You might have heard the saying, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. Lemons have needlessly received a bad rep, seeing how they are an excellent sources of Vitamin C and other important nutrients.
In the olden days, scurvy was a constant scourge on ships. It was a debilitating disease that would cause sailors to develop weakness, swollen legs and bleeding gums. The sailors’ teeth would literally fall out of their gums.
This continued until 1747 when a surgeon’s mate in the Royal Navy called James Lind discovered that eating lemons cured scurvy. But curing scurvy is not all that lemons do.
Lemons offer a number of health benefits like treating throat infections, dental problems, constipation, internal bleeding, indigestion, rheumatism, respiratory disorders, burns, high blood pressure, cholera, obesity and more.
In India, lemons have been known for their therapeutic functions since ages. Lemons cleanse the stomach, purify the blood and boost the immune system. You will be happy to learn we also sell organic green tea infused with lemon. Let us see these benefits in more detail.
Lemons boost immunity
Lemons are rich in Vitamin C. The role of Vitamin C in improving immunity is well-known. A healthy immune system is our best defense against bacteria, viruses and other microbes. Vitamin C deficiency compromises the immune system and the individual starts falling sick frequently until he replenishes the quantity of Vitamin C in the body. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and it fights free radicals, boosting the immune system further.
Lemon has antiviral and antibacterial properties
In India, you may have seen lemons and chilies tied in a bunch in the front of houses. This combination is said to ward off evil spirits. But maybe there is a more scientific explanation. Lemon contains citric acid. Citric acid has a low pH level and it breaks down the cell walls of many bacteria. Citric acid can actually boost the ability of many antimicrobial agents like antibiotics and disinfectants. This protection even extends to killing strains that are resistant to antibiotics.
Lemon fights fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common complaints that doctors see. It is also a fact that many athletes suck lemons when they become tired. They pierce the top of the lemon and use a straw to suck the juice. Another way lemon water fights fatigue is, by hydrating the body. This is because lemon water is rich in electrolytes like magnesium, calcium and potassium. It is found that a small amount of lemon juice quenches thirst more effectively than an equivalent amount of water. Lemon oil is also a well-known energizer. If you are feeling tired, put a few drops of lemon oil into a cup of hot water and wait. The lemon infused oil will vapourise and energize you.
Lemon cures bad breath
Halitosis or bad breath is an instant deal killer! It will ruin your social life and make people turn away from you. But there is a treatment- lemons. The Vitamin C in lemons kills bacteria in mouth responsible for causing bad breath. It also makes the environment of mouth acidic, making it difficult for bacteria to survive. Lemons also have a strong odor which mask the halitosis. But don’t squeeze lemon juice directly into your mouth because that may damage the enamel.
Lemon is a detoxifier
Lemons are good for both the kidneys and the liver. Animal studies have found the pectin content in lemons reduces cholesterol in the liver, while supporting liver function. Another reason is, lemons are rich in polyphenols (plant compounds) which promote enzyme activity in the liver. We also know that citric acid in lemons can dissolve kidney stones. In one study, lemon juice was found as effective as potassium citrate in dissolving calcium stones in kidneys. The high potassium content in lemons also improves headaches, cures appetite loss and constipation.
Lemon keeps you regular
Lemon is rich in citric acid which stimulates the secretion of digestive juices and helps digestion. Lemon juice also aids in bowel cleansing, eliminating toxins from the body and helps with bloating and gas. Lemon increases the secretion of bile by the liver. The gallbladder stores the bile until it is released into the small intestine for digesting fatty foods. Some people don’t like the taste of water. These people can add a little lemon juice into the water and sip it at regular intervals.
Lemon can help blood circulation
Lemon is an excellent source of flavonoids. Flavonoids are a form of catechins- powerful antioxidants that fight damage from free radicals in the body. Green tea gets it antioxidant properties mainly from catechins. Flavonoids also boost the efficacy of Vitamin C, enhance blood flow, reduce inflammation and maintain blood pressure within a safe range. Lemon juice taken early in the morning is said to help with weight reduction. You can also take lemon with tea. It has the same effect.
Lemon for constipation and indigestion
Lemon juice relieves constipation and indigestion. Indians often squeeze a lemon on their food because it helps with digestion. Lemon is also a cleansing agent so many people drink a glass of lemon juice after eating food. Lemon is also a well-known diuretic. Many people start their day with a glass of lemon juice because it helps flush toxins from the body. Lemon juice also alkalizes the body (balances the pH). Lemons may be acidic but they have an alkalizing effect. Cancer cells are not able to grow in an alkaline environment. So if you want to avoid cancer, start consuming more alkaline foods like lemons.