A small evergreen tree native to Asia, bearing it's yellow fruit, has been used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world, primarily for its juice. The origin of the lemon is unknown, though lemons are thought to have first grown in a region in northeast India, northern Burma, and China.
The lemon was introduced to the Americas in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds on his voyages. Spanish conquest throughout the New World, helped spread the lemon seeds. It was mainly used as an ornamental plant and for medicine. In the 19th century, lemons were increasingly planted in Florida and California.
In the mid 1700s, though vitamin C was not yet known, James Lind's experiments on seamen suffering from scurvy involved adding lemon juice to their diets.
Lemon oil may be used in aromatherapy, which does not influence the human immune system, but may enhance mood. The low pH of juice makes it antibacterial, and in India, the lemon is used in Indian traditional medicines.
Take time to pamper yourself ~
Everyone needs a little me time, and setting aside a little bit of time for yourself isn't too much to ask. Take the time to pamper yourself - treat yourself well! Here are some ways to pamper yourself with Luscious Lemon Love.
Note: Some people may have a severe chemical reaction when their skin is exposed to lemon juice and sunlight (called phytophotodermatitis). Lemon juice should not be left on the skin for extended periods of time. When using lemon juice and other skin-lightening products, always use sunscreen and avoid unnecessary time in the sun. If careful about how long the lemon juice is left on the skin, and in what conditions it is applied, you should find lemon juice to be a pretty effective skin lightener.
Lemons move from kitchen to bathroom ~
Compared to a multitude of products we might purchase from the beauty counter, lemon juice is easily obtainable and relatively low in cost. Lemon juice has many benefits when applied directly to the hair and skin.
Hair Lightener - Spending time in the sun is an easy and effective way to naturally highlight your hair. The process of highlighting your hair brings out its natural golden hues. If you want to speed up the process, lemon juice applied to your hair before sun exposure will give you natural looking sunny highlights.
- Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a bowl, or spray bottle with an equal amount of water - shake well.
- Spray the lemon mixture concentrating on a few strands, or for a more precise application you can dip a cotton ball into the lemon juice and rub it on a few strands. The more you apply, the lighter your hair will get.
- Sun-dry your hair for approximately 20-30 minutes, then wash and condition, thoroughly rinsing .
- (Note: due to the acidity in the lemon juice, bleaching your hair too often can damage it by drying it out.)
Dry Scalp - Lemon juice has antibacterial properties that will alleviate dry and itchy scalp and dandruff. Apply it liberally, leaving in for 5-10 minutes, then shampoo.
See also natural hair conditioners.
Teeth Whitener - Mix approximately 1 good teaspoon of baking soda with just enough fresh lemon juice (or water) to make a paste. The mixture will bubble. Wipe your teeth and any extra saliva off of them with a paper towel. Put a good amount of paste onto your toothbrush and apply. Leave the paste on for 1 minute, then rinse to avoid the acid effecting the enamel. If you are using just water you can leave it on for up to 3 minutes. Do this once a week.
Lemon juice is rich in alpha hydroxy acids ~
Use lemon juice, or diluted lemon juice, as a toner or astringent, applying it with a cotton ball to the facial and neck area, followed up with a moisturizer.
Diminish Scars and Age Spots - Applying lemon juice to the skin can diminish discolored areas caused by scars and age spots, and some skin disorders. Apply directly to the discolored area(s) at bedtime, leaving the lemon juice on the skin overnight, and washing it off in the morning.
Combat Wrinkles - By massaging lemon juice into fine lines and wrinkles, the acidity helps skin look brighter and younger, replenishing the skin's depleted vitamin C levels.
Acne and Blackheads - Lemon juice has a natural antibacterial property that unblocks clogged pores, fighting acne, and reducing the frequency and severity of blackheads, as well as helping to prevent further breakouts. The antioxidant L-ascorbic acid in lemons is also the same active ingredient in store-bought acne products. If you leave lemon juice on the acne and blackheads over night, be sure to wash it off in the morning.
Tone and Brighten Oily Skin - Other benefits of using lemon juice on the skin besides brightening or lightening the skin, include moisturizing and toning oily skin. Apply lemon juice to the oily areas, then rinse with cool water.
Exfoliates - Lemon juice can be used as a natural "skin peel", since the citric acid gently removes the top layer of dead skin cells, resulting in a smooth complexion when regularly used.
Relieves Sunburn - Gently washing the face with lemon juice and equal parts of water can be a remedy to relieve the pain of sunburn, cooling the burn. It also promotes healing and acts as a disinfectant preventing peeling and blisters.
Full Body Treatment - Add approximately 1/2 cup of lemon juice to a warm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. Unless your skin is extremely dry, it is not necessary to rinse afterwards.