Kaffir Lime essential oil is an interesting oil with a lovely citrus smell and some interesting wellness properties. It’s not commonly used in aromatherapy, but if you’re adding oils to your collection you should definitely pick up a bottle.
The Kaffir Lime or Citrus Hystrix as it’s also called is native to Thailand, also found in Malaysia and Indonesia, and some other areas across Asia.
The fruit has a lime green color but a bumpy, rough skin, has a lovely lime scent and is used in lots of common Thai dishes.
The leaves are also a desirable part of the fruit. They are commonly used in cooking along with the fruit due to their strong citrus flavor too.
As well as applications in cooking the fruit is used for a number of physical and spiritual wellness applications in Thai culture. It’s not unusual to see a Kaffir lime inside Thai homes as it’s believed to ward off evil spirits!
There are actually two essential oils produced from the Kaffir lime tree. One from the peel, or rind, and the other from the leaves.
Here are the benefits to using each of these essential oils in aromatherapy, or some simple applications around the home.
Kaffir Lime Peel Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
The aroma of Kaffir is incredibly soothing and can help reduce the effects of stress and anxiety issues. Setting aside some time to relax and diffusing the oil is my preferred method.
Relieves Respiratory Issues
It’s used in aromatherapy to help with respiratory issues, such as bronchitis, viral infections like colds, coughs, and the flu, as well as being used to help relieve congestion.
Kaffir Lime Cleaning Uses
Like most citrus oils Kaffir lime is awesome at shifting dirt and stains while being a natural antibacterial and antiviral.
I love using lemon and lime to clean around the home. The aroma left behind is clean and fresh, and they shift stubborn stains.
Kaffir Lime Leaf Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
Gum and Oral Health
The oil from these limes are used in some organic toothpaste and mouthwashes due to its powerful oral health properties.
You can rub a small amount directly onto your gums if you have any oral issues, the powerful cleansing and antioxidant properties will help reduce swelling and pain.
Hair and Scalp Care
The leaves of the Kaffir tree are commonly used in shampoo and hair care products across Asia. Some believe it reduces the onset of male pattern baldness by strengthening the follicles.
One thing for sure is that it feels and smells lovely. It moisturizes the scalp and leaves hair looking and feeling great.
Kaffir Lime Shampoo Recipe
This video shows you how to quickly and easily make your own shampoo to enjoy the hair care benefits of Kaffir limes:
Kaffir Lime Essential Oil Blends Well With
Lime blends well with other citrus oils and some oils that compliment the properties and wellness applications, such as:
Directions and Ways to Use
Topical Use – Mix a drop or two with some fractionated coconut oil to make a topical application. Apply to the desired area.
Aromatic Bath – Being an oil used to nourish the scalp and strengthen hair adding a couple of drops to a warm bath is a good idea.
Side Effects of Kaffir Lime Essential Oil
There is a risk of skin sensitivity issues so I always recommend mixing with a carrier oil before applying directly to your skin. As well as testing a small patch of skin before using on a larger area.
Never let the oil come into contact with sensitive areas such as the eyes, nose, inner ears, or any broken/damaged skin. Avoid sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after application too.
It’s a strong essential oil, so consumption is not recommended. You may experience dizziness, nausea, and vomiting if you do ingest some. Always seek medical advice as soon as possible if you experience any kind of negative reaction to using oils.
How to Make Kaffir Lime Essential Oil
Although lime oil is not expensive it can be fun to make your own. There are a few simple steps to follow, here is how to make an essential oil from the peel:
- Fine-mesh sieve
- 2 Kaffir Limes
- Olive oil
- Pour 2 cups of olive oil into a saucepan and start warming it up.
- After washing the limes cut the lime into slices while avoiding the seeds.
- Peel the zest from the limes and add this to the olive oil.
- After warming the zest and oil and mixing it together remove from the heat and leave to sit for 2-3 hours.
- Press the mixture through the sieve and store in an airtight bottle.
If you want to distil the oil from Kaffir leaves I found this useful video that shows you how to do this:
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.