Lime essential oil is extracted from the peels of the lime fruit (Citrus aurantifolia). It has a bright, citrusy aroma that is invigorating and uplifting. Lime essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy to promote feelings of energy and focus.

The tart and refreshing lime has a long history that stretches back centuries. Here’s a glimpse into the lime’s journey around the world:

  • Origins in Southeast Asia: Most limes likely originated in Southeast Asia, possibly in the Indonesian archipelago or mainland Asia [1]. The exact species can vary, but the makrut lime is believed to be one of the earliest to be spread by humans [3].
  • Traded by Arabian merchants: Around 1000 CE, Arabian traders are credited with bringing limes, along with lemons, from India to eastern Mediterranean regions and Africa [1].
  • Reaching Europe through Crusaders: Limes are thought to have reached western Mediterranean countries by Crusaders returning home in the 12th and 13th centuries.
  • The New World and the fight against scurvy: Christopher Columbus likely brought lime seeds (among other citrus) to the West Indies on his second voyage in 1493. Limes thrived in the Caribbean and became a key weapon against scurvy for European sailors. The British navy, in particular, famously issued limes to their sailors, leading to the nickname “Limeys”.
  • Limes in the United States: Limes eventually made their way to the US, reaching Florida in the early 19th century. Commercial production began in the late 1800s and boomed after a hurricane wiped out much of the state’s pineapple industry.

So, the next time you enjoy a squeeze of lime in your drink or dish, remember its long journey from Southeast Asia to becoming a global staple. And you can enjoy lime essential oil in our skin therapy that is coupled with lavender essential oil.