Among the most commonly known therapeutic properties for lemons are its uses for throat infections, pH balance and indigestion. But the health benefits of lemons don’t stop there. You’ve used them to make lemonade or perhaps squeezed them over grilled chicken to give it a zesty kick, but did you know that lemons have numerous health benefits? If you’ve ever asked yourself “what do lemons do for your body?”, you’re about to find out and you’ll never go without having at least a few on hand.
The Many Health Benefits of Lemons
Lemons contain significant amounts of vitamin C and potassium. Lemons also have antioxidant properties which make them great for cleansing and fighting disease. The juice of a lemon can help with indigestion; it’s citric acid content helps aid digestion. Lemon juice is also helpful in overcoming a fever, a cold or the flu. It’s antibacterial properties fight pathogens and it’s cleansing properties help purify the blood from unwanted toxins. Lemon’s cleansing properties make it a powerful aid to the lymphatic and immune systems. Lemon juice can also be used in skin care, dental care, hair care, arthritis, pH balance, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, mineral replenishment, high blood pressure, inflammation and respiratory problems.
Are Lemons Acidic or Alkaline?
Everyone knows lemons are sour and therefore, they are considered to be acidic. This is true. However, they are also alkaline. To be more precise we should say they are alkaline forming. Lemon’s citric acid makes it acidic but it’s overall nutrients such as it’s minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium and selenium are alkaline. Citric acid is a “weak” acid. This means that it is easily eliminated by the body once it has done its job. Once metabolized, citric acid stimulates the formation of calcium carbonate which is alkaline. Calcium carbonate then neutralized “strong” acids such as uric acid. Ridding the body of uric acid and other “strong” acids is of great importance. A body that is too acidic can lead to conditions such as gout, diabetes, ulcers, obesity, arthritis and osteoporosis, to name a few.
Lemons for Dental, Skin & Hair Care
Lemon juice mixed with water and baking soda can be used to naturally and gradually whiten teeth. Try mixing 1 part lemon juice, 3 parts water a dash of baking soda and brush your teeth with it to naturally help whiten your teeth. To help eliminate bad breath mix equal parts lemon juice and water. Use this mixture as mouthwash whenever you need to naturally eliminate bad breath. If you’re looking for a naturally remedy for gingivitis try mixing 1 part water, 1 part lemon juice and 1 part apple cider vinegar. Use this mixture as a mouthwash once a day. You will see both gum inflammation and bad breath gradually desist. You may have heard of the dangers of using lemon juice on you teeth due to its ability to damage the enamel. This is not necessarily true. If you suck on lemons all day and constantly expose lemons to your teeth then yes, this is possible. However, drinking lemon water does not expose your teeth to excessive levels of citric acid for a prolonged period of time so the enamel should not be harmed.
Here are some natural tricks for better skin you’ll want to try out immediately! Did you know you can use lemon juice to help eliminate pimples and zits. Simply take a sterile cotton pad, drop 5-10 drops of lemon juice on it (you can also quickly dip the pad in lemon juice) and swipe it across the areas you’d like to treat. Make sure you apply the lemon juice to clean skin, perhaps try this when you first wake up in the morning and before going to bed after you’ve washed your face. Leave the lemon juice on for 10 minutes then rinse off and pat try. Lemon juice can also help lighten dark spots caused by acne scars. Simply apply the lemon juice onto clean skin in the affected area, wait 10 minutes and rinse off. If the treated area is going to be exposed to sunlight soon after, make sure to use proper SPF. For tougher spots like blackheads (and whiteheads) you can use a mix of lemon juice, packed brown sugar and raw honey to exfoliate with. This natural exfoliator will help draw out black heads.
Hair and lemon juice have a couple of well kept beauty secrets. Did you know you can use lemon juice to help eliminate dandruff? Squeeze out the juice of 1 lemon, this should yield about 3 tablespoons. Take approximately 2 tablespoons of warm coconut oil (heat briefly in the oven in an oven safe dish such as a ramekin) and mix in the lemon juice. Check the temperature of the mix to be safe not to burn your scalp. Apply the mixture all over the scalp using a clean cotton swab. Leave on for up to 20 minutes then rinse off. Shampoo as needed afterwards. The anti-fungal and antibacterial properties of both lemon juice and coconut oil help eliminate the fungus that causes dandruff. Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a week as needed.
