Lemon is undoubtedly one of the most widely used citrus fruits in the world. Lemon tree is a small evergreen tree native to Asia. Lemons belong to the Rutaceae family, which also includes oranges, limes, tangerines and grapefruit. This fruit is oval to round in shape with a pronounced bulge at one end. Its appearance is similar to lime except that it has a thick and leathery skin. It contains a very high level of vitamin C. Though, the inner flesh is extremely sour to be eaten, it is often used to add flavor to other ingredients and dishes due to its refreshing smell and tart flavor.
Lemon juice is often added to various dishes and is also used to make lemonade. It is highly acidic and is sprinkled on cut fruits to prevent oxidation which makes them less appetizing. Lemon zest contains aromatic oils which can add flavor to foods and ward off unwanted odour.
Health Benefits of Lemon
These refreshing and tangy fruits are full of healthy nutrients, which provide the following health benefits:
Lemons are loaded with vitamin C and are quite effective in curing digestion problems. They contain digestive juices, which facilitate digestion, thus relieving heartburn, bloating, belching and gastric problems. A glass of lemon juice is often recommended in case of fever and stomach upset. Lemon, when taken with warm water early in the morning, aids in proper digestion. It also removes toxins from the kidney and the digestive system, thus improving immunity and purifying the blood.
2. High Blood Pressure:
Lemon juice or lemon water for high blood pressure is beneficial for people with heart disease, thanks to its high potassium content. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness and nausea; and provides a calming sensation to the body and mind. It is often used to reduce stress and depression.
3. Cold and Fever:
Lemon helps in curing and preventing cold, flu and fever due to its high content of vitamin C. It aids the production of antibodies and white blood cells which can fight against the microorganisms in the body. Lemon, when taken during fever, increases the rate of diaphoresis, thus helping in bringing down fever. Being a blood purifier, it can help cure diseases like malaria and cholera.
4. Respiratory Disorders:
Lemon juice can provide relief from respiratory and breathing problems such as asthma. Being a rich source of vitamin C, lemons can help you deal with long term respiratory disorders. Its anti-bacterial properties help in treating throat infections.
5. Dental Health:
Lemon plays an important role in dental care. You can add a few drops of this juice to your toothpaste to get perfect white teeth as well as to prevent bad breath. Lemon juice when applied on an aching tooth can significantly reduce tooth ache. Massaging lemon juice on the gums can stop gum bleeding.
6. Internal Bleeding:
The antiseptic and coagulant properties of lemon can stop internal bleeding such as nosebleeds. All you need to do is apply some lemon juice to a small cotton ball and place it inside your nostril to control bleeding.
The diuretic property of lemon makes it beneficial for the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis. It flushes out bacteria and toxins from the body and helps control inflammation.
8. Strong Nails:
Lemon, when combined with olive oil, can be an effective nail hardener. Applying this solution will not only strengthen weak and brittle nails but also whiten and brighten yellowing nails.
9. Lemon Diet for Weight Loss:
A lemon diet can prove quite useful in losing weight quickly. If you wish to lose that extra flab, then you can drink lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey early in the morning.
Skin Benefits of Lemon
Lemons have the ability to treat almost any type of skin issue. They offer numerous benefits to your skin some of which are given below:
10. Skin Whitening:
The citric acid in lemon acts as a natural bleaching agent to lighten and brighten your skin complexion. You can mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 3 tablespoon water and apply it all over your face and neck. Wash off with cold water after 30 minutes.
11. Scars and Age Spots:
Lemon juice can be applied overnight to cure the discoloration caused by scars, skin disorders, and age spots. It also helps in lightening the scars caused by burns.
12. Discolored Elbows:
Rubbing the lemon rind on the discolored elbows can reduce the dark patches on your elbow.
Lemon can be used to prepare an anti-wrinkle mask. All you need to do is mix a teaspoon each of lemon juice extract and honey and add a few drops of almond oil. Apply it as a mask on your face and neck.
14. Dry Skin:
If you have dry skin, you can apply a mixture of lemon juice extract, honey, and olive oil on your skin to combat dryness and make your skin supple and moisturized.
15. Oily Skin:
If you have oily skin, you can mix a spoon of lemon juice with egg white and grape juice extract. Apply it on your face to make your skin look soft and glowing.
16. Chapped Lips:
Lemon acts as an exfoliant to smoothen chapped lips. All you need to do is rub the lemon rind on your pucker and wash off the next morning. Lemon juice can removes dead skin cells, thus facilitating smooth application of lipstick.
