Lemons for Health, 20 Reasons Why

Posted by on Jan 10, 2016 in Health | 50 comments

lemon waterIt was really difficult for me to drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day until I discovered that adding lemons made the water more palatable. I freeze  lemon slices and use them in place of ice cubes. A friend of mine prefers to add the lemon slices to hot water for a hot drink. Either way, it does make it easier to get your 8 cups a day.

But lemon does more than make water taste better. It really is a health superfruit that boosts immune system health, which of course prevents many illnesses from taking hold.

  • Lemons are loaded with nutrients that boost the immune system, making it a great preventative. It is high in vitamin C, and also contains vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin E along with many important nutrients and minerals. Lemons contain flavonoids which are believed to play an important role in fighting cancer, heart disease, and some degenerative diseases. Lemons also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
  • For the greatest health benefit use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Once a lemon has been juiced it loses Vitamin C rapidly, reducing its effectiveness.
  • To easily make a hot lemon drink, simply juice a lemon over a tea cup (use a strainer to catch the seeds). You can add the juiced lemon – I do – then pour in enough hot water to fill the cup. Cover the cup with something (to keep in the heat) and let steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove the lemon and stir in a teaspoon of raw honey.  Lemons for health

    Lemons for Health:

  1. Lemon’s antimicrobial properties reduce the effects of cold and flu. Hot lemon tea can soothe a sore throat, cut phlegm, reduce mucous buildup and relieve coughs.
  2. A gargle with lemon juice can also soothe a sore throat – gargle, then swallow the juice. Lemon’s  antibacterial properties will go on to kill more germs.
  3. Reduce chills with hot lemon tea.
  4. Treat fever with a cup of Vitamin C rich lemon tea. This replaces the fluids lost through sweating.
  5. Asthma and allergy sufferers may find relief from a hot lemon drink (without honey) taken before meals and before bedtime.
  6. Gargling with lemon juice stops gums from bleeding, prevents toothaches and eliminates bad breath – swallow the lemon juice to kill more bacteria, then rinse well with clear water to remove any remaining acid from teeth.
  7. Gargling with hot lemon water may help speed the healing of canker sores.
  8. Lemon is a great blues chaser. Sit down with a cup of lemon tea and take time to really smell the aroma for a quick mood lifter and to reduce stress and depression.
  9. Lemon’s antiseptic properties supports a healthy digestive system – valuable in the prevention and treatment of constipation, flatulence, heartburn and indigestion.
  10. Drinking lemon juice daily may deter the formation of kidney stones and gall stones.
  11. Lemon juice is a diuretic which flushes out toxins from the body and cleans the blood. It is believed this may soothe symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism.
  12. Lemon juice maximizes enzyme function which contributes to detoxification.
  13. Lemon tea taken daily may help control diabetes, high blood pressure and prevent stroke.
  14. Lemon juice stops internal bleeding. To stop a nose bleed, drop some lemon juice on a cotton ball and place it inside your nose.
  15. Stop the bleeding and disinfect cuts and scrapes by applying lemon juice to a cotton ball, place on cut or scrape and hold it firmly in place for a few minutes.
  16. Soothe and ease skin rashes, including poison ivy rash, with lemon juice.
  17. Lemon juice will also provide relief from insect bites and bee stings.
  18. Cool minor burns, including sunburn, by applying lemon juice to the burn. This may also prevent scars.
  19. Dissolve warts and speed recovery – Soak a cotton ball in lemon juice then hold it on the wart for a minute or so. Repeat for several days until the acids in the lemon juice dissolve the wart completely.
  20. Treat a hangover with a cup of tea to which a generous portion of lemon juice was added.

Isn’t it something that lemons, probably one of the least expensive fruits, plays such a large role in natural treatments and remedies.

Talk to you again next week,

Lenie

If you enjoyed this post – others will too. Please share.

Would love to have you follow me on Pinterest  or  Twitter or browse my Etsy Store

50 Comments

  1. Hi, Lenie

    In our home, we alternatively use lemon and apply cider vinegar for good health. We like its ability to detox the liver We know its ability to kill germ, so that we use it in our kitchen counter. we love the smell of crashed lemon skin.
    We also use it to white our teeth.

