|This image shows a whole and a cut lemon. by André Karwath aka Aka
Lemon is being used for culinary and non-culinary purposes from centuries. Citric acid constitutes around 6% of lemon, giving a sour taste to it. Its appealing taste makes it a perfect contender for various beverages, lemonade is most popular of all lemon drinks. There is uncertainty over lemon’s exact place of origin, though it is speculated that lemon has its origin in Indian state of Assam or the areas of Myanmar and China near it. Genetic study on lemon reveals that it is the result of admixture between sour orange and citron. The word lemon comes from Persian word Limun, a cognate of Sanskrit word Nimb (Nimbu).
By 1stcentury AD, lemon reached Southern Europe during ancient Roman era but, was not cultivated on large scale. From there it reached Persia, Iraq and Egypt by 700 AD. Arabic treatise on farming, dating back to 10thCentury AD mentions lemon, this treatise is believed to be the earliest record of lemon in literature. Lemon was also used as ornamental plants in Islamic gardens. In Arab and surrounding Mediterranean regions, ornamental use of lemon plants were most popular in between 1000 AD to 1150 AD. Substantial cultivation of lemon in Europe began in 15thCentury in Genoa. Christopher Columbus introduced lemon to America and its wide spread cultivation in new world began with the Spanish colonization of America. Initially, lemon was grown in America chiefly as ornamental plant and for medicinal purposes.
Lemon has a high content of Vitamin C which is known as a booster for immune system. Juice extracted out of half sliced lemon with water in morning can keep you full of energy and control your appetite all through the day because of pectin in it. Pectin is a soluble fibre, generally found in citrus fruits. Lemon aids in digestion and has the ability to assist in proper bowel movements. Lemon is good for detoxification and is helpful in keeping blemishes away from skin. Lemon applied over skin can give it a healthy glow. Owing to its anti-oxidants that help to control free radicals, lemon can be useful to delay ageing by keeping wrinkles away and giving skin a nice texture. Lemon is a good alkalising substance and helps to maintain pH level in our bodies. Lemon juice is diuretic and helps to get rid of excess water from the body. High levels of Potassium in lemon helps to check high blood pressure and is good for proper functioning of nerves. In short, we can say that lemon is packed with wonders, a gift of ancients to the modern world.