Would you prefer a lemonade over a carbonated drink?

July 21, 2008

If you would then you are lucky.

We are talking about freshly squeezed lemon juice and not bottled ones!

Lemon juice in moderate quantity is a beneficial health drink. It is one of the easiest and the cheapest refreshments one can avail of on a sunny day. Citrus fruits are great for good health as they are rich in Vitamin C, ascorbic acid and folic acid. They are nutritious because of their high fibre content. They are problem free as they have no fat, cholesterol or sodium. Yet, they contain potassium, calcium, folate, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and other nutrients highly essential to well being. Citrus fruits are said to be good for heart diseases and some types of cancer.

Lemon is a great internal cleanser as it is antiseptic and antibacterial. It can destroy the pathogenic bacteria in the digestive tract if taken on empty stomach. Hence the idea of taking lemon juice with honey in lukewarm water first thing in the morning. Lemon can even stimulate the liver and regulate pitta in the body. Haven’t you heard of lemon in relation with weight loss? If the liver is filled with toxins it cannot metabolise fat. Lemon is sour enough to get the liver going!

Lemon is an antioxidant. It prevents disease-causing free radicals and heart diseases to an extent while lowering cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Lemon juice enhances easy digestion and reduces heartburn, bloating or flatulence. Stomach pain, constipation, loss of appetite or head ache as a result of indigestion can be alleviated by lemon juice. Lemon dissolves uric acid and alleviates IBS problems. A laxative, it naturally cleans the system of all its impurities.

A good source of Calcium, lemon can aid in the building up of bones and in maintaining healthy teeth. The citric acid in lemon helps the body to fight cold and fever.For cold and ailments like sore throat and cough lemon juice can be ingested in hot water. But regular intake can damage the enamel of the teeth.

Citrus fruits in general are great in preventing birth diseases. Taking lemon juice while pregnant can give the unborn child a healthy born structure.

Illnesses like asthma, colds, scurvy, fever and heartburn are relieved through lemon juice because of its magnesium content. Italians find use for the sweetened lemon juice as a treatment for gingivitis, stomatitis, and inflammation of the tongue.

It is also said that being sour it can help vata patients. Hence, lemon is regarded as a cure for arthritis and rheumatism.

Lemon can bring back the gleam to your eyes and skin. It has wonderful enzymes which help in the fading of scars and blemishes. Skin lightning with lemon juice is not unknown. Due to Vitamin C lemon juice stimulates collagens in the skin. It removes skin discolorisation, tans and acts as a great bleach and toner. Although it can remove tan, you will get tanned if you apply lemon juice and go about in the sun. Lemon juice in various combinations are suggested as beauty aids. But for people with sensitive skin, undiluted lemon juice on skin might not be a pleasant experience.

Lemon essential oil extracted from Citrus limonum, a type of lemon has great therapeutic values. Now onwards, let’s not forget lemonades and the home-made pickles made of juicy lemons.

-Aparna K V

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