Of all of the fruits on earth, one of the most famous and unusual is the lemon, “Mother Nature’s cleanser & purifier“. Known for their sour taste, refreshing smell and unmistakable shape and colour, lemon plants are considered to be very special members of the plant kingdom.
Lemons are unique as they’re believed to be the only whole food which is “anionic“. This can be beneficial for health because there are essential liquids in your body made up of “anions” such as saliva, hydrochloric acid and digestive juices in the stomach, as well as bile in the liver. In a nutshell, anions contain more electrons (negatively charged ions) than “cations” (positively charged ions) in their energetic and atomic composition. As a result, the theory goes that by upping your intake of anions in the form of lemon juice you can help to balance out an excess of cations which may be impeding your body systems from functioning at their best.
Aside from this distinguishing features, lemons are not only indispensable in the kitchen but also offer a whole range of health benefits and useful natural remedies…
Lemon Plant Profile
Botanical Name: Citrus × limon
Botanical Family: Citrus-Rutaceae
Common Names: There are numerous varieties, such as Armstrong, Bonnie Brae, Eureka, Genoa, Lisbon, Meyer and Sorrento.
The Lemon Tree has shiny green leaves, beautiful white flowers, and yellow fruit with a distinctive pleasant aroma. It is grown globally, both indoors and out, principally for its edible fruit, which is the very well known yellow lemon. The trees usually grow 3 – 8 metres in height and spread to 3 – 5 metres, depending on the variety. If growing them at home, you’ll need to make sure your plants get 8 to 12 hours of full sunlight each day for good growth. While growing, make sure the temperature to which the trees are exposed (indoors or out) does not drop below 13 degrees Celsius.
We do not know precisely where the lemon tree (Citrus limon) originated. There is some belief that this origin may be in Kashmir, in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. Others suggest a Southeast Asian origin, this belief being founded on documents that suggest a history of cultivation of more than 4,000 years. Records exist of the introduction of the lemon tree into Italy around the year 200 AD, reaching Mesopotamia(Iraq) and Egypt by 700 AD. Lemon trees continued their global advance reaching China some time from 800 AD to 1200 AD.
Lemon has a very distinctive signature, which is its aroma. Highly aromatic plants are deodorising and disinfectant. Another of the signatures of the lemon plant is the fruit’s destinctive yellow colour. Yellow in plants is associated with the liver and gall, hence with jaundice, and with yellow bile.
The flower of the lemon plant is white. Flowers that are white-blooming point to plants that often have bone-healing properties
Lemon has traditionally been used as a drink as well as medicinally and in cuisine in numerous cultures where the plant grows naturally. In addition to its juice, lemon rind, often called lemon zest, has also been commonly used in cooking.
In 1493 Christopher Columbus introduced their seeds to what we call the New World. They rapidly spread and by 1565 were found in Florida and in South Carolina.
One of the most famous uses of lemons, was on sailing ships, where they were found to fight scurvy, the curse of sailors of that era. Scurvy is a disease arising from a deficiency of vitamin C. Its effects include swollen bleeding gums and the reopening of wounds that were previously healed.
Lemon has been widely used in a variety of ways throughout the ages, thanks to their numerous health-promoting and nutritional benefits…
If you’re wanting to help invigorate, hydrate, cleanse, purify and revitalise your body, having a glass of fresh lemon water first thing in the morning can work wonders. In addition to “activating” and “charging” up the water, allowing your body to more easily assimilate it into tissue and cells, it’ll also serve as an alkalising agent which can reduce elevated Ph levels due to excess acidity.
By adding a teaspoon of natural Himalayan or sea salt you can also help wake up and kickstart your digestive system for the day by increasing bile production and hydrochloric acid levels.
Thanks to it also being great for the cardiovascular and muscular systems it’s a good idea to take it before and after exercise or physical activity as well.
Culinary & Dietary Uses
You can use lemon in many different ways in the kitchen. The juice, rind, and peel of lemons are all edible and have a delicious aroma and flavour. Common examples are lemonade, marmalade, sorbet and lemon curd.
Lemon slices and rind make a beautiful garnish and wedges are often added to beer, especially the legendary Corona variety from Mexico. The grated outer rind of the lemon is called lemon zest and is used to flavor a variety of food such as puddings, rice, and baked goods.
If you don’t have access to fresh lemons, pure food-grade lemon essential oil makes a nice substitute. But, be warned a little can go a long way! One small drop is normally enough when adding it to drinks and desserts!
