I am sure in these modern times many of us have heard the word scurvy from time to time, most likely in history books or in the occasional pirate movie. Lemons that were brought to the Americas back in the 16th century were one of the primary preventives of the nasty aliment. Scurvy is caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin C something that lemons have a large concentration of.
However, lemons were so important in that time that the price of a single lemon rose all the way to $1 per lemon. That was in the 1800s, even now we would be hard pressed to pay that much for a lemon, imagine how absurd that price would be at the time. In modern times we find many other uses for the lemon considering Scurvy is not something that is seen very often, due to how readily available vitamins C sources are these days.
Now lemons are extremely common in most of the world and thanks to speedy transportation people have been finding more and more ways to utilize the lemon in not just the kitchen but with other applications ranging from keeping your garbage disposal smelling fresh, to a surprising amount of ways of being useful in household cleaning. So if you are trying to fend off scurvy, sooth a sore throat or just making wonderful culinary creations, don’t forget to grab a few lemons next time you are at the store.
Health Benefits of Lemon
If you are looking for a home remedy to improve your general health – Look no further than the citrus power of lemons. Lemons have been used as far back as the time of the Ancient Egyptians. They believed that eating lemons and drinking the juice of the lemon was an effective way to protect against a variety of poisons and modern research has proved this to be accurate.
In fact, since the 1600s lemons were the main preventer of vitamin C deficiency which could ultimately lead to the affliction known as scurvy, a common problem among sailors in that time. In modern times, lemons are used for so much more than fighting off old-world diseases. For instance, because they have high amounts of vitamin C; lemons are very good for the immune system and have been shown to affect everything from the common cold to cardiovascular disease.
They even are thought to aid in the prevention of cancer. Lemons are also rich in citric acid which has its own laundry list of applications and benefits such as uses in the medical manufacturing of gels, creams or even home remedies for acne, warts and use as an exfoliator.
Throat Cure – One of the most useful benefits of lemons is their power to heal the throat and the skin; lemons are naturally anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothe irritated tissue. Drink lemon water every morning it can soothe a sore throat as well as boost your immune system all in one. Got a bad cough? Just drink some warm lemon water with some added honey to reduce any mucous and relieve coughing.
Skin Healer – Lemons can also aid in soothing skin rashes and insect bites. Just apply the juice directly to the rash or bite area to provide relief from itching and swelling. The acid in lemon juice can even help break down warts to ensure a faster recovery when treating these pesky bumps. Speaking of bumps, lemon juice is a safe and natural way to kill bacteria that cause acne on the skin, just apply the juice with a cotton ball before going to bed and when you wake up in the morning wash with water. However, if acne is severe or there are open wounds, a medical professional should be consulted.
Some in the corporate world have even taken note of the benefits of lemons.
Research has shown that lemon room fresheners tend to increase the efficiency of employees by stimulating the brain and increasing concentration, alertness and fatigue. This is also why lemons are treasured by travelers and hikers, lemon juice can surprisingly quench thirst more effectively than the equivalent amount of water and on top of that, lemon juice is used as a mild antiseptic when drinking from various foreign water supplies that one’s body might not be accustomed too.
So whether you are a sailor out at sea trying to prevent the onset of scurvy or just looking for relief for a sore throat or common cold, look to adding some lemon juice into your diet and you might find that lemons will always have a place on that grocery list.
How to Add Lemon to Your Diet
Have you ever cut up some apple slices for a sack lunch at work only to open up your lunch bag to strangely oxidized looking brown apples? It’s an easy fix, just squeeze a lemon on the cut up apple and enjoy fresher looking apples with a pleasant hint of lemon juice. The same applies to pears, potatoes and avocados, this is just one of many easy culinary wonders that lemon can provide.
One thing to account for is that the juice of the lemon is not the only part of the lemon that can be utilized gourmet cooking. The outer layer of the rind can be grated off to become a flavor enhancing zest but you must be vigilant to not grate too deep for the inner white pith is quite bitter and can single-handedly in a dish.
One of the easiest ways to add lemon to your diet is to drink it, just simply add the juice of one lemon to a glass of water stir and enjoy. Some people even add a touch of raw honey to create a trifecta of health goodness, the water provides hydration for the body and the lemon, honey mixture provides a ton of vitamin C and antioxidants; not to mention it can make strange tasting tap water into a sweet treat.
The same can be done with coffee or tea if you also need the jump start that caffeine can provide. However, this barely scratches the surface of how lemon can be incorporated into your diet sometimes all a bland flavorless dish needs is a little squeeze of a lemon or a zest of the rind.
In the culinary world, the lemon has almost become the third standard table seasoning along with salt and pepper, especially if you are creating a dish with Greek or Italian background due to the complimenting flavors that are brought out by the lemon. Some of the prime dishes to add lemon zest too are simple in nature such as any light pasta dish or a pound cake. It is as simple as finishing the dish by squeezing the juice of a lemon right before serving or zesting lemon rind right on top of any dish right after it is done cooking.
