Everyone knows that citrus fruits are beneficial for our health. Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and more are very rich in vitamin C, an essential vitamin required for maintaining a strong immune system. But one fruit of the citrus family that rarely gets the attention it deserves is the humble lime.
You see, limes can do a whole lot more than just add flavor to gin and tonics. The fruit offers a sizable amount of nutrient goodness, and the oil derived from it has a wide variety of beneficial applications. In this article, you’ll learn why lime oil is the best essential oil you’ve never heard of.
Limes: A Brief Introduction
Limes have been consumed for thousands of years and have long been prized for their ability to ward off disease. During the Age of Exploration, scurvy—a fatal disease caused by severe vitamin C deficiency—plagued maritime explorers and merchants as they sailed their way around the globe. It took many years for sailors to make the connection that fruit consumption—and citrus fruit consumption in particular—could prevent the onset of scurvy during long months at sea with nothing to eat but hardtack.
Eventually, ships began to stock fruit and fruit juices on board to prevent the disease. In the British Navy, sailors were given rations of lime and lemon juice each day to ward off scurvy and keep the immune system healthy. This led to seamen being given the nickname “limeys.”
There’s just one problem: Limes are extremely sour. You could force yourself to eat a lime, and you would get vitamin C from it, but it would not be a pleasant experience. Lime juice can be more bearable, and quite a versatile ingredient in cooking and beverages, but there is now an even better way to reap the fruit’s benefits without having to endure its overwhelming tartness.
Lime oil can be used in all kinds of ways, both topically and for inhaled use through diffusion. Let’s explore some of the many ways you can benefit from this wonderful oil.
- Lime oil has antiseptic properties. Do you have a cut, scratch or scrape? Try using some lime oil instead of hydrogen peroxide! Apply lime oil to small wounds and scrapes to prevent and cure infections. It can also bring relief for skin conditions like psoriasis, ulcers, and rashes.
- The antiviral properties of lime oil are more beneficial for diffused use. Inhaling diffused lime oil fumes can provide relief for certain respiratory and throat conditions, such as bronchitis, the common cold, sore throats, the flu, and persistent coughs.
- For muscle soreness, arthritis, or rheumatism, try blending a few drops of lime oil with a carrier oil, and massage it into the affected areas. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil will provide a degree of relief from pain and inflammation.
- In addition to this, lime oil can also be used topically to fight the signs of aging and give you clear skin. Lime oil has astringent properties that can help sagging and wrinkly skin become more firm and taut. You can also blend a few drops of lime oil with jojoba oil and apply it to the skin to help clear out pores and remove acne.
- Lime oil can also help clean the gums and teeth with its antibacterial properties, making it an ideal choice for mouthwash or oil pulling.
How To Make Lime Oil
Can’t find lime oil at a store? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a great recipe from Dr. Joseph Mercola that will help you prepare lime oil in your home.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A fine mesh sieve
- 2 cups of olive oil
- 2 whole limes
- A paring knife (a citrus zester will also work)
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pan. Use the knife or zester to cut the lime down, forming quarter-inch strips. Add the zest to the oil and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cover it. Let the oil and zest steep for two and a half to three hours. After this, run it through the sieve into an airtight container and store it in a dark, cool place. Your new batch of lime oil is now ready to use. It does not require refrigeration, and will last about two weeks.
The world of essential oils is an exciting one, and lime oil is one that many people are still unaware of. Stay ahead of the curve and try making your own as an experiment. You may find it to be your new favorite scent and home remedy.