Our latest release, Nature Cures, is full of amazing alternative remedies for many of the common ailments that cause us malaise in this modern age. Many natural foods have unexpected healing properties and surprising applications around the house, as author Nat H Hawes shares in her research on lemons.
What few people know about lemons (citrus limonum) is that they were originally developed as a cross between the lime and the citron. They are thought to have originated in China or India, having been cultivated in these regions for about 2,500 years. Although acidic, lemons can act as an anti-acid for digestive problems and as a liver tonic. They have antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. They also work to cleanse the blood, lymph glands and kidneys, and act as a natural diuretic.
Traditionally, lemon peel oil has been used to discourage intestinal parasites, while the vitamin C-rich juice and rind can increase bone mineral density. The abundance of phytochemical antioxidants and dietary fibre, both soluble and insoluble, is helpful in reducing the risk for cancers and many chronic diseases. Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer properties which slow the growth of tumours. Lemons can help to treat and protect against acne, anxiety, arthritis, bacterial infections, constipation and fungal infections, amongst other ailments.
When lemon juice is added to green or herbal teas it can increase the beneficial properties tenfold. It is recommended that the juice of at least half a lemon is consumed every day (including the rind and the pith) in teas and on brown rice, fish or salad dishes, to gain the health benefits they possess. Lemons are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C and K, but it is important to remember to add lemon juice after cooking so that the vitamin content is not destroyed. They are also rich in calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.
5 Unexpected Ways to Use Lemons for Health and Wellbeing:
- Helping to stop bleeding
- Rebalancing greasy skin (as an essential oil)
- Treating a verruca
- Mosquito repellent (a slice or two of lemon in a bowl of water next to the bed can deter mosquitos during the night)
- Cleaning dishcloths (the antibacterial properties of lemon juice can keep dishcloths clean, instead of using bleach, if soaked in a bowl of water and lemon juice overnight)
For more natural health remedies buy Nature Cures: The A-Z of Ailments and Natural Foods from £14.99 and follow @NatureCuresAll on twitter.