Botanical Name :: Citrus limon
Indian Name :: Bara nimbu, Pahari nimbu
The lemon is an important fruit of citrus group. It ranks high as a health food. It is sometimes mistaken for the lime, but the lime is a smaller species and the lemon forms a bigger variety, with a rough, thin and loose rind.
Lemon is oval in shape and light yellow in color with thick, rough skin. When riPe it has pale yellow pulp, abundant juice and a small number of seeds.
Origin and Distribution
The lemon is indigenous to the north-west regions of India, ascending to an altitude of 4,000 ft. It has been cultivated in south-east Asia from ancient times. It reached Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. It is now widely grown in all tropical and subtropical countries, notably in the United States, Spain, Portugal, France, West Indies and New South Wales. In India, lemon is cultivated in home gardens and small-sized orchards in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bombay, Madras and Mysore.
The lemon is rich in many food ingredients, particularly citric acid. Different varieties contain this acid in different proportions ranging from 3.71 to 8.40 percent. It is mainly due to its citric acid and Vitamin C contents that the lemon is widely used in medicine. It is valued for its juice which is mostly used as an accessory food. It increases the flavor and improves the taste of various dishes. It is often used in the preparation of salads and prevents and discoloration of sliced bananas and apple. It is widely used in the preparation of lemonades, squashes, jams, jellies and marmalades. The lemon juice has a good keeping quality and it can be preserved for a long time with certain precautions.
Minerals and Vitamins
|Moisture – 85.0%||Calcium – 70 mg|
|Protein – 1.0%||Phosphorus – 10 mg|
|Fat – 0.9%||Iron – 2.3 mg|
|Minerals – 0.3%||Vitamin C – 39mg|
|Carbohydrates – 11.1%||Small amount of Vitamin B Complex|
|Fibre – 1.7%|
|* Value per 100 gm’s edible portion||Calorific Value – 57|
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
The various parts of the lemon used for medicinal purposes are rind of the ripe fruit, essential oil of the rind and expressed juice of the ripe fruit. A pale yellow volatile oil is derived either through distillation or by squeezing out from fresh outer part of the paricarp of the fruit. Though the oil is bitter yet it is highly valued in medicine as a flavoring agent, carminative that relives flatulence for treating gastric discomfort and stomachic that improves appetite.
Rind is also both stomachic and carminative. Lemon juice, the expressed and strained juice of the ripe fruit, is valuable as anti scorbutic and refrigerant. It destroys the toxins in the body. This detoxifying property arises from its high potassium content. The germs of diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases are destroyed by its use. The juice also encourages bile secretion and is valuable in jaundice and gravels-a condition of small stone in urinary tract. The bark of the lemon tree is used as febrifuge which prevents fever and seeds as a vermifuge which expels worms from intestine.
- Scurvy :- The lemon is chiefly valued for its vitamin C content. Its juice contains more vitamin than the whole fruit, being about 60 ml per 100 gram. The juice also contains appreciable quantity of vitamin B. This makes it anti scorbutic or an excellent food medicine for the prevention and treatment of scurvy. A mixture of one part of lemon juice, three parts of water and a desirable quantity of sugar or honey should be taken in this condition.
- Oral Diseases :- Due to its high content of vitamin C, lemon strengthens the gums and teeth. It is also very effective for preventing and curing acute inflammations of the gum margins, pyorrhea, dental caries and other oral diseases.
- Throat Disorders :- Lemon is highly beneficial in the treatment of throat disorders such as catarrh, choking sensation and itching sensitivities. A ripe unpeeled lemon should be roasted slowly until it begins to crack open. Then one teaspoonful Of the juice with a little honey should be taken once every hour, or the same juice of the roasted lemon in a glass of boiled water should be taken flavored with honey. It should be sipped slowly.
- Burning Soles and Heels :- Sliced lemon should be rubbed over the entire burning soles and heals of feet. A great deal of toxin elimination takes place through the pores of the feet. Lemon application promotes such elimination and keep the feet free from pain and distress.
- Digestive Problems :- A ripe lemon is a good appetizer. The lemon juice stimulates the flow of saliva and gastric juice and is regarded as an excellent digestive agent. It destroys intestinal worms and eliminates the gases formed in the digestive tract. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of several digestive problems like dyspepsia, constipation and biliousness. Heartburn is easily relieved by taking the juice of half a lemon in a little water.
- Fevers :- Lemon juice makes an effective thirst-quenching drink in pox, measles, scarlet and other fevers which are attendant with extreme thirst and a very hot and dry skin. About 15 to 25 Km. of lemon juice should be taken in these conditions.
- Hemorrhage :- Lemon is effective in the hemorrhage or bleeding of lungs. stomach, intestines, uterus, kidneys and other internal organs. In these cases, lemon juice should be taken with water several tierns a day.
- Obesity :- An exclusive lemon juice is an effective remedy for obesity. 011 the first day the patient should be given nothing but plenty of water. On the second day juice of three lemons mixed with equal amount of water should be given. One lemon should be subsequently increased each day until the juice of 12 lemons is consumed per day. Then the number of lemons should be decreased in the same order until three lemons are taken in a day. The patient may feel weak and hungry on first two days, but afterwards the condition will stabilise by itself.
- Cholera :- Lemon has been provided by nature with wonderful anticholera properties. Lemon juice can kill cholera bacilli within a very short time. It is also a very effective and reliable preventive food item against cholera during the epidemic. For this purpose, it can be taken in the form of sweetened or salted beverages. Taking of lemon with food as a daily routine also saves from cholera.
- Beauty Aid :- Lemon is regarded as a youth restorative. It helps create youthful health. To help cleanse blemished skin, the area should be rubbed with a fresh piece of lemon. The juice should be soaked into the skin, allowing it to remain overnight. Strained fresh lemon juice mixed with cool water should be used to wash the hair to add to their brightness. Dry or scaly skin should be rubbed with the peel of a lemon. It will restore the skin to softness. Rough elbows can be soften by rubbing the area with the cut side of a lemon.
- Corns :- Lemon is valuable in corns. A fresh slice of lemon should be tied over the painful area at night and it should be allowed to remain there whole night.