Lemon is a readily available citrus fruit. It is very popular for its medicinal use. Lemon is also used to prepare a wide range of foods. Some of the food recipes that use lemon include lemon chicken and lemon cakes. Lemon is used in the preparation of a variety of beverage recipes, some of these may include; lemon-flavored drinks and lemonade. Lemons are also used to garnish. Lemon consists of about 50ml of lemon juice.
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The Latin name for lemon is Citron. It is derived from the Greek word cedar. Citrus plants and their fruits are collectively referred to as Romance loanword arguments (meaning sour fruits). Lemon belongs to the species Citrus x lemon, often written as C. lemon in the Genus Citrus. Lemon is in the family Rutaceae in the Order Sapindales. Lemons were first grown in China, Northern Burma, and South-Eastern India. Today lemons are grown in large quantities in Sri Lanka. Lemon is a hybrid between citron and orange. India is the largest producer of lemon producing about 16% of the total lemon and lemon products in the world (Longbotham 81).
There is a wide variety of lemons; some of these include Boonie Brae. The Boonie Brae is a smooth and thin-skinned lemon. It is mostly grown in San Diego County. This lemon has no seeds. The Bush lemon tree is a natural and wild lemon. This subtropical Australian lemon is quite hardy and has thick skin. In sunny areas, this plant can grow to a height of 4 meters. The common lemon that is readily available in the markets is called the Eureka. This lemon is in abundance all year-round. It is readily available all over the world. The Sorrento or Femminello St. Teresa is found in Italy. It contains high levels of lemon oil.
It is a native Italian variety mostly used to make limoncello. Lisbon is a high-quality lemon. This lemon contains a lot of acids and is very bitter. Its seeds resemble those of Eureka. Lisbon tree is very thorny. The Eureka has a variety called Variegated Pink. This lemon plant has a variegated pattern in its shrubbery. When mature, its color changes from green to yellow. The variegated pattern is no longer visible in the mature fruit. The lemon juice from Variegated Pink is pink unlike other varieties of lemon (Gulsen 311).
Lemons may be used to boost health because it promotes gastric fire. Lemon can improve the cleanliness of the mouth. It can also be used to control and reduce the flow of bile. Lemon removes excess air from the digestive system. Lemon is also used to treat colds because it extricates cough. Lemon is very effective in treating constipation. It treats throat infections and prevents vomiting. The antibacterial property of lemon helps to fight tonsils and sore throats. Lemon juice also helps in getting rid of worms in the digestive system (Longbotham 78).
Lemon is very effective in treating all symptoms caused by acidity. This is because; lemon leaves an alkaline residue which is very effective in neutralizing acids, in the body. It has been proved that lemon also acts as an antibacterial. Some bacteria that cause diseases such as malaria, diphtheria, typhoid, influenza, and cholera are eliminated by lemon juice.
Lemon contains vitamins A and C. It also contains small amounts of niacin and thiamine. Natural vitamin C is more effective in the body than synthetic vitamin C. The natural vitamin C consists of bioflavonoid (vitamin P); this is what makes it more effective than synthetic vitamin C. Vitamin P prevents internal hemorrhage by strengthening the blood vessels. It is thus very effective in blood pressure where celebro-vascular upsets may occur (Gulsen 72). Lemon water controls nausea, dizziness while relaxing the mind and body. In addition, lemon contains vitamin B, riboflavin and other minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. Lemon also contains proteins and carbohydrates.
The use of vitamin C was well understood when Vasco da Gama went for a journey around the Cape of Good Hope. Two-thirds of the people he traveled with died from scurvy. However, such diseases have been eradicated through the use of lemons (Carque 98).
Despite the health advantages of lemon juice, undiluted lemon juice has its shortcomings. If lemon juice is taken without diluting, it can destroy the enamel of the teeth. This is because; pure, concentrated lemon juice contains acid. Lemon juice, taken with cold water, and honey in an empty stomach, in the morning, is very effective in cleansing the blood in the body. Lemon soothes the nerves and the heart. It also relieves palpitation and purifies the blood (Carque 23).
Lemon contains other valuable ingredients such as citric acid. A lemon contains about 7.2% citric acid (Morton 124). Lemon also contains potassium in large quantities. Lemon is a better source of potassium than grapes or apples, which is very useful to the heart. Lemon juice, when diluted with the right amount of water, keeps the bones and teeth healthy. Lemon water also relieves one from toothache. When gargled in the mouth, lemon water helps to reduce the pain. The vitamin C in lemons helps in calcium metabolism and thus keeping the teeth and bones healthy.
Since time immemorial, Lemon has been used as a diuretic, giving relief to the bladder and kidney ailment. Lemon has also been used to heal hepatitis. For mountain climbers, lemon can be used in cases of inadequate oxygen and breathing difficulties. Lemon also heals breathing problems; it can be used to cure a person suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma (Carque 78).
Lemon is a natural antiseptic medicine. Lemon can be used to prevent and cure skin problems. The citrus fruit improves and revitalizes the skin from within. This helps the skin to glow. Lemon water may be used as an anti-aging solution. Lemon has been known to clear blackheads and remove wrinkles. Lemon should be applied on parts with burns to fade scars. Lemon lessens the burning feeling on the skin because it acts as a coolant (Morton 39).
Lemon can be used to reduce weight. Drinking lemon juice helps lose weight faster. Lemon juice taken with warm water reduces body weight. Thus, lemon is a good remedy for controlling body weight. For people weighing not more 70 kg, it is healthy to squeeze at least one-half lemon in to a glass of water at least twice a day. For people weighing more than 70kg, it is advisable to squeeze a whole lemon into a glass of water twice daily. Making it a routine to take a glass of lemon juice each morning before taking anything else can open gateways to enjoying a healthy life (Gulsen 88).
Carque, Otto. Rational Diet: An Advanced Treatise on the Food Question, Los Angeles: Kessinger Publishing, 2006. Print.
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Gulsen, Roose, L. “Lemons: Diversity and Relationships with Selected Citrus Genotypes as Measured with Nuclear Genome Markers”. Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science 126 (2001): 309–317. Healthbenefits. Web.
Longbotham, Lori. Lemon Zest: More Than 175 Recipes With a Twist, New York: Broadway Books, 2002. Print.
Morton, Julia. “Fruits of warm climates”. Purdue University 36.4. (2007): 160–168. Print.