The key is to not cook off the fresh lemon flavor and let it become the top note of the meal, in that way the fragrant flavors of the lemon are not lost to the heat of the stove. But do not forget to experiment with lemon, it is not so overpowering that it will ruin your dish if you misjudge how it complements a dish or add too much of the flavor.
Try adding it into your next homemade salad dressing, or squeezing the fresh juices over your next fried dish it will really uplift the food. This is especially true if the dish is a form of fish like salmon, fish and chips, crab cakes or any form of shrimp. So go wild and try adding lemon to your culinary repertoire and just watch how everyone notices something new and different about your food.
Four Ways to Add Lemon to your Beauty Routine
OK, this might sound a bit silly, but after you read up on what lemon can do for your beauty routine you might just be scrambling for your car keys. Lemons have many ingredients that can help the human body; some of the most noteworthy are elements such as citric acid, vitamin C and a variety of phytochemicals such as naringenin, and hesperetin.
All of these benefiting nutrients have so many uses in your daily beauty routine and only need to be taken advantage of by those willing to see what lemons can do for them and more importantly their skin. And, you just cannot beat the price of 50 cents per lemon or even better planting your own lemon tree, which eventually will almost mean your lemons are free of charge.
• Acne Treatment – A problem most have at a young age when it comes to beauty is acne prone skin. The citric acid in lemons can easily help clear your face of pesky blackheads. The citric acid in lemons are naturally anti-bacterial, all you have to do is slice a lemon and squeeze the juice on your face. However, you might want to seek assistance with this it can sting the eyes if you get some of the juice in them.
After the juice is massaged on your face just relax and listen to some music for 10-15 minutes then rinse with water. Your dark blackheads will begin to fade and will disappear before you know it, sometimes you will need more than one treatment.
• Skin Exfoliation – The citric acid in lemons can even be used to exfoliate the skin and turn dark elbows and knees back to an even skin tone, all you need to do is squeeze lemon juice onto a washcloth and lightly rub over the skin, you can even crack a little sea salt on the cloth to add to the exfoliating power of lemon, just be sure to not rub too hard. You can even use the already squeezed lemon that you used for dinner by just rubbing the lemon directly on the area you want to treat.
• Lighten Discolored Skin – The uses for lemon are pretty extensive but one of the most popular ways to use the lemon is for lightening darker tones. For instance, dermatologists have confirmed that the use of lemon over time can effectively brighten and lighten skin. It has been known to help reduce age spots, dark spots, and even a fake tan mishap.
But you should know that the citric acid in the juice can make skin more sensitive to UV rays from the sun, so either wear sunblock or try to stay indoors while treating your skin with lemon juice.
• Lighten Your Hair – Speaking of sun, are you looking to give your hair some sun-kissed highlights? Forget spending $8-10 dollars on some chemical spray from Target or Walmart, just squeeze lemon in your hair, head outdoors and wait for your dye-free sun-kissed highlights to come in. Plus, you can apply as much as you want, it will even help treat a dry scalp and dandruff.
There are many other home beauty remedies lemons can be used in, just be sure to apply sunblock and enjoy your lemon makeover.
Using Lemon around Your House
Lemon has the most natural utility for use around the house. The good thing is that it’s safe to use around children and pets. This is really good if you are also trying to reduce any environmental impact cleaning may have while keeping your home and living space clean.
Plus one of the big benefits to using lemon in homemade cleaning products is that you instantly have a fresh smelling home on top of a clean and sanitized space, thanks to the welcoming scents of lemon. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that bugs hate it.
Starting with the most practical use of the lemon in a household is the strong cleaning power of the citrus powerhouse.
• Clean The Coffee Maker – Run a cycle with plain water and then follow up with a cycle or two of lemon water. This will make your coffee maker clean as a whistle and it will brew a clean cup of coffee like the day you bought it after you rinse the lemon taste out of course.
• Unclog a Drain – It is simple. Just boil 2 pots of water and prepare 8-12 ounces of lemon juice. Once the water is boiling just pour the first pot into the problem drain. Next, pour a half a box of baking soda in the drain, followed directly by the lemon juice. The concoction should react and foam. After the foam slows follow up with the 2nd pot of boiling water and you should have a clear drain.
• Insect Repellent – One of the best and more popular reasons to use lemon around the household is the fruits natural tendency to repel pesky insects such as spiders, ants, roaches and everyone’s favorite pest – mosquitoes. All you need is your very own lemon balm plant and whenever you need to go out just take a few leaves, crush them up a bit and wipe the oils on your exposed skin, you will instantly smell horrid to most bugs, except butterflies.
• Repel Other Pests – Speaking of the garden, you can also deter pesky cats and squirrels from digging in your garden by simply saving lemon rinds in the freezer and periodically burying them just under the surface during the spring and summer.
Lemon is truly a fix all for almost every household cleaning issue all it takes is the right combination of heat, water, salt, oil or baking soda. Remember before you make a trip to the local supply store; take a look online to see if your cleaning or household problem can’t be fixed with a couple lemons and a little elbow grease.
The nontoxic and fresh smelling solution works great for all your cleaning needs. Whether you are a sailor, a health guru, culinary genius, homemaker or all of the above, lemon has everything you will need to aid in being successful in your amb