Do you ever have those synchronicities occur in your life where you keep seeing the same over and over again? I am having that experience, except with lemons. Is it just me? So okay I thought I would write my next blog on lemons, and why not! There’s a lot worse things I could be blogging about.
You may have noticed a post I shared on Facebook recently about the benefits of drinking lemon water? Well it made me think about when I was a child, and had a bad head cold or flu my Mum always made me a drink with real lemon. She would slice up the lemons, put them in a big jug, add hot water and some honey or sugar. I grew up in the 60’s where it wasn’t generally thought that sugar was such a bad thing hence many fillings but that is another story. Anyway, if Mum made hot lemon then you knew you were proper poorly! It was very soothing too, and even nicer when it went cold.
Anyway suddenly lemons are in fashion again and my fruit bowl is full of them, but then I am in Spain at the moment and they are abundant and fresh and lovely. I thought it ws worth some investigating, this lemon trend, and what I have found is yes, they do have some benefits, but quite frankly some of the claims are just over-hyped so to cut to the chase here’s my two-pennyworth:
- Starting your day off, avoid the coffee, (or the tea), and reach for a glass of hot water with fresh lemon juice (not the ready squeezed stuff) is said to get the digestive tract going. However, drinking a couple of glasses of simple water first thing probably has the same effect, it is just giving your body enough fluid after not drinking all night. Common sense really.
- Head cold? Sore throat? (I’m beginning to sound like an advert). Mum’s remedy of lemon with hot water and honey really does sooth that throat, but the key is to squeeze the lemon into the hot water, then slice up the lemon and add it in, stir in the honey. Definitely don’t add sugar the honey is sweet enough and I don’t want the blame for dental decay I have enough problems of my own.
- Prevent Kidney Stones – Wait a minute – don’t believe everything you read. There is some evidence that drinking lemon juice might help protect against kidney stones. However you have to drink 1/2 a cup of pure lemon juice. Quite frankly drinking 1/2 a cup of pure lemon juice on the offchance it might help prevent kidney stones – nah! You would need to drink 2 litres of lemonade made from the lemon juice to get this amount of lemon inside you.
- Insect Bites: If you are bitten by an insect then applying a drop of lemon juice can sooth the skin. Tea tree oil or common old vinegar does the trick too.
- It treat’s scurvy – not that you see a lot of it around these days, I remember reading about sailors with scurvy in my history books when I was at school (a very long time ago). They obviously didn’t have any lemons.
- Flushing the liver – sounds extreme. Again drinking plenty of water flushes the system and most of us just don’t drink enough water. There is some evidence that lemon juice may help stimulate bile production and stomach acid production.
- Helps Boost the Immune System – yes it does a bit, lemons do contain vitamin C of course, so if you do add your lemons to your early morning water then it is adding vitamin C to your body.
- Gives You Healthy Skin: vitamin C is good for your skin, yes.
- Damages Your Teeth: yes, the downside is that the acid can erode the enamel on your teeth – use a straw and clean your teeth after drinking.
As an Aromatherapist I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention the uses for Lemon Essential Oil. Citrus Limon is an energising and uplifting oil good to use in a diffuser to rid a room of aromas such a cigarette smoke. Oil is used to treat athlete’s foot, chilblains, corns, colds, dull skin, oily skin, varicose veins and warts.
Finally, a lot of the evidence suggests that actually increasing the amount of water you drink helps, and yes perhaps lemon can help with some health issues but its the drinking water that is the key point.
Recipe for Lemon Water
A large jug, (1 to 1.5 pints) (I’m old school)
A lemon (wash it first, you don’t know where it’s been)
Hot water (boil it and let it cool a little)
Squeeze the lemon into the water, then slice up the squeezed lemon and add it all to the water. Add honey if you wish. I don’t bother but I’m just hardcore. Drink it warm, cold, however you like. You can top it up during the day if you wish with some more hot water. Doesn’t keep for more than a day.
Have you tried lemon water? Comments, feedback, let me know your thoughts.
Thanks for reading