Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora), a tropical Australian native, is a powerhouse of an essential oil which is often overlooked in favor of its European counterparts. But that would be a mistake. Because lemon myrtle is not only powerful in aroma, but powerful in its strength, too. Love lemon? You are going to love lemon myrtle – and perhaps just a little more than its namesake!
Let’s see which potent benefits lemon myrtle has – and how you can utilize them to your best advantage.
Lemon Myrtle’s Roots
First, a little background on lemon myrtle. Indigenous people of Australia were using lemon myrtle both as a healing and culinary plant, long before the Europeans landed on their shores. In the mid 1800’s, lemon myrtle was “discovered” by European explorers, who went on to research how the plant (and oil) could be used medicinally. Fast forward to today. We now know that lemon myrtle essential oil is noted for its high citral content and the benefits that this particular aromatic component holds, within the context of lemon myrtle.
The Aroma of Lemon Myrtle
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the particular aroma of lemon myrtle before diving into its remarkable benefits! Lemon myrtle has a strong, deep, lemon aroma, accredited to its high citral content. It has been said that lemon myrtle’s aroma is “more lemon than lemon.” But instead of being transported to the lemon citrus groves of Spain, you are transported to the exotic locale of tropical Australia!
Lemon myrtle essential oil may also have a hint of a rosy, spicy warmth to it, vs. the sharpness often associated with lemon (Citrus × limon). It is a middle note essential oil, so it will also last longer than top note lemon.
Benefits of Lemon Myrtle
Lemon myrtle’s chief benefits are few but mighty. It stands out in the crowd for the following reasons:
- Antimicrobial: Bacterium such as Staphylococcus aureus are no match for this powerhouse of an essential oil as shown in various studies.1
- Antibacterial: Lemon myrtle is often used for household cleaning in blends such as laundry detergents, dishwasher detergents, surface disinfectants and air fresheners.
- Anti-depressant: Due to its lemon-y, uplifting aroma, lemon myrtle can’t not lift your spirits and make you feel happy. We know. We diffuse it regularly in-house!
How to Use Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil
Due to its high citral content, and its potential to irritate the skin, we recommend that you avoid topical application with lemon myrtle essential oil, unless you are using a wash-off product. Diffuse it locally or use a personal inhaler to enjoy its benefits.
Lemon myrtle essential can also be combined with other essential oils in blends like:
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus).
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) and clove.
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) and lemon (Citrus × limon).
Diffuse in an aromatherapy diffuser, according to the aromatherapy manufacturer’s instructions for use.
How We Use Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil
As mentioned above, if you walk through our doors, you most likely will smell the aroma of lemon myrtle, as it’s one of our favorites to diffuse! But it’s also a key ingredient in our wash-off Lemon Myrtle Hand Soap. With antibacterial and antifungal benefits, our custom blended hand soap acts tough and smells divine.
Lemon Myrtle at Your Body Needs
Lemon myrtle is, without a doubt, one of our favorite essential oils at Your Body Needs. If you still have questions on how to use it, give us a call, and we will be happy to help!
- Peace-Rhind, Jennifer, 2016, Aromatherapeutic Blending, UK: Singing Dragon, p.155.