Science of Citrus Essential Oils

Science of Essential OilsCitrus essential oils in aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that benefits the human body in many ways. Aromatherapy uses several citrus essential oils, including lemon, orange, and bergamot. Many people love the invigorating aroma of doTERRA citrus essential oils along with their fresh, crisp scent.

Each citrus essential oil has a different chemical composition that affects the aroma of each, as well as how the body uses the oil.

The essential oils from the same varieties of plants can have different chemical compositions. The same goes for plants grown or harvested in different locations.

History of Citrus Essential Oils

Recognizing citrus essential oils’ ability to influence human feelings, the ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Indians incorporated them in their rituals and religious practices. Although they have been in use for thousands of years, the scientific community is just now beginning to recognize the emotional benefits of aromatherapy. The research has opened many minds to a concept that ancient civilizations discovered long ago: aromatherapy can have a remarkable effect on human emotion and mood.

Scientific Studies

Several scientific studies show the essential oils from the peel (or rind) of certain citrus species are rich in limonene. Researchers believe the limonene helps block cancer-forming chemicals and helped kill cancer cells in the laboratory. Research is continuing on the effect of limonene in humans.

A study in Brazil found citrus limon (lemon) essential oil can have a strong antioxidant effect to help protect in brain disorders of the hippocampus caused by neurodegenerative diseases. A 2016 French study found lemon essential oil can help prevent aspirin-caused liver and kidney damage in laboratory animals.

Here is a table showing how doTERRA citrus essential oils compare and contrast with one another. Statements with asterisks refer to internal use. All others refer to aromatic or topical use. Also, please be aware that citrus oils can cause photosensitivity. We recommend avoiding exposure to direct sunlight for 12 hours after the application of these essential oils to your skin.

doTERRA Citrus Essential Oils


Citrus Essential Oils Cold Pressed

Citrus essential oils have an incredibly potent aroma; the reason is the expression of oil from the fruit does not involve heat. So, the process is often referred to as cold-pressing. Citrus fruit essential oil expression uses the rind, the outermost layer of the fruit’s peel. The process passes the fruit across sharp, rasping cylinders that abrade the surface of the peel to break open small essential oil-containing sacs. Water sprays over the fruit to collect the released essential oil. Filtering of the resulting mixture of oil and water removes any remaining pieces of the fruit’s flesh or peel. A centrifuge then separates essential oil from the water.

An easy way to experience the power of citrus essential oils from doTERRA is to diffuse lemon essential oil. The refreshing aroma creates an uplifting environment. You can also place two drops of lemon essential oil in a glass of water to help provide cleansing and detoxification of the body.