If you look in most people’s kitchen you can find that wonderful smelling, citrus fruit called the lemon. Lemons are not only a great additive for baking and cooking but it has several other uses as well. Although most often not eaten alone, its entire contents can be used in several facets of life such as culinary, household cleaning, as a freshener, and health aid.
Most frequently recognized by its bright yellow color and tart and sour taste, the lemon is part of the citrus family. These fruits are known for being full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, calcium, and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals are essential for collagen production, wound recovery, boost immune function, and fight against diseases such as cancer and degenerative diseases. Additionally, lemons are one of the many foods that contain antioxidants which fight against free radicals in the body.
Originally discovered in India, lemons slowly made there way to America in the 15th century. Since then lemons have become more than an ornamental plant and are used widely for their health benefits. There are many health benefits of lemons and several ways in which they can be used or consumed. Some of the health benefits include digestion, diuretics, detox, skin care, hair care, dental aid, sooth sore throat, weight loss, and reduce fevers. A lemons parts includes its pulp, juice and rind. For health benefits lemon juice and lemon pulp are mainly used where as the lemon rind is usually used in culinary settings as a garnish.
Although, highly commercialized and sweetened, lemonade was the first form of lemon added to water. Now a days adding a slice of lemon to a glass of water adds flavor, however it does a lot more than that. Drinking water with lemon has great effects on the body. Lemon has antibacterial properties, so by adding lemon to your water you are reducing the chances of drinking toxins that are in tap water or left on a glass. Additionally it can reduce bacteria and inflammation within the body. It also is a powerful diuretic and purifier. Lemons clean the body and blood of high levels of uric acid and reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections, arthritis and rheumatism.
Another way to add lemon to your diet is to mix it with warm water. Most people add a slice of lemon along with honey to their tea. Adding lemon to warm/hot water is a great digestive aid. It reduces the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux as well as digestive problems such as nausea, bloating, belching, and constipation. It has also been known to rid the body of parasites and worms that live in the intestinal tract. Taking lemon regularly can regulate digestion while increasing weight loss. Because of its ability to cleanse and detox the body there are several lemon diets that include drinking lemon juice daily to lose weight.
Lemon juice is also very effective in relieving bacteria and infections of the throat and mouth. Armed with its antibacterial properties lemon juice can relieve symptoms of a sore throat, tonsillitis, the flu, and colds. The mouth has thousands of bacteria that can cause cavities, gum bleeding and gingivitis. Drinking lemon juice will greatly reduce the bacteria in the mouth. Applying lemon juice directly to sore or bleeding gums and a toothache will relieve pain and top the bleeding. Regular ingestion of lemon juice will also cut down on bad breath.
The healing properties of lemon internally and externally can also have great effects on the skin, hair and nails. Its antioxidant properties reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles, acne, blemishes, scarring and discoloration. Consuming water with lemon will rejuvenate skin giving a glowing and beautiful complexion. Lemon juice can also be applied on top of the skin to reduce scars, discoloration and smooth out the texture of skin. Applied alone or mixed with honey, rose water, oatmeal, aloe, sandalwood, or essential oils, lemon can clean, clear and exfoliate the skin. Lemon juice and lemon oil can be applied to areas of eczema and bug bites.
Lemons health benefits exceed the physical effects. The smell of lemons and lemon oil can also have a calming and relaxing effect on one’s mood. Lemon can relieve tension, fatigue, anxiety, and nervousness. Lemon oil can be used for aromatherapy to enhance spirit and increase brain activity. Lemon balm, a powerful herb is also used to reduce fevers by increasing perspiration, reduce infections, relieving anxiety, and promoting restful sleep.
Lemon was used as a ‘cure all’ in Roman times and as we can see lemon has very powerful healing effects. No matter how you use it or what you are using it for, you will achieve the desired effect.
Photo Credit: Beglib