Lime Essential Oil

Latin name Citrus aurantifolia – Family species Rutaceae

Lime, also referred to as C. medica var acida, C. latifolia, Mexica Lime, Sour Lime, and West Indian Lime, is said to share many of the same aromatherapy uses with lemon essential oil. Two different lime oils are produced – one from the peel, the other from the whole fruit.

“Expressing of the peel yields a pale yellow to greeny oil with a sweet, lively citrus scent used in perfume and soap. This oil was sometimes used for skin care, flu, and circulation, but it is photosensitizing, so aromatherapists now prefer the clear to pale yellow oil steam-distilled from the whole fruit, as it is not phototoxic and shows no skin irritation.” –Crabtree & Evelyn Fragrant Herbal by Lesley Bremness

Oil Selection Guide

Color – Clear to pale yellow to olive green
Viscosity – Watery
Scent – Fresh, zesty, citrusy – peel oil is sweeter, whole fruit oil is sharper
Perfume Aroma – Top / middle note

Oil Source Information

Plant Type – Tree
Parts Used – Peel/rind – Whole fruit
Countries of Origin – United States (Florida), Cuba, Mexico, Italy
Extraction Method – Cold expression (peel/rind) – Steam distillation (whole fruit)

Known Chemical Constituents

Limonene, pinenes, camphene, sabinene, citral, cymene, cineols, linalol – coumarins (peel/rind only)

Applications and Uses

Along with being used in aromatherapy, lime oil is used as a fragrance in perfumery, soaps, detergents, and cosmetics – primarily the peel/rind oil. Used commercially as a flavoring in food, confections, and beverages.

Lime blends well with

Recipes and Ideas

Precautions / Contraindications

Lime oil is phototoxic (peel/rind oil).
Can cause irritation to sensitive skin (peel/rind oil).
Lime oil, as with all citrus oils, has a six month shelf life.
See also Essential Oils Safety and Usage.

References and Resources

See Aromatherapy References and Resources page.

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