I’ve shared many times how I love starting my day with a glass of water with a couple drops of lemon essential oil. That often leads to questions about the difference between lemon essential oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Many people think it’s virtually the same thing.
While lemon essential oil tastes like lemon, it’s actually quite different from lemon juice. Lemon essential oil is cold-pressed from the rind while lemon juice comes from the pulp. This results in two very different substances with different properties.
From a scientific perspective, lemon essential oil is very high in limonene, much more so than lemon juice. The high limonene content found in this essential oil makes it a powerful antioxidant and a cleansing agent. In the ancient world, Egyptians used lemon oil to cleanse their bodies of toxins. It also aids in digestion, supports healthy respiratory function, and provides immune system support, especially during seasonal changes.
Essential oils are also extremely potent and concentrated. So even if lemon oil and lemon juice were identical substances, it would take a very large amount of lemon juice to equal the potency of 1-2 drops of oil.
One lemon tree can produce between 500 and 600 pounds of lemons in a year. It takes about 45 lemons to fill up a 15ml bottle.
Another important distinction is that lemon essential oil may be easier to ingest for those with sensitive stomachs because it does not contain citric acid.