    Your list also provides some of its functions that we don’t know. We will try some of them out in our home.

    Thanks for your effort to compile the list.

    -Stella Chiu

    • Hi Stella, I’m not at all surprised that you already use lemon for good health. I know about apple cider vinegar but that is something I haven’t tried but will do so now. I wonder what else apple cider vinegar is good for. Will have to find out – possibly material for another post? About lemon’s ability to kill germs, did you know that you can use it to wash fruits and vegetables – a totally natural way to remove all impurities.

  2. I love lemons. I am now drinking lemon in a cup of Luke warm water in the morning. It seems to help when my stomach is bothering me. My mom would give me lemon mixed with a tbsp of honey for a sore throat. Not sure if it worked healing the throat but it would soothe my throat. I also do it for my kids. Thanks for sharing, Lenie!

    • A hot lemon drink with honey soothes the throat everytime and now we know the high vitamin C content also helps prevent colds so it’s a simple good-tasting remedy that works as a preventive. I love that.

  3. Wow Lenie! This is great info. I already drink 8 or 10 glasses of water a day and adding the lemon slices sounds like an awesome booster! Sold – well, I mean you’ve sold me on buying lemons regularly now.

    I had no idea about all these treatments and remedies of lemons too. Thanks for this one!

    • Hi Patricia, isn’t it neat that simple remedies are still available. I would love to have a book from the 1700’s listing all the old time remedies – the more I learn about herbs and fruits, the more I realize those old-timers were onto something. Not that I’m not thankful for current medical gains but it’s nice to know there are options, within reason.

      • Well, you could certainly write such a book Lenie. Old time remedies from the 1700s to complement current medical gains. ?

        • Wouldn’t that be a challenge – you actually have me thinking about it- think of the fascinating research. I did an essay on the history of social welfare from Queen Elizabeth the first to current days in Canada and I loved doing it. This could be similar, hmmmm.

  4. Hi Lenie, I like lemon in my ice water too. Especially when I add a couple good of sugar and make homemade lemonade. 🙂 yum! But i guess that does take away some (or all) of the marvelous health benefits, doesn’t it? Lol. Who knew it had so many uses?!

    • Susan, here’s a rationalization – the good provided by the amount of lemons used to make lemonade offsets the bad of the sugar (I have no idea if that is true, as I said I’m rationalizing). The one definite benefit of ice-cold lemonade is the fact that nothing tastes better on a sweltering day and that has to have some health benefits, right? 🙂

      • Instead of adding honey or sugar, I add maple syrup — a quarter or a third as much maple syrup as fresh squeezed lemon juice. It’s sweet enough for me. I add it to cold distilled water, to taste. Pure Grade B maple syrup has nutritional value, so it’s a great addition!

        • Good morning Willena, welcome to my blog. Thanks for the tip about adding maple syrup – that’s a dandy because maple syrup does have many health benefits. Rather ironic that I didn’t think of it since we used to make it when all our children were still home. I do have some in my fridge right now and will try that myself today. It’s very cold here so a hot lemon drink laced with maple syrup may be just the ticket. Thanks and hope to see you back here. BTW – I like your Pinterest boards and am following them.

          • Thanks, Lenie. Your blog is beautiful as well as valuable.

            And I know what you mean about the irony. I grew up in southern Ontario (in or near Georgetown, for 25 years!) — and other than one field trip to a maple sugar bush when I was a young teen, I never had maple syrup! Now I live in northern Alberta and have to buy my maple syrup.

          • Willena, thanks for the kind words – I appreciate them so much. I thought it was neat that you grew up in Georgetown – I live in Grey-Bruce, up Owen Sound way and I have a son who is a youth worker in Edmonton. Small world huh? 🙂

  5. Lennie- My acupuncturist said that lemons will help fade age spots. We have so many household items at our disposable without paying for high priced remedies. I drink lemon and lime juice. Haven’t tried the lemons on the age spots yet.

    • Arleen, I know that lemons are an age-old remedy used by Southern Belles to fade freckles so it makes sense that it would also fade age spots. You’ll have to try it and let me know the results.

