What is Makrut Lime Essential Oil? Makrut Lime Info, Uses and Amazing Benefits

Plant name (Latin): Citrus hystrix

Plant family: Rutaceae - commonly called the rue or citrus family

Native region: Southeast Asian countries of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Growing habit: Prefers being grown in warm, sunny climates but is also well suited to grow indoors. This small tree is generally not explicitly cultivated for distillation, so the oil is most commonly from wild harvesting.

Parts used: Peel of the Makrut Lime fruit or leaves of the Makrut Lime

Essential oil extraction method: Most commonly steam distilled but also cold-pressed in some cases.

About Makrut Lime Oil

Makrut Lime, widely known by the name Kaffir Lime, is native to southeastern Asian countries and is now cultivated worldwide. It’s a popular plant to grow indoors and does well in container gardens or individual pots. Makrut Lime has a long history of being used in Asian cuisine, mainly Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese dishes.

Description of Aroma

Makrut lime is a sweet, green, fresh, citrusy aroma. It’s green in color, thin in viscosity, with a medium to strong aroma. In perfumery, it’s considered a top and middle note.

Why Use Makrut Lime?

Makrut lime is very similar to other oils in the citrus family with its signature sweet, citrus aroma. Makrut lime also brings a green, fresh scent with an extensive affinity for the integumentary system.

How and Where Makrut Lime Grows

Makrut Lime grows natively in the southeastern Asian countries of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It’s widely grown globally as a garden plant and is a popular plant for indoors.

The Makrut Lime tree is a tall, thorny bush that grows up to 11 meters high in the wild. Some versions of the Makrut Lime Tree are considered a dwarf tree and are mainly grown within gardens or indoors. The leaf of the Makrut Lime tree is distinctly shaped like an hourglass, and three of these hourglass-shaped leaves come together to create the leaf blade.

The Makrut lime fruit is small, coming in at only four centimeters in diameter. It’s green with a rough and bumpy peel that turns yellow as it ripens.

Makrut Lime Uses

Makrut Lime essential oil has a strong affinity for the skin and the hair, where it is a popular oil for diminishing the appearance of varicose veins, brightening dull skin, promoting a healthy and glowing complexion, fighting the signs of fine lines and wrinkles, and treating/preventing acne. The antibacterial action of the oil helps keep pores unclogged and fights the bacteria that causes acne before pimples ever start showing up on the skin. It’s considered very purifying to the skin and can help clear up any skin impurities. Due to its purifying action, it’s a great addition to products such as astringents and works well in preventing and treating skin infections. Makrut Lime is also used in hair loss, dull hair, and dandruff cases and is also useful to help kill off lice.

Outside of the skin, Makrut Lime is antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic, making it a great choice for use in cold and flu season. It can help lessen asthma symptoms, soothe headaches, repel insects, and promote good oral hygiene.

Emotionally Makrut Lime is great for stress and anxiety. It’s also a great choice for fatigue as it is known to help boost energy levels.

Subtly, Makrut Lime helps give a person a new perspective on things. It’s very helpful in supporting the 2nd, 4th, and 6th chakras and is said to boost creativity.

Makrut Lime in Ayurveda

In Ayurvedic medicine, Makrut Lime is used extensively for maintaining a youthful radiance of the skin. It’s known to be used for rheumatic conditions, arthritis, and gout. Juice from the Makrut Lime is also used as a digestive stimulant and is also used to lessen the bad effects of drinking alcohol.

History of Makrut Lime

It’s believed that the Makrut Lime tree originated in Sri Lanka; however, it has been cultivated and hybridized so many times throughout history that the exact origin isn’t known. The plant was first documented in text in 1868 in Ceylon, where it was said to prevent leech bites.

While Makrut Lime was used for its health benefits, it’s more widely used in the food industry. It is heavily used in southeastern Asian cuisine and is notably used in curries, chicken dishes, fish, and when cooking snails. In Cambodia, the entire fruit is crystallized and used as a candy.

Today, Makrut Lime is used within many different industries. Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, and perfumery are the primary consumer of Makrut Lime.

The Science of Makrut Lime

Makrut Lime is high in monoterpenes and monoterpenols. The primary constituents include cintronellal, limonene, and nerol.


Makrut Lime essential is phototoxic and should not be used within 12 hours of being out in the sun or using artificial tanning devices. Avoid oxidized oil as it can cause skin sensitivities.

Blend Suggestions

Makrut Lime pairs with all other citrus oils to bring a fresh, fruity, sweet aroma into your home.

Pair Makrut Lime with Eucalyptus and Lemon for a fresh scent that can also help clear the air.

Makrut Lime with bergamot, frankincense, tangerine, and ylang-ylang provides a soft floral yet fruity aroma that can help increase feelings of relaxation while melting your stress away.