Pictured: Lemon (Citrus limonum)
What aroma is good for boosting mood and may also help with studying? Lemon (Citrus limonum) has shown in studies to reduce anxiety and depression. It may also be a useful tool for studying. In a 2008 study, key constituents (taken internally) that reduced both physical and psychological stress included limonene and citral .
How to Enjoy Lemon at Home
For internal use, enjoy the whole lemon, and squeeze its juice into water or tea.
For aromatic pleasure, try a few drops of the essential oil in a cool mist diffuser. Lemon is a very light top note, and its fresh citrus aroma blends well with other scents that help hold the aroma longer. These can include petitgrain, lavender, chamomile, juniper, and patchouli.
Lemon essential oil can also be diluted into a carrier oil for an uplifting aromatic massage, but stay out of the sun. Note: The topical use of lemon on the skin is not advisable in combination with sun exposure related to possible phototoxicity. When applying diluted essential oils, it is good to skin patch test a small area before applying all over the body, especially with sensitive skin.
Here are some studies on lemon (Citrus limonum) helping with anxiety and depression.
- Aromatherapy with a blend of lemon, lavender, and ylang ylang was effective in lowering systolic blood pressure. It also calmed the sympathetic nervous system in patients with hypertension .
- Aromatherapy massage using lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and lemon reduced anxiety. It also improved self-esteem in Korean elderly women .
- Lemon and valerian inhalation reduced depression in this human study .
- Lemon vapor possessed anxiety reducing and antidepressant-like effects in mice  .
Here are some studies on lemon (Citrus limonum) helping to improve cognition.
- Aromatherapy of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening improved cognition of Alzheimer’s patients .
- In non-human studies, rats exposed to lemon aroma had improved learning. Further, in another study, lemon essential oil components reduced the symptoms of dementia .
Lemon Floral Happy Blend
- 3 drops of lemon essential oil (Citrus limonum)
- 2 drops of lavender essential oil (Lavendula agustifolia or Lavendula officinalis)
- 1 drop of German chamomile (Chamomilla recutita or Matricaria chamomilla)
- 1 ounce of Jojoba carrier oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
Instructions: Blend these ingredients together. Then, rub on the body. Avoid sun exposure with the topical use of lemon essential oil. Discontinue use with any irritation.
Lemon Floral Zen Diffuser Blend
- 2 drops of lemon essential oil (Citrus limonum)
- 2 drops of German chamomile essential oil (Chamomilla recutita)
- 1 drop of patchouli essential oil (Pogostemon cablin)
- 5 ounces of water and a cool mist diffuser
Instructions: Drop the essential oils into a 5 ounce water diffuser. Then, breathe in the aroma to help relax! Click here to learn more about the safe use of essential oil diffusers: Do Essential Oil Diffusers Really Work?
Lemon Peppermint Study Drink
- Juice of one half lemon (Citrus limonum)
- Ten leaves of peppermint – minced (Mentha piperita)
- 16 ounces of Sparkling Mineral water such as San Pellegrino or Perrier
Instructions: Fill a tall glass with sparkling mineral water. Then, juice half a lemon and mince about ten peppermint leaves. Next, add the lemon and mint to the glass and stir with a spoon. Finally, drink and enjoy!
Lemon Rosemary Diffuser Blend for Studying
- 3 drops of lemon essential oil (Citrus Limonum)
- 3 drops of rosemary essential oil (Rosemarinus officinalis)
- Cool mist diffuser
Instructions: Drop three drops of each essential oil into a 5 ounce diffuser filled with water to help with studying.
Lemon (Citrus Limonum) References
 Fukumoto, S., et al. (2008). Effect of flavour components in lemon essential oil on physical or psychological stress. Stress and Health, 24(1), 3-12.
 Cha, J., Lee, S., & Yoo, Y.(2010). Effects of Aromatherapy on Changes in the Autonomic Nervous System, Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity and Aortic Augmentation Index in Patients with Essential Hypertension. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 40(5).
 Rho, K., Han, S., Kim, K., & Lee, M. (2006). Effects of aromatherapy massage on anxiety and self-esteem in korean elderly women: a pilot study. International Journal of Neuroscience, 116(12), 1447-1455.
 Komori, T., Matsumoto, T., Motomura, E., & Shiroyama, T. (2009). P. 2. g. 008 Effects of lemon and valerian inhalation on autonomic nerve activity in depressed and healthy subjects. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 19, S475-S476.
 Komiya, M., Takeuchi, T., & Harada, E. (2006). Lemon oil vapor causes an anti-stress effect via modulating the 5-HT and DA activities in mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 172(2), 240-249.
 Lopes Campêlo, L., et al. (2011). Sedative, anxiolytic and antidepressant activities of Citrus limon (Burn) essential oil in mice. Die Pharmazie-An International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 66(8), 623-627.
 Jimbo, D., Kimura, Y., Taniguchi, M., Inoue, M., & Urakami, K. (2009). Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Psychogeriatrics, 9(4), 173-179.
 Ogeturk, M., Kose, E., Sarsilmaz, M., Akpinar, B., Kus, I., & Meydan, S. (2010). Effects of lemon essential oil aroma on the learning behaviors of rats. Neurosciences, 15(4), 292-293.
 Zhou, W., Fukumoto, S., & Yokogoshi, H. (2013). Components of lemon essential oil attenuate dementia induced by scopolamine. Nutritional neuroscience.
Want to learn more about lemon?
Click here to read all about lemon: Lemon Monograph.
Blog By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA (ARC), NAHA and AIA Professional Member, LMT