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LEMONS  (Citrus limonum)

 

lemon health benefits

Lemon juice, although acidic, actually has an alkalising effect and, despite what people believe, will act as an anti-acid in the stomach. It is also a powerful antiseptic and cleanser of blood, liver, lymph glands and kidneys and a natural diuretic. Lemons are one of the very low glycaemic fruits so are therefore also good for diabetics and citric acid in lemons can help to dissolve bladder, gall bladder and kidney stones.

The abundance of phyto-chemical antioxidants and soluble, as well as insoluble, dietary fibre is helpful in the reduction of the risk for many chronic diseases like arthritis and coronary heart disease and can help with weight loss and obesity. Lemon also helps to regulate blood pressure and can alleviate depression, anxiety and symptoms of stress and lemon juice is more effective in healing oral thrush in HIV patients than the standard remedy of gentian violet.

Lemon peel (zest) and pith

There are around10 times more vitamins in lemon peel than in the juice and in citrus fruits, bioflavonoids are found in the white pith material just beneath citrus peel. Bioflavonoids, also known as vitamin P, have an antibacterial effect and promote circulation. They are also useful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and in the prevention and treatment of cataracts. They are vital in their ability to increase the strength of the capillaries (blood vessels) and to regulate their permeability and for this reason are good additions to the diet for those prone to having a stroke.

Other benefits of bioflavonoids are the ability to reduce inflammation and help the body get rid of potentially toxic and cancer-causing chemicals which can be advantageous to those with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and similar inflammatory conditions. They can also help to protect healthy cells against chemo-therapy drugs.

 

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Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, mostly in the peel, including beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, hesperidin, lutein, limonene, lycopene, naringin, naringenin, pectin and zeaxanthin. Lycopene has been shown in studies to significantly slow the growth of tumours.

There can be a large reduction of squamous cell carcinoma in those who ingest citrus peel due to the concentration of d-limonene oil in citrus fruit rinds which is a known inhibitor of breast, lung and colon cancers. Traditionally, lemon peel oil has been used to discourage intestinal parasites, while the vitamin C-rich juice and rind help to increase bone mineral density.

The consumption of one lemon per day (including half of the rind and pith) can provide great protection against all the mentioned health disorders. Add it to meals such as vegetables, salads, rice, fish, in herbal teas and in raw juice blends. See Raw juice therapy

One way to consume lemons is to wash them, cut them in half to remove the pips and keep them in the freezer with the peel and pith intact. They can then be grated into meals and drinks as required.

External use

When used topically, lemon juice can help stop bleeding, is useful for rebalancing greasy skin and, as an essential oil, is recommended for verrucas and fungal foot and nail infections. It can also treat dandruff. Add the freshly squeezed juice of one lemon to a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and a tablespoon of coconut oil and mix well to make a shampoo to treat dandruff.

NOTE: It is not advisable to go out into sunshine after applying lemon to the skin as it may cause the skin to burn.

Links to more information about the health disorders lemons can help to treat

Links to further information about the significant nutrients in lemons

Associated subjects

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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