Lemon is a fruit from the citrus family, cultivated for thousands of years in Asia (it is assumed that India and China are countries of origin), from where it came to Europe, more precisely to Ancient Greece. The Ancient Greeks discovered this healthy fruit most likely thanks to the Macedonian king Alexander the Great, who brought it from Persia.
Lemon was transported to the Roman Empire where it became so popular that soldiers included it as their obligatory food supply. In this way, this “sunny” fruit was spread across other Mediterranean countries, including Spain, from where sailors, led by Columbus, took it to distant America. Nowadays, California and other countries on the west coast of the United States are among the largest cultivators of citrus.
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals. Since vitamin C plays a major role in the production of collagen, lemon is often referred to as a source of beauty and youthful appearance.
Lemon has always been used for several purposes. For example, nobility at the court of the French ruler Luis XIV used it as a lip balm, and even presently lemon is a popular ingredient in natural cosmetics.
In aromatherapy, lemon essential oil, extracted from its rind, is used for the improvement of mood and concentration. To produce one liter of essential oil, it takes approximately three thousand lemon fruits.
There are several ways of applying the benefits of aromatherapy, let’s mention one of them. Put five drops of lemon oil in a water-filled aroma lamp. The warmth of the lamp will spread the fragrance of lemon oil across the room.
Lemon is known as the universal remedy, because both its juice and zest are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids that protect cells from aging, infections and other health issues, and also contain minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
The juice is used for the preparation of delicious, refreshing lemonade that is recommendable to drink every morning before breakfast. It is also helpful to drink freshly squeezed lemon juice with a glass of water if you catch a cold. This precious fruit is an important ingredient of various traditional ways of preserving health, for example, Indian Ayurveda.
In the cuisine, the lemon juice is used, among other things, as a replacement for vinegar in marinades because it softens the food and leaves its aroma intact. Lemon zest enriches the aroma of many sweet and savory dishes and is used in making of many popular drinks.
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