The oil has an intense fresh, lemon aroma with a sweet green overtone and is obtained through steam distillation of the fresh leaves with a yield of 1.5 – 2%. It has a high odour intensity and blends well with woods, florals and spices, but like other oils high in citral, it should be used sparingly to avoid overpowering with too much lemon scent.
The major chemical component is citral – can be up to 98%. The remaining 2 – 8% consists of myrcene, methyl heptenone, linalool, citronellal, alpha-cyclocitral and beta-cyclocitral.
On a physiological level Lemon Myrtle is very useful for any respiratory infection and is thought to support and strengthen the immune system. This oil is an excellent air purifier but topically it can cause skin irritation.
On a psychological level Lemon Myrtle’s uplifting, refreshing, mentally cleansing properties can be useful for concentration as well as helping to clear the mind to aid restful sleep. Lemon Myrtel would be a valuable addition to an ‘anti-stress’ blend. It could also be used for depression; fear and anxiety and other negative states.
On a subtle level, Lemon Myrtle could help to clear, relax and refocus.
Contradictions: Due to the very high citral content some skin sensitisation may occur especially if the essential oil is used in high concentration. It might be wise to do a patch test first if using topically.
Back to the Article Archives Index for more articles like this.