Lemons have always been regarded as valuable fruits, since they are beneficial and useful in everyone’s home. They have been grown since the 16th century in Florida, after being brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus. With their high vitamin C content, lemons, as well as limes, were valued to protect against the development of scurvy.
They were even paid up to $1 per lemon during the California Gold Rush, when they were in high demand. This would still be considered pricey today, which means that it was extremely expensive during the 1800s. (1)
A reason enough for keeping a steady supply of lemons on hand is the vitamin C content alone. However, these bright citrus fruits also contain additional antioxidants, known as flavonoids, which play a beneficial role in fighting heart disease, cancer, and inflammation.(2)
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (3) published an article which claims that:
“The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Citrus flavonoids can play a key role in their activity against several degenerative diseases and particularly brain diseases.”
Lemons have their place in our daily diet, they can be used to make lemon water, for starters, they can be incorporated into vegetable juice, used in salad dressings, squeezed over veggies and so on. But what is even more interesting, lemon has even more favorable uses outside of the kitchen.
Lemon will be your miracle worker when you learn all about its uses around the house, for skin care, cleaning and much more.
Recently, a compilation of more than 5 dozen uses of lemon was published by Business Insider. All these uses are classified in a several categories. You can read all about these in the article below (4):
Clumpy rice: Add a spoonful of lemon juice to the water while the rice is cooking in order to keep rice from sticking. Simply fluff with a fork when it’s done.
Ice cubes: Add some flavor to your drinks by adding lemon slices to your ice cube trays.
Prevent browning on fruits and veggies: Soak cut-up apples, cauliflower, bananas, pears,potatoes, and avocados in a bowl of cold lemon water to prevent browning.
Buttermilk substitute: To make a fine substitute for buttermilk for the recipe you prepare, add two tablespoons of lemon juice to a cup of milk, and leave to sit for 15 minutes.
Sour cream substitute: For a sour cream alternative, add lemon juice to whipped cream and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Revive limp lettuce: Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water, then, soak the soggy lettuce leaves. Leave it for an hour in the fridge and then dry the now-crisp leaves.
Marinade: Lemon can also help you prepare a homemade marinade. Combine lemon juice with your favorite oils and herbs to marinate meats. The acidic lemon juice helps break down the meat so the flavor of the marinade can infuse it.
Coughs: Sip hot lemon water with honey to help reduce mucous buildup and relieve coughs.
Sore throat: Gargling with lemon water may soothe a sore throat while consuming lemon water provides vitamin C for your immune system. This is due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Lemon water: This fantastic mixture provides you with vitamin C and potassium while helping with digestion and immune system health.
Skin rashes: Relieve your pain by soaking a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply it to rashes, such as poison ivy.
Insect bites: Lemon juice can also help to relieve the swelling and itching of insect bites.
Warts: Coating warts with lemon juice may help in their elimination and accelerated recovery.
Canker sores: As mentioned above, lemon juice has antifungal and antibacterial properties, so gargling with a cup of hot lemon water may help speed the healing of canker sores.
Age spots and freckles: Fade age spots and freckles by applying lemon juice with a cotton swab.
Exfoliator: A combination of lemon juice, sugar, olive oil, and honey makes a nourishing exfoliating scrub for your face and body.
Acne: Lemon juice is a natural astringent. Thus, it can help fight acne if applied to your face twice a day. Let it sit for 10 minutes each time, then rinse with cool water.
Brightening moisturizer: Mix coconut oil with a few drops of lemon juice. Apply this mixture as a moisturizer and it will help to hydrate and brighten your skin.
Hair lightener: Before heading out in the sun, apply a combination of lemon juice with almond or coconut oil to your hair. The oil will prevent its drying, and the lemon will lighten your hair.
Dandruff: Massage two tablespoons of lemon juice into your scalp then rinse with lemon water. Repeat as necessary until you resolve this issue.
Whiten nails: For this purpose, you need a combination of lemon juice and olive oil. Soak your nails in it. While the lemon juice brightens your nails, the olive oil will help strengthen them.
Multi- purpose cleaner: Combine water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and lemon essential oil for a wonderful kitchen or bathroom cleaner.
Windows: Lemon juice cuts through grease and grime on windows and glass. Prepare your own excellent window cleaner by combining it with cornstarch, vinegar, and water.
Hard water stains: Lemon will remove hard water stains and leave fixtures shiny. Simply rub a cut lemon on your faucets and shower fixtures.
Furniture polish: Combine lemon oil, lemon juice, and olive or jojoba oil to make a homemade furniture polish. Simply buff with a cloth.
Microwave: If you caked on food, microwave a bowl of water, lemon juice, and lemon slices for three minutes. The food will wipe right off.
Cutting boards: This trick with lemon also works for wooden salad bowls and rolling pins. Simply sprinkle coarse salt on your cutting board then rub with a cut lemon to freshen and remove grease.
Brass and copper polish: Combine lemon juice and vinegar (equal parts) then apply with a paper towel to brass or copper. Polish with a soft cloth until dry. Lemon juice can also be combined with baking soda to make a paste that will remove tarnish.
Shower doors: Dip the cut half of a lemon in baking soda, then rub into on the glass to remove water stains. Rinse and towel dry.
Silverware polish: Combine one tablespoon lemon juice, 1.5 cups of water and 0.5 cut instant dry milk. Soak your silverware in the mixture overnight, then rinse and dry. In a pinch, you can apply lemon juice to tarnished silverware and buff with a clean cloth.
Coffee maker: Run a cycle with plain water, then, add a mixture of lemon juice and water to the water tank. Let it sit then run the cycle through. Repeat this process once more, and then run another plain water cycle. To remove any lemon taste, you’ll want to wash the coffee pot and filter afterwards.