A more widely known hair care beauty tip is the use of lemon juice to naturally lighten hair. Apply lemon juice to select stands of hair you wish to lighten. You can do this by squeezing out the lemon juice, straining it through a fine sieve and pouring it into a spray bottle. Mix in an equal part of water. Once both water and lemon juice are in the spray bottle, lightly dampen the selected strands. Remember the more you soak your hair with this mixture the lighter it will get. Go out in the sun to let the lemon juice react with sunlight, this reaction will lighten your hair. The longer you stay in the sun the lighter your hair will get. Use caution and wear the appropriate level of sunscreen depending on how long you will be out in the sun. When using this method it is very important that you do not overdo it and stay out in the sun excessively; doing so can dry out and damage your hair. A healthy amount of time in the sun for natural highlights would be about 20 minutes a day.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a way to naturally strengthen brittle nails try lemon juice. Mix equal parts extra virgin olive oil with lemon juice and rub onto your fingernails covering from cuticle to tip. This will not only condition and strengthen your nail but it’s also an excellent way to naturally whiten yellowing fingernails. After 20 minutes or so rinse your hands and wash them thoroughly with soap. You can repeat this process 2-3 times a week until your nails are stronger and healthier.
The Many Benefits of Lemon Water
The best way to receive all of the benefits of lemons is to drink lemon juice in water. The best way to do this is by squeezing fresh organic non-GMO lemons. You can buy lemon juice already squeezed but those store bought bottles of lemon juice tend to have added ingredients that are not so healthy for you. It’s best to do it yourself and it’s easy and quick to do. The amount of lemon juice per glass of water depends on each individuals particular preference. We recommend half a lemon (roughly 3 tablespoons) per 8oz of water. You can start with this ratio and gradually work your way to a whole lemon per 8oz of water. For best results it is recommended that you use warm or room temperature water. The reason for this is it takes the body time and energy to bring cold water up to body temperature so this natural remedy will be more effective if warm water is used.
Don’t worry if you find the taste of lemon water too sour when you first begin. Especially if you’re only using 1-2 tablespoons of lemon per 8oz water. The sour taste of lemon water will gradually fade as your body becomes more alkaline. In fact, as you continue to drink lemon water it will eventually taste sweet (like lemonade without the sugar), that is a sign your body is alkaline. Also, please keep in mind that lemon juice is a powerful cleanser. For this reason it is best to listen to your body. The best way to cleanse in a healthy and safe manner is to start out slowly and let your body acclimate to changes in diet. If you find that half a lemon in 8oz of water is too much for you try using a quarter of a lemon then work your way up to a half. Drink 2-3 glasses of lemon water along with 5-6 glasses of plain water a day for best results.
Lemons & Nausea
Traveling can be such fun and exciting experience. This however, is not the case for those that suffer from car sickness, sea sickness and general motion sickness when traveling; especially when traveling long distances. Remember this trick and you’ll won’t have to suffer from motion sickness anymore. Mix a little bit of lemon juice into a bottle of water and add a hint of salt. Drink this on the way to your destination to prevent motion sickness.
If you can’t take a bottle of water with you, don’t worry. Lemons are easily available nearly everywhere so you can create this natural remedy for motion sickness on the fly. For children, you can add in a bit of honey to lessen the sourness and make it easier for them to drink. It’s basically lemonade but it’s important that you use honey instead of sugar because honey also has healing properties. Drinking lemon water also aids nausea and vomiting because of its mineral content. It not only settles the stomach but will help kill unfriendly bacteria causing nausea and will help replenish lost minerals in the case of vomiting
Lemons & Weight Loss
Warm water and lemon juice has to be one of the easiest and most beneficial thing you can do for your health and waistline. Lemons contain high levels of vitamin C which increase liver function and metabolism. Increasing liver function is important because the liver perfumes many important and critical functions such as creating bile for digestion. A healthy liver can also greatly support rapid weight loss in a healthy manner through it’s role in metabolizing fats, carbs and proteins. Lemon water can also help decrease low-density lipoprotein also known as bad cholesterol. If taking lemon water for weight loss its best to drink it first thing in the morning before eating breakfast. This will help cut through fat and reduce cellulite.
Drinking lemon water can also help curb sugar cravings which is especially helpful because sugary foods create an acidic environment in the body. The alkalizing properties of lemons also neutralize acidity, which can lead to rapid weight loss. Lemons are also a diuretic and help support kidney function. This is especially helpful for when trying to eliminate bloating and water retention. Drinking warm lemon water also aids digestion and soothes the stomach, remember this little tip next time you have a big meal and need help digesting!
Lemons & Inflammation
We previously discussed the alkalizing nature of lemons. Lemon’s ability to neutralize acid as well as to create a more alkaline environment for tissue is greatly under-appreciated. Acidity in the body can lead to inflammation, even chronic inflammation in some cases. A diet high in refined sugars, stress and medications are some of the largest contributing factors to high levels of acidity in the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of lemons can help eliminate inflammatory diseases such as: gout, arthritis, atherosclerosis, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, dermatitis, Crohn’s disease, vasculitis, hepatitis and respiratory disorders. Lemon can cut through phlegm. Keep this in mind next time you have congestion in the lungs or sinuses.
