6th March 2017 Lemons: Health Benefits “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” ~ Elbert Hubbard Lemons have many health benefits as well as being the essential ingredient for making a refreshing jug of fresh lemonade. They are most noted for their vitamin C content, which is why we often think of lemons when we have a cold or influenza. Lemons are high in anti-oxidants. This is why squeezing lemon juice on any cut fruits or vegetables will prevent the food from turning brown. Lemons are a natural antiseptic and anti-scorbutic, meaning they can help to prevent scurvy—a disease resulting from a lack of vitamin C. Many home remedies employ lemons to relieve a cough or sore throat, reduce gas, stimulate a sluggish liver or dissolve uric acid and other impurities in the body. As well as being rich in Vitamin C, lemons contain small amounts of Vitamins B6, A, E, niacin thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and protein. The average lemon is 89% water plus 16 mg of phosphorus, 2 mg of sodium, 26 mg of calcium, 138 mg of potassium and 0.6 gm. of iron. According to Jethro Kloss the minerals in lemons can play an important role in the formation of plasma, the fluid portion of red blood cells and in maintaining bone health. The potassium content is nourishing for the brain and nerve cells and can help to lower blood pressure. “I wish that humanity would understand the real value of the lemon and learn to make a real medicine of it.” ~ Jethro Kloss Mix 50:50 water and lemon juice and use as a gargle for a sore throat. For a painful corn, secure a slice of lemon over the corn and leave on overnight. Take 1 tablespoon of lemon juice before each meal to relieve asthma. Drink the juice of 1 lemon with hot water before breakfast each morning for liver complaints. For colds and flu, drink warm water with lemon juice every hour. For rheumatism, dilute one or two ounces of lemon juice with water and and drink 3 times a day an hour before meals and again at bedtime. Lemons contain citrate, which has been shown to help prevent the formation of kidney stones and limolene which helps to prevent the formation of gallstones. “The gastric juice in the stomach is four times as strong as lemon juice.” ~ Jethro Kloss Drinking a cup of warm water with fresh lemon or lime juice before bedtime will help to alkalise the body and cleanse the gastro-intestinal tract. Lemon juice is acidic. However assimilated citric acid is alkaline within the body. Lemons and limes contain about four times the citric acid of oranges and grapefruit. Citric acid is also cleansing and helps with the elimination of toxins from the body, usually via the skin, which is why it can help when working with a fever. Lemons: “Always take without sugar.” ~ Jethro Kloss When buying lemons, look for heavy plump ones with thin rather than thick skins, as they will have the most juice. You also want to select ripe lemons, sunshine yellow without any green. They are most often sold in nets of three or more, and one of them will almost always be over-ripe, so use that one first. The rind of lemon adds zest to savoury and sweet dishes. A tip I picked up somewhere is to freeze a lemon and then grate it, which I have done and it is a handy one, especially when adding to mixes. I also use the skin to wipe chopping boards clean. If you have a cold, slice a lemon in half and place near your bed to absorb toxins in the air or in rooms that are a little damp or mouldy. Related post: Warm water with lemon in the morning. Bibliography Kloss J. Back To Eden. 2nd ed. Twin Lakes, U.S.A.: Lotus Press; 2009.