Lemon Health Facts
The lemon is not only one of the most popular fruits worldwide, but it’s also a priceless marvel of nutrition and health benefits. There’s so much more to this powerhouse fruit than a delicious summer drink.
Lemons probably originated in northern India or China where they have been cultivated for about 2,500 years. Greek soldiers serving under Alexander the Great and Roman soldiers were said to have brought lemons from India to Greece and Italy. The Moors brought them from China to Spain and North Africa. Christopher Columbus brought them to the Americas in 1493 on his second voyage. Saint Augustine, Florida, has cultivated lemons since the 16th century. Miners in the California Gold Rush were said to have gladly paid as high as $1 (a week’s wages back then) for a lemon, due to its scurvy prevention properties.
Lemons contain citrus bioflavonoids called limonoids that are potent antioxidants. Lemons also contain flavonol glycosides, which have antibiotic properties, and high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and fiber.
The vitamin C, potassium and limonoids in lemons may prevent inflammation; lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels; neutralize harmful free radicals; prevent colon, stomach, breast, mouth and larynx cancers and stroke (by inhibiting the formation of blood clots); reduce asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis; and strengthen the immune system. The flavonol glycosides relieve throat and respiratory infections, flu and fever, and purify the blood.
Other Health Uses
To freshen your skin, rub a slice or two of lemon over your face when the weather is hot and humid.
Rub a squeezed lemon over rough, dry knees and elbows to soften them.
Apply some fresh squeezed lemon juice to a cotton cloth to stop nosebleeds and bleeding gums. Rub very gently, as it will sting a little.
To help relieve constipation, squeeze the juice out of one lemon, mix with 2 tsp. of olive oil and drink it.
For whiter fingernails and to get rid of fingernail stains, soak your fingernails in fresh squeezed lemon juice for about five minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
To get more juice out of a lemon, roll it firmly a few times on a table or counter with the palm of your hand. This breaks down the juice sacs in the fruit, releasing more juice.
Thin-skinned lemons have more juice than the thick-skinned varieties.