It's surprising what you can do with a simple lemon

Using Lemons for Health and Cleaning

by Dianne Tyndall

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Grandma used to say, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Well, lemons do a lot more than just make lemonade, and our grandmothers knew it. Along the way, we have forgotten many of the beneficial things lemons can do. So let's find out all the ways that Grandma would use lemons in her home.

Health Benefits of Lemons:

  • Lemons are a natural health care remedy that are packed full of much-needed vitamins and minerals that help your body function correctly.
  • Lemons have vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, Niacin, Folate, and Pantothenic Acid, and as for the minerals, they have Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, Iron, Selenium, Manganese, Copper, Zinc and a few more trace vitamins and minerals not mentioned here.
  • Being a citrus fruit, lemons are believed to help protect our bodies against certain types of cancers.
  • Drinking a cup of hot tea with fresh lemon juice and honey will help soothe sore throats and can help you feel better during cold and flu season.
  • Lemons are a digestive aide and a liver cleanser. Drinking a cup of warm water every morning for seven days with half of a lemon squeezed in it naturally cleanses your liver.
  • Lemons help with weight loss for individuals who want to lose the weight in a healthy, holistic way. Drinking a glass of homemade lemonade with a pinch of cayenne pepper will help speed up the weight loss more than with lemon alone. This one little diet trick could save hundreds of dollars on weight loss supplements if used daily until the desired effect is achieved.
  • The lemon and cayenne pepper also help cleanse the liver, kidneys, and digestive system by eliminating harmful toxins from the body. In turn, it helps speed up metabolism, giving you a healthy start to your weight loss goals.
  • Lemons lower blood sugar, keeping sugar levels more balanced.
  • For softer skin, mix up a facial scrub of lemon juice and sugar. Rub this mixture all over your face, keeping it out of your eyes. Then rinse well with fresh water and pat dry. Your face will feel refreshed and revived, and you will look better.
  • Inhaling the fresh lemon scent is believed to help with alertness, mental exhaustion, and fatigue. Keeping a bowl of lemons on your desk will help relieve anxiety and tension.

To incorporate lemons into your diet, drink lemon juice, add lemon to tea, top off dressings on salads with a squeeze of lemon, and squeeze lemon juice over your favorite chicken and fish meals before eating.

Benefits of Cleaning with Lemons:

  • Instead of using toxic cleaning products in your home around your children and pets, use one of nature's best kept secrets, namely lemons. Because lemons are a citrus fruit, they have a high content of citric acid.
  • You can get your clothes cleaner by soaking them in lemon juice mixed with warm water before washing in your washing machine.
  • To remove odors from your microwave and refrigerator, wash with lemon juice and warm water. After washing with the lemon mixture, rinse with clean water. If the microwave is really smelly, you can place a cup of lemon juice in the microwave and heat to boiling. The let it rest until it cools off, and your microwave will smell fresher.
  • Clean your coffee pot by running lemon juice through the brewing cycle. Do this several times if necessary. Then use a pot full of fresh water through the brewing cycle to thoroughly cleanse before brewing your coffee.

Check sale prices for green cleaning solutions.

Lemons are relatively cheap compared to other fruits on the market. The best are organically grown, which does cost a bit more but it's well worth the cost because of all the uses and health benefits. Organically grown lemons don't have the chemicals and harmful toxins that commercially grown lemons contain.

If you have the room, you can grow your own lemon trees in your backyard and save on the cost of having to buy lemons. Usually when buying and planting fruits trees, it is a good rule to plant three at a time, space according to the growing recommendations, and plant during the season specified for your location.

Dianne Tyndall is a retired Licensed Practical Nurse turned freelance journalist.

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