Well hello there again my manly users of all things manly. Today we are going to discuss a bucket load of citrus essential oil uses for men. Why? Because recently my wife Nicole and I have been playing around with essential oil diffuser recipes so that I can report back here on what we love and don’t love so much. And as it turned out, we were using citrus oils a LOT to either cut down stronger aromas, give the recipe some freshness or simply because we like the smell. And of course, I then wondered if there was a post I could write on just citrus essential oils. The answer?
Of course there was! And I have written it. As usual, I have tried to keep this light and manly and for a change I have also tried to steer clear of too much scientific research looking for proof – well maybe a little in the first couple of sections just to set the scene – feel free to use the table of contents below to get straight to the uses if you are not in the mood though. These are just uses that you can try and if you love them then keep doing it and if not, well then ho harm, no foul I guess. Here we go…
What is citrus?
Citrus is a group of plants from the Rutaceae genus. These plants all produce citrus fruits including Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit and Bergamot that most of us know by their strong, acidic taste (due to their citric acid content) and rough, almost leathery skin. Their fragrance and some of the taste also comes from their high quantities of flavonoids and limonoids contained in the rind.
Their most common use, obviously, is for their culinary versatility (i.e. they are good in many food types) such as cooking, juicing, cakes, preserved in marmalade or commonly, eaten fresh – and who hasn’t been given oranges at half time in their childhood sport days…
Medical benefits of citrus
Most of the known medical benefits of citrus fruits obviously come via the consumption of the fruit or juice. They are most commonly known for their vitamin C levels but they are also packed with many of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function such as B vitamins, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and copper. They are also rich in antioxidants and fibre making them a constant on weight loss lists as well.
Other uses of citrus
In a non-food capacity, they are used mainly for their citric acid content making them very good as a cleaner (just look in the cleaner aisle of the supermarket and see how many products have a citrus fruit listed in their ingredients). Other non-culinary advantages include:
- Skin care – vitamins C, B and anti-oxidants have known advantages for skin care
- Hair care – The same vitamins and anti-oxidants are also good for strengthening hair and enhancing growth. The citric acid is also good for controlling dandruff.
- Stress relief
- As a natural insect repellent
Let me tell you a quick story… When my daughters were in high school, they suffered terribly from head lice. For years and years we used to shampoo, cling wrap, peanut paste and chemically poison their heads in an effort to get rid of them… nothing worked. Until one day one of them decided she wanted her hair to be a little blonder so she went out and bought some natural hair lightener – which was basically just lemon juice and water. Not only did her hair get lighter, but she never had head lice again. Chalk another one down to good old citrus!!
What are citrus essential oils?
Well I guess it is pretty obvious but in the interests of this post, citrus essential oils are ones that are extracted (usually via cold press) from the rind of the fruit. Common citrus essential oils include:
Citrus essential oils are great in that they, unlike some others, actually smell just like the fruit and include many of the benefits listed above.
Consumption of citrus essential oils
Those of you who have read a number of my blog posts will know that whilst I am a believer in a number of the things that essential oils can do, I am not into the consumption of them in cooking, drinking or via any other method. Citrus essential oils are described in many posts that I have read as an effective additive to foods due to their aroma, taste and the fact that the pure ones are taken directly from the rind of the fruit. I know many that do consume them (my wife even puts a drop of lemon into her cold water bottle) and they are considered safe by the FDA but I am still not comfortable and have more research to do so I am going to leave them out for now.
Note: Lemongrass and Lemon Myrtle are not citrus oils – I know that sounds obvious, but I included lemongrass in a previous post about citrus so just thought I would reaffirm the fact.
Manly uses of citrus essential oils
Ok, enough carry on, here are 25 manly uses for citrus essential oils – some are from previous posts but hey, give me a break, I have 16 uses to come up with:
1. Energy booster
Citrus oils are fantastic mood and energy boosters. Add some lemon or orange to the diffuser with a good woodsey type oil to clear the head and give you a lift. Northern Light Black Spruce and Lemon is a favourite in our house. This also works with a good carrier oil when rubbed behind the ears and on the temples and wrists.
2. Insect repellent
Lemon and Orange in particular are good at repelling insects. Add to some Eucalyptus oil in the diffuser and place it near where you are to keep the mozzies at bay.
Any citrus oil is a good citrus oil when it comes to the creation of a good manly natural aftershave. Mix and match with some other oils such as Sandalwood or Frankincense for some nice post shave man-smell. Stuck for ideas? Try this little number:
- 8 drops Idaho Balsam Fir
- 8 drops Orange or Bergamot
- 4 drops Frankincense
- 2 tbsp of witch hazel
- ½ tsp of almond oil
- ½ tsp vegetable glycerin.
Add to a squeeze bottle and shake it well to combine everything.
4. Odour remover
Citrus essential oil, like its un-oiled fruit is an extremely good odour eater due to its citric acid content and intense aromas. Lemon is probably best for this one – add it to a diffuser to freshen the room, to some cotton balls in smelly shoes or use it in a spray bottle to deodorise smelly surfaces.
I mentioned earlier in this post about taking a quick look in the cleaning aisle at your local supermarket to see how much citrus is used in cleaning products. Citrus essential oils are also good for this. Add to water in a spray bottle to clean benches and bathroom surfaces or add to vinegar for the bathroom. Vinegar on its own is also good but the citrus breaks down that aroma and freshens the environment – try lime or lemon. Lemon essential oil is also one of the main ingredients in Thieves cleaning products.
