Medicine in My Cupboard – Lemons and Limes


Sometimes I think that lemons (and limes) are understated! Not only are they great for winter colds and flu’s but also a wonderful summer time remedy too!

Did you know????

In traditional chinese medicine lemons (and limes) are said to have a cooling thermal nature. They have a sour, astringent flavour and are antiseptic. They are excellent for those who have lived on a high fat, protein diet and are now in need of some cleaning out.

Lemons destroy putrefactive bacteria in the intestine and mouth and can be used to purify the breath.

Their antiseptic, anti-microbial and mucus-resolving action make them useful during dysentery, colds, flu’s, coughs and parasite infestations. For colds and flu’s they are best used when symptoms first start to appear. They will shorted the duration and severity of a cold and will prevent the complications that can arise from these infections.

Lemons are excellent for the liver. They encourage the formation of bile, improve the absorption of minerals, promote weight loss and cleanse the blood. They also treat high blood pressure, thick, poorly circulating blood and weak blood vessels, so are excellent for heart health.

In the summer heat, lemons have a cooling effect, they calm the nerves and are useful for treating a sore throat, cramps and diabetes which are often marked by fluid deficiency.

Externally the juice of lemons can be applied to heal sores, they relieve the itching from insect bites when rubbed into the skin, and in a poultice they can be applied to reduce and soften corns. ONE drop of fresh juice combined with warm water makes a cleansing eye wash.

Limes tend to be grown less intensively than lemons so can be used instead of lemons.

The ACID content of lemons and limes is about 4 – 6 times higher than that of oranges so should not be used by those with too much stomach acid or ulcers.

In saying that however, many who suffer from heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) are often mistakenly said to have to much acid, when in fact they have too little (symptoms are almost identical), in which case lemons are useful! (Try it out and you’ll know quick enough!!).

Citric acid also thins the blood so should be used cautiously by those with weak blood signs such as a pale complexion and tongue, insomnia, irritability and thinness. These people also tend to feel cooler and weak (so need to focus on more warming foods).

For the very hot, fiery, robust person, red in the face in need of the properties of lemons, start with 1 – 3 lemons a day for a week, working up to 12 a day (some people need a lot of cleansing!!).

A great way to start the day is the juice of a lemon in water before breakfast. It flushes the system, stimulates the liver and helps you to feel fresh for the rest of the day.

If you have organic or VERY WELL WASHED lemons, use the rind.. which contains limonene a great cancer fighting substance. The rind also contains added vitamin B6, calcium, Vitamin C and is an excellent source of fibre!

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