The little, bright yellow citrus fruit known as the lemon, or botanically as citrus limon, is good for more than mere lemonade. With its citric acid, vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus, lemon can be a powerful medicinal remedy. Its astringent, carminative and anti-inflammatory properties make lemon juice potentially useful as a natural solution for kidney stones, constipation, indigestion, oral and dental issues, throat problems and even for weight loss.
Drinking lemon juice may help cure gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, heartburn and constipation. Lemon juice has the ability to stimulate the flow of saliva and increase gastric juices, allowing more efficient digestion and better bowel mobility. According to the Organic Facts website, just adding a few drops of lemon juice to water or food can aid in digestion and cleanse the system. It is also suggested by best-home-remedies.com, that lemon juice can destroy intestinal worms and eliminate gases that are formed in the digestive tract that cause abdominal discomfort, leading to constipation and dyspepsia.
Lemon juice can act as a kidney stone preventative and treatment. According to a study published in the September 1996 issue of the "Journal of Urology," lemon juice is an inexpensive, viable alternative to citrate supplementation, which is the common treatment for nephrolithiasis, or kidney stones. During this study, researchers from the University of California actually showed that using lemon juice and water increased urinary citrate levels without changing urinary volume exactly like the more expensive citrate supplementation. The study showed that the lemon water solution was more tolerated and participants stayed more compliant to the treatment. In another study published in the October 2007 issue of "BMC Urology," scientists proved that lemon juice inhibited the buildup of calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys. During this study, all the subjects were given a water solution containing ethylene glycol and ammonium chloride. Half of the group were also given an additional water solution made with either 100, 75 or 50 percent pure lemon juice. The results were astounding, showing no kidney stones or deposits in those subjects who were given the 100 or 75 percent lemon juice solutions.
Due to lemon juice's anti-inflammatory properties and high content of vitamin C, it may be effective in treating oral and dental issues such as gum inflammation, toothache, gum bleeds, and halitosis or bad breath. According to the website, Healthy Juicing, fresh lemon juice massaged into the gums and around the tooth can relieve toothaches and stop gum bleeds associated with gum irritation. Adding a drop of lemon juice to your toothpaste or the water you rinse your mouth out with can also kill the bacteria that causes bad breath, leaving your mouth feeling clean and fresh. It also appears that lemon juice can cure oral thrush. In a study published in the March 2009 issue of "Phytomedicine," researchers showed that lemon juice also harbors antifungal properties and was an effective and inexpensive treatment for candidiasis among HIV/AIDS patients. (see reference 3, 5 and 6)
Lemon juice, with its antiseptic and astringent properties, can be used as a natural topical solution and home remedy for various skin conditions including sunburn, stings, scars and acne. According to Organic Facts, rubbing lemon juice directly into the skin, can soften and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and clear blemished skin, pulling the dirt from clogged pores that cause acne cysts, whiteheads and blackheads. Using a cut lemon on scars, burns and dry skin has also shown therapeutic results. Due to the citric acid and vitamin C, lemon juice can help fade scars, relieve the inflammation of a burn and moisten and soften dry, scaly skin. (see reference 1, 3 and 6)
- Organic Facts: Health Benefits of Lemon
- "BMC Urology"; Lemon Juice Has Protective Activity in a Rat Urolithiasis Model; M. Touhami, et al.; October 2007
- "Journal of Urology"; Dietary Manipulation With Lemonade to Treat Hypocitraturic Calcium Nephrolithiasis; M.A. Seltzer, et al.; September 1996
- "Phytomedicine"; Treatment of Oral Thrush in HIV/AIDS Patients With Lemon Juice and Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon Citratus) and Gentian Violet; S.C. Wright, et al.; March 2009
- Best-Home-Remedies.com : Lemon - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
- AkayArda/iStock/Getty Images