Lemon (Citrus limon)
Main Facts about Lemon
Lemon is a small, spreading, evergreen tree. A lemon tree can reach a height of 10 meters (30 feet), although the average tree is generally smaller. It grows well in temperate and tropical settings. Stems and branches often have with sharp, fleshy thorns. The leaves are green, shiny and elliptical. Flowers are white and have fragrant. The fruit grows underneath the flowers. Lemon trees produce fruit all year round. One tree can yield between 500 and 600 pounds of lemons in a year. In fact, the fruit is a modified berry with tough, leathery rind. Interior flesh is composed of segments, called carpels, made up of numerous juice-filled vesicles that are actually specialized hair cells. Some fruits are seedless, most have a few seeds. Lemon fruit is very sour, has a refreshing smell and tart flavor. The origin of the lemon is unknown, though lemons are thought to have first grown in northeast India, northern Burma or China. Ancient Egyptians believed that eating lemons and drinking lemon juice was an effective protection against a variety of poisons. The first large cultivation of lemons in Europe began in Italy in the middle of the 15th century. Fashionable ladies used lemon juice as a way to redden their lips during the European Renaissance. In 1747, James Lind's added lemon juice to the diet of seamen suffering from scurvy, though vitamin C was not yet known. To this day, the British Navy requires ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor could have one ounce of juice a day.
Using LemonLemon is well known for its medicinal power and is used in many different ways. Lemon juice assists in relieving respiratory and breathing problems; it is able to soothe a person suffering from an asthma attack. Lemon, as a source of vitamin C, helps in dealing with long-term respiratory disorders. The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients, one of these being vitamin C. Drinking Lemon juice increases perspiration and helps to break fever during a cold or flu. Lemon is also used to boost the immune system. Vitamin C in Lemon helps to build immunity against cold, flu, and other viral infections. Due to its antibacterial properties Lemon helps fight throat infections and could be used in gargles for sore throats. Lemons contain more potassium than apples or grapes. Potassium is beneficial to the heart that is why drinking Lemon juice is helpful for people suffering from heart problems. According to the American Heart Association, eating higher amounts of citrus fruits may lower ischemic stroke risk for women. Lemon increases iron absorption. Pairing foods that are high in vitamin C with foods that are iron-rich will maximize the body's ability to absorb iron. For example, squeeze lemon juice atop a salad with spinach and chickpeas (both a good source of iron). Lemon is also a diuretic. It helps to flush out bacteria and toxins from the body. According to the results reported in a study by the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Lemon provides protection against inflammatory polyarthritis and arthritis. Lemon juice helps to cure problems related to indigestion and constipation. Add the juice of one Lemon to warm water and drink first thing in the morning. Citric acid in Lemon juice is a natural preservative, aids in smooth digestion, and helps dissolve kidney stones. Drinking lemon juice with olive oil helps to get rid of gall stones. Lemon juice is also frequently used in dental care. If fresh lemon juice is applied on the area of a toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain. Massaging lemon juice on the gums can stop gum bleeding, while eliminating the bad odors that can come from various gum diseases and conditions. But be careful, if your mouth starts burning, rinse your gums and mouth quickly with water. Lemon juice applied to the scalp can help with dandruff, hair loss and other problems. It also can give your hair a natural shine. Drinking Lemon juice mixed with water and honey brings a healthy glow to the skin. Vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Application of Lemon juice on the site of old burns can help fade the scars and reduce the pain of sunburn or bee stings. Lemons have been traditionally used for home beauty treatments. Lemon and Lemon oil help to prevent wrinkles. Applying Lemon juice to facial blemishes is another popular home remedy for treating acne. Use the astringent power of Lemon in facial masks and treatments for acne, wrinkles and oily skin. Lemon essential oil, being not as dry as fresh Lemon juice, can be used for many of the same applications with even better results. Lemon has antiseptic and coagulant properties, so it can stop internal bleeding. You can apply Lemon juice to a small cotton ball and place it inside your nose to stop nose bleeds. Lemons have powerful antibacterial properties; experiments have found the juice of Lemons destroy the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases. Lemon oil may be used in aromatherapy to improve mood. It is commonly employed to reduce mental stress and depression. Lemon is used in foot relaxation. Add some lemon juice to warm water and dip your feet in the mixture for instant relief and muscle relaxation. Lemon juice can dissolve lumps on the skin, so it can be applied at the places where the skin has hardened up, like the soles of feet and the palms of your hands. Lemon juice may be used for cleaning and disinfection, as a house deodorant, to remove grease and bleach stains. The oil of the lemon's peel is used as a wood cleaner and polish, to dissolve old wax, fingerprints, and grime. Lemon oil is also used as a nontoxic insecticide treatment.
Cooking with LemonLemons are rarely eaten alone due to their intense sour flavor but are extremely popular when used in smaller quantities and in combination with herbs and spices in sauces, salad dressings, marinades, drinks and desserts. They make an excellent addition to a tea. The whole fruit can be used (juice, skin, and leaves) in a variety of drinks or foods. The leaves are used to make a tea and for preparing cooked meats and seafood. Lemon juice is also used as a short-term preservative on certain foods that tend to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced.
How to grow LemonLemon trees require full sunlight for adequate growth. Lemons are very sensitive to cold and need protection from frost. They thrive in a normal temperature range of 70F during day to 55F at night. They prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Lemon trees require deep watering once weekly. Lemons can make excellent houseplants and will be comfortable in a container. They also prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Keep the soil evenly moist and fertilize as needed. Lemon trees should be placed outdoors during warm periods in order to increase their chances of bearing fruit. Bees and insects can’t pollinate them indoors. When choosing to grow from seeds, allow them to dry out for a week or two. Once dried, plant the seeds about an inch deep in good potting soil and cover with clear plastic wrap.