MOTHER Nature's Remedies
By Carol Schneider
The lemon came from the Mediterranean to America with Columbus. A major crop in Florida since the 1700’s, 85% of lemons now come from California and Arizona. Actually a modified berry, the lemon thrives in tropical climates. Best when bright yellow and thin-skinned, this potent antioxidant can be squeezed over other raw fruits to add flavor while preventing them from turning brown. Also, if included skin and all with fresh vegetables when juicing, lemon lengthens the juice’s potency (if closely covered and refrigerated) to a full day or more, depending upon the juicer used.
Vitamin C in lemons helps boost the body's immune system and attacks free radicals and toxins in the body. Per Dr. Joseph Mercola, one serving (1 ounce) of lemon provides 187% of the daily requirement of vitamin C. (Of course that is based on mainstream Daily Values of 60 mg, whereas even those of us already in good health should have ten times that amount—as ascorbyl palmitate, which is alkaline instead of acid—daily). The C in combination with the flavonoid glycosides found in most citrus fruits makes lemon a free radical destroyer and infection fighter par excellence. (Free radicals can do serious damage to blood vessels, arteries, and cause body dysfunction when unchecked.)
Lemons contain twenty-two anti-cancer compounds, including limonene oil which slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals, and flavonol glycosides which stop cell division in cancer cells. Tests, both in labs and on patients, showed lemon extract as a potentially beneficial treatment for cancer, including breast cancer, in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Lemons provide DNA cell protection, immune system regulation, and inflammation relief. They are a good source of potassium—which helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate—thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron and magnesium, and an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, potassium, and copper. The lemon peel contains the potent phytonutrient, tangeretin, which is proven effective against brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
Lemons’ antioxidants, including the beta-carotenes, lutein, and vitamin A, promote healthy mucus membranes, skin, and vision. Pantothenic acid and folates, provided by lemons, can only be derived from sources outside the body.
For juicing, lemons have virtually none of the offending sugar–fructose–found in mainstream bottled and processed products that have been implicated in the continuing increase of diabetes. Lemons eliminate the occasional bitter taste of some of the darker deep green leafy vegetables that provide most of the benefits of juicing.
The difference between raw lemons and bottled lemon juice is that the value of vitamin C goes from 139% to 100%, with the calcium diminished from seven% to three %; also bottled lemon juice and other processed fruit juices usually contain very high amounts of acidifying fructose and potentially dangerous additives.
Lemons have powerful antibacterial properties; experiments have found the juice of lemons destroys the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases, as well as destroying intestinal protozoa and viruses.
From Dr. Mercola, a very effective cold remedy is made from lemons. Put one pint of raw honey over very low heat. Chop a whole lemon into a bit of water in a separate pan, warming for two to three minutes. Add that to the honey, warming for about an hour, then strain out the lemon bits and seeds. Cool the mixture, seal in a jar with a lid and refrigerate for up to two months. For a cough, give one half teaspoon to a 25 lb. child, one teaspoon to a 50 lb. child, or one tablespoon for adults, about four times daily or as often as needed. (Of course you can cut the recipe down accordingly.) At the first sign of flu or cold, Edgar Cayce suggested taking one and a half to two quarts of orange juice, squeeze the juice of two lemons into it; drink it within half an hour, then rest. Go to bed if possible.
Lemons are a wonderful stimulant to the liver, dissolving uric acid and other poisons. They increase peristalsis in the bowel to eliminate waste, thereby increasing regularity. Add the juice of one to one and a half lemon to a glass of warm water in the morning, twenty minutes before food, to detoxify the liver and stimulate bile which digests fats (also a good idea twenty minutes before a fatty meal). Lemons aid in overall digestion and help to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, kidney stones, and uric acid which can crystallize in joints as well as form kidney stones. Some advise drinking an additional cup of warm water before drinking the lemon water. The leftover lemon peel can be applied to your countertop or cutting board to kill bacteria. Remember, lemon can be harsh on tooth enamel, so always take it with water.
On several occasions I followed a weekend health fast discussed in Prostate Health in Ninety Days by Larry Clapp, PhD, who describes his healing fast which included lemon juice in water flavored with grade B maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne pepper. (By the way, this makes a great lemonade when not fasting!) On the third day of the fast he would start the day with water and Bentonite Clay, which is so absorbent it draws out toxic substances such as pathogenic viruses, herbicides, heavy metals, pesticides, radioactive substances, and parasites—and swells to many times its size in water.
You feel so good on this fast, so invigorated, with physical and mental energy to spare, as you regenerate your health!
Some of the above information comes from the following sources: Mercola.com, RealFoodforLife.com and the Cayce health database.
Citrus image courtesy of Suat Eman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net