Latin Name: Citrus Limon

What is a Lemon?
Although lemons are sour enough to pucker your entire face at the mere thought of eating one raw, a lemon’s juice, oil, rind, and acid are used in a wide range of food and products. Lemon is a featured ingredient in many meat and vegetable dishes, pastries, and beverages. Not only does its tart flavor makes the other ingredients “pop” out, but lemon can also be used as a meat tenderizer, short-term preservative, and antimicrobial agent. Its uses outside of the realm of food range from a solvent in cleaning products to a skin toner or insecticide.

The lemon is thought to have originated in China, India, Burma, and throughout Southeast Asia, where it was primarily used an antiseptic and antidote for poisons. From its origins, the lemon traveled through Europe and Western Africa before the first century AD, the Middle East around 700 AD, the Mediterranean and Africa after the first millennium, and finally came to the Americas after Columbus’s second expedition to the New World in 1493.

What are the health benefits of lemons?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, lemon’s effect on the body is cooling; it harmonizes the stomach and aids in digestion and replenishes fluids. Just as it cuts grease on counters, it cleanses the liver, kidneys, blood, mouth, and urinary tract while making the body more alkaline in pH.

Lemon’s high vitamin C content has been renowned since the days of the famed New World explorers for its use in preventing scurvy. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants, effective in preventing and treating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, staving off cholesterol build-up, and all-around support of the immune system.

Lemons also contain an extremely long-acting limonoid, a phytonutrient that has been proven by a series of studies to be effective in fighting cancers of the mouth, skin, breast, lung, colon, and stomach.

More information about the healing powers of Lemon Peel can be found in the Herb section.

Where can I find Lemons?
Lemons can be found in most grocery stores throughout the year.

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This entry was posted in Foods, Natural Health Dictionary.