kill lung cancer cells. This is indeed the most cost-effective way to neutralize free radicals and keep this gruesome disease at bay.
Looking for great skin?
Acne and hyperpigmentation can cause your skin to look lusterless and dull. Say hello to soft, smooth, and glowing skin with citrus oils. Adding a few drops of lemon essential oil to your skin products can help. This essential oil has antimicrobial and strong astringent properties. Studies have shown it to kill Staph aureus and E. coli bacteria on the skin. It’s a powerful antiseptic too.
These oils will clean your pores, get rid of the infections, and tighten up your skin. They can even prevent premature aging, loosening, and sagging. Those tiny bottles of citrus oils are the new way of getting rid of scar marks and dark spots.
Remember to dilute it with a carrier oil. Using raw citrus oils directly on your skin can cause redness similar to sunburn due to its phototoxic property. Mix it well with coconut, jojoba, almond, or baby oil and do a patch test. If no allergic reaction develops after 24 hours then it’s safe to be used on a larger area.
The lime essential oil also has antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It can be used to treat an athlete’s foot and thrush effectively.
You can toss it in your purse or car and use it as a hand sanitizer after mixing it with alcohol too. Your hands will be clean and smell great.
Moving along, they may reduce weight.
Citrus fruits like grapefruits have been touted for their amazing weight loss properties. Health nuts also believe that drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning can burn belly fat. The extracts from citrus fruits also can have a positive effect on weight management.
Essential oils are different from the actual fruits and that’s why their nutrient and vitamin content also varies. They can provide your body with unique benefits to shed extra pounds. One animal study found obese rats who are given orange essential oil capsules displayed lower levels of cholesterol and a drop in their weight.
You can add 1 to 2 drops of lemon essential oil to your drinking water. You’ll feel fuller and stop binge eating. But a word of caution, not all citrus oils are not edible. Make sure to talk to your doctor before making citrus oils a part of your regular diet.
Too much fat accumulation around the thighs causes a build-up of cellulite. There are studies where topical application and massaging with grapefruit oil have shown a significant reduction in the appearance of cellulite. This can boost your self-esteem and enhance your personality.
Want a natural air freshener?
Air fresheners impart a lively scent and help in reducing odor. Since artificial sprays are loaded with toxins they can damage your respiratory system in the long run. Try making a DIY air freshener that can invigorate you and have a comforting effect on your nervous system.
Just fill your spray bottle with pure water and 10 to 12 drops of citrus essential oils. Ideally, you can add solubol, a dispersing agent to the solution. But it’s not mandatory. Shake the bottle well till the contents mix.
This mixture is so powerful that it can remove the stubborn cooking smell that refuses to leave your kitchen. It is totally hypoallergenic so it’s safe to use around infants also. Feel free to use it in your workspace and car. It is bound to put everybody in a great mood.
You can also dip cotton balls in this mixture and leave them in your closest, drawers or other closed spaces. Alternatively, you can douse a handful of cotton balls and stick them in the canister of your vacuum cleaner. It will make your entire house smell fresh.
It is also the best disinfectant and cleanser.
Kitchen counters and bathroom cabinets tend to get sticky and dirty. Citrus oils are a synergistic combination of chemicals that are very effective to make your home squeaky clean. Just dilute 10 to 12 drops of your favorite essential oil in vinegar and spray it over the doorknobs, counters, and toilets to get rid of the dirt.
The orange essential oil has insecticidal properties. Housefly larvae and pupae can be eradicated by using it topically as well as during fumigation.
Have dirty cutlery? Just use lemon essential oil and vinegar concoction for cleaning chopping boards, knives, and other utensils. Dipping your vegetables and fruits in water and then adding a few drops of citrus oils can actually help you to get rid of the pesticides. Let your produce sit in this mixture for 30 minutes and then rinse them off with clean water.
You can also sprinkle a few drops of this oil into your laundry if your clothes have been sitting in the washer or dryer for a long time. It will get rid of the damp smell. There is nothing that these magical oils can’t do.
Now let’s unravel their analgesic side.
Essential oils play a key role while dealing with chronic pain naturally. Whether it’s a headache or stomach ache inhaling essential oils can instantly make you feel better. The soothing aroma changes your brain’s response to painful stimuli.
A comparative study of people with bone fractures found a group of people inhaling orange oil experienced less pain compared to people who did not. Citrus essential oils can also be coupled with other oils like eucalyptus, ginger, black, pepper, clove, and lemongrass to relieve muscle soreness and joint pain. It can give short-term pain relief and reduce inflammation.
If you are going through a typically stressful situation then pick orange essential oil. Experts have used it for kids undergoing dental procedures and women undergoing labor. It pretty much carries you through pain.
Last but not least they strengthen your respiratory system.
Orange and bergamot citrus essential oils have been studied to prevent oxidative damage in the lungs cells and stop the progression of COPD.
Cold and cough can make it pretty difficult to breathe normally. Try diffusing lemon essential oil and get the much-needed relaxation for your muscles and throat. This is a home remedy and does not have much scientific evidence. Boil a pot of water on your stovetop and add a few drops of citrus essential oils. Inhaling this steam can open up blocked nasal passages. It can be helpful for asthmatics too. Pregnant folks also inhale these citrusy oils and get rid of the symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
But why limit yourself just to citrus essential oils. Other oils like pomegranate, rose, geranium and baobab are hardly talked about.