Ah the figurative lemon, the unexpected and undesirable event; the sudden shock of a breakup; the sinking feeling of a blunder at work; a sweet bonus check and then your boiler explodes. These are the lemons of life. We can choose to become a lemon ourselves, soured by disappointments, or we can use trials to make us stronger, more faithful, and more determined to be the change we wish to see in the world. Then we’ll be equipped to offer healing to others who are struggling.
Fruity lemons from the earth also offer a sweet cacophony of healing benefits. From its essence to the rind to the juice the entire fruit can be a treasure for your wellness if you know what’s inside. Play with these remedies, and let us know of your favorites.
1. Gentle Cleanse
First thing in the morning, while you’re still in a fasted state, squeeze ½ a lemon’s worth of lemon juice into some lukewarm water and enjoy. Let it hydrate you for the next 15 minutes or so before having coffee, tea, or any food or beverage. Don’t be surprised if you need to take a trip to the loo before your official morning smoothie. This elixir stimulates the release and excretion of toxins, providing a super gentle morning cleanse. Do this each morning to refresh from the inside out.
2. Brighten the Atmosphere, Lighten Your Day
The essence of lemon is bright, fruity, revitalizing, cleansing. Enjoy the fragrance of fresh lemon or invest in some lemon essential oil, pressed out from the part with the most exposure to the sun’s rays: the rind. It imparts a sort of “sunshine” into the atmosphere and has even been credited with the ability to help reverse the “blues.” Use it to supplement your warrior thankfulness, your steadfast refusal to believe all is doom and gloom even in the face of troubles, and you will soon see the light.
3. Ease Heartburn & Bloating
Some have sworn by this old folk remedy. If you experience heartburn and would like to try an alternative to the chalky lozenges, have a few squeezes of lemon, a teaspoon or so may be enough to do the trick. Add the juice to some water and drink. Many have reported results in calming an upset stomach, burping, bloating, acid reflux or just a sour taste in the mouth. If you try it, let us know how it goes!
4. Freshen Breath
As your body digests lemon juice it becomes alkaline, but when it hits your mouth it is acidic. The acidity inhibits the growth of breath-spoiling bacteria in your mouth. Lemon juice can soften tooth enamel so it’s best not to do it before brushing. Try a lemon/water rinse after you’ve brushed your teeth and before bed. Another old remedy that you can combine with the lemon juice is sea salt. Stir some fresh sea salt, about ½ tsp, into a small glass of warm/lukewarm water. Add a few squeezes of lemon juice, enough so you can taste it. Then swish and spit. This is really good for the gums and you may notice they’re getting healthier after a couple of weeks doing this consistently.
Unless your halitosis is related to a stomach or intestinal illness, you should begin seeing an improvement to your breath in a week or so.
5. Boost Immunity and Promote Healing
Lemons are filled with vitamins, not the least of which is vitamin C. Just your morning lemon water gives you a quick boost of antioxidant, skin cell protecting, immune boosting vitamin C. Lemon will also alkalize in the body. All infections from the common cold to flu, and eventually leading to serious diseases, are associated with an overly acidic system. Lemon can assist our bodies in quickly reestablishing alkalinity. I used to get sore throats several, as in many times per year. I’m a singer and that drives me crazy, so I was blessed to find out that drinking 2-3 mugs of hot water with lots and lots of lemon juice always made me feel better, and sometimes outright kicked the bug!
6. Naturally Tone Skin and Treat Acne
The juice of the yellow fruit is not only wonderful internally, but externally. You can do this in a number of ways. The fun part is to discover which you enjoy the most. You can squeeze pure lemon juice onto a cotton ball and spot treat after cleansing the skin. The juice is astringent, antimicrobial, antifungal. It’ll help to dry up zits and provide your skin with healthy acidity, also naturally protecting from future outbreaks. If it stings, add water.
You can also take a spray bottle, fill it with a water/lemon mixture, and spray mist. Avoid your eyes or make sure your eyes are closed and, to be safe, pat them with a damp wash cloth. You might leave it on for 5-10 minutes and then rinse; or leave it on overnight. My skin is very combination, so I personally was best off with spot treatments. Occasionally I’ll dip a cotton ball in a water diluted mixture and swipe all over.
FYI…lemon juice is also lightening, as many of us may know from lightening our hair with lemon juice and sunlight. The same will be true for your skin.
Who needs harsh chemicals and fumes to clean their house? My husband laughs because I like to save everything and if I can use one thing for two purposes, I’m a kid in a candy store. So, after you’ve squeezed out your lemons and there’s nothing else in them, they’ll be good for at least one more use.
Got soap scum? Sprinkle some baking soda on the area and then scrub with the inner part of the peel. For tough grease in the oven, mix lemon juice with some white vinegar, add the baking powder and, again, scrub using the inner part of the lemon. Add some coarse sea salt for more abrasive scrubbing action.
Every now and then we all need a reminder. So remember this: when life gives you lemons don’t just make a screw face. Make those suckers work for you!