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Beauty

Lemons Luscious Lemons

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Lemon Essential Oil

The image of a bright yellow lemon inspires scenes of summer sunshine. Let’s start with the essence. You can pick up a myriad of Aura Cacia essences at the Whole Foods Market in Vienna and Falls Church, or at MOM’s (My Organic Market) in Merrifield’s Mosaic District. The Aura Cacia website is a veritable treasure trove of information regarding essential oils. Aura Cacia describes authentic cold-pressed lemon essential oil as “a refreshing aroma nearly identical to the freshly peeled fruit.”

Lemons grow in the arid, subtropical climates of southern California and the Mediterranean region – in Greece, Spain, and the Italian peninsula, where its virtues are readily extolled. The lemon most likely originated in China, traveling to the Mediterranean by way of Arabian merchants. The earliest record of the lemon in the New World came from Hispaniola, where it arrived with Columbus in 1493.

Little did Columbus know, he carried with him a natural alternative for highlighting our summer tresses. This quick and easy modern solution for hair-lightening comes from essentialoilsanctuary.com. The lemon’s acidity serves to lighten the color of your hair. Just cut up and squeeze lemons to get 1/2 cup of lemon juice or use lemon essential oil (1 drop of lemon essential oil is equal to roughly 1 teaspoon lemon juice) and mix with 1/2 cup of water. Add 10 drops of grapefruit and 5 drops rosemary to nourish your hair. Add your mixture to a glass spray bottle and spray it on your locks, avoiding your scalp, before going out in the sun. The more you use the lighter the hair will be!

The lemon is often associated with freshness and purity. Known for its delightful aroma, lemon essential oil provides a gently uplifting effect and enhances aromatherapy blends for the bath. It can be combined nicely with essences of relaxing lavender and exotic neroli – distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree and is recognized for its deep, floral aroma – as well as other cheery citrus oils like tangerine and grapefruit.

If you wish to enhance the scent differently, try a few drops of another citrusy essential oil – bergamot – an ingredient in Earl Grey Tea. Bergamot, a small citrus tree which blossoms during the winter and grows commercially in Calabria, Italy, is likely a hybrid of  sweet lime and  bitter orange. It also features prominently in French perfume, including, since 1921, along with neroli and Amalfi lemon, Chanel No. 5.

According to draxe.com, lemon essential oil benefits for skin include purifying, nourishing, and hydrating skin. Use lemon oil on the skin with baking soda or raw honey as a natural homemade face cleanser.

Sources abound with clever uses of the lemon. “501 Amazing Uses for Salt, Vinegar, Baking Soda, Olive Oil & Lemons” by Laura Westdale suggests adding 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon sea salt, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to running water to enjoy a “fizzy lemon-scented bath.” For more effervescence, add more baking soda. Toss in a few lemon slices to float for a burst of color. Relax in the warmth of the water with a bath pillow and breathe deeply the fresh lemon scent and emerge with soft, supple skin.