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The Health Benefits of limonene

What is limonene?

D-limonene is one of the most common terpenes in nature. It is found in
several citrus oils such as orange, lemon, mandarin, lime, and grapefruit.

What is limonene used for?
D-limonene is listed in the Code of Federal Regulations as generally
recognized as safe (GRAS) for a flavoring agent and can be found in
common food items such as fruit juices, soft drinks, baked goods, ice
cream, and pudding.

Is limonene safe? What are its side effects or adverse effects?
D-limonene is considered to have fairly low toxicity. It has been tested for
carcinogenicity in mice and rats. Although initial results showed d-limonene
increased the incidence of renal tubular tumors in male rats, female rats and
mice in both genders showed no evidence of any tumor.

Whysner J, Williams GM. said “d-Limonene produces tumors only in the
kidneys of male rats in association with hyaline-droplet nephropathy, which
is due to the accumulation of the rat-specific, low molecular weight protein
alpha(2u)-globulin in the P2 segment cells of renal proximal tubules. Human
urine contains no alpha(2u)-globulin and, compared with the male rat, much
less protein and almost no low molecular weight protein.” [2]

What are the potential health benefits of Limonene?
Being a solvent of cholesterol, d-limonene has been used clinically to
dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones. Because of its gastric acid
neutralizing effect and its support of normal peristalsis, it has also been
used for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).
D-limonene has well-established chemopreventive activity against many
types of cancer.

Evidence from a phase I clinical trial demonstrated a partial response in a
patient with breast cancer and stable disease for more than six months in
three patients with colorectal cancer.

SOURCE Sun J. D-Limonene: safety and clinical applications. Altern Med Rev. 2007
Sep;12(3):259-64

[2] Whysner J, Williams GM. d-limonene mechanistic data and risk assessment: absolute
species-specific cytotoxicity, enhanced cell proliferation, and tumor promotion. Pharmacol Ther.
1996;71(1-2):127-36

This article can not be used as medical advice. Please, consult with your medical doctor for
any question or before taking any drug products and supplements. ALL RIGHTS REserved

Lemon Oil: A Citrus Delight for Your Health and Home

If you’ve been to my site, you’ll notice that I have long reported the health benefits of lemons. Packed with nutrients, lemons are one of the most widely used tropical fruits in the world. Their positive reputation mainly comes from their high concentrations of vitamin C.

But it’s not just the lemon fruit that’s beneficial. When used as an essential oil, lemon oil can be applied topically, used for cleaning, and used for many other applications.

What Is Lemon Oil?

Lemon essential oil, also known as Citrus limon oil, is extracted from lemon peels, which have many volatile oil glands in their pits.1 Approximately 1,000 lemons are needed to produce one pound of lemon oil.2 The citrus scent of lemons comes from a chemical compound called limonene, which comprises the majority of lemon oil.3

Lemons were used by ancient Indians, Egyptians, and Romans as a remedy for infectious diseases. Today, they are commonly grown in Europe and the United States, and are used in various products.

Uses of Lemon Oil

Apart from being used in making lemonade, lemon oil can be used as: 4,5,

  • Food ingredient – A tasty addition to pastries like pies, cakes, and marinades
  • Aromatherapy oil and air freshener because of its pleasant citrus fragrance
  • Medicine – Used to treat health problems like headaches, diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory problems, and asthma
  • Gargle – To relieve sore throat, mouth inflammations, and tonsillitis
  • Treatment for calluses and warts – Applying it to affected areas regularly can help reduce the appearance of these on your skin.
  • Skin and hair product – Can help treat blemished skin, exfoliate dead skin, and reduce acne. It can also improve appearance of hair and used to remove dandruff. Lemon oil is also added to personal care products.
  • Disinfectant – An ideal disinfectant for chopping boards, countertops, public bathrooms, and even hospitals
  • Spot remover – Can help remove gum, oil, and grease stains from clothes and surfaces
  • Insect repellent and insect bite treatment – Works as natural repellent and antibacterial

Composition of Lemon Oil

Limonene makes up majority of lemon oil (about 50 to 70 percent). Lemon oil contains organic compounds, such as pinene, terpinene, and terpineol, and non-volatile compounds.

