Lemons are fun. They’re the most versatile citrus fruit, with uses that extend far beyond desserts–from treating sore throats and boosting immunity to making your own homemade cleaners and soaps. Available throughout the year, lