Lemon trees, one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruit plants (evergreens), are believed to have originated in Asia, particularly in the country of India.
Studies show this fruit to be a cross between a citron and a sour orange, and historically they’ve been used in a number of different ways.
Taken internally, the fruit works as an anti-inflammatory, cleanses the body of toxins by promoting perspiration, acts as a diuretic, aids in digestion, boosts the immune system and relieves cramping.
Externally, the juice can help to dilate blood vessels in the skin, soothe sunburn, and even stop a nosebleed.
Although the fruit is highly acidic in taste, their juice can actually reduce hyperacidity in the digestive track. Lemon stimulates our digestive juices by producing enzymes in the mucous membrane of our stomachs.
This enhances our body’s capability to absorb much needed nutrients like iron and calcium.
In addition, you can’t beat this fruit for strengthening your immune system. The juice of one lemon provides thirty-three percent of your daily vitamin C requirements and contains antioxidant properties which help protect our cells from damage by free radicals.
The juice mixed with water can increase your performance while performing day to days tasks and provide a bit of relaxation as well.
Lemon preparations vary from treatment to treatment. Diluted juice is easily applied with a cotton ball and can be used to soothe sunburned skin and disinfect minor wounds. It can also be used as a topical treatment for canker sores.
One lemon mixed with a cup of hot water serves as an excellent gargle when used as recommended (three times per day) and will serve to alleviate both hoarseness and sore throats.
Tea is easily prepared as an infusion; place three teaspoons of dried leaves in a cup of boiling water and steep for at least ten minutes.
Add and slice or two of the citrus, some honey to taste, and you have a delicious infusion that can help relieve cramps, reduce fevers, ease coughs, and ease symptoms of asthma (this should never replace prescription asthma medication).
Lemon tea has also been known to promote relaxation and deep sleep. One cup, an hour before bedtime just might make a difference.
This unique fruit is also a great cleaning agent in the kitchen or anywhere else in the home with the ability remove hard water stains and its acidic nature allows it to even shine up old stainless and copper pans.
Lastly, we cannot forget about the advantages garnered from the peel. Grating the skin has almost as many uses as the juice it protects (only use the yellow layer).
The oils in the peel are said to produce an anti-inflammatory effect as they relax the blood vessels in the treated area.
Simply rub the peel into your aching joints and wrap them in gauze; joint and nerve pain should diminish. Of course this lemon “zest” is also used in many culinary dishes, like our healthy recipe for no-bake vegan lemon bars.
Over the last few thousand years, lemons have come a long way from what Josephus cited as the fruit used by the Jews in Jerusalem to pelt an errant priest during the Feast of the Tabernacle (Jewish tradition insists it was citrons).
None-the-less, that old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” is given a whole new meaning when we look at all the benefits we’d reap by doing just that. For me, lemon slices in water is an everyday treat.
When I’m looking for something sweeter, I simply add a bit of organic honey to appease my sweet tooth. My advice to you would be to experiment and enjoy!