Lemon - Herbal Profile

The simple, garden-variety lemon is very much understated. Lemons are very common and we see them everywhere. We use them to make lemonade, mix them into our drinks to add a little zing, they remove hard stains, are an all-around deodorizer and air freshener and we use them in our cooking as both an ingredient and garnish. Maybe we should stop and take another look at this yellow wonder because it may change what you think of it. When the world gives you lemons, there’s a whole lot more you can make with them than just lemonade.

In traditional medicine, the lemon is widely known for its healing powers and is used in many different ways. In fact, the lemon is so powerful that it was used by the Romans as their cure for all types of poison.

Although the lemon is often thought of as acidic, it is very effective in curing many digestion problems when mixed with hot water, including biliousness, nausea, heartburn, disorders of the lower intestines like constipation and worm infestations. It is even known to relieve hiccups. Water plus a few lemons becomes lemon juice. Lemon juice, when taken regularly in the morning, acts as a tonic to the liver and stimulates it to produce bile making it ready to digest the day’s food. It is also thought to help dissolve gall stones. Because of its high vitamin C content, it is thought to help prevent and treat many infections, hastens wound healing and temper down high fever. Lemon juice also relieves symptoms of asthma, tonsillitis and sore throat.

Lemon is also a diuretic. This means it is good for people with urinary tract infections and high uric acid problems, such as those with arthritis or rheumatism because it helps flush out all the toxins and bad bacteria. When lemon is mixed with coffee, it is thought to help treat malaria. This concoction is also effective for headaches.

When externally applied, lemon juice that is poured onto a small piece of cotton wool and gently applied to the nostrils could stop epistaxis (more commonly known as nose bleeds) although this may sting a bit. This too when massaged gently into gums may also stop gum bleeding. Lemon juice with glycerin is effective when used on the lips to treat chapping. This may be a little strange but lemon juice applied on your skin can also help prevent sunburn.

Lemons are also used as balms in highly concentrated forms. Some may know them as “cure-alls”. Lemon balms are known for their ability to break fevers by encouraging the patient’s body to perspire. Because of this, lemon balms are recommended for all fevers, no matter what the cause. Lemon balms are also popular treatments for cough and colds, even hay fever. Balms are also used in the treatment of flatulence and other digestive conditions. Menstrual cramps are relieved by lemon balms, as are dizziness, headaches and high blood pressure.

Psychologically, lemon balm is used to lift people’s spirits, especially those who are undergoing menopause and are depressed, because it will calm anxieties, clear their minds and center their focus. It also supposedly improves memory storage and recall.

About the author

Michael Russell

Your Independent Herbal guide.

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