Lemon has laxative, thirst relieving, expectorant, astringent, digestive stimulant and immunity boosting action. It is cooling, refrigerant, stomachic and useful in indigestion, dyspepsia, vomiting and thirst. It is good source of Vitamin C and antioxidant.
Everyone is familiar with lemon. This small, oval green-yellow citrus fruit is loaded with vitamin C and citric acid. We add it in our food to enhance taste and flavor. It is used to prepare lemonades, squashes, jams, jellies and sweet-sour pickle. It is a food as well as a medicine.
Lemon is known as Neembu/Nimbu in Hindi and used as home remedy to treat various common ailments. It is used both internally and externally. As a beauty aid, lemon is used to lighten skin complexion. Its application cleanses the skin. Internally, lemon is used in treatment of cataract, fever, eczema, acidic stomach, athlete foot, halitosis and other diseases.
According to Bhava Prakash, Kagazi variety lemons are useful for the treatment of germs and viruses, acidic, stomach ache and other diseases. It is useful in tridosha, toxins related problems, constipation and cholera. It treats piles, gastric and cough troubles. It activates liver, skin, intestines, lungs, which suck toxins from each body part, cells and tissues and speedily expels from the bodily openings.
Lemon is indigenous to India and now cultivated in every part of the world. A single lemon tree produces around 2-3, 000 lemons every year. There are many varieties of lemons like kagazi, Bijora, Galgal, Gudaria and Nepali and the Kagazi is the considered best. In western countries varieties of big lemon is commonly available.
- Nimbu/ Lemon fruit is berry of Citrus limon (Linn.) Burm. f. Synonym C. medica var. limonum belonging to Family Rutaceae. Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.
- Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
- Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
- Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
- Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
- Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
- Subclass: Rosidae
- Order: Sapindales
- Family: Rutaceae – Rue family
- Genus: Citrus L. – citrus
- Habitat: Cultivated all over the world.
- Latin Name: Citrus limon
- Sanskrit: Jambira, Jambh, Jambhir, Jaamphal, Nimbu, Nimbuka, Naaranga, Limpaka, Dantashatha, Airaavata, Neebu
- Unani: Utraj
- Siddha: Periya elumuchhai
- Bengali: Patinebu, Kagghinebu, Baranebu
- English: The lemon of India, Lemon
- Gujrati: Limbu
- Hindi: Nimbu, Bara Nimbu, Pakari Nimbu
- Kannada: Nimbe, Lime hannu, Nimbe hannu
- Malayalam: Cherunakaram, Vadukappulinarakam
- Marathi: Nimbu
- Punjabi: Nimbu
- Tamil: Elumichai, Elumichangai, Elumicchai, Cherunaranka
- Telugu: Pedda Nimma, Jambira, Nimmu, Bijapuram
- Urdu: Limu, Neebu
Ayurvedic Properties and Action of Lemon
Rasa (taste on tongue):
- Amla (Sour)
- Guna (Pharmacological Action): Laghu (Light)
- Virya: Ushna (Heating)
- Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Amla (Sour)
- Deepana दीपन (promote appetite but do not aid in digesting undigested food)
- Pachan पाचन (assist in digesting undigested food, but do not increase the appetite)
- Kaphahara (reduces Kapha/ phlegm)
- Pittakara (increases pitta/ bile)
- Vatahara (reduces Vata/ wind)
- It reduces Vata and Kapha and increases pitta.
Important Therapeutic Uses
Agnimandya, Aruci, Chardi, Krimi, Trisha, Vibandha, Vatika shula, Udara Roga, Visuchika
Dosage of lemon:6-12 ml in juice form.
Lemon juice Nutrition
Lemon is a citrus food and is full of vitamin C. It contains Citric (5% to 6%), malic, tartaric and oxalic acids. Citric Acid lowers the pH and imparts sour and acidic taste. In lemon, Sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous are present in traces.
- Below is given nutrition fact for one tablespoon lemon juice.
- Fat, cholesterol: Not present
- Potassium:15 mg
- Sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus: trace
- Dietary fiber: trace
- Vitamin C:7 mg (12% of daily required vitamin C)
Lemon Acidic or Alkaline
Lemon tastes acidic. So there is a common misconception that it raises acidity it in body. But the truth is opposite to it. Though lemon taste acidic but on digestion it produces alkaline effect due to presence of minerals and hence beneficial in acidity.
The taste of lemon is acidic but its aftereffect in basic or alkalizing.
Health Benefits of Lemon
Lemon are very beneficial for over health. They are excellent source of water soluble Vitamin C. Taking about two spoon of lemon juice supplies about 24 percent of daily required Vitamin C. Vitamin C is must for immunity, normal growth and development. It is required for preventing recurrent cold-cough, healing wounds, repairing and maintaining skin, bones, teeth, and aiding absorption of iron. It is a antioxidant that prevents development of diseases.
- It rich in citric acid and vitamin c.
- It has anti-scurvy action and cures and scurvy.
