Lemon Essential Oil in Chinese Medicine

Common Name: Lemon
Botanical Name: Citrus limonum
Pin Yin Name: Níngméng pí

Main Acupressure Channels Activated by Lemon Essential Oil:essential oils for acupressure


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Imbalances Treated with Lemon Essential Oil in Chinese Medicine

Citrus varieties generally have a soothing effect on the Liver clearing Heat resulting from Liver Congestion. In this way, lemon helps to unbind negative emotions and lift the spirit. Liver Qi Stagnation can also result in irritability and insomnia, especially when fraught with worry as lemon essential oil supports the Earth Element as well as the Wood Element of Chinese medicine.

Lemon is excellent at clearing Damp-Heat and is therefore used for conditions such as lymphatic congestion, lymphatic drainage essential oilscellulite, high cholesterol, and arterial wall plaque. As a highly cleansing essential oil, lemon is an anti-infectant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal substance. Pain syndromes with indications of Internal Dampness, or Damp-Bi obstructions are also addressed using combinations that include lemon essential oils. Additionally, by detoxifying, it helps clear up Blood Stagnation that may lead to pain syndromes or disease.
Lemon essential oils is typically used as part of a more complex essential oil remedy rather than as a single (by itself).

Properties: Cool, dry, astringing
Nature: Stimulating, expansive, detoxifying, uplifting, clarifying, restoring, cleansing, toning

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Imbalances Treated with Lemon Essential Oil in Chinese Medicine

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each energetic organ system is assigned to one of the Five Elements. Each element has both physical and emotional symptoms that would indicate imbalances in one or more of the related organ systems Learn more here!

Water Element Energetic Organ Systems: Kidney, Urinary Bladder

Wood Element liver essential oilsEnergetic Organ Systems: Liver, Gallbladder

Fire Element Energetic Organ Systems: Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium, San Jiao

Earth Element Energetic Organ Systems: Spleen, Stomach

Metal Element Energetic Organ Systems: Lung, Large Intestine

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Plant description: Small, evergreen, citrus trees grow in temperate tropical climates protected from freeze. The tree originated in Asia; Florida and California are some of the largest producers of lemon essential oils today. It is also commonly grown in Spain, Italy, and Argentina. The flowers are highly aromatic and beneficial as well but are typically found as hydrosols rather than essential oils.
Part used: Fresh peel and rind
Note: Top or head note that fades quickly if not combined with essential oils that are heavier

Safety and Contraindications

  • No known cumulative toxicity
  • Phototoxic: may enhance the intensity of sun exposure
  • Should be diluted before application
  • Recommendations for topical use only
  • Pregnant or nursing women and children-infants should only use essential oils under the guidance of their local practitioner

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Liu B, Kou J, Li F, Huo D, Xu J, Zhou X, Meng D, Ghulam M, Artyom B, Gao X, Ma N, Han D. Lemon essential oil ameliorates age-associated cognitive dysfunction via modulating hippocampal synaptic density and inhibiting acetylcholinesterase. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 May 11;12(9):8622-8639. doi: 10.18632/aging.103179. Epub 2020 May 11. PMID: 32392535; PMCID: PMC7244039.

Den Hartogh DJ, Tsiani E. Antidiabetic Properties of Naringenin: A Citrus Fruit Polyphenol. Biomolecules. 2019 Mar 12;9(3):99. doi: 10.3390/biom9030099. PMID: 30871083; PMCID: PMC6468535.

Vieira AJ, Beserra FP, Souza MC, Totti BM, Rozza AL. Limonene: aroma of innovation in health and disease. Chem Biol Interact. 2018; 283:97–106. 10.1016/j.cbi.2018.02.007

Dosoky NS, Setzer WN. Biological Activities and Safety of Citrus spp. Essential Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jul 5;19(7):1966. doi: 10.3390/ijms19071966. PMID: 29976894; PMCID: PMC6073409.

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.