Health and beauty benefits of lemons
Lemons give us a zest for life. Thought to have originated in the Himalayan foothills of North East India, the antioxidant and immunity-stimulating powers of the evergreen tree’s ellipsoidal super-fruit, citrus × limon, can help boost our energy and ward off infections throughout the year.
With their high vitamin C content, incorporating lemons in our diet can act to neutralise an excessive imbalance of free radicals and help boost collagen production. It is thanks to vitamin C our bodies produce cortisone, which acts on our mood and enables our adrenal hormones to function properly. These hormones defend against stress, including the oxidative stress which ages us. As well as being packed with healing properties, the uplifting aroma of lemons and lemon oil is believed to increase concentration and alertness and it goes without saying that their yellow colour is associated with a sunny and positive mental outlook.
The beauty of lemons is their wide-ranging number of benefits. Not only for tingling our taste buds and adorning our fruit bowls, but also for reviving and enhancing so many of our health and beauty needs. Here are eight of the citrus fruit’s magic powers…
Health benefits of lemons
Kick starting the day with a cup of cold or hot water and a slice of lemon is a great way to reboot the metabolism after a long night’s slumber. The detoxifying properties of this citric fruit are cleansing and energising, giving us the zing we need to tackle the stresses of the day ahead. Even if, for some of us, cutting out the morning dose of caffeine seems an impossible feat, incorporating the water and lemon ritual is a worthwhile habit on our journey to enhanced wellbeing. Likewise, as a mild natural diuretic, lemon in water is a perfect way to reduce bloating and put us on track for summer.
The limonite in lemon acts as an excellent natural antiseptic, while the high vitamin C content helps with internal infection. That is why we have been drinking or gargling warm water with lemon and honey for generations in order to help prevent sore throats and mouth ulcers.
The fragrant zest of lemons lifts the flavour of other fruits. Adding its juice to compotes or in fruit salads can replace or reduce sugar as a flavour enhancer. Also, a few drops of juice squeezed from fresh lemons can be used as an alternative in salad dressings (especially good on avocado).
Not only are lemons good for our health and beauty needs but also for uplifting the psyche. Lemon oil used in aromatherapy has been shown to improve mood, increase mental focus, and even help tackle fatigue, anxiety, and tension.
Beauty benefits of lemons
Pollution and everyday pressures take their toll on our skin. Adding a few drops of lemon oil into water when steaming works wonders for helping to decongest clogged pores due to its anti-bacterial properties, while adding a drop of neat lemon oil into your facial oil or moisturiser and massaging directly onto the face can add lustre and help rejuvenate the complexion.
Rubbing an open lemon onto the elbows and knees is an excellent way to rid discolouration so, during the summer months, there can be fewer qualms about going tights-free. In addition, lemon juice can correct streaky fake tan mishaps as an emergency quick fix.
Applying lemon juice or lemon oil to the hair when in the sun is traditionally believed to be a more natural way to bring out our hair’s highlights. The effects are two-fold since the astringent properties of lemons can help treat a scaly scalp and dandruff at the same time.
Soaking nails in lemon juice for at least 10 minutes after removing nail varnish or shellac can help to get rid of leftover stains and also prevent the yellowing of nails. Mixing lemon juice with a pure plant oil (such as olive, peach or rosehip) can also help strengthen dry and brittle nails.
- The astringent properties of lemons can help treat a scaly scalp and dandruff
- Adding a few drops of lemon oil into water when steaming helps to decongest clogged pores
- Lemon oil has been shown to improve mood, increase mental focus, and even help tackle fatigue, anxiety, and tension