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Lemon

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  • Botanical: Citrus limon
  • Family: Rutaceae
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Lemon

Botanical

Citrus limon

Family

Rutaceae

Known as

Lemon, Citrus limon, Citrus Limonum Risso, Zitrone

Old Use

culinary; medicinal

Collection Times

January to December

Parts Used

fruit, peel

Aroma

clean, citrus, fruity

Medicinal

acne, anorexia, asthma, arthritis, bladder weakness, blood cleansing, blood forming, cellulite, colds, constipation, coughs, dandruff, depression, diabetes, diarrhea, fever, flatulence, flu, gallstones, glaucoma, gout, hair loss, heartburn, high blood preasure, immunity, insomnia, kidney stones, migraine, nausea, neuralgia, rheumatism, sore throat, varicose veins, vomiting, wounds

Heart & Circulation

anemia, angina, arteriosclerosis, blood cleansing, blood forming, circulation, glaucoma, varicose veins, palpitations

Infection & Inflammation

fever, flu, immunity, pyelonephritis

Muscle & Joints

arthritis, gout, rheumatism

Mind & Nerves

depression, insomnia, migraine, neuralgia

Respiratory System

asthma, cough, hiccups, pharyngitis, sore throat, tonsillitis

Stomach & Intestinal

bladder weakness, cholesterol lowering, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, flatulence, gallstones, glucose lowering, heartburn, kidney stones, nausea, vomiting

Skin & Hair

acne, cellulite, dandruff, frostbite, hair loss, wounds

Properties

antibacterial, antispasmodic, anti inflammatory, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant

Note

top

Extraction

steam distillation, cold pressed/unrefined

Description

Citrus limon is the leading acid citrus fruit, because of its very appealing color, odor and flavor. The true lemon tree reaches 10 to 20 feet in height and usually has sharp thorns on the twigs. Leaves are reddish when young, and become dark green above, light green below. Mildly fragrant flowers may be solitary, or there may be two or more. Buds are reddish. Opened flowers have 4 or 5 petals, white on upper surface, purplish beneath. Fruit is oval with a nipple-like protuberance and is light-yellow. It is aromatic, and dotted with oil glands.

Properties & Uses

Lemons are an excellent preventative medicine and have a wide range of uses in the domestic medicine chest. The fruit is rich in vitamin C which helps the body to fight off infections and also to prevent or treat scurvy. It was at one time a legal requirement that sailors should be given an ounce of lemon each day in order to prevent scurvy. Applied locally, the juice is a good astringent and is used as a gargle for sore throats etc. Lemon juice is also a very effective bactericide. It is also a good antiperiodic and has been used as a substitute for quinine in treating malaria and other fevers. Although the fruit is very acid, once eaten it has an alkalizing effect upon the body. This makes it useful in the treatment of rheumatic conditions. The skin of the ripe fruit is carminative and stomachic. The essential oil from the skin of the fruit is strongly rubefacient and when taken internally in small doses has stimulating and carminative properties. The stem bark is bitter, stomachic and tonic. An essential oil from the fruit rind is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Refreshing'. Citrus species contain a wide range of active ingredients and research is still underway in finding uses for them. They are rich in vitamin C, bioflavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergic responses in some people. Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetics. The bioflavonoids in the fruit help to strengthen the inner lining of blood vessels, especially veins and capillaries, and help counter varicose veins and easy bruising. 

Other Uses

A semi-drying oil obtained from the seed is used in soap making. An essential oil from the peel is used as a food flavouring and also in perfumery and medicines. A higher quality essential oil is obtained from the flowers. The peel contains 0.4% essential oil. An essential oil obtained from the leaves and young twigs is called 'petitgrain oil'. Yields are around 0.4%. The dried fruit rind has been used as an insect repellent in the clothes cupboard and also in pot-pourri. The juice of the fruit is used for polishing bronze and other metals that have been neglected. It can also be used for removing ink stains. The juice is used as a bleaching agent. Wood - nicely veined, it takes a beautiful polish

Cautions

 Low potential for sensitization through skin contact with volatile oil 

Distribution

Original range is obscure, possible Asia.

Constituents

Vitamin C, citric acid, essential oils, limonene, citral, flavonoids, rutin, Pektion, phosphorus, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.