Sure you love your lemon oil, but lime essential oil has a lot of the same properties and benefits. And it smells amazing too.
Lime Essential Oil Properties
So the lime I’m talking about here is key lime. Its botanical name is Citrus aurantifolia.
You may sometimes see lime oil sold with the botanical name Citrus latifolia. This oil comes from the Persian lime and is pretty much like the oil from key limes.
Since it is a citrus oil, the botanical name of lime has close names to its citrus relatives. So be sure to check the name when buying the oil.
Color and smell
The oil can range in color from pale yellow to light green. And it smells like the peel of key limes; you know, fresh, citrusy and a little sharp.
What’s in the oil?
Limonene is the main compound in this oil. It can make up about 40% to 95% of the oil. Other compounds worth mentioning include gamma-terpinene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene and sabinene.
Lime Essential Oil Benefits
Lime essential oil has great benefits. It can kill cancer cells in vitro, bacteria, fungi, insects, ticks, mites and more. It’s also antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
It kills cancer cells in vitro
This 2009 study tested lime oil on human colon cancer cells and the results were amazing. They showed really low levels of the oil inhibited cancer cells by as much as 78% within 48 hours! That’s incredible.
But don’t go using lime oil for cancer just yet. This is a lab study, not a clinical trial. So we need way more research to be done to know if the oil really has clinical anticancer benefits.
It is antioxidant in vitro
Citrus oils, including lime, have great antioxidant benefits. And this 2012 study proves it. It tested lime, bitter orange and bergamot oils and found lime had the best radical scavenging and antioxidant activity.
It may be anti-inflammatory
This 2016 animal study looked at the anti-inflammatory effects of citrus oils including lemon, persian lime and key lime. It showed the oils were able to reduce inflammation due to the high levels of limonene in them. But the study cautioned using lime oil, because it was linked to suppressing immunity.
Lime essential oil is antibacterial
Take a look at this 2015 study from the Brigham Young University. It tested 59 essential oils on Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Streptococcus mutans. Of the oils tested, cinnamon, lime, and oregano had the best antibacterial activity.
It is antifungal
Lime oil is also a powerful antifungal agent. And the evidence is given in this 2009 study.
How impressive! Especially considering thyme is one of the best antifungal essential oils.
It is insecticidal
A 2001 study used orange and lime oils on several insects like mosquitoes, cockroaches and houseflies. It found both oils were able to kill the insects and keep them away an hour after spraying.
So add a few drops of lime essential oil to your own, homemade insect spray to get rid of bugs.
It kills ticks and mites
This is another great lime essential oil benefit. It is an acaricide. That means it can kill ticks, mites and spiders!
This 2004 study showed low levels of bay, cinnamon, coriander and lime oils were able to kill mites. And even the oil vapors did the trick too! How amazing is that?
What do you think of these proven benefits of lime essential oil? Here’s a great list of them. Share it with your friends too so they can see how awesome the oil is.
Lime Essential Oil Uses
If you love the sharpness of lime oil, then add it to your diffuser or to a tissue. Three to four drops of the oil is enough to brighten up your room.
I don’t recommend using lime oil on your skin since it is a very strong photosensitizer. That means if you use it on your skin and then get out into the sun, you can end up with a chemical burn on your skin. Yikes!
And by the way, lime juice is also a photosensitizer. You can see from the photos in this buzzfeed roundup what it means to mix lime juice, skin and sun. It’s scary! And that’s just the juice, not the highly concentrated essential oil!
So I suggest using gloves when handling the oil, just to make sure it doesn’t get on your skin. And talk to your doctor before using the oil too. This is really important if you are pregnant, nursing or using any special medication.
Where to buy lime essential oil?