Lemons are full of important micronutrients, which benefit health in many ways. Although low in calories, they have plenty of fibre and vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and minerals:
- Folate – The body uses folate, a B vitamin in making and repairing DNA. Folate is also used by the body cells during division
- Thiamin – Another B vitamin, which is important for the maintenance of healthy energy levels and metabolism
- Pantothenic acid – Another B vitamin, B5. It has roles in many of the functions of the body. As an example, it assists in the conversion of food into energy.
- Magnesium – The mineral magnesium is of great importance for many functions in the body, including the regulation of muscles & nerves, maintaining blood sugar levels, maintaining healthy blood pressure & the creation of protein, bone & even DNA
- Calcium – Vital for healthy bones, teeth & muscles
- Copper – Important for blood
Health Benefits & Medicinal Properties
The lemon has many documented health benefits. Using lemons medicinally have been reported to:
- Help remove excess mucus (Anticatarrhal)
- Improve blood circulation
- Protect the capillaries (tiny blood vessels)
- Help lower high blood pressure (Antihypertensive)
- Help prevent involuntary muscle spasms (Antispasmodic)
- Promote healthy urination (Diuretic)
- Kill bacteria & fungi if applied to skin & mucous membranes (Antibacterial & antifungal)
Lemons have long been recognised and used as a natural remedy for many physical complaints. Some of these are:
- High blood pressure
- Cold & fever
- Disorders of the respiratory system
- Dental health
- Internal bleeding
- Unhealthy hair, skin & nails
- Scars & age spots
- Chapped Lips
- Acne & blackheads
- Lice infestations
Things To Know & Cautions
There are few problems that apply to the use of lemons for health and wellness. However here’s a few to take note of if you are planning on adding more to your diet or using them medicinally, just in case…
- Only use fresh lemons in order to maximise their nutritional & healing properties!
- Choose lemons that have a firm, shiny look. Fresh lemons generally have this.
- Be careful with concentrated lemon juice. Always dilute concentrated juice with water before drinking it. Pure lemon juice is highly acidic, which not only gives its characteristic sour taste but can also potentially be damaging to tooth enamel.
- There have been reports of citrus fruits (lemon is a citrus fruit) bringing on migraine in some people who are allergic to them.
- Lemon has been known to stimulate breathing problems in a few asthmatics.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemons and lemon essential oil have featured in Ayurvedic (ancient Indian) medicine for the treatment of health for thousands of years.
Lemon essential oil has many health benefits and these have been verified scientifically. Lemon essential oil is best known for its ability to help cleanse toxins from the body.
- Stimulates drainage from the lymph nodes
- Revives energy
- Purifies the skin
- Combats fungi & bacteria
Lemon essential oil is made by cold-pressing lemon peel, not from the leaves or juice as many believe.
Plant Spirit, Meaning & Symbolism
The spiritual meaning of lemon is often associated with longevity, purification, love, and friendship.
The lemon signifies a time to refresh and be open to new spirit guides. The lemon tree’s energies help balance the aura and help to keep it free of negative astral and emotional influences. When lemon speaks to us, it is usually about something that needs to be sorted out around us.
The lemon tree helps bring clear thought and its essence makes us more sensitive to using color therapy. Lemon stimulates love and friendship. Lemon strengthens the entire system of meridians. The lemon tree helps us cleanse some features of our life.
The lemon reminds us that spiritual help is near but for us to be truly open to that help, it is necessary that our energy be cleaned and cleared.
It has long been known lemon has the ability to detoxify the body, but that is not it’s only use. Its ability to detoxify is not restricted to the body only. It has also been known to clear away negativity from the environments in which we live.
Throughout the ages, lemons have been used to fight against negative energies. Some religions of the world hold the belief that the lemon holds secret powers. The yellow color of lemons represents happiness and optimism. Lemon clears negative energies and brings happiness and joy. Lemon has great power as a natural cleanser that can purify situations and increase love. It has the power to heal. It represents the heart, love and light.
The lemon helps in accepting the changes that occur in life and it improves the sense of optimism. Drinking lemon juice and visualising dark energy disolving will help rid you of negativity. When you feel your aura seems to have absorbed far too much negativity then a lemon bath is very helpful.
Lemons are often placed near the entrance to their homes and shops in crystal glasses filled with water. They are believed to absorb negative energies that might enter the place from outside and keeps it clean of them. Cutting lemon into segments and putting the pieces in the corners of a room can clear negative energies immediately.