Citrus limon or lemon belongs to the citrus family Rutaceae. It is one of the most useful crops that provide valuable essential oils and juice for medical, food and beauty industry. Mexico, India, Argentina, China, Brazil and Africa are the major producer of lemon. It is cultivated in summer in tropical areas. The tree is usually small with thorny twigs, dark green leaves and bright yellow fruit and requires proper sunlight for growth.
All the benefits of lemon are owing to the presence of nourishing ingredients like Vitamin E, C, B6, A, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, copper, iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, pantathonic acid and others trace elements. The essential oil of lemon is a mixture of oxygenated compounds, nonvolatile substances and hydrocarbons including alcohol, sterols, terpenes, aldehydes and esters. It is a flavonoid rich fruit, containing large quantity of antioxidants. Lemon in known to prevent countless health ailments and improve skin and hair. Lemons are loaded with Vitamin C and citric acid, including terpenes, tannins and polyphenols.
Benefits of Lemon
Lemon can treat and prevent several health issues and is an age-old home remedy for many common ailments. Refreshing lemon juice provides soothing and calming effect to the body and is used for the following:
- Beauty Benefits: Lemons work wonders for the skin as they provide moisture and act as a natural cleanser. It is used to remove tanning and as a bleaching agent. Lemons can treat acne, eczema, black heads and can heal canker sores. It can also be used as a teeth whitener.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C provides energy to the body and prevents scurvy. It boosts the immune system and prevents bleeding gums. It is a great antioxidant for neutralizing free radicals that boost collagen production and delays ageing process. Lemon juice can ease the pain of sunburn and insect bites too.
- Benefits for Hair: Lemon juice have proven benefits for hair care and is use widely to treat dandruff, impart natural shine and stop hair fall.
- Helps fight cancer cells and increase resistance to cancer.
- Improves and restores normal heart health by reducing risk of heart diseases and regulating blood pressure.
- Enhances weight loss and prevent obesity by increasing the metabolic rate of the body.
- Prevents throat infections and respiratory disorders
- Prevent indigestion and constipation.
Culinary Uses of Lemon:
Lemon can be added in any dish like hot soups, curries, chutneys and salads to impart flawless flavor. The well-known summer drink “lemonade” and ice tea with lemon are very refreshing drinks to beat the heat. Lemon juice is a great addition to grilled meats and vegetables. It can be used as a flavouring agent along with pepper as a substitute for salt for people on a low sodium diet.
Lemon peel, juice, zest and rind can be used to make lemon liqueur, marmalade, to garnish food and beverages, to impart flavor to puddings, rice, baked goods etc.
Lemon as a Household Cleanser:
Lemon juice is the best natural cleansing agent and can be used with salt to clean copper and other metallic utensils as the acid in lemon help to remove dirt. It is also an excellent deodorant, kitchen cleaner, can remove stains and grease and also works as a disinfectant.
The Sour Side of Lemon: Excess intake of lemon juice may cause dehydration, especially during a detox diet or weight loss plan. It may trigger acid reflux (GERD) or heartburn which may further cause chest pain and the burning sensation all over the food pipe region. Overdose may trigger headache associated with migraine and even may delay the healing process of ulcer and upset the stomach. Overall lemon is one of the safest foods to consume and is widely used throughout the world in every cuisine.