The lovely lemon, and its partner the lime, are not just for garnish and alcoholic beverages. High in potassium, vitamin B1 and vitamin C (much more so than oranges and grapefruits), these fruits have many healing properties. Aside from their nutritional value they are an excellent choice for getting rid of toxic materials in the body, especially the liver. The fruit has antiseptic and anti-microbial properties and helps to resolve mucus problems in the digestive tract. A glass of warm water with the juice from 1/2 of a fresh organic lemon first thing in the morning is a great way to clear mucus and promote healthy elimination. You can add a bit of raw honey or maple syrup if desired. I’m not talking about the Master Cleanse Diet here which, in my opinion, is a radical and dangerous undertaking for most people.
Warm unsweetened lemon water is also an excellent choice at the first sign of a sore throat, cold or flu. Many times I have stopped a cold in its tracks simply by drinking warm lemon water.
Lemons and limes also cleanse and thin the blood and can help regulate blood pressure. Paul Pitchford in his book Healing With Whole Foods cautions that because citric acid thins the blood all citrus should be used cautiously by people who show weak blood signs (pale complexion and tongue, insomnia, irritability and thinness).
Although lemons and limes taste very acidic and have a high citric acid content, they in fact have one of the highest alkalizing effects on the body, which is a good thing! One caveat is that a person who has too much stomach acid or ulcers should steer clear of citrus fruits because they may aggravate these conditions.
All whole foods are inherently healthy, but we are all different and we need to pay attention to how food reacts in our body. A good resource book that’s an oldie but goodie is Foods That Heal: A Guide to Understanding and Using the Healing Powers of Natural Foods by Dr. Bernard Jensen.