Lime oil comes from Citrus aurantifolia also called Lime. Lime oil has a sharp citrus scent, and is pale yellow or light olive in color depending on the method of production. Lime oil is produced in two ways, cold-pressing the peel of the lime and distilling. Cold pressed oil has a yellow or green color, with a rich and fresh lime peel scent. Cold pressed lime oil is usually recommended as it contains more of the natural compounds that make it so beneficial.
Lime and lemon are very closely related. They both belong to the category of citrus fruit. Lemons come from Citrus limon. They both are acidic, and are used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes, because of their fragrance and antibacterial purposes. They have the same nutritional value and health benefits, in spite of being different fruits. Lemons and limes have almost identical amounts of carbs, protein, and fat.
Health Benefits of lime oil
Citrus fruits are very good sources of nutrition with a large amount of vitamin C. They are also abundant in other macronutrients, including sugars, dietary fiber, potassium, folate, calcium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Citrus fruits contain a number of secondary metabolites, such as flavonoids, alkaloids, coumarins, limonoids, carotenoids, phenol acids and essential oils. These secondary metabolites are known to show several activities which are of importance to human health. These include anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, cardiovascular protective effects and neuroprotective effects.
Lemons provide more vitamin C than limes but limes too have significant amount of vitamin C. We can say that overall, lemons have a little more of vitamins and minerals and also potassium, folate and vitamin B6.
Lime essential oil is full of antioxidants and other nutrients. Lime oil, like lime is an antiseptic, antiviral, astringent, bactericidal and a disinfectant. It is also a febrifuge (reduces fever), haemostatic (stops bleeding), restorative and a tonic. Lime oil extract has a sharp citrus smell and is used in aromatherapy. Due to its refreshing properties, Lime oil can be used as a massage oil or in a cream or lotion. The oil can also be added to bathwater.
1. Lime/Lemon oil benefits for the skin
Lemon or lime oil is very good for the skin, especially oily skin. Its antiseptic properties help to treat pimples and other skin infections. It rejuvenates dull and tired-looking skin as it is detoxifying and an astringent. You must always dilute lemon oil with a carrier oil before applying to the skin. It is a the strong anti-microbial agent in all essential oils. It is extremely good for your skin and can prevent acne, eczema, dermatitis and other skin problems. It kills the bacteria and clears and, exfoliates dead skin. The antioxidants in lemon oil may help even the skin tone.
- Lime oil can be used in a cream or lotion to clear oily congested skin.
- Add it 1-2 drops of lemon/lime essential oil to your face wash to cleanse your skin.
- Add a few drops to your bath water to feel clean and refreshed.
- Do nor use lime/lemon essential oil directly on your skin. Always mix it with a carrier oil before use.
2. Lime/Lemon oil for stress
Lemon essential oil is calming and therefore helps in removing anxiety, fatigue, and nervous tension. It refreshes the mind by making you feel more positive and eliminating negative emotions. Inhaling this oil is said to increase concentration and alertness. Lime oil can stimulate and refresh a tired mind and helps with depression. Its uplifting scent is used to treat depression, and improve mood in vapour therapy.
- The essential oil can be used in a diffuser by adding a few drops with water to an essential oil burner.
- You can also put a few drops of the essential oil on a piece of cotton and tuck it away nearby to enjoy. The citrus scent affects mood positively and is energizing and rejuvenating.
3. Lime/Lemon oil for painful muscles and joints
Lime oil may be helpful for arthritis, rheumatism and poor circulation, as well as for obesity and cellulite, as it has the ability to improve circulation. Lime oil can be used as a massage oil or diluted in the bath, to help with painful muscles and joints. The essential oils in lemon peels help relax blood vessels and produce an anti-inflammatory effect, making them very useful for joint pain and pain in the nerves.
- Put some lime infused oil onto a clean gauze or soft cloth and place it on the painful joint or muscle area. Tie a plastic bag over the cloth and bandageit lightly. Let this stay overnight, so that it has tome to act on the joints.
4. Lime/Lemon oil for Hair Care
Lemon oil is an effective hair tonic. Lime oil is used to get strong, healthy, and shiny hair. It is also used to get rid of dandruff and prevents premature greying of hair. Lemon is used in hair oils and hair masks, and also promotes hair growth. Lemons and limes are rich in many nutrients such as citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, pectin, and flavonoids, all of which are very beneficial for hair growth. Limes and lemons also control the production of oil in the scalp and the antifungal properties in lemons keep the scalp free from infections of any kind.
- Mix together 1 tablespoon of castor oil and two tsp of coconut oil. Warm the oil slightly. Add 4 drops of lemon essential oil to this and mix very well. Apply this to your scalp and hair and massage well for 10 minutes. Keep for 30 minutes and wash with a mild shampoo.
How to make lime/Lemon infused oil (Hot Method)
Lime and lemon infused oil is not the same as lime or lemon essential oil. Essential oils are very highly concentrated, while infused oils are mild. Essential oils are never applied directly to the skin, without diluting in a carrier oil. Infused oils, on the other hand, are very gentle enough to be used on bare skin.
1 cup olive oil/coconut oil or any other oil of your choice
- Take one cup of olive oil in a saucepan. Wash the limes and dry them thoroughly.
- Peel or zest the limes. Do not use the white coloured pith.
- Cut the lime peel into very small strips.
- Add the lime zest to the olive oil.
- Heat the oil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes over very low heat.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and cover, allowing the zest to steep for 2 – 3 hours.
- Sieve the oil and store in an airtight and non-reactive container.
- Store it in a cool, dry place.
This infusion can be used for up to two weeks. It can be used as a garnish or as a dressing in salads.
To know the full procedure to make infused oils with any plant material, click on the link How to make herbal extracts with glycerin and oil as solvents
How to make lime or lemon infused oil (Cold Method)
- Zest of two lemons or 5 limes
- Citrus grater or peeler
- 1 cup olive oil/sunflower oil or any other oil of your choice
- A glass jar
Wash the limes and let it dry for 30 minutes. Grate the peel of the limes. Do not grate the white pith. Now put the grated peel in a jar and pour the oil of your choice over it, so that it covers the peels completely. Keep in a dry dark place for a month. Strain the oil into a glass jar using a strainer. Store in a cool dark place away from sunlight. You can use this oil to massage the area where you have joint or muscle pain.
The process to make lime infused oil is the same as the one to make orange infused oil. The video below explains the process in detail.
How to make orange infused oil from orange peels
How is Lime Essential Oil Made
Lime essential oil for therapeutic purposes is made through two processes – expression and distillation.
Expression is a method of extraction which is specific to citrus oils. It is also called cold pressing. In olden times, expression was done in the form of sponge pressing. The zest or rind of the citrus would be first soaked in warm water to make it more receptive to the pressing process. A sponge would then be used to press the rind, thus breaking the essential oil cavities and absorb the essential oil. Once the sponge was filled with the extraction, it would then be pressed over a collecting container and there it would be allowed to stand till the separation of essential from the liquids.
A more modern method is one that involves a prodding, pricking and sticking action to release essential oil. The rind is placed in a container having spikes that will puncture the peel while the device is rotated. The puncturing of the rind releases essential oil that is collected in a small container below.
Distilled citrus oils deteriorate more quickly and are not recommended for aromatherapy use. If the oil is not extracted using steam distillation or cold expression, it is not considered a therapeutic grade oil.