  6. I love lemon tea, but never realized it was so good for you! And that’s a great idea to freeze lemon slices for ice water. Your posts always inspire me Lenie!

    • Aw Meredith, so nice that I can inspire the Palette Muse, your posts do the same for me. Now when you have that lemon tea you can sit back and enjoy it even more knowing that you’re drinking health.

  7. I absolutely love lemons and this is the second time you’ve reminded me that I can freeze them! Duh! I know they are healthy but several of the uses you’ve listed are definitely new to me so all the better. Thanks Lenie!

    • Hi Marquita – I could not drink my water without the lemon. I used to get bad leg cramps until an old Scottish Doctor told me to have a glass of tonic, with lemon, every day. I started doing that and very seldom have leg cramps anymore. Those old-time methods are making their way back because they work without side effects.

  8. I never knew that lemons treat warts! How interesting. I used to drink a lot of lemon water. I don’t as much anymore. Though maybe I’ll use this as inspiration to bring lemon water back into my diet!

    • Hi Erica, when you stop and think about it, it makes sense that lemons would dissolve warts since they are so acidic. I always find it interesting that the very simple things – like lemons – often have the greatest health benefits. Who needs vitamin C supplements when the lemon provides all the vitamin C we need.

  9. I use freshly squeezed lemon juice just about everyday. Hardly a meal will go by without my using it in a sauce, salad dressing, as a garnish or to improve the flavor of fish or vegetables. My main motivation is that it makes so many things taste better. Nice to know of all of these other benefits.

    • Ken, thanks for mentioning all the other ways to use lemon. Isn’t is nice knowing that by making food and drink taste better, you’re also contributing to good health. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Great idea, Lennie. Used to do that. But after getting thyroid problems I had to stop. So instead I use applevinegar and bicarbonate which is beneficial for your health.

    • Catarina, several people have mentioned apple cider vinegar and that is one thing I don’t know much about other than it is good for health. Will have to research it and find out what makes it so – maybe another post.

  11. I love lemons! To my dentist’s horror, I will slice them into wedges and eat like oranges. He tells me to make sure I rinse well with water later to make sure the acid doesn’t totally eat away my enamel, so I do. I am sitting here having my morning hot lemon, honey and turmeric tea as I type! Adding a half teaspoon of turmeric makes it a great anti-inflammatory. I always make sure I have lemons on hand, and use them in everything from just plain water, to tea, and all kinds of recipes.I make my own cleaner with lemon and vinegar. Place the lemon rinds in a jar and cover with vinegar. Let it “steep” for about 2 weeks, then strain out the lemon, put the lemon vinegar into a spray bottle, about 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water, and clean away! This sometimes needs to be rinsed though as the lemon oil out of the rinds might cause some streaking, but leaves a wonderful clean smell in your house! Love lemons!

    • I’m with you Nancy. I use lemons in so many different ways. Lemon, vinegar and baking soda – my three cleaning ingredients. I haven’t tried the turmeric although I do have some in my pantry – will have to try it if I remember. old time methods that really work, right?

  12. Lenie, what a wonderful list. Next time I add a slice of lemon to my tea, I will think of you!

    • Glad you like the list Leora. Here’s to your next cup of tea -cheers.

  13. That’s good to know that lemons are good for soothing sunburns and possibly scars as well. I love unflavored room temperature water though. I don’t like it when restaurants put lemons or cucumbers in the water or iced tea for that matter. I do like lemon in tea however.

    • Jeri, I’ve never heard of restaurants putting cucumbers in water. That’s got to be a new one. Doesn’t sound like you have a problem getting your 8 glasses a day. I really did and had to find a solution so ta-da, the lemon.

  14. I have drank lemon with water before for years. I was unaware of all the benefits of using it.
    Thank you for sharing this with us, and I will try the other tips you have provided.

    • William, isn’t it nice to know that everytime you have a lemon water you’re making a positive contribution to your health? I’m glad this post was of value to you.

  15. This is wonderful stuff, Lenie! I love all the uses for lemon. I think some time ago, you said about the lemon slices in the freezer. I’ve been doing that in my water for a long time. It’s also the perfect way to cool off my hot tea when I make it just a bit too hot!

