Lime - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Botanical Name :: Citrusaurantifolia
Indian Name :: Niboo
The lime is an important fruit of citrus group. It is very popular all through the tropics and is used as a necessary adjunct in everyday meal. It is regarded as a health-building food of great value. Limes are generally mistaken for lemons, but they represent two varieties of the same genus. The lime is smaller in size than the lemon, with a thin smooth skin. It has sweet smell and contains less juice than the lemon. The lime grows on a small, multi-branched tree up to 5 me. in height, with spiny branches, small green leaves and white and strongly scented flowers.There are many varieties of limes, differing in size, color and shape. They are, however, classified into two main groups, namely, the sweet and the acid limes. The sweet limes contain a. higher proportion of sugar but they have an insipid taste and are not considered to be of high nutritive value. They are, therefore, not grown on any great scale. Acid or sour limes, on the other hand, are extensively cultivated as their importance as food and medicine has been recognized for centuries. The two most popularly known varieties are Pari and Kagzi niboo
Origin and Distribution
The lime is believed to have originated in India, where it has been grown since remote times. Arab traders are believed to have taken it to Eastern Mediterranean and Western countries in about l000 AD. The Spaniards took it to the New, World early in their colonization. It has since spread throughout the tropics, where it is the most commonly cultivated species of the acid citrus.
Acid limes are excellent source of free citric acid, natural sugar, vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus. It contains by far more vitamin C than the lemon. It is generally used for its juice which is taken in various ways. The best way to use it is to take with water. The lime juice forms an indispensable ingredient of salads. In fruit salads, it helps to retain the normal color of fruits and imparts tart flavor. It is often mixed with cooked pulses, soups, sauces and gravies to make them more tasty and palatable.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
The juice of fresh limes is being used in medicine from ancient times in India. In Vadas, lime has been mentioned as a sacred fruit. Cutting limes after reciting certain Mantras is considered an effective method for driving away the evil spirits. Charaka and Sharangdhara, the two famous physicians of ancient India, have mentioned about the therapeutic value of lime in various diseases of bones and joints. The vitamin C content in lime increases the body's resistance to disease, aids the healing of wounds and prevents damage to the eyes. Vitamin C is also helpful in maintaining the health of the teeth and other bones of the body. It prevents decay and loosening of the teeth, dental caries, toothache, bleeding of the gums and fragility of bones.
The rind of the fruit also has medicinal properties. It contains a volatile oil which is used in medicine for improving digestion and removing wind
Limes should not be used in excess. The alkaline salts of the lime juice neutralize the free uric acid and precipitate it. It has; therefore, been found that its excessive use may cause the formation of renal calculi.Excessive sucking of fresh lime is also bad for teeth as the acid damages the delicate enamel of the teeth and makes them sensitive. Its excessive use weakens digestion and impoverishes the blood
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