- It is refrigerant (cools and reduces fevers;quenches thirst and suppresses unnatural body heat).
- It helps to controls blood sugar and cholesterol.
- It is diuretic and beneficial in urine related diseases.
- It is antibilious (Pittashamak) and produces a soothing effect over diseases caused by excessive secretion of bile.
- It is carminative and expels wind from the bowels and relieves pain and corrects digestion.
- It detoxifies body.
- It stimulates the flow of saliva and is an excellent digestive agent.
Important Medicinal Activities of Lemon
- Antibacterial: active against bacteria.
- Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
- Antipyretic/antifebrile/febrifuge: Effective against fever.
- Antiscorbutic: Curing or preventing scurvy.
- Antidote for opium, poison
- Antiulcer: prevents ulcer.
- Carminative: Preventing the formation or causing the expulsion of flatulence.
- Diuretic: Promoting excretion of urine/agent that increases the amount of urine excreted.
Medicinal Uses of Lemon
Lemon is used as home remedy to treat variety of ailments such as digestive disorders, tastelessness, excessive thirst, obesity, blemishes, etc. It is excellent source of vitamin C and helps in better absorption of iron. It cures vitamin C deficiency. It boosts immunity and prevents recurrent cold and cough. Lemon juice is given in fever to reduce body temperature. As lemon is diuretic its intake in water retention gives good result.
Lemon is rich in flavonoids and limonoids. It strengthen the inner lining of blood vessels, veins and capillaries, and help counter varicose veins, arteriosclerosis, circulatory disorders and infections of liver, stomach and intestines.
Lemon has antiulcer effect and can be used in gastric ulcer.
Digestive impairment, indigestion, tastelessness
- Suck half of Nimbu after sprinkling salt and black pepper 2-3 times a day.
- Mix 5 ml of ginger juice with an equal amount of lemon juice and take.
- Drink 5-7 ml lemon juice three times a day.
- Take lemon juice mixed with rock salt just before the meal or Lemon juice with honey.
Gas and indigestion
Mix one lemon juice, baking soda in one glass water and drink.
Rinse your mouth with one glass of lemon water.
Bad body odor
Boil half lemon without peeling, then cool it. Bath with this water.
Mix 10 ml each of white onion juice + lemon juice + ginger juice and 50 ml honey. Pour two drops in the eyes daily to cure cataract.
Immediate relief in high blood pressure
Squeeze half a lemon in 2 tablespoon water and take this once or twice with a two hours gap to get instant relief.
Drink lemon juice with water to control anxiety.
Mix lemon juice, sugar, pinch of rock salt in water and mix well. This simple recipe supplies necessary minerals and electrolytes to the body and helps to quench the thirst.
Drink 5-10 ml of fresh lemon juice to control vomiting.
- Add lemon juice and sugar candy in lukewarm water and drink in the morning to improve liver functioning.
- Add 20 ml onion juice in lemon juice and take for few days in case of liver enlargement.
Mix lemon juice, honey in lukewarm water and drink empty stomach in morning.
- Daily drink lemon juice to improve immunity.
- Benefits of Lemon for Skin
- Lemon is very beneficial for skin. Intake of lemon-honey mixed in water, as first thing in morning helps to remove toxins from body. It also alkalizes body. This helps the skin form inside. External application of lemon helps to lighten the skin blemishes.
- Lemon is rich in citric acid. Citric acid (2-hydroxy-1, 2, 3-propanetricar-boxylic acid) is a weak tricarboxylic acid. It gives sour and acidic taste to lemons. Citric acid is highly astringent and is a great toner for the skin. It also helps in open pore, freckles, sine line and wrinkle. It has the property to exfoliate the skin.
Improving complexion, fairness, freckles, glowing skin, dull complexion
Mix equal amount of lemon juice + cucumber juice + rosewater. Apply this on face for 15 minutes.
Sun burn, tan
Mix lemon juice + milk, and apply.
Mix lemon juice + rose water, and apply.
Rub a mixture of lemon juice and soda bicarb on the teeth.
Rub the rind.
Mix lemon juice + honey + olive oil. Apply this on face for 15-20 minutes. Do regularly.
Dilute lemon juice and apply on skin with cotton to cleanse skin.
Rub lemon juice on blackheads.
Mix salt in lemon juice and apply.
Apply lemon juice frequently.
Moisturizer, dry patches
Mix honey and lemon juice in equal parts and apply.
Rub lemon rind over the face.
Rub the lemon rind.
Cleaning hands, feet
Add few rinds or 1 tablespoon lemon juice in one cup warm water and soak hands for few minutes.
Side-effects of Lemon
- It is safe to take 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice.
- Excessive intake of lemon may sensitize teeth.
- Few people are allergic to lemon.
- In some people topical application of juice can cause rashes and irritation. Do patch test before using.
- Lemon juice can cause some skin dryness.
- In case of any allergic reaction clean the skin with plain water.
- After topical application of lemon, avoid going in sun.