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Citrus limon

If sunshine could be captured in a fruit it would be a lemon. The zesty aroma just bursts with vibrancy, tickling the soul like a beam of sunlight. The scent of Lemon oil instantly reminds us of sunny climes and spreads a little bit of Mediterranean ambiance. It is difficult to determine the exact origin of Lemon, so widespread has been his wanderings. It is believed to have originated in India or Southeast Asia, spreading at first to China, where it was cultivated for about 4000 years. From there it found its way to the Arab world, and eventually, to the Roman Empire. Northern Europeans probably first encountered them by the returning Crusaders. By the Middle Ages, Lemons were well known even in England. Yet, their true value as a life-saving anti-scorbutic remedy was not realised until the age of the great sea voyages, when it was discovered that sailors who had access to lemons did not fall prey to scurvy. Thus, it became a standard provision to carry Lemons on every long-term sea journey, which is why British sailors became known as 'limeys'. During the renaissance, the attractive citrus trees with their sweet-scented flowers became very popular with the aristocracy and it became fashionable to grow them far beyond their natural range. Special conservatories had to be built just to shelter the sensitive trees from the harsh northern European winters. Columbus introduced Lemons to the New World; he took some seeds and planted them in Hispaniola - which may well have been his best deed. Some scholars believe that Lemons might have been the 'Golden Apples of the Hesperides'. Others favour peaches - the final verdict on this question is still to be decided. Lemons, along with Myrtle, Willow and Palm, play a role in the Jewish festivities of the Tabernacle. In Jewish tradition Lemons symbolise the heart.

Lemon oil is antibacterial and due to its fresh scent, lends itself particularly well to diffusion in sick rooms, killing germs and simultaneously brightening the patient's spirit. Lemon oil is not only anti-depressant, but also helps concentration. Its stimulant action on the circulation is excellent for those, who perform detail oriented tasks or who work creatively. Lemon oil can be used to treat insect bites and itchy skin conditions. It tones and astringes and can be added to massage oils for varicose veins and cellulites. In aromatherapy skin care it can be added to facial cleansing lotions and may be used to treat oily skin. It can also fade blemishes and freckles. Should be used with caution; people with sensitive skin may experience skin reactions. Lemon has photosensitising properties. Avoid exposing treated areas of skin to the sun.

Lemon is associated with the solar plexus chakra, the centre of the will and self-image, from which confidence and power radiates. It is a great pick-me-up, especially for those lacking confidence, or easily get down on themselves. Lemon can be used to meditate on the sun as a source of creative energy. It is purifying and refreshing, helping to clear an overburdened mind. It is also stimulating and can be used to initiate new projects. It radiates a sparkling kind of compassion that makes it impossible to hang on to the dark clouds of doom and gloom.

In a word: lemony; fresh, sunny, aromatic, warm. Blends well with Neroli, Eucalyptus, Benzoin, Bergamot, Fennel, Geranium, Juniper, Elemi and Labdanum.


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