6. Beard de-oiler
There are plenty of essential oil blends that can assist with the mantenance (not a typo – you like what I did there) of the beard such as lemongrass and rosemary. If your beard is particularly oily however, try this little manly blend:
- 2 tablespoons of carrier oil
- 2 drops Lemon
- 3 drops Lavender
- 3 drops Copaiba (a natural muscle soother).
7. Skin toner
Oops, looks like a less manly one slipped in there. However skin toners are especially effective if your man-dermus is particularly oily and the astringent qualities of lemon or lime essential oils are a good fit here. To assist in the reduction of oiliness of the skin and cleansing the pores try this:
- 15 drops Lemon
- 15 drops Frankincense
- half a cup of water
- half a cup of witch hazel.
Apply this to your face to get clear pores. This also works well for acne.
8. Man-cold remedy
Man-cold – the worst scourge known to man…
On the head: Mix 5 drops of lemon or lime with 1 tablespoon of a good carrier oil and dab onto the temples and behind the ears to help clear any cold induced pressure on your ears.
Diffuser: Add 10 drops of lemon or lime to the diffuser and breath deeply to invigorate. This can be a bit strong – we mix it with Peppermint or Frankincense which is quite pleasant I must say.
9. Stress reliever
Whilst lemon and lime are extremely good as energy boosters, it turns out that the softer citrus oils such as orange, bergamot or tangerine can also work as great stress relievers. For some good calming man-ness, add this to the diffuser:
- 4 drops Bergamot
- 2 drops Geranium
- 2 drops Lavender
For some other ideas you can also try adding one of the citrus oils listed here to a good grounding oil such as Sandalwood, Cedarwood or a Spruce. This mixture not only smells awesomely manly, but I find them extremely calming. No proof of this, but works for me!
10. Sticker residue cleaner
I have mentioned this one a few times as it really works. If you have tried to remove a sticker and have that gooey residue leftover, rub a few drops of lemon onto it – my wife did it recently on her laptop and it worked a treat!
11. Winter diffuser goodness
Ok, this one is a direct copy and paste from my Christmas Diffuser Recipe post, but the softer citrus oils appear in them so much, I had to include their warming qualities here. So here are three warming winter diffuser recipes for you:
- 3 drops Idaho Balsam Fir
- 2 drops Grapefruit
- 2 drops Frankincense
- 3 drops Thieves
- 2 drops Grapefruit
- 3 drops Orange
- 2 drops Cinnamon Bark
- 1 drop Clove
12. BBQ cleaner
Another one from a previous mansperiment, but it works so here it is. Clean your BBQ with:
- 15 drops of Lemon
- 1 cup of Vinegar
- 1 cup of Water
- Mix into a spray bottle
Spray onto the BBQ, leave 10 minutes and wipe off. Works a treat.
13. Hangover helper
Another mansperiment – and oh the hangover – but this one also worked:
- 2 drops Lemon
- 2 drops Lavender
- 2 drops Peppermint
- 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil
Once mixed, rub on the temples, forehead, behind the ears, kidneys and wrists.
14. Breath freshener
This one almost goes against my non-ingestion beliefs but it is effective as long as you don’t swallow. Mix 1 drop of lemon or lime essential oil into a cup of water, swirl around your mouth and spit it out. Your mouth will feel refreshed and your breath smelling like roses – well lemons but you know what I mean.
Oh, and peppermint will work well here too but this is a post about citrus so we can leave that for another time…
If you are one that travels a lot, then citrus oils are your go to. Use their energy boosting effects to keep you awake and your mind clear when you need to travel – especially if work is on the agenda. We travel a lot and use this blend before we leave – it really does work well for us:
- 5 drops Peppermint
- 5 drops Joy
- 5 drops Lemon
- add to a roller bottle and top up with grapeseed oil (or another carrier if preferred) or,
- add oils only to a portable car diffuser.
Lime is also good if you have it, or prefer it to the aroma of lemon. Use the calming blend mentioned earlier to calm down in the hotel if needed as well.
16. Rough man-feet
Apart from their cleaning and aromatic abilities, citrus oils also contain strong anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory compounds. These properties obviously have plenty of uses – both real and “still under research” so I decided to outline the use of them in a very manly fashion – rough man-feet. I use the following:
- 5 drops Orange
- 5 drops Frankincense
- 1 tablespoon of Coconut oil
Mix together and massage into your cracked heals and the soles of your feet. Again, probably not manly, but when your cracked ankles are sore, this is heaven. And did you know that cracked heals are apparently a sign that you are not drinking enough water?
Risks of using citrus oils
For all of the obviously awesome manly uses listed above, there are some risks that you need to take into account with these oils.
Phototoxicity is a skin irritation that is usually caused by the exposure of the skin to chemicals and the sun. Citrus essential oils, especially lemon and lime, are particularly susceptible to phototoxicity causing a response in the skin that looks like exaggerated sunburn.
If you are using these oils on your skin, avoid direct exposure to the sun for at least 24 hours.
Some citrus oils, especially lemon and lime, can have a caustic or bleaching effect on the skin, hair or household surfaces – after all, my daughter did use lemon to bleach her hair. Take great care when using citrus oils in this manner and always test on a small space first.
Citrus oils and pets are generally not a good mix. Minute amounts are generally safe but always be careful when using larger quantities around your pets.
And that is the world of Citrus essential oils. There is actually so much more that they can be used for but these were the manliest uses I could find based on our own experience or my research. I guess I will have to do one soon on some of the not-so-manly uses but for now, it is time for an orange juice.
Until next time, and as always
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