Lemon is widely grown all over the world. Lemon grows in abundance in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mexico and West Indies. Unripe lemons are green in color. When they are matured, the color is changed into yellow. Lemon is a must in the kitchen. It is a universally favorite fruit.
Benefits, Qualities and Uses of Lemon
The Ayurveda has regarded lemon as a valuable fruit and admired its properties. Lemon is sour, warm, promoter of gastric fire, light, good for vision, pungent and astringent. It checks the excessive flow of bile and cleanses the mouth. It dislodges phlegm (cough) and expels wind from the digestive tract. It helps in digestion and removes constipation. It prevents vomiting, throat trouble, acidity and rheumatism. It destroys intestinal worms.
Though lemon is acidic to the taste, it leaves off alkaline residues in the body. This is why it is useful in all symptoms of acidosis.
Lemon-juice is a powerful antibacterial. It has been proved by experiments that the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases are destroyed in lemon-juice.
It also contains some vitamin A. Natural vitamin C is much more effective than the synthetic one. Vitamin C of lemon-juice is very effective because it is combined with bioflavonoids (vitamin P). In addition to Vitamin C, lemon also contains niacin and thiamin in small amounts.
One should not take concentrated lemon-juice. It should be diluted with water before taking it. Pure lemonjuice contains acid which is injurious to the enamel of teeth.
The body is well cleansed if lemon-juice mixed with cold water and honey is taken on an empty stomach early in the morning. Warm water may be used occasionally to get relieved of constipation.
Lemon-juice prevents or restrains influenza, malaria and cold.
Lemon-juice gives good relief in fever. Lemon-juice mixed with water is useful in quenching the thirst of the patients suffering from diabetes. It gives immediate relief in abdominal disorders. Lemon acts as a sedative for the nerves and the heart and allays troublesome palpitation.
Lemon is especially appreciated for its Vitamin C value. When Vasco da Gama made his voyage round the Cape of Good Hope nearly two-thirds of his crew died of scurvy. But at present the recurrence of such a disaster is no longer possible owing to the widespread use of lemon. Innumerable boatmen moving in sea have saved their lives with the use of lemon.
Vitamin P in lemon strengthens the blood vessels and prevents internal hemorrhage. It is, therefore, extremely useful in high blood pressure, in which cerebro-vascular accidents commonly occur.
The most valuable ingredient of lemon, next to vitamin C, is citric acid, of which it contains 7.2 per cent. Lemon contains more potassium than apple or grapes, which is beneficial to the heart.
Lemon is very much useful in maintaining the health of the teeth and the bones. The vitamin C content of lemon helps considerably in calcium metabolism.
Lemon has been used for many years in gout and rheumatism. Lemon-juice is a diuretic. It, therefore, gives relief in kidney and bladder disorders. It has been used in destroying intestinal worms. It prevents vomiting and helps to cure hepatitis and other innumerable diseases.
Lemon has been proved to be a blessing for mountaineers. In the cases of insufficient oxygen and difficulty in breathing lemon comes to their rescue. Edmund Hillary, the first man to put his foot on the top of Mt. Everest, has admitted that his victory over Mt. Everest was greatly due to lemon.