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Lemon

Juicy, acidic, yet flavorful, lemon is one of the most widely used citrus fruits worldwide. Lime is a close relative,a comparitively smaller in size and possesses thinner skin. Botanically, this citrus fruit belongs to the family of rutaceae, in the genus, citrus (which also includes orange, pomelo, tangerine (mandarin orange), and grapefruit). It is the smallest among citrus fruits, nevertheless, holds more health benefiting nutrients than other larger citrus family fruits such as oranges, yuzu, pomelo etc.a.
It is cultivated chiefly in france, spain, italy, sicily etcetera. It is common in the green-houses of this country. The acidity in the juice is owing to the presence of citric acid, the most agreeable acid for effervescing draughts. Lemon juice is a powerful and pleasant antiseptic. Dr. 'wright says, its powers are much increased by saturating it with muriate of soda. This mixture he recommended as very efficacious in dysentery, remittent fever, bellyache, putrid sore throat, and as being perfectly specific in diabetes.
Citric acid is often successfully used for allaying vomiting; it is mixed with carbonate of potash, from which it expels the carbonate acid with effervescence. It should be drank as soon as it is made; if not it would do harm instead of good. The doses are about a scruple of the carbonate dissolved in eight or ten drachms of water, and an ounce of lemon juice, or an equivalent quantity of citric acid. It is one of the greatest sick-room luxuries that we know; it is of great use in allaying febrileheat, and thirst.
Lemons are thought to have originated in the himalayan foothills of north-east india, and from where they spread all across the middle east, europe, africa, and as far as americas. Limes are smaller in size and less sour in taste than lemons. Put together, both of these tiny fruitsaperhaps now the largest consumable among fruits all over the world.
Likewise to other citrus plants, lemons too are small, spreading, evergreen trees, growing up to 10-12 feet in most cultivated plantations. They flourish well in temperate and tropical environments, whereas, cold and frosty conditions would affect their growth adversely. Stems and branches are often armed with sharp, stout thorns. Fully-grown plant bears fragrant, white flowers in short cymes. Fruits belonging to the citrus group are described as ahesperidium," (a hesperidium is a scientific term to describe the fruit structure belonging to the citrus group. In fact, the fruit is a modified berry with tough, leathery rind. Lemon's peel contains many volatile oil glands in pits. Interior flesh is composed of segments, called carpels, made up of numerous juice-filled vesicles that are actually specialized hair cells). Mature lemons turn yellow from green, measure about 5-8 cm in diameter, and weigh about 50- 80 g in weight.
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Health benefits
Lemons are packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients. The fruit is less in calories, carrying just 29 calories per 100 g, the value being one of the lowest for the citrus fruits group.
They contains zero saturated fats or cholesterol, but are good source of dietary fiber (7.36% of rda). Lemon is one of the very low glycemic fruits.
Lemon's acidic taste is because of citric acid. Citric acid constitutes up to 8% in its juice. Citric acid is a natural preservative, aids in smooth digestion, andahelps dissolve kidney stones.
Lemons, like other fellow citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin c (ascorbic acid); provides about 88% of daily recommended intake. Ascorbic acid is a powerful water soluble natural anti-oxidant. This vitamin is helpful in preventing scurvy. Besides, consumption of foods rich in vitamin-c helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.
Lemons, like oranges, contain a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin are flavonoid glycosides commonly found in citrus fruits. Naringenin is found to have bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulator. This substance has also been shown to reduce oxidant injury to dna in the cells in-vitro studies.
Additionally, they also compose a minute levels of vitamin a, and other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as i plus-minus , and b-carotenes, b-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin a also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Total orac value, which measures the anti-oxidant strength of 100 g of fresh lemon juice is 1225 amol te (trolex equivalents).
The fruit is also a good source of b-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folates. These essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
Further, they carry a healthy amount of minerals like iron, copper, potassium, and calcium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is scientifically established fact that citrus fruits, especially lemons and oranges, by virtue of their richness in vitamins and minerals, have many proven health benefits. Moreover, it is now beginning to be appreciated that the other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds found in citrus fruits such as phyto-chemical antioxidants, and soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber is helpful in reduction in the risk for cancers, many chronic diseases like arthritis, and from obesity and coronary heart diseases.

The chief medical use of lemon-juice has hitherto been in scurvy, in which it is a curative medicine, and a preventive; and therefore it is most useful in long sea-voyages. The best way to preserve it for keeping, is to add to it about one-tenth of spirits of wine, which coagulates the gummy matter, which would be likely to cause fermentation; and it should therefore be seperated from the clear juice by straining. A little of it should be taken every day when at sea, when fresh vegetables cannot be obtained, during the use of salt provisions. Lime- juice is sometimes used as a substitute, but with less effect.
Latterly, lemon-juice has been employed for the cure of gout and rheumatism with great success. The author has reason, from his own experience, to speak favourably of its remedial power in rheumatic fever. The dose is half an ounce every halt' hour, or hour on an empty stomach. Besides being anti- scorbutic and antiseptic, it is tonic and diaphoretic. As a tonic, it forms with orange peel an ingredient in the compound inafusion of gentian.
In traditional folklore lemon-juice was said to counteract the effects of opium."salts of lemon," sold for removing the stains of ink or iron from linen, is wrongly named; for it is a salt of oxalic acid, and a rank poison.


Notice
The information and reference guides on this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications