Practical Magic: Lemons - The Sweet, Sour Healer

Lemons - The Sweet, Sour Healer

Name: Lemon

Most Commonly Found: Lemons are a species of small evergreen tree native to Asia though it is used for its culinary and cleansing purposes throughout the world. The origin of the lemon is unknown though they are thought to first be grown in India, northern Burma or China. It is a hybrid between bitter orange (sour orange) and citron.

Stone Cold Facts:  Lemons (Citrus × limon) have numerous healing benefits to the body, digestion and skin. Lemon juice, rind, and zest are used in a wide variety of foods and drinks. Parts of the lemon are also used as cleaning products and as preservatives. 

[Related: 10 Reasons to Keep Lemons in Stock]

What to Heal: Ayurveda recommends starting your day with a glass of lukewarm water with lemon. The reason is to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls to keep things moving. Secondly, lemons are high in vitamins and minerals and help to loosen toxins in the body. 

Since it is a diuretic, it assists the production of urine and helps to reduce inflammation by flushing out toxins and bacteria, while also being healing for arthritis and rheumatism. 

[Related: Detox 101: 5 Ways to Cut the Crap]

It also can help speed up weight-loss.

With that said, it is also healing for treating kidney stones, since it may increase the production of urinary citrate. 

In addition, lemons can be used to heal headaches and hangover headaches in particular when added to tea, a New York bartender discovered.

It contains potassium and can be used to heal high blood pressure, as well as to reduce nausea and dizziness.

Lemon water can reduce phlegm, making it healing for someone who suffers from asthma. 

It is also said to lift the mood, helping with depression. 

It has anti-aging properties since it reduces the production of free radicals and helps heal skin damage.

For throat infections, try gargling with lemon water to treat them faster. Lemon juice is also used to help with oral help and to stop bleeding. 

Orally, it can disinfect scrapes and cuts, soothe poison ivy rashes and help remove warts. 

Add it to warm water to help clean and whiten nails, cleanse your face, freshen breath, lighten age spots, treat flaky dandruff, and soften dry, scaly elbows (Survive at Home). 

Since it reduces free radicals, it is healing for multiple forms of cancer.

Nutrition wise, lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber (Michelle Schoffro Cook). 

Got allergies? Lemons contain the phytonutrient hesperetin which helps relieve symptoms. 

Since the peel contains tangeritin, it has been proven to help brain and nervous system disorders like Parkinson's. 

Rutin, found in lemons, has been shown to help heal eye disorders. 

Lemons are helpful in healing colds, flus and viruses. 

It's healing benefits are countless and it is also often made into an essential oil for healing. 

How to Heal: Add lemons to hot water, food, medicines, beauty products or essential oils. 

Related Chakras: Lemons are used to help clear up blockages in the throat chakra (Yoga Journal). 

Spirituality + Psychic Properties: "Yellow is a 'sun' color that makes us feel happy and optimistic, and it lifts the soul. It is cheerful, joyful, friendly. It helps you go through changes. Lemon is a natural cleanser with qualities of purification and love. The lemon symbolizes the human heart, light and love. Lemon is known to bring in feelings of healing and love in addition to calming and a sense of well-being" (L. Leigh Meriweather).

History + Lore: Lemons originated in China or India and have been cultivated in these regions for about 2,500 years. They were first introduced to Arabs who brought them to Spain in the 11th century around the same time that they were introduced into Northern Africa. The Crusaders found the fruit growing in Palestine and spread the fruit throughout the region. Like many other fruits and vegetables, lemons were brought to the Americas by Christopher Columbus in his second voyage to the New World in 1493 and have been grown in Florida since the 16th century.

Lemons were highly prized by the miners and developers during the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century since they were protective against scurvy. They were in such demand that people were willing to pay up to $1 per lemon, a price that would still be considered costly today and was extremely expensive back in 1849 (George Mateljan Foundation)