Interesting Facts About Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is quickly becoming one of the most commonly used oils. With years of successful use to back medical claims, science is being pushed to test the oil more so that all of its healing properties may be made known to the world. Here are some interesting facts about the oil, including the fruit that it is produced from and its place in history.
About The Lemon Tree
The lemon tree is a species of evergreen. Its origin is unknown but many believe it originated in India. The tree’s widely recognized fruit is used both in and out of the kitchen. Lemons are mostly known for their sour taste but they also produce a fragrant oil that has antiviral, antibiotic, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
Lemon trees need a very specific environment to thrive. Italy and Spain are the largest exporters of lemons in Europe, due to their ideal climates. These two countries alone produce nearly ninety percent of Europe’s lemons. They are considered experts in the lemon production world, coming up with new techniques for better quality and higher yields over their thousand years of experience with the tree.
Lemon In History
If the lemon tree originated in India like historians believe, it then made its way to the Middle East, specifically Jerusalem. Historical texts show that lemons were featured during Jewish festivals occurring near 90 BC. There is no documentation of lemons in European texts until the first century AD, where they had made their way to Rome. By 700 AD they could be found in Iraq, Egypt and Persia. Islamic gardens used the tree as an ornamental plant while Arabic farmers began to cultivate lemons during the 10th century for distribution throughout the Mediterranean regions. Lemons were not cultivated in Europe until the 15th century and as they grew in popularity, they made their way to the Americas when Christopher Columbus brought seeds to Hispaniola in 1493.
During the 1800s, lemon cultivation began in the United States, specifically Florida and California. A killer freeze occurred during the winter of 18941895 and Florida stopped producing lemons. Florida stayed out of the lemon production business until 1953, when the demand for frozen lemon concentrate grew and the need for natural cold pressed lemon oil increased. Florida is still a main provider of lemons today.
- The ancient Romans called lemons “median apple” and used the rinds to scent their clothing and repel insects. The Roman Goddess of Youth, Juventas, was linked to the fruit.
- The tradition of serving lemon with fish can be traced back to the Middle Ages. The people believed that if they swallowed any bones the lemon juice would dissolve them.
- If you find yourself without deodorant, cut a lemon in half and rub it on your armpits. The juice should be just as effective.
- One of the first ways that lemons were used to medically treat conditions was for scurvy. Crews on ships were required to drink lemon juice everyday. This helped to prevent bleeding gums, loose teeth and aching joints. This was before vitamin C, the main scurvy preventing component, was discovered. Even today, the British Navy requires that their ships carry enough lemons so that every sailor can have one ounce of juice per day.
- Lemon trees produce fruit year round. On average, a single tree will produce between five and six hundred lemons in a year.
- Lemon trees are so abundant in California due to the California Gold Rush. Miners who were trying to avoid scurvy were demanding lemons at such a high volume that the price was driven up and people saw the opportunity to sell the fruit for profit. California produces nearly all of the United States’ lemon crop. In 2014, California experienced a drought that nearly destroyed its lemon production. Wholesale prices more than doubled on the fruit.
- During the European Renaissance, women would use lemon juice to redden their lips. This was most likely dangerous.
- Lemons can be attached to electrodes, creating a battery. Several lemon batteries can power a small digital watch. To power a flashlight, nearly five hundred lemons would be needed.
- Menton, France holds an annual Lemon Festival. Events include lemon themed floats with acrobats and an Indianthemed lemon carnival.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest lemon ever grown was in Kefar Zeitim, Israel. It weighed 11 pounds 9.7 ounces and measured 29 inches around.
Lemon Oil Today
Lemon oil can be found in medicine cabinets throughout the world today. It can be used to treat fungal infections, sore throats, colds and the flu as it strengthens the immune system. It is also used to treat nausea, digestion issues and constipation. The oil is used cosmetically as a natural teeth whitener, a great addition to hair treatments and as a facial toner and acne fighter. As consumers seek healthier options to clean their homes, lemon oil is replacing toxic cleaning chemicals with just as effective results. One of the most popular ways that the oil is being used is to treat mental fatigue, depression and loss of motivation. Banks in Japan diffuse the oil throughout the workplace to improve moods and productivity.
Lemon oil is one of the few oils believed to be safe for infants and children, opening up the doors for natural treatments for colds, cradle cap and stomach aches. The oil is also safe for pregnant women, in most cases. It may be used to combat morning sickness, help with excess water weight and swelling and can also be used in the months after delivery to help with postpartum depression symptoms, should they arise.
Lemon oil is considered very safe and may be used in cooking and drink preparations. The oil is nontoxic and reactions are rare. Avoid using the oil on skin that will be immediately exposed to the sun. Irritation and even serious burns can occur. Before treating with lemon oil, consult with a medical professional.