Lemons & the Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system’s job is to trap and eliminate pathogens and toxins from the body. Once trapped, these toxins are kept in lymph nodes until they are pushed out of the body by the lymphatic system. This system works with the circulatory and immune systems to keep the body healthy and clear of disease. Lemon’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties not only help the lymphatic system by combating pathogens they also help cleanse the lymph nodes. Lemon water also stimulates the lymphatic system to remove toxins from the colon and bladder.
Lemons & the Urinary System
The urinary system is in charge of flushing uric acid out of the body through urination. When this is not occurring regularly, high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream form into sharp crystals that settle in the joints; this is called gout. This pesky ailment can range from mild sharp pains in the joints, predominately felt in the fingers and toes, to severe, life-threatening cases. Drinking warm lemon water can help dissolve uric acid crystals and even provide immediate relief from gout pain.
According to studies from the American Urological Association, lemon juice can prevent the formation of kidney stones. The studies reveal that lemon juice can create urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of kidney stones. The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of lemons also help keep the urinary tract free from bacteria and inflammation. Lemons juice can also be used to naturally eliminate kidney stones. Mix the juice of half a lemon with 8 oz of water. Drink one glass every two hours for an entire day. The lemon juice will help dissolve kidney stones so they can exit the body in a pain-free way. Doing this will also reduce inflammation and lessen the pain of passing kidney stones. For best results, while eliminating kidney stones, stay away from foods such as: refined sugars, processed beverages, carbs, and red meat. Eat foods that will be easy to digest and will not add to the detox load.
Lemons & Gallstones
The gallbladder plays a very important role in digestion by storing and secreting bile for digestion. Bile stored in the gallbladder can harden and become gall stones. Gallstones also form from poor digestion and the excess consumption bad fats. Lemon juice can be used to remove gallstones. Drink 2 oz of lemon juice and lay on your right side for 15 minutes. Then drink 2 oz of extra virgin olive oil and a bit more lemon juice to clear the taste of oil from your palate. Lay on your right side for at least 2 hours. This natural remedy for gallstones is best done before going to bed. It’s important that you keep as light a diet as possible before implementing this remedy. Afterwards, be sure to continue eating lightly and clean to give your gallbladder the opportunity to keep cleansing. Lemons also serve as blood purifiers and help the liver by removing the build up of toxins filtered from the blood. This is important because the liver and gallbladder work in synergy.
Lemons for Home Use
Next time you buy a sack of lemons try out these naturally cleaning remedies. You can use lemons to treat stains in white clothing and linens. Adding the juice of one lemon (without the seeds) to a load of whites will help naturally whiten your clothes. This trick will also help kill bacteria and deodorize your clothes; plus you get the additional bonus of clean, lemon-scented clothing! Thin slices of lemon can also help deodorize the kitchen sink. Simply toss a 2-3 thin slices in the disposal and run some hot water with the disposal on for a 10 seconds. The smell of fresh lemons will instantly envelop your kitchen and rid the disposal of any foul smells.
Do you want that fresh, clean, lemony scent in your kitchen without using chemical cleaners? You can get that lovely scent while sanitizing your kitchen. You can make a spray bottle of natural cleaning fluid to clean and disinfect with the added bonus of that invigorating lemony scent. For the spray bottle: combine the juice of 2 lemons (filtered to remove seeds and lumps), this will yield about 6 tablespoons or just over 1/3 cup, with 2 cups of water (16 oz), and any essential oil of your choice. I like to use a specific blend of the oils lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus from NSP; I’ll tell you why in a moment. Use about 10 drops of each. Pour the lemon juice, water and oils into the spray bottle and shake vigorously. Once blended you can use this mix to clean kitchen & bathroom counter tops as well as other surfaces.
This blend will not only make your house smell great but the anti-bacterial properties of the lemon juice and all of the oils will disinfect counter and any other surface you use it on. If you use the blend of lavender, tee tree and eucalyptus you get the added bonus of repelling insects. You can spray this mixture lightly around carpeted areas, window and door openings to keep bugs out. This blend is not recommended for wooden surfaces as the oils can damage the wood. For best results test on a small, unnoticeable spot.
If you’re in a bind and you need to quickly and naturally deodorize your house why not knock out two birds with one stone? Cut a lemon in half and use the open face side of each lemon to “scrub” the kitchen counters and the stove top. Then simply wipe down all the “scrubbed” surfaces with a moist paper towel and you’re done! Your kitchen will smell better and your counters will be clean! You can also use the lemon slices in the garbage disposal trick for an added dose of lemony scent. Another good trick to remember, you can use the open face of a lemon halve to scrub a cutting board. Go with the grain when scrubbing to preserve the wood then rinse with warm water. This will help disinfect the cutting board and leave a lovely, clean lingering scent.
Disclaimer: Our services and information do not diagnose or prescribe for disease conditions. Individuals are encouraged to seek competent medical help when those services may be indicated. Individuals accept total responsibility for their own health care and maintenance.