Lemon is a small evergreen tree, which belongs to the flowering plant family Rutaceae. It belongs to the genus citrus and goes by the scientific name of citrus limon. The tree bears a yellow fruit that has a variety of health benefits. It is also used for culinary purposes throughout the world. It is very rarely consumed as a stand-alone fruit due to its extremely sour flavor. But they are extensively used while cooking and is also used in smaller quantities in combination with herbs and spices. Lemons can add a very unique and wonderful taste to salad dressings, drinks, marinades, sauces, and desserts.
Apart from its assortment of uses in the kitchen, lemons also come with a variety of health benefits. It is commonly used as a remedy for throat infections. It is also used to treat indigestion and constipation. It is also beneficial for your hair and skin and also aids in weight loss. It can help in the treatment of dental problems, reduce high blood pressure, treat internal bleeding and burns, treatment of cholera and scurvy, and also helps to boost your immunity.
The diverse health benefits that lemon offers can be attributed to its high nutritional value. They are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6 and B9 (folate). They also contain a variety of minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc.
1. Improves digestive system
Lemon extract helps in the treatment of digestive problems like constipation and indigestion. Lemons increase peristalsis in the bowels that helps to create a bowel movement, thus eliminating waste materials from the body easily. It also helps destroy intestinal worms. It is a blood purifier and also acts as a cleansing agent for your body. Lemon extract also aids in the production of digestive juices.
2. Improves oral health
Lemon can help you get rid of bad breath, which is considered to be a very common menace after consuming foods with a strong odor like garlic, onions, fish etc. It can also help you treat toothache and gum bleeding. Some people also use it for cleaning their teeth after squeezing out the juice.
3. Used for hair and skin care
Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C, containing 64% of the daily intake value in a 100g serving. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps fight skin damage caused by pollution or the harmful rays of the sun. It can be consumed in its natural form or applied topically. It also helps in reducing wrinkles. Lemon juice can help you flush out toxins from your body, thus improving your overall skin texture.
4. Helps treat respiratory diseases
The high content of vitamin C in lemons helps in relieving long-term respiratory diseases. It helps lower the risk of developing asthma. It can also soothe a person suffering from an asthma attack.
5. Treatment of throat infections
Lemon is one of the most common remedies for sore throats and common cold. Its antibacterial properties help in fighting against common throat infections.
6. Reduces Blood Pressure
The vitamin P in lemons strengthens blood vessels, thereby preventing internal hemorrhage and also making it useful in treating high blood pressure. It is high in potassium which makes it extremely useful for people with heart-related problems and also for people with high blood pressure.
7. Aids in weight loss
Lemon contains polyphenol antioxidants, which have been proved to reduce weight gain caused by high-fat diets. In addition to that, it also improves insulin resistance. Having lemon extract with honey, mixed in lukewarm water can help reduce body weight.
8. Great for your liver
Lemon is a great stimulant for the liver as it is a natural diuretic. It is a dissolvent of urea and uric acid, and hence is a great liver detoxifier. The citric acid present in lemons can help in dissolving gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones. It is commonly used as a home remedy for hangovers after a night of drinking.
9. Ocular health
The rutin found in lemons has been shown to improve eye disorders.
10. Neutralizes free radicals
Lemons have a high content of vitamin C that has been proven to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals have been linked to premature aging and are a known cause of cancer.
11. Improves mental health
Lemon juice provides a calming sensation to the mind and the body and is commonly used to reduce extreme mental stress and acute depression.
12. Other benefits
Lemon acts as a blood purifier and can be treated for diseases like cholera and malaria. With its diuretic properties, it can be used to treat rheumatism and arthritis. Lemon juice is useful for a person suffering from flu. It breaks fever by increasing perspiration. Its peel contains the potent phytonutrient tangeritin, which has been proved to be effective against brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
Word of Caution:
Lemon contains citrus, which is acidic in nature. Consuming too much of lemon extract with water can erode your tooth enamel and make your teeth extra sensitive. It can also trigger heartburn in people who are used to experiencing it. Over consumption may also lead to having an upset stomach. In some rarer cases, lemon may have an extreme diuretic effect, leading to frequent urination and ultimately dehydration. People with a fairer complexion should be careful when they apply lemon juice to their skin, as it may cause serious sunburn.