You may not realise it, but limes are actually plentiful in Australia. The lime may not be one of our 'headline' fruits (hello mangoes!), but luscious limes grow beautifully in warm subtropical regions, like ours.
Limes grow as an evergreen tree and can shoot up to an average of 3 metres by 3 metres. The trees feature smooth, green leaves, stiff, sharp spines and small, white flowers.
Here's an interesting fact – citrus fruits, and therefore limes, are technically berries! Botanically speaking, a berry is a pit-less, seeded fruit that originated from one flower. By this definition, they're actually botanical berries.
The history of the lime
Unsurprisingly, limes originated in Southeast Asia (just look at how much lime is used in cuisines such as Thai). Around the 10th Century, these plump green treasures were exported into Egypt and Northern Africa. Columbus took a haul of limes with him on his second voyage in 1493, which led to the plants being grown in the warm Caribbean climate.
The term 'lime juicers' was first recorded around 1655 – British sailors were required by law to consume limes for their vitamin C, to ward off scurvy.
The well known Australian lime – Citrus aurantifolia – is also known as the Tahitian lime. These were introduced to Australia by European settlers and are different to finger limes, which are native to Australia.
Meanwhile the Australian native finger lime - Citrus australasica - was here all along. It's a rare but increasingly popular fruit, grown locally to SimplyClean, and throughout SE QLD that has long been used by Indigenous Australians for food and therapeutic purposes, including as an antiseptic, disinfectant, and for its restorative and tonic properties. It is a fruit revered in restaurant kitchens around the world.
How lime essential oil is made
Lime essential oil is produced by distilling the leaves (not the fruit) of Citrus aurantifolia. The most popular method is steam distillation.
It works like this – steam is used to gently pressurise, then vaporise the plant material. This eventually condenses into a liquid aromatic compound form. As the liquid cools, it produces a layer of oil and a layer of water. The oil rises to the top and is collected – and there you have it, Australian lime essential oil!
What lime essential oil is used for
As with any essential oil, you never use it in a pure form directly on your skin! Blend it into a carrier oil or cream first, then rub gently in to the appropriate area.
- Lime oil can stimulate and refresh and revitalise a tired mind. Pop it in a burner or vaporiser and breath in that stimulating pick-me-up!
- As a citrus fruit, it should come as no surprise that lime oil is beneficial to the immune system. When a cold or flu strikes, it may reduce infection in the respiratory tract while easing coughs, bronchitis and sinusitis. Pop a few drops in a vaporiser, burner or diffuser and gently breath it in.
- It can also provide relief for arthritis and rheumatism.
- Lime essential oil can act as an astringent. It can help clear acne, soothe insect bites and cuts.
- It’s also recognised for its purifying properties. You can put a drop or two in a warm bath (great for easing painful muscles and joints)!
- Lime essential oil is also used for cleaning. It works fantastically well on sticky, greasy messes; you can also use lime essential oil to remove grease spots or residue left behind by stickers. Which is why it works a treat in our Australian Lime Spray & Wipe.
- Interestingly, lime essential oil features in the fragrance industry. It provides a tangy top note to many fragrances with its zesty, sour and airy notes – perfect for light, summery perfumes.
Our 100% pure lime essential oil
SimplyClean Australian Lime Essential Oil is grown and produced in Victoria. It's steam distilled from the leaves of the Australian lime tree.
We think steam distilled lime oil is superior because it's not photosensitising to the skin (as cold-pressed oil is). So, ours can safely be used in creams, lotions or a carrier oil on your skin, then you can go outside without having to worry about the effects of the sun.
Our Australian Lime Spray & Wipe contains 100% pure lime essential oil. Because it tackles even the greasiest mess, it's the perfect kitchen cleaning spray.
As you can see, there are many benefits offered by zingy lime essential oil. Why not try it for yourself?