Corns are lumps formed due to hardening of the skin at certain places like the soles of the feet and the palms of your hands. Lemon juice can easily dissolve these lumps on the skin.
18. Acne and Blackheads:
The anti-bacterial properties of lemon make it effective for curing acne and blackheads. You can dilute some lemon juice extract in water and apply it on the affected area with a cotton swab. Leave it for 15 minutes and wash off with cold water. This will help in healing the acne as well as reducing the frequency and severity of blackheads. Apart from this, having a glass of lemon water with honey will cleanse your system, thus preventing acne and breakouts.
Hair Benefits of Lemon
Besides being wonderful for your skin, lemons also work well to improve the condition of your hair. They can provide the following benefits for your hair:
Lemon is a great natural remedy for dandruff. Application of lemon juice on the scalp can help fight dandruff and also prevent its recurrence.
20. Oily Scalp:
Lemon can help reduce excess sebum secretion, which often makes the scalp oily and causes the hair follicles to get clogged. Applying a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar cleanses your scalp, thus preventing the hair follicles from becoming clogged. Lemon juice is also a great remedy for greasy hair.
21. Natural Highlighter:
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a great bleaching agent and hence, offers a natural way to lighten your hair without any side effects. Just wash your hair, pat them dry and apply lemon juice on the sections of hair you want to highlight.
22. Split Ends:
Applying a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil on the hair can help in treating split ends.
23. Lice Treatment:
Lemon juice, when mixed with garlic or almond paste, acts a natural remedy to get rid of hair lice. All you need to do is apply this mixture on your scalp and wash off after half an hour. This will kill the lice and loosen them from the scalp, which can be later combed away.
24. Thick and Lustrous Hair:
A mixture of lemon juice and fresh coconut water is a good conditioner for your scalp. You can apply this mixture on your scalp and rinse your hair with it to get thick and lustrous hair.
25. Hair Loss:
Lemon when mixed with coconut oil is beneficial in treating hair loss. You can make a paste by combining equal quantities of crushed lemon seeds and black pepper; or lemon and vinegar. Apply it on your scalp for 10 minutes and then rinse off. This will prevent hair loss. Massaging your scalp with a mixture of egg and lemon juice can also strengthen your hair roots.
Lemon juice is quite popular not only because of its health and beauty benefits but also because of its wide variety of uses in cooking and even cleaning. It is also used in preparing lemonade, which is a popular refreshment drink. Lemon juice can either be squeezed manually or with the help of a citrus squeezer or a food processor with a juicer component. For the purpose of drinking, you can dilute it in water and add honey or sugar to sweeten it.
Lemon water is often recommended by nutritionists and health experts for speedy weight loss. This is because it is an effective detoxifier. Drinking it in the morning activates the body’s detoxifying process as well as the natural cleansing process. The presence of pectin fiber helps reduce your hunger and curbs appetite.
- It is easy to prepare lemon water. You can start by placing the glass pitcher, in which you plan to make lemon water, in the freezer.
- Cut the lemons into 4 round slices each and place these in the pitcher. You can squeeze them slightly so that their juices get mixed with water.
- You can add other ingredients like lime, cucumber, mint, raspberries or freshly grated ginger to add to the flavor. You can also add some baking soda to provide a creamy texture.
- Now pour 8 glasses of water into the frozen pitcher and keep it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. This will help the ingredients mix well and also enhance the flavor of water.
Lemon tea is also quite popular and is particularly beneficial for your stomach and digestive system. It also aids in weight loss.
Preparation of lemon tea is simple and requires minimal efforts.
- All you need to do is place tea bags or tea leaves, sliced lemon, 2 cinnamon sticks and some sugar in a large teapot or coffee plunger.
- Pour around 6 cups of boiling water and steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain the tea into cups or glasses and add lemon slices if required. Tea can then be served hot or iced.
Lemon’s Nutrition Value:
All citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and lemon is no exception, providing about 88% of the recommended daily intake. Its acidic taste is attributed to the presence of citric acid which constitutes 8% of its juice.
Lemon is low in calories, providing just 29 calories per 100 grams. It contains several other health benefiting nutrients as is evident from the table given below.
|See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:Lemon (Citrus limon), fresh, without peel|
Nutrition Value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.30 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.80 g||7%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.190 mg||4%|
|Vitamin C||53 mg||88%|
|Vitamin A||22 IU||1%|
|Vitamin E||0.15 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||0 µg||0%|
This small citrus fruit, which is found in almost every household, is nature’s boon. This tangy fruit has a variety of benefits and uses. However, it should be used in moderation as its highly acidic nature can cause adverse effects.