Nutritionally, the lemon constitutes on of nature’s seven top sources of potassium, a mineral that promotes clear thinking, aids in normalizing blood pressure, and works with sodium to regulate the body’s water balance.
Lemons are also nature’s tops sources of citric acid, a life essential found in the cells of all living creatures. Lemons are especially tonic and act as cleansers when toxicity exists in the liver, kidneys, bowels, lungs, or skin.
A lemon tea will help loosen catarrh and ease digestion, and a lemon drink taken with the yolk of a raw egg is an excellent natural laxative. Lemons, like all citric foods, are a natural therapy for treating fever.
Lemons also provide modest amounts of nondairy calcium for healthy bones and teeth, magnesium, an aid in forming albumen in the blood, plus enzymes, iron, phosphorus, and copper. Fresh lemon juice has only 4 calories a tablespoon and just a trace of sodium. More importantly, just a single tablespoon of lemon juice one tenth of your daily requirement for vitamin C. The lemon is one of nature’s five best sources of ascorbic acid and lemon juice also prevents berries from graying in the jam making process.
The other ascorbic acid bearing portions of the lemon, in addition to the juice, include the albedo – the white, slightly bitter tasting inner portion of the outer peel, and the flavedo, the exterior peel, which contains the flavor rich sacs whose riches are released by shredding, slicing and grating. Both the alvedo and the flavedo also supply pectin, the ingredient that makes jelly gel, and bioflavonoid. Lemons are the world’s riches source of this making antioxidant, which helps regulate body temperature, making the lemon a first rate thirst quencher.
Bioflavonoid, either alone or in conjunction with vitamin C and other nutrients, contribute to the cellular integrity of the capillary and vascular systems. In addition, they appear to have an antiviral and anti-inflammatory action, which makes them a valuable nutritional defense against colds and flu, threats to immune system, and inflammatory disorders such as arthritis and rheumatic fever. They also speed wound healing.
The lemon is also a first rate insect bite repellent, not just because of its citric and ascorbic acid content but because of the organic citrus compound azadirachtin, a potent natural insect repellent which is secreted by the skin of the lemon. Azadirachtin belongs to a family of limonoids, which give some citrus fruits their bitter taste.
Cosmetically, the lemon has been valued since biblical times as a bleach and an internal and external astringent.
To reduce a fever.
Lemon juice promotes perspiration and helps block pain. When lemon juice is heated, salicylic acid – the chemical precursor of aspirin’s active ingredient – is produced.
The juice of half a lemon in warm water morning, noon, and night helps eliminate toxins and ease aches.
To prevent or relieve colds and coughs.
Drink lemon juice straight or mixed with honey or fruit juice.
Lemon wash and dry.
In hazy, hot, and humid weather, a cut lemon rubbed over face and hands is a clean up pick me up.
Bend an elbow and set it down in a squeezed lemon half twice a day.
To use lemon juice as an astringent body pack, mix juice with oatmeal and sponge mixture over your skin.
Lemon hair rinse.
Squeeze juice out of two big lemons, strain, and dilute with 1 cup of warm water. Comb juice through hair and rinse.