Mental health is the term usually used to describe psychological well-being or an absence of any mental disorder – according to Wikipedia. If you have ‘mental health’ it usually means you can emotionally and mentally adapt yourself to a variety of circumstances with ease. The term ‘with ease’ is of course subjective, as many of us feel at times that we are ill equipped to deal with what life hands us, even if we would be classified as ‘mentally healthy.’ Let’s face it, sometimes we could all use a little ‘psychological lift’ and that is just what lemons can do for you. I call it the psychological lemon lift.
Lemons, and really all citrus fruits, have special abilities – especially when used in their concentrated oil form. Essential oils are highly potent forms of plant medicine because it takes so much of the ‘plant essence’ to make even one small bottle. For lemon oil, it takes the peels of approximately 100 lemons to make just one ounce of essential oil. Both the aroma and the actual physical affect of applying lemon oil can uplift the mood and clear the mind. Lemon oil has been widely used to overcome depression and anxiety and to allow a ‘cheerful disposition’ to take their place.
Experts at Ananada Apothecary comment:”While the oils themselves may not directly affect the underlying cause of depression, they may help individuals break free from depressive cycles – they may provide the impetus to ‘get off the couch’, so to speak, and begin creating long lasting change.” A sort of psychological lift with something as simple as lemons.
How does Lemon do it?
Research at the University of Vienna found that “essential oils with the constituents cineol can stimulate blood flow and activity in the emotional regions of the brain.” Lemon and most citrus fruits contain this constituent and likely accounts for part of the reason why smelling and eating these fruits and oils can make us feel so good. Lemon also increases circulation in the body as well as creating a kind of ‘clearing the fog’ or ‘cleaning’ response in the system, allowing for increased clarity and purification – both physically and mentally. Lemon actually stimulates the immune system by increasing white blood cell count.
Lemon has also been used as a purifier and alkalizer, such as in the popular Master Cleanse, where one drinks only water with lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for ten days. Lemons bring the ph of the body back to normal and help alleviate any condition caused by an over-acid system such as cancers, arthritis, allergies, gout, digestive disorder and so forth.
Lemons are the color yellow, like the sun, and from the therapeutic standpoint, their color signifies joy, purity and empowerment. Yellow resonates with the naval chakra in the yogic tradition and helps one tune into creativity and release fear. Lemon oil actually inspires these very things and has been used for ages as a symbol for happiness and abundance as well as purity and child-like play. We’ve all used the saying ‘making lemonade out of lemons’ – well, in this case, the lemons themselves help to create the metaphorical ‘lemonade’ in our psyche by boosting our resilience, lifting our mood and decreasing depression.
Make sure, when using lemon oil, that you find a therapeutic and food grade essential oil (not all of them are). Food grade is important if you are going to be using them internally- like a drop or two in some water – great for a lift anytime! Companies that are safe to consume are few – though doTerra oils and Young Living essential oils are two that are companies that I am familiar with that carry edible oils. For an immediate psychological lift, use a few drops of lemon oil in a diffuser, on your wrists, in a glass of water or on a cotton ball to inhale and feel your spirits rise. Or try the other citrus relatives – bergamot, orange, tangerine, lime and grapefruit for a delicious alternative.
Written by: Stasia Bliss