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Contributed by Jeff Dorsett, MSHS and Dr. Damian Rodriguez, DHSc, MS

Article at a Glance

Limonene plays a big part in the chemistry of some of your favorite essential oils. From its cleansing properties to its ability to support various body systems when taken internally, limonene has a lot to offer.

What Is Limonene?

If you’re a fan of citrus essential oils, like Lemon and Lime, you’ve probably heard of limonene. Limonene is a cyclic monoterpene found in several essential oils. A cyclic monoterpene is a molecule with a backbone of 10 carbons atoms, some of which form a ring. (To learn more, check out the doTERRA Chemistry Handbook.) In addition to being in citrus oils, limonene is also in Black Pepper, Celery Seed, Spearmint, and Dill essential oils.

Benefits of Limonene

Research studies have looked into the many benefits of limonene. Check out the list below to learn more.

Topical Use Benefits:

  • Surface cleaner.1
  • Toothpaste containing limonene may help remove stains from tooth enamel.5

Internal Use Benefits:

  • May be soothing to the gastrointestinal system.*2
  • May support liver health and metabolism.*3,4
  • Experimental research has demonstrated that ingestion of limonene may support the body’s immune system.*6,7

Using Limonene

To take advantage of the many benefits of limonene, try some of these uses.

  • Make your own all-purpose cleaner by adding a few drops of Green Mandarin, Grapefruit, or another citrus oil to a glass spray bottle filled with water and some white vinegar.
  • Add a drop or two of Lemon, Wild Orange, Lime, or Grapefruit essential oil to a glass of water, tea, or another favorite drink for a citrus twist.
  • Add a drop of Lemon, Spearmint, or Wild Orange essential oil to your toothpaste for an added burst of teeth-cleaning power.

Beyond Cleansing

Limonene is one of many amazing molecules that plays a role in the powerful benefits essential oils have to share. Limonene has so much to offer, making citrus essential oils a must in any home. 



doTERRA Science blog articles are based on a variety of scientific sources. Many of the referenced studies are preliminary and further research is needed to gain greater understanding of the findings. Some articles offer multiple views on general health topics and are not the official position of doTERRA. Consult your healthcare provider before making changes to diet or exercise.

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