    • Rose, it’s amazing what you can do when you need to. I don’t shop very often so the lemons were going bad before I used them up. By freezing them sliced, I not only have no waste but the additional cold from the lemons make the drink even better. Glad you agree. Never thought about the tea angle – good tip.

  16. There was once a time when I used to take lemons only during hangovers..lol

    But now I make sure to have at least thrice or four times a week.

    Can I take lemon along with green tea?

    Informative post, Lenie…Thanks

    • Tuhin, I’ll bet those hangover days were University days, right? Anyway, as far as lemon with green tea, I really don’t know but I don’t see why not. I don’t care for green tea – find it too blah like chamomile tea so I would think lemon could only improve it.

  17. I always learn something new from you Lenie!

    I cannot quite believe that lemons have 20 different uses.

    I may try lemon in water – may make it more enjoyable.

    My known uses of lemons;
    1. Add to eggs when making cakes – will not taste or smell eggy
    2. Whiten fingernail tips
    3. To remove odours from your fridge

    • Phoenicia, I’m glad you learn from me but I have to tell you that I learned from you today. I never thought of adding lemon to eggs when making a cake but when you stop and think about it you realize it makes sense. Thanks for adding that tip. As far as adding lemon to water – you may be surprised just how much better it tastes and how much easier it becomes to drink the needed amount of water.

  18. I’ve heard of a few of these health reasons before. I’ve drunk lemon water a little in the past, but I need to start drinking it more since I am also having a problem getting my 8 glasses of water each day.

    • Jason, you may be surprised how much easier it is getting your 8 glasses a day just by adding lemon. The tumbler in the picture holds 3 cups and I sip away at it all day long – who needs water bottles?

  19. Would the health benefits of lemon extend to a large slice of lemon meringue pie, by any chance? 😉

    Somewhat more seriously, I drink a lot of white grapefruit juice, which is almost as sour as lemon juice – am I getting some of those lemon effects (e.g., healthy digestive system, maximizes enzyme function, etc.) by doing so?

    • Don’t you wish!! When I was young, Sundays meant Church, Family, Friends, Soup and LEMON PIE (with ll kids and loads of friends sharing the day it meant lots of lemon pie – guess the good times provided mental health if nothing else.)

      As far as white grapefruit juice goes, it doesn’t have the same benefits as lemon but still has a lot of health benefits of its own – may lessen risk of diabetes and heart disease. High in Vitamin A and C. It may help fight fatigue and provide more energy. It is also thought to promote a clear complexion. Couple of cautions: first, it’s believed it’s better to eat your fruit than to drink it and second, if you are taking any medication, you should let your doctor know. Hope this helps.

  20. 20 terrific reasons to use lemon and how to do them! I love this post. It’s wonderful that something so tasty can do so much good for our bodies and as a bonus be so inexpensive. Lovely article!

    • Hi Beth, it is rather great that in these days – when the cost of food is going up constantly, we’re still able to buy lemons which are so good for you at a relatively low price. Thanks for your comment.

  21. Hi Lenie; once again you amaze me with all the uses you have found for one common household product. i have to ask though do any of the same things apply to limes or oranges? as kidney stones and gall stones are problematic for people on high protein diets; and since gastric patients are on high protein diets; i wonder if it should be suggested that we take in lemon each day as your post implies. and does the lemon zest have any health benefits or has it lost all of them in the processing. thanks so much max

    • Max, as a gastric patient please do not start using lemons or anything else outside of your planned diet without checking with your doctor first. All fruits, vegetables and herbs have excellent health benefits but like all health products they can have side effects. Nuts are really good for you except some people are so allergic to them that any exposure to them can cause serious reactions.

      • hi lenie; no worries i would never make such a change without consulting my council of three primary care physician, gastric surgeon, and oncologist. yep for years i didn’t have one doctor now i got three. but they offer us lemon water in their waiting room. i will ask about this on our private fb group and let you know what i hear back. great post, max

  22. I like lemon in my water. I quite often start my day off with lemon in a cup of hot water. I knew lemon was good for a number of things, but had no idea how many uses it had. I had no idea it could help with allergies. Another great post Lenie.