Lime

 

Lime

Lime Essential Oil is extensively used by the cosmetics industry, as a fragrance component in soaps, detergents, perfumes and many other personal care products. The oil is also used as a flavoring agent for alcoholic and soft drinks. Lime fruit and its juice are often used as a replacement for lemon, with which they share many beneficial properties. Limes and their juice are used for many culinary purposes, as a garnish for drinks, and as flavouring for desserts, condiments, salad dressings, meats and vegetables. Limes can be used for treating fever, various infections, sore throat, colds, flus and similar conditions. Its juice is used for the production of citric acid. Citrus aurantifolia, also known as Lime, Mexican Lime, Key Lime, West Indian Lime or the Sour Lime, is a small evergreen, shrubby tree, which grows up to 4.5 metres. The tree has many stiff sharp thorns, smooth ovate leaves and small yellowish-white flowers, with a light purple trace on the margins. The tree flowers throughout the year and produces a bitter fruit that can range in color from a common green to a bright yellow, depending on the exact species and location. The Lime fruit is about half the size of a lemon. The oil obtained from cold pressing the peel, is a pale yellow to an olive-green liquid, which holds a fresh, sweet, crisp, citrus-peel aroma. The oil obtained by steam distillation of the crushed fruit is water-white to a pale-yellow liquid, with a sharp, fresh, citrusy-fruity aroma. The Lime Essential Oil can be cold pressed from the peel of the unripe fruit, or by steam distillation of the whole ripe and crushed fruit. The first method is more popular in the perfumery industry, while the oil obtained by steam distillation is a substantial by-product of the juice industry. The oil’s main constituents are limonene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, camphene, sabinene, citral, cymene, cineols and linalol, with traces of neral acetate and geranyl acetate. Lime Essential Oil is known to have anti-rheumatic, antiscorbutic, antiseptic, antiviral, aperitif, bactericidal, disinfectant, febrifuge, restorative and tonic properties.

History

Limes were used throughout history for much of the same purposes as lemons, as they are very alike, they both contain vitamin C and share the same healing properties. Limes are native to the Southeast parts of Asia and the Indonesian archipelago. Limes were brought by Arab traders to the Middle East around the year 1000 AD. Soldiers returning from the Holy Crusades between 1200 and 1300 AD brought the Lime to the Western Mediterranean and Europe.

Geography

From Europe, the Lime tree made its way to the Americas on Christopher Columbus’s second voyage in 1493. It was later widely spread across the continent into Florida, Mexico, California and South America by Spanish colonists. The Lime tree is widely grown in tropical and subtropical climates around the world. Today it is cultivated around the globe with the most production coming out of Mexico, Brazil, India, Argentina, Spain, China, Turkey, United States, Iran and Italy.

Skin & Body Care

Lime essential oil is a known remedy for acne, boils, cuts, oily skin, herpes, insect bites, warts, cellulitis, very tonic and astringent for the skin,