Do You Love Lime?

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Those working the sea like sailors and explorers never set sail without crates of lime of board. Limes are vitamin C loaded and serve as one of the most potent remedies for scurvy and other skin problems. Currently, lime is used as a cooking ingredient that adds a bit of a tangy flavor to all our favorite dishes, but lime oil has many uses.

Lime oil is an invigorating and refreshing citrus oil that comes from Citrus aurantifolia of the Rutaceae plant family. The trees they come from are much smaller than orange or grapefruit trees, and the fruit is oval. There are two main types of lime tress: the Mexican lime (Key lime) and the Tahiti lime. Lime is indigenous to Southeast Asia and then later spread to Egypt and Africa. They are now grown in warm climates around the world.

Lime oil has a sharp citrus scent and has a pale yellow or light olive color. There are uses other than as a flavoring agent. It has been extensively used in the food and beverage industry as well as in fragrances, household cleaners, detergents, soaps and other beauty products. Lime oil is also in aromatherapy as it is stimulating and refreshing. As with lemon oil it can be used for its cleansing properties.

Some ways to use lime oil for health conditions are:

  • Relieving stress, exhaustion and anxiety or calming your mind by diffusing a few drops using a vaporizer. Can also boost your immune system.
  • Colds, coughs, sinusitis, sore throat and chest congestion with a few drops to a bowl of steaming water and then inhaling it.
  • For rheumatism and arthritis by putting 2 to 3 drops in an ounce of carrier oil and massaging on the affected area. Also works for cellulite and varicose veins.
  • Treat bleeding cuts and wounds with two drops in a cold compress and applying on the affected area.
  • For acne and other skin problems, just mix 2 drops of lime oil with 15 drops of jojoba oil and apply to skin.
  • Avoiding dandruff and bring life to dull, frizzy or oily hair by mixing a few drops in your favorite shampoo.

A word of advice though is to not leave lime oil in your medicine cabinet, as there are other uses for it. It will help to remove grease spots and sticker residue, prevent fruits from turning brown by adding 1 to 2 drops to your fruits, repel insects by diffusing in the home and adds flavor to your citrus-infused dishes.

Limes and lime oil are full of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients. Other benefits of lime oil are to help relieve internal and external infections, relieving respiratory disorders, promote good oral health, killing bacteria that cause diarrhea, food poising, cholera and typhoid and to detoxify your liver.

Lime oil can be inhaled or vaporized, used topically or added to food in small amounts. It is non-toxic and non-irritating but don’t be reckless with it. Use that well-known skin test for any allergic reaction. Also do not use undiluted lime oil, as it can be very potent. Citrus oil like lime oil is photosensitive and reacts to light. Going in the sun can cause an adverse reaction such as a rash or dark pigmentation might appear.

–Dr Fredda Branyon

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