While lemons, like other citrus fruits, contain vitamin C and other antioxidants, their sour taste doesn’t make them the best choice for getting your full daily allowance of vitamin C. However, lemons have some properties that make them superior to their cousins in a variety of applications, both when applied topically and taken internally.
Some of the topical treatments you can use lemons for include:
- Wart busting: Warts are caused by a viral infection. An effective way to get rid of warts is to make a paste out of a mixture of crushed vitamin C tablets and lemon juice. Apply as a poultice directly to the wart and cover with a bandaid. To protect the surrounding skin, dab a little petroleum jelly around the circumference of the wart.
- Natural pimple treatment: The high acidic content of lemons removes dead skin that clogs pores.
- Oily hair treatment: If you have unusually oily hair, try squeezing the juice of a lemon into a glass of water and using it as a final rinse.
- Deodorant: Before commercial deodorants took centre stage, lemon juice was used as a natural underarm deodorant. It works by fighting the bacteria that cause underarm odour and making the pH balance more acidic.
- A time-tested way to fade age spots is to apply lemon juice to them twice a day. The juice acts as a mild bleach and the acid in lemons removes dead skin.
Taken internally, lemons provide many benefits:
- The old lemon juice in warm water tonic for colds and flus really works. Not only does the vitamin C help boost the immune system, lemon juice contains natural antihistamines. Histamine is the chemical that causes inflammation, a stuffy nose and watery eyes.
- A glass of hot water with lemon juice in the morning is a great way to improve digestion, treat constipation and even help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
- Recent studies have shown that limonene, a chemical found in lemon rind, inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells in laboratory studies. Although not yet tested on humans, it shows promise for the future.
- Another study showed that people who regularly drank black tea with lemon contracted skin cancer less frequently than those who did not. Researchers believe this may be because lemon activates an enzyme called glutathione, a known natural cancer fighter.
- High in potassium, lemon juice may be a good way to help fight high blood pressure.