Lemon just like any other old fruits may be taken for granted, however medics say that it is a bagful of health benefits, many people are yet to uncover.
It is host to nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, potassium, vitamin B and C.
Whether you use them in the form of juice, tea, drinks, or during bath, the natural healing power of this fruit will be noticed over time if used effectively.
Lemons first achieved their healthy claim to fame onboard the ships of early explorers to help treat scurvy, a then-common disease among the sailors. In 1747, James Lind, a Scottish doctor, found that lemons and oranges were extremely effective at treating the disease, which was caused by a vitamin C deficiency from months at sea without any fresh produce.
Cardio vascular health
According to Audrey Mutabazi, the director of Gasp, a food science consultancy based in Nyarutarama, repeated consumption of lemon products has potential to improve cardiovascular health.
He points out that the potassium contained in the lemon, helps with easing blood circulation, reducing the chances of getting blood pressure.
“Its benefits may even extend to the brain since it can help relieve dizziness, stress and depression. In a way it acts as a sedative,” he says.
He adds that lemon juice can help relieve a toothache (acting as an analgesic), help stop gum bleeding, reduce bad breath and prevent cavities because of its natural antiseptic qualities. Since it has some level of acidity, it can also be used as a mouth cleanser.
Mutabazi says that lemon juice can cure kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which can prevent the formation of crystals.
“Studies have shown that lemon juice mixed with olive oil could help get rid of gallstones.”
Franscine Mukasine, a public health specialist working with Humura Polyclinic in Kimihurura, Kigali city, says that as an effective antiseptic agent, lemons can help keep the skin healthy. To be more precise, it can help reduce cases like eczema, acne, and black heads.
Lemon juice has proven itself in the treatment of hair care on a wide scale. The juice when applied to the scalp can treat problems like dandruff, hair loss and other problems related to the hair and scalp, Mukasine says.
Treatment of burns
He adds that application of lemon juice on the site of old burns can help fade the scars, and since it is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin when you currently have an irritating burn.
Alfred Gatabarwa, a general practitioner with Abbey Family Clinic, Remera, remarks that as an excellent source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, lemons and lemon juice can help fight the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer.
“However it is very important to note that when lemon juice comes directly in contact with the teeth, can ruin the enamel. Hence, it is advised to consume it diluted and also rinse your mouth thoroughly after drinking lemon juice,” he observes.
Consuming more lemon
l Lemons should be picked at their peak ripeness because, unlike many other fruits, they do not ripen or improve in quality after being picked.
l Lemons should be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight.
l Lemons pair well with sweet dishes. They are often used with fish, pork, beef, and chicken and as well as desserts.
l Packed with all the goodness, make it a point to begin your day with a glass of warm lemon juice. Its cleansing and healing effects will have positive effects on your health in the long run.