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Lemon Essential Oil Is Stimulating and Clarifying for Body and Mind

Plant name: Lemon
Latin name: Citrus Limon
Parts used: Certified organic cold-pressed essential oil from fruit rind
Sourced from: Italy

This distinctively tart, zippy, and refreshing citrus is used in everything from cleaning and skincare to food and drinks. You may have a favorite recipe containing lemon, or a strong memory associated with its smell. For me, the scent of lemons is transportive to a winter walk in the rain beneath branches of citrus trees hanging laden with fruit over the sidewalks in my hometown of Sacramento.

Thought to have originated in the Assam region of India, lemons have been used for countless applications throughout the centuries. They were prescribed as a cure for scurvy before the discovery of vitamin C (!!!) and before that, they were planted as a status symbol in the gardens of Rome and Jerusalem. Today, more than 20 varieties of lemons grow in temperate climates around the world where they fruit all year.



Lemon essential oil stimulates blood circulation, making it helpful for reducing varicose veins, cellulite, and scars. It also affects white blood cells to invigorate the immune system, aiding the body in fighting off a cold, flu, or other illness. Lemon essential oil can also be massaged into the skin to encourage lymphatic system detoxification.

While essential oils should never be consumed (please review our Essential Oil Safety Primer for best practices), drinking lemon juice is stimulating to the digestive system, improving metabolism and encouraging appetite.


Lemon essential oil is an astringent, making it excellent for clearing up oily skin and hair. By encouraging pores to shrink and regulating sebum production, lemon essential oil helps control acne and dandruff, and contributes to the overall balance of your skin.


Lemon essential oil is an antimicrobial that fights off bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It can be applied directly to small wounds to encourage blood clotting and prevent infection. This powerful citrus was used throughout history as a blood purifier and treatment for cuts, bites, bruises, ulcers, warts, boils, and other wounds.


Lemon essential oil is not only clarifying and stimulating for the body, but also for the mind. Known as a happy and uplifting scent, lemon essential oil helps to clear negative thoughts and unblock stuck energy. The zingy smell can dissipate feelings of indecisiveness and generally refresh your emotions. Additionally, using lemon essential oil for aromatherapy can improve circulation, digestion, and general detoxification in the body.


While we love lemon essential oil for its benefits to the skin, you should be mindful of phototoxicity when using it. Many citrus oils react with UV rays from the sun (or tanning beds) and can result in breakouts or burns. Always wait at least 60 minutes before going in the sun after applying lemon essential oil or lemon juice to your skin. Rest assured, the dilution rates in our deodorants are safe for on-the-go use!

Lemon can also be irritating, so folks with sensitive skin or those who are using it for the first time should always do a patch test to see how their skin will react.


Lemons grow on trees, which are good for the climate because they fix carbon into the soil, produce oxygen, provide a habitat for wildlife and pollinators, and reduce runoff of precious water and topsoil (we go deeper into our love for trees in our What It Takes blog post about paper tubes). Lemon and other citrus trees are currently prolific in temperate climates, but as the climate crisis worsens, these trees will face uncertain changes.

We use lemon essential oil in:

Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Stick
Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream
Eucalyptus Lemon Deodorant Stick
Lemon Rose Cleansing Oil
Lavender Lemon Body Soap (this one contains actual lemon peels in addition to lemon essential oil for gentle exfoliation—scrub, scrub, scrub!)


The Meow Meow Tweet blog is a collaborative thought project between the founders of Meow Meow Tweet and our editorial team. This post was written by Faye Lessler.


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