Lemons are packed with a potent nutritional profile and are a low-glycemic fruit. The fruit contains citric acid, which is a natural preservativex and makes up eight percent of the lemon. Lemons are also excellent sources of vitamin C or ascorbic acid, a potent water-soluble antioxidant. In spite of their acidic nature, they have an alkalizing effect when metabolized in your body.6

Lemons also have phenomenal antioxidant properties due to unique flavonoid compounds. In a study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, lemons, as well as other citrus fruits, contain a dominant flavonoid class called flavanones, such as hesperidin and eriocitrin. These nutrients are found to have anti-inflammatory and free-radical quenching properties.

Lemons also contain other antioxidants, such as alpha- and beta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and lutein. Other nutrients that can be found in these citrus fruits are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Folate and B-vitamins
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Pectin (a type of fiber)

Benefits of Lemon Oil

Because of lemon’s outstanding nutrient profile, it helps treat numerous health conditions. Lemon oil helps:

  • Fight respiratory infections like bronchitis, coughs, and sore throat. It can also bring relieve to discomfort from colds, fevers, flu, and asthma.
  • Support immune function by stimulating the production of white blood cells
  • Inhibit inflammation
  • Soothe acidity and heartburn, as it is helps balance your stomach pH level.
  • Address constipation and promote elimination of waste
  • Relive arthritis, due to its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Lower blood pressure and promote healthy blood circulation
  • Detoxify your skin and body of toxins
  • Control overactive sebaceous glands that contribute to acne and poor hair conditions
  • Reduce broken capillaries and varicose veins
  • Sanitize wounds, household objects, and hospital rooms due to its antibacterial properties
  • Calm anxiety, improve mood, and prevent emotional outbursts and violent behavior

How to Make Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is made by cold-pressing the peels. Heat processing, as opposed to cold pressing, negatively affects the quality of the oil by stripping its nutrients, flavor, and color. Because of this, cold-pressed oils have higher quality and price.

Lemon oil can also be produced through distillation. Distilled lemon oil is used in soluble essences in lemon drinks. However, this type of lemon oil has an inferior scent compared with its cold-pressed counterpart.

How Does Lemon Oil Work?

Lemon oil can be added to foods and beverages, or applied topically on your skin or on surfaces. Below are some ways on how lemon oil works its magic:7,8,9

  • Adding two to three drops of lemon oil to tea or warm water can help relieve sore throat.
  • Applying a few drops of lemon oil to your nails can strengthen them. It may also help kill nail fungus.
  • Applying a drop or two of lemon oil behind your ears can calm you down.
  • Applying two to three drop of lemon oil to cold sores, calluses, or blisters daily can help remove them.
  • Using one to two drops of lemon oil can help remove stains due to oil, grease, and crayon marks.
  • One to two drops of lemon oil can help sterilize countertops and surfaces.
  • Soaking dishcloths overnight in water with a drop of lemon oil can disinfect them.
  • Rubbing lemon oil on your hands can help sanitize them.
  • Apply a few drops of lemon oil on cotton balls and use on your skin for cleansing.
  • Use lemon oil in a diffuser to spread its fruity scent.
  • When inhaled, lemon oil can help improve mood.

Is Lemon Oil Safe?

It is advisable not to use lemon oil without diluting it first, as it can irritate skin. It must be used with a carrier oil for direct application to skin.10 Effective carrier oils include coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil.

There are findings showing that lemon oil may promote photosensitivity, which increases your sensitivity to the sun and may lead to sunburn and uneven darkening of the skin. I also recommend you to avoid applying lemon oil and other citrus oils to your skin when outdoors, as blistering may occur.

People with sensitivities should use essential oils with caution. Reactions can vary from person to person. Some may experience skin reactions, while some may have respiratory problems.11 Consult your physician first before use. Pregnant women and children should also see a doctor before applying lemon oil.

 

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