Few people think of lemon as anything other than a fruit, a flavouring, and it is typically thought of as something sharp, astringent.
Yet lemon essential oil has a myriad of uses, its refreshing aroma nearly identical to that of the freshly peeled fruit.
However, extracting pure lemon essential oil is a lot of work. Steam distillation destroys the fresh, subtle aroma, so cold-pressing the fresh peel is the only way to get a quality product. It takes a ton of fresh fruit to produce just six to seven pounds of pure oil.
Most of the oil used in aromatherapy comes from either California or Italy, with those from California showing more consistent quality.
One of the reasons this oil is so popular is that it combines antiseptic properties with a fresh, bright aroma. It is thus frequently used with medicinal-smelling oils like tea tree and eucalyptus in order to make them more palatable. The pleasant association we have with this aromatic oil means that when we add it to a strongly medicinal blend it can remove any negative aesthetic or emotional effect in aroma-sensitive people.
It is thus believed to work best synergistically on a therapeutic, aesthetic and emotional level.