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Lemon, Citrus limon / Rutaceae
Benefits for the health
The fresh lemon is very low in calories, and at the same time it is a good source of potassium and vitamin C. The lack of vitamin C causes scurvy, a potentially fatal disease of which there are rare cases nowadays. James Lind, a British naval doctor, demonstrated in 1747 that the consumption of citruses easened scurvy. It is thought that vitamin C reduces the formation of nitrosamine in the intestine. The nitrosamine is a carcinogenic component caused by the reaction of nitrite with the amines found in food.

Epidemiological research indicates that stomach cancer is less frequent in people whose diet is rich in vitamin C, improving also the immunological functions. Along with vitamin C, lemons contribute with the B vitamine complex, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, and in lesser quantity, copper, zinc, iron and manganese. The lemon is considered to contain also phytochemical components that may diminish the effect of cancer, like flavonoids, coumarins, D-limonene and terpenes.
Popular tradition
The lemon has no end of properties: it reinforces the immunological system, it revitalizes, it activates the calcium metabolism for bones and teeth, it heals hemorrhages, it rejuvenates and it helps in slimming diets. Nevertheless, as a very energetic fruit, it must not be given to elderly people and those under nerves conditions.

From the antiquity, many authors have mentioned in their writings the properties of lemons. Plinio wrote about its non-poisonous agents, Virgilio about the muliple properties as healthy food, and the present medicine emphasizes its properties to cure a lot of diseases.

Below are some of the medicinal applications of the lemon.

For all the gastrointestine poisonings one recommends lemon juice with tempered water, since it acts as a regulator of the functions. For stomach acidity, contrary to what one may think, the lemon juice is very suitable. This is due to the neutralizing effect of the pectin calcium ions found in the cellular walls of this fruit.

Given the lemon’s strong astringent character, a gauze with lemon juice on a skin inflammation has important pain reducing effects.

The lemon is also used for healing up the wounds, thanks to the great quantity of citric acid that it contains, as well as to stop haemorrhages. The juice must not be directly applied on the wounds, since it would cause a strong irritation, but applied in compresses.
The lemon juice drunk with the hot water in which apples have been boiled is used to reduce the symptoms of diarrea.

The lemon juice is used for all kind of inflammations in the mouth, tongue, gums, etc. To be have a positive effect, the hot water must be mixed with a good quantity of lemon juice.

The lemon juice gets also rid of tartar. It is not recommended to use this treatment for long periods of time since it can affect the theeth enamel, leading to chronic shivers. In order to avoid it, mix a small quantity of lemon juice with tempered water and apply it not very frequently.

Lemons are very useful to stop nasal haemorrhages. When they appear suddenly, pure lemon gauzes can be put on the nose, or sniff juice with cold water or pure juice if the hemorrhage is important. This must be done several times or the gauze must be replaced until the haemorrhage has stopped.

The pure lemon juice is used to disinfect the eyes of the new born. For acute conjunctivitis, wash the eyes with hot or tempered lemon in winter and cold in summer.

Gargles with juice and water at equal parts have great effectiveness against inflammations and throat colds. The application on the neck of gauzes soaked in lemon juice is also a good remedy. The onion and lemon syrup is one of the traditional remedies to heal colds.

For indigestion after big meals it is recommended to drink hot water with great quantities of lemon juice, and drink it until the stomach feels better. In the case of diarreas it is advisable to drink the juice of one or two lemons with very hot water, and avoid food for some time.

In the case of haemorrhages, when they are caused by internal haemorrhoids, the lemon is used with tempered water, two or three parts of water per one one part of lemon juice, applying it with an enema syringe. It is important to consider that the lemon is a very astringent fruit and this must be taken into account for people who suffer constipation.

For tachycardias produced by the ingestion of food in bad conditions, take one lemon with hot water in winter and cold water in summer.

For the ovaries inflammation, drink half or one lemon two or three times a day half an hour before the meals. The results are better if it is drunk with hot apple broth.

For headaches, it is enough to drink a glass of hot water with the juice of one or two lemons to stop the pain.

For eczemas, lemon can be applied in washings or gauzes of pure lemon or reduced with water. In order to improve the effectiveness, drink the juice two or three times a day half an hour before the meals.
In order to reduce the grease in short hair, strongly massage with lemon juice two or three times a day, alternating with onion juice.

Although the lemon juice has no end of qualities, in some cases it is also contra-indicated. In the case of hysteria the juice of lemon irritates and causes insomnia. In the case of suffering stomach ulcer, lemons are not advisable, since they increases the stomach acidity. Gauzes soaked in lemon juice must not be applied on great skin wounds since it makes them sore, causing deep pain. Its consumption must be avoided in case of anemic pregnancies. Tomatoes must not be eaten woth lemons since they are incompatible electrochemically speaking. Lemons must not be consumed during the period, since they can cut the flow. Moreover, in painful menstruations lemons should jot be consumed in the days preceding the period. Weak and elderly people must be very careful when consuming lemons, since they are very energetic. Lemon consumption may aggravate sore throats. Elderly people with hypertension must avoid the ingestion of lemon since it may increase the blood pressure, with the risk of embolism.
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