What are some Medicinal Uses of Lemons?

The lowly lemon is one of the most undervalued natural remedies on Earth. Growing in many warm regions of the planet, with a number of varieties depending on where in the world it is produced, lemon is a common seasoning for seafood. It replaces vinegar as a dressing for salads. Its peel, as well as the juice, is used to season cakes, pies and puddings. And who hasn't been refreshed by a cold drink of lemonade on a hot day? But this sour fruit also has many medicinal uses, preventing or relieving a multitude of health problems.

Long known as a popular home remedy, many modern doctors who study natural therapies consider that no other fruit has so many medicinal uses as lemons. One of the reasons for this high rating in the health field is that lemons contain large quantities of vitamin C, ascorbic acid, in a chemical form that is easily assimilated by the human body. As ancient sailors learned when voyaging long distances, a little lemon each day can help to avoid scurvy by maintaining the body's level of vitamin C. It also aids in dissolving fats and other buildups in the circulatory system, thus reducing risks of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Vitamin C protects and strengthens the capillaries, helping them to withstand hemorrhaging when daily stress increases the blood pressure. It also aids in nourishing the cells, helping the blood to carry more iron and thus avoiding anemia.

Among other things, lemon is a powerful antibacterial agent, which can be used to clean the house when diluted in water, but which also serves to cleanse the skin, to rinse the hair, and to disinfectant and heal external wounds. It is said to aid many other dermatological problems, including mucus and fungal growths on the skin. When the fruit is not available, leaves from the lemon tree itself have these same properties, though not in such a concentrated form. Lemon also reinforces the immune system, with its anti-allergic action, thus helping to prevent infections and viral conditions, including the common cold and flu, according to many popular testimonies.

Lemon has the unusual chemical property of being acidic in nature, but of becoming transformed into a basic compound in the digestive tract. The resulting alkalinity serves to neutralize acids in the body. Medicinal uses of this characteristic include consuming lemon to relieve indigestion and excess stomach acid, and especially to nullify the effects of uric acid accumulation. Uric acid is produced by the metabolism of proteins, especially meat products, which the human body was never meant to consume in the quantity which has become customary in our modern society.

Some of the prime enemies of good health are the salted meats: cold cuts, potted or canned meats, and salty dried meats, including fishes. Due to bad dietary habits, mainly excesses of meats and insufficiency of raw fruits and vegetables, the body produces too much uric acid, which then combines with salt (another product we generally consume too much of) to produce crystals that accumulate in various parts of the body.

When these crystals form in the kidneys, they produce stones that pass through the urinary tract, causing intense pain. Lemon has the property of neutralizing this uric acid and preventing the formation of these stones. In the proper quantity, it can actually dissolve stones that have already formed in the kidneys or bladder. And it is a diuretic, stimulating the elimination of urine, which also helps existing stones to pass more easily through the urinary system. It is also said to help with gall stones.

Another of the medicinal uses of lemon against uric acid has to do with arthritis and rheumatism. The crystals formed by uric acid also form in the many joints all over the body, where they cause extreme pain and difficulty of movements. One form of consuming lemon juice to treat uric acid, either in the blood, the joints or the urinary tract, is commonly known as the Lemon Cure. This technique consists of a series of daily dosages of lemon juice, beginning with the juice of 1 lemon the first day, 2 on the second day, 3 on the third day, etc., up to 10 on the tenth day, then decreasing gradually (9 on the eleventh day, 8 on the twelfth day, and so on) until arriving back at the juice of 1 lemon on the 19th day. Some people double or triple the dose (the juice of 2 or 3 lemons on the first day, 4 or 6 on the second day, etc.), depending on the seriousness of the problem being treated, apparently with no negative effects.

To ensure that consuming such a large quantity of lemon will not interfere in the digestion, it is suggested that this juice be taken each morning on an empty stomach, and that solid food should only be eaten an hour after the juice. This food should mostly be raw fruits and vegetable salads during the duration of the cure. The juice can be mixed with water to make it easier to drink, but many people take it pure.

One risk of using large quantities of lemon juice which has been mentioned by some sources is that it may possibly contribute to decalcification of the bones. Patients with osteoporosis or weak bones should definitely consult their doctors before using the lemon cure, just to be on the safe side.

For hepatic (liver) and respiratory crises, including asthma, lemon is said to offer relief. It also helps with other gastro-intestinal problems, obesity (weight loss) and diabetes. The antithermic properties of lemon permit it to be useful against fevers, reducing the patient's temperature. One Italian recipe for using lemon to reduce a fever is to cut a whole lemon into slices and boil these slices in water, giving the tea to the patient to drink after cooling.

The best way to cure diseases is to avoid them in the first place. Increasing the daily use of lemon will contribute to this preventive action, extending the healthy duration of many bodily functions. Some fans of the medicinal use of lemon consider it to be a veritable Elixir of Life. Try it and see.

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice