Lemon

Lemon

Citrus Limon

Lemon, high in Vitamin C, is a great immune boosting fruit that can be enjoyed many different ways.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Fruit
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About Lemon

Lemon is bitter, sweet, sour, and peculiarly irresistible botanical berry that hails from the Rutaceae family. This pale yellow prolate fruit bears 5 to 10 seeds and grows on a small, thorny tree. Lemons are used modestly all around the world. From dishwasher soaps to facial cleansers, medicinal syrups to snuffing out the stinky smell, lemon knows every single spell to bring harmony in our lives.

The origin of lemons is unknown because it has been on earth for so long. The lemon tree grows only 10-20 feet tall and is scarcely foliaged. Lemons are brimmed with flavones and flavonones, including  C glycosides of diosmetin and apigenin, hesperidin, and eriocitrin. It also contains phenolic compounds like hydroxycinnamic acid and hydroxybenzoic acid. Above all, lemons are the supreme source of Vitamin C which seems to be a one-stop solution to every health problem.

Apart from enjoying its way with cuisines, its medicinal benefits make it a well-reputed citrus fruit. Lemon fruit, juice, and peel are used in the treatment of scurvy, common cold, swine flu, tinnitus, morning sickness (especially during pregnancy), and upset stomach. Lemons can even dissolve kidney stones.

Being packed with Vitamin C, it revitalizes the skin by promoting the hydration. It also helps with weight loss and halitosis (bad breath).

Growing

Lemons can grow easily indoors and outdoors in USDA growing zones 8 through 11 but the residents of zones 4 to 7 can only grow it indoors.

Lemons can be grown year-round in warmer climatic zones whereas, for colder regions, its seeds must be sown in spring after all the dangers of frost have departed because lemons are frost-sensitive.

Lemon seeds aim for dark spot, moist, and sandy soil that does not hold up much water. The soil can be pasteurized to prevent fungal diseases from killing the seedlings. Mulch can be added to soil to retain its moisture. Also, after germination, the seedlings require a good amount of bright sunlight to achieve several sets of leaves.

The lemon seeds germinate within two to three weeks upon receiving the optimum temperature of 70F. On an average basis, the lemon tree can live up to 50 years but some trees have displayed a remarkable lifespan of more than a hundred years.

The lemon plant produces bright shiny, foliage and embarks on the journey of bloom in its second year. These white flowers bloom all year round to be pollinated by insects and transform into the citrus fruits. From the process of pollination to the formation of fruit, it can take around 12 months.

Astonishingly, the lemon tree can be seen with fruits and flowers all at the same time.

Harvesting

The best sign to start with the lemon harvest is reckoned by its color change and appropriate size. It should be 2 to 3 inches in size and must appear yellow (or with slight greenish hints).

The lemon fruit is usually handpicked or cut using hand pruners.

Lemons are stored on the counter or in the refrigerator at around 40F. 

Lemons can also be dried for storage by slicing them thinly and baking for 2 hours, all the while making sure not to burn them.

Usage

With lemons in had comes an open field for experimenting. A wide range of medicinal preparations employs lemons because of its miraculous health benefits.

  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped lemon zest in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Lemon juice and honey are used to make a balmy cup of hot tea.
  • Decoction - Lemon juice is combined with ginger and honey to be decocted with water.
  • Salve - Lemon-peel infused oil is merged with beeswax pellets to form lemon salve.
  • Syrup - Lemon juice is simmered in a sugar solution to form lemon syrup.
  • Infused oil - The lemon peel is infused with olive oil for 6 to 8 weeks to form the infused oil.