Hardwood floors: Make a grime-fighting non-toxic floor cleaner by combining vinegar and lemon.
Plastic containers: Rub the plastic containers with lemon juice and letting them dry in the sun will help remove the stains.
Toilet: Remove the stains by adding half a cup of lemon juice to your toilet, then letting it sit prior to scrubbing. Add half a cup of borax for stubborn stains.
Room freshener: Make your own air room freshener, by simmering a pot of water and adding lemon peels, cloves, and cinnamon sticks.
Hands: Remove stubborn odors like garlic from your hands with the help of lemon. Add lemon juice while washing your hands with soap. It’s that simple.
Breath: Drinking lemon water freshens your breath. But make sure that you rinse your mouth with plain water afterward since lemon juice may erode your teeth.
Humidifier: Add lemon juice to the water in your humidifier, then let the machine run for deodorizing.
Fireplace: Simply let the peels sit out for a few days before using. Dried citrus peels can act as kindling in your fireplace, adding a wonderful smell and acting as a flame starter.
Garbage disposal: Freeze lemon slices and vinegar in ice cube trays. Place a few frozen cubes down your disposal for cleaning and freshening.
Refrigerator: Remove the odor from the fridge using lemon. Just soak a sponge in lemon juice and let it sit in your fridge for a few hours; it works better than baking soda.
Trash cans: You can also add a few lemon peels to your garbage to eliminate the odor.
Cat box: Freshen the air by placing lemon slices in a bowl near your cat box.
Spot treatment: Lemon is a fantastic means to fight underarms stains. Pour lemon juice on fabric stains followed by salt. Rub the stain and rinse. Dry in the sun if possible for even more stain-fighting power.
Grease stains: Lemon is also remarkable with grease stains! Try mixing lemon juice with vinegar and apply to the stain. Let it sit and then rinse.
Gentle bleach: Add lemon juice to hot water and soak white linens, then rinse and wash as normal. You can also add one-half cup of lemon juice to your washing cycle in lieu of bleach.
Whiten tennis shoes: Whiten and freshen your white sneakers by spraying lemon juice onto them. Then, dry them in the sun.
Mildew stains: Apply a paste of lemon juice and salt to the stain, then let dry in the sun. Repeat as needed.
Dog and cat repellant: Sprinkle the perimeter with coffee grounds and lemon peels in case you want to keep neighborhood dogs and cats out of your yard. Most dogs and cats dislike the scents and will avoid it.
Stains on your pet’s fur: Apply a paste of baking soda and lemon juice and rub into the fur Tt eliminate pink or red-colored stains from around your pet’s eyes or mouth. Let it sit for about 10 minutes then rinse off. Be careful not to get the mixture into your pet’s eyes.
Insect repellant: Spray concentrated lemon juice on areas where ants are getting in. You can also place lemon peels near entryways to repel insects. Mopping floors with lemon juice and water will repel roaches and flees.
Kill weeds: Your homemade lemon juice weed spray is a remarkable non-toxic weed killer.
Jewelry sanitizer: Add one tablespoon of lemon juice to 1.5 cups of water. Use the solution to sanitize earrings and other jewelry. Note that you mustn’t treat pearls or gold in this way.
Berry stains on hands: Rub a paste of cornmeal and lemon juice onto your hands, let it sit for a while and then rinse off to remove berry stains.
Leather shoe polish: Lemon can also be part of your fantastic homemade leather shoe polish! Mix one-part lemon juice with two parts of olive oil, then apply to leather shoes. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then buff with cloth.
Hardened paintbrushes: Bring lemon juice with a splash of water to a boil, then add in hardened paintbrushes. Let sit for 15 minutes, then wash with soap and water. The bristles will become soft again once they dry.
Invisible ink: Write a message on a piece of white paper using a cotton swab dipped in lemon juice. After it dries, hold it up to a lamp or light bulb to see your hidden message.
Fight Stress and Anxiety with Lemon Aromatherapy
-Another way to enjoy the healing powers of the lemon is the aromatherapy with lemon essential oil. Essential oils are the essence of the plant and can provide therapeutic benefits in very small amounts.
They carry biologically active volatile compounds of flowers and plants in a highly concentrated form. Various beneficial effects can be felt after an inhalation of the particles in essential oils, which come from flowers, twigs, leaves, or bark.
-Lemon essential oil has been shown to have anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects. (5)
-An aromatherapy massage using oils of lemon, rosemary, and peppermint was even found to relieve constipation in the elderly. (7)
-Meanwhile, the scent of lemon has been found to also reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. (8)
-One study showed that when participants sniffed a blend of oils of lemon, lavender, and ylang ylang, it lowered systolic blood pressure and sympathetic nerve system activity.(6)
To conclude, you can use lemon for its cleaning powers, antioxidant properties, for its flavor and vitamin C, as a part of your aromatherapy collection or for all of the numerous listed above, and you will always feel its favorable effects. We should all try to benefit from the lemon, as it is one of the most advantageous miracles of the nature.
Extra tip: If possible, always choose fresh lemon juice over the pre-squeezed varieties you can purchase at grocery stores, since it keeps its vitamin C content.(9)
Sources included linked in Dr. Mercola’s article:
- 1 World’s Healthiest Foods, Lemons
- 2 3 J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 13;56(15):6185-205.
- 4 Business Insider April 24, 2015
- 5 Behav Brain Res. 2006 Sep 25;172(2):240-9
- 6 J Korean Acad Nurs. 2010 Oct;40(5):705-13.
- 7 Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2005 Feb;35(1):56-64.
- 8 Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2014 Mar;16(3):e14360.
- 9 Pak J Biol Sci. 2008 May 15;11(10):1365-9. Featured image Via: Dr. Mercola