- You can get body-wide benefits by using lime oil in aromatherapy, as it is stimulating and refreshing. Just like lemon oil, lime oil can be used for its cleansing properties. Its rich vitamin C content also makes it an ideal immune system booster, helping protect you from colds and flu
Sailors and explorers never set sail without crates of lime on board, as its vitamin C- loaded juice served as one of the most potent remedies for scurvy and other skin problems. Now, lime is more popularly used as a cooking ingredient, adding a tangy flavor to your favorite dishes. But there's another great way to reap its benefits: Use lime oil. Get to know the many uses of this invigorating and refreshing citrus oil.
What Is Lime Oil?
Lime oil comes from Citrus aurantifolia of the Rutaceae plant family.2 This evergreen tree is short and bushy, growing between 6 and 13 feet high (much smaller than orange or grapefruit trees), and has dark green leaves, white blossoms and green oval fruits.3
There are two main types of lime trees: the Mexican lime (Key lime) and the Tahiti lime (Persian or Bearss lime). Lime is indigenous to Southeast Asia and later spread to Egypt and Africa, but is now grown in warm climates around the world. Lime oil has a sharp citrus scent, and is either pale yellow or light olive in color depending on how it was produced. Although it's traditionally used as a flavoring agent in food, there are other well-known uses for it.
Uses of Lime Oil
Lime oil has been extensively used in the food and beverage industry, as well as in making fragrances. This versatile citrus oil is also added to household cleaners, detergents, soaps and other beauty products.
You can also get body-wide benefits by using lime oil in aromatherapy, as it is stimulating and refreshing. Just like lemon oil, lime oil can be used for its cleansing properties. Its rich vitamin C content also makes it an ideal immune system booster, helping protect you from colds and flu.
There are multiple ways to use lime oil, depending on what health condition you want to treat or address:4
You can relieve stress, exhaustion and anxiety or calm your mind by diffusing a few drops using a vaporizer. This also helps boost your immune system, especially after an illness. You can add it to your bathwater as well.
For colds, coughs, sinusitis, sore throat and chest congestion, add a few drops to a bowl of steaming water and inhale it. You can also mix a few drops with a carrier oil, then rub it on your neck and chest.
If you have rheumatism and arthritis, put two to three drops in an ounce of carrier oil, then massage on the affected areas regularly. This method also works for cellulite and varicose veins.
Treat bleeding cuts and wounds by putting two drops in a cold compress and pressing it on the affected areas.
For acne and other skin problems, mix two drops of lime oil with 15 drops of jojoba oil and apply onto your skin. This helps wash out impurities while promoting the growth of new skin cells.
Avoid dandruff and bring life to dull, frizzy or oily hair by mixing a few drops of lime oil in your favorite shampoo. Lime can help remove oil quickly while moisturizing your scalp from within.5
Don't just leave lime oil in your medicine cabinet, though. Around the home, lime oil can help:6,7
- Remove grease spots and sticker residue. Put lime oil on a cotton pad and use it to wipe surfaces clean. It also helps remove gum and can be used to clean a dry erase board.
- Prevent fruits from turning brown. Add one to two drops to your fruits.
- Repel insects, such as mosquitoes and ants. Simply diffuse it in your home.
- Add flavor to your citrus-infused dishes. Add a few drops for a deeper, tangy flavor.
Composition of Lime Oil
Like lemons, limes and lime essential oil are full of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients.8 Lime oil is loaded with terpene hydrocarbons, such as a-pinene, b-pinene, d-pinene, camphene, sabinene and terponolene. It also contains oxygenated compounds such as a-terpineol, 1,8-cineole, 1,4-cineole, linalool and fenchol, as well as sesquiterpenes. It also contains traces of neral acetate and geranyl acetate.9
Germacrene B, another component of lime oil, is an important fragrance element in lime oil, giving it a sweet, woody-spicy and geranium-like note that makes it distinguishable from lemon oil.10,11
Benefits of Lime Oil
Tetanus can be spread through wounds inflicted by rusty iron objects. Did you know that lime oil can be used to treat such injuries?12 Just like the fruit, lime oil is chock-full of benefits, owing to its rich antioxidant and nutrient content. It's a great oil to add to your natural first-aid kit. Lime oil can:13
- Help relieve internal and external infections. It can help prevent wounds from being infected, as well as help ease infections of the throat, colon, mouth, intestines, stomach and urinary system. It can also help heal or relieve skin problems such as sores, rashes, psoriasis and carbuncles.
- Relieve respiratory disorders. It can help treat bronchitis and is effective against viral infections like flu, coughs and colds
- Promote good oral health. It strengthens the grip of the gums to prevent tooth loss.
- Help kill bacteria that cause diarrhea, food poisoning, cholera and typhoid. It also helps treat internal and external bacterial infections.
- Detoxify your liver. Taken internally, it can serve as an important component of a detox regimen that promotes liver health.14