The lemon is a small evergreen tree, native to Asia. The fruit’s juice, pulp and the peel, particularly the zest, are most commonly used as foods/ Ingredients. The juice from a lemon is around 5-6% citric acid, this is what gives lemon their known sour taste.
A mini history lesson…
Although lemons are thought to have first grown in southern India, China and the North of Burma, studies into the genetic origin of the lemon show that it is actually in fact a hybrid, between both sour orange and citron. Lemons entered Europe via southern Italy no later than the first century AD, the time of ancient Rome. At this time, surprisingly, lemons were not widely cultivated at all, they were later introduced to Iraq, Egypt and Persia around the time of 700 AD. The first recorded instance Lemons appeared in the 10th century Arabic treatise on farming. It became a popular choice for an ornamental plant in gardens, they then began to be distributed widely over the Arab and Mediterranean region between 1000/1150.
The first substantial cultivation of lemons in Europe originally began in Genoa; this was in the middle of the 15th century. In 1493 the Americans were introduced to the lemon by no other than Christopher Columbus, when he brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola on one of his many voyages. The Spanish conquest taking place throughout the new world meant lemon seeds were spread vastly, promoting their usage in a huge way.
During the 19th century lemons were increasingly planted throughout California and Florida. In 1747 a gentlemen named James Lind’s carried out experiments on seamen suffering the effects of scurvy. He added lemons into their diets, and saw evidence of their health benefits, though not yet knowing that this was due to the presence of Vitamin C within the lemons.
Little was I aware just how much of an amazing fruit lemon really is. Lemons provide countless unbelievable benefits to our bodies, for both interior and exterior.
A few facts you may not yet know about these little yellow miracle workers:
– Lemons are alkalising for the body: They are acidic originally, however they are alkaline, forming on the bodily fluids aiding in restoring a healthy balance to the body’s PH. Lemons surprisingly contain a massive 22 anti-cancer compounds, this includes naturally occurring limonene oil in which slow/Halt the growth of cancerous tumours which then stops cell division in cancer cells. What is body PH? The meaning of PH is the potential of hydrogen, which is really a measure of the alkaline and acidic levels within your body.
Any substance that yields hydrogen ions in solution is called an ‘acid’, the more hydrogen ions present, the stronger the acid is. The stronger the acid is, the more effective it is at breaking down substances in its path. This is the essence of a ‘free-radical’, a substance in which produces unstable ions without one or more unpaired electrons. These very powerful reactive atoms are hugely involved in degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis, arterial disease, cancer arthritis and even fibromyalgia. Amazing right? Just by adding a little lemon to your diet, you are benefiting your body in countless more ways than you may have first realised.
– Lemons are high in, Vitamin C and flavenoids, these help fight against infections such as the flu and colds.
-The liver loves lemons! Lemon is a dissolver of uric acid and many of the other ‘poisons’ within the body, for instance lemon helps to liquefy bile in the stomach. Try adding some lemon to your water in the morning as this is a great detoxifier for the liver.
– Lemons help to increase peristalsis within the bowels, this helps to eliminate waste and helps with bowel regularity as the juice initially helps with bowel movement all around.
– In 1774 a naval surgeon- ‘James Lind’s’ managed to cure scurvy using only fresh lemons. Even now 67 years later the British navy have ships carrying enough lemons to provide each and every sailor with one ounce of lemon juice daily.
– The acidic effects of lemon completely destroy intestinal worms.
– The citric acid lemon juice contains helps in dissolving calcium deposits, gallstones and also kidney stones.
– Believe it or not, lemons contain the potent ‘Phytonutrient tangeretin’ this proves to be effective for brain disorders, much like Parkinson’s disease.
– Lemons have extremely powerful properties; probably more so than any other fruit. Studies show that lemon juice destroys bacteria such as… Typhoid, cholera, malaria and diphtheria. Crazy to think something so small can be so powerful isn’t it?
– Did you know…? The first man to reach the top of Mount Everest ‘Edmund Hillary’ said that his success in climbing the biggest mountain in the world was mostly achieved due to lemons. In situations where oxygen is scarce and breathing is proving to be pretty difficult, lemons are really helpful.
– ‘Rutin’ found in lemons has surprisingly been found to improve the symptoms of eye disorders- Diabetic Retinopathy.
-Bio-flavenoids- (Vitamin P) found within lemons strengthen the blood vessels, helping to avoid any internal haemorrhage, lemons are also highly useful in treating high blood pressure.
So it’s definitely worth adding a little more lemon into your diet every now and then, wouldn’t you say?