small, spiny evergreen tree, growing to a height
of 6 - 7m, is the least hardy of the citrus trees.
The glossy, dark green leaves are ovalish with pointed
tips and crinkly edges. As with all the citrus family
the leaves have glands which secrete aromatic oils.
Very fragrant white flowers, tinged purple on the
outside, emerge from reddish buds.
by Romans as an antidote for many poisons, Lemons
are very rich in minerals and vitamins - including
B1, B2, B3, Carotene (pro-vitamin A) and vitamin
C - and was used specifically for scurvy on English
ships at sea. Lemons have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory,
anti-viral, and anti-histamine properties, help
tone the heart and blood vessels, can improve circulation
in the peripherals, and make a useful stimulant
for the liver.
folk medicine the Lemon was a poplar remedy for
feverish chills and coughs - and warm lemon juice
is effective as a gargle for sore throats. I remember
a remedy for sore throats which always worked a
treat for me : use the juice from a couple of lemons
and an orange, together with the rind, and simmer
in a little water for 5-10 mins. Remove the rinds
(leave any fruit flesh) add a little honey to taste,
and drink! Nowadays I might add a clove in whilst
simmering, and a pinch of cinnamon to taste - delicious
and will work wonders on your sore throat! Another
remedy for reducing temperatures is to add a slice
of lemon to a glass of water and drink as often
as required. [For a refreshing alternative to the
daily cuppa why not try this Italian drink Canarino
: infuse some very finely pared lemon peel in a
cup of boiling water for a few minutes]
juice is effective for easing sunburn and irritant
skin rashes - and makes a good emergency wash for
minor cuts and grazes because of its antiseptic
properties. Nosebleeds can be treated by soaking
cotton wool in lemon juice and using it to plug
the nostrils. A remedy for chilblains is to paint
them with fresh lemon juice. Taken internally, the
juice is considered invaluable for acidic disorders
such as arthritis and rheumatism, and is of benefit
to dysentery and liver congestion. Warmed slices
of the fresh fruit can be used topically to ease
neuralgia pains and skin irritations.
beauty treatments Lemon was traditionally used to
whiten skin and teeth, fade freckles and blemishes,
and lighten hair. It is especially useful for sufferers
of greasy skin - swab the fresh juice on as a mask
[or wipe a slice of lemon over your skin], and leave
on for as long as you desire, or even overnight.
The high antioxidant content makes lemon juice an
excellent remedy for combatting wrinkles. It also
boosts the micro-circulation of the skin, which
helps remove blackheads and other blemishes, and
will will leave your skin lovely and soft too! To
remedy dry, chapped skin on the elbows or knees
take a lemon half and rub the flesh over the skin.
Works a treat! This remedy will also help clear
up dandruff - cut a lemon in half [or use lemon
slices] and rub into the scalp. Leave in and relax
for awhile before rinsing out.
: an A-Z, Patricia Davis notes that the
"juice of one lemon can be added to each litre
if you are ever doubtful about the source of drinking
water." The essential oil of lemon is reported
to kill diphtheria bacilli in 20 minutes, and a
0.2% dilution make tuberculosis bacilli completely
Always try to use organically
grown, unwaxed, fresh fruit, otherwise the oil may
be heavily contaminated with pesticides.
! Phototoxic - do not use on skin exposed to direct
lemons have been suggested as a friendly remedy
to expel ants from the house or garden.