Lemon Litsea essential oil, the lucky charm with white flowers

oil of lemon bedsheets

Lemon bedsheets are simple, lanceolate, with numerous milky white flowers arranged in panicles, forming a lucky charm design. This tropical shrub has small fruits akin to straying from pepper berries. This is also why it is nicknamed “mountain pepper”. Litsea citrata , also known as exotic verbena , is widely used in perfumes as an important component in cologne formulations. Native to Yunnan, China, it is actually found in tropical regions. Its fleshy fruit will give the essential oil a pleasant lemony scent .

What are the pharmacological properties of Lemon Litsea fruit essential oil ?

Anti-inflammatory properties:

Lemon Litsea essential oil is anti-inflammatory by inhibiting gamma interferon and IL-4 production. Also bronchial anti-inflammatory , it can be used in asthma by inhibiting cytokines as well as the production of reactive oxygen species, by inactivating the migration of eosinophils.

Antibacterial properties:

Antibacterial against Escherichia coli , the bed is also anti-infectious against anaerobic germs. Its activity antimicrobial and antibiofilm vis-à-vis Staphylococcus aureus , make citral it contains antiviral no less effective vis-à-vis the herpes virus I and II, influenza A H9N2 and the virus yellow fever.

Active on Helicobacter pylori , it is also antifungal against Candida albicans .

Anti-cancer properties:

The anticancer properties of beds are due in particular to citral (lung, liver, oral cavity). This essential oil also induces apoptosis in lung cancer, even by dry inhalation.

Preventive of skin cancer, it notably reduces the chemo-induction of hepatocellular carcinomas (inhibition of FPTase activity and inhibition of P21ras expression). The D-limonene it contains indeed exhibits anticancer properties such that it is qualified as an emerging antineoplastic agent. Limonene would thus induce apoptosis via mitochondrial death and the suppression of cellular mediators.

Its potential action in chemoprevention as well as cancer chemotherapy, make it a detoxifying oil against carcinogens by induction of phase I and phase II enzymes. It inhibits, among other things, tumor promotion and progression by action on the p21ras proteins by tissue redifferentiation activity.

Other properties:

  • Calming, sedative, anxiolytic, antidepressant
  • Repels mosquitoes of the genera Aedes, Anopheles, Culex
  • Cortison-like
  • Antiseptic
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Gastroprotective
  • Hepatoptotective

Does Lemon Litsea essential oil require any precautions for use?

  • Caution in case of oral renal failure (nephrotoxic)
  • Avoid in combination with cortisone , risk of drug interaction
  • Do not use over a prolonged period, at the risk of resting the pituitary-adrenal axis and suffering from acute adrenal insufficiency when stopping the intake of essential oil
  • Avoid applying the essential oil in the evening (or before any rest period)
  • Not recommended for people with osteoporosis , due to the inherent risk of decalcification
  • Contraindicated in pregnant women ( limonene induces uterine contractions) or breastfeeding women as well as in children under 7 years old
  • Enzyme inhibition, risk of drug interactions, ask your pharmacist for advice
  • Prohibited in animals
  • No wet inhalation or atmospheric diffusion
  • Caution in case of prostatic hyperplasia
  • Skin irritation (dermocaustic) possible in pure form, dilution required


Medical bibliographic sources and clinical trials :


Clementine. M.
Naturopath – Aromatherapist / Herbalist – Phytotherapist
Consultant in Clinical Phyto-aromatherapy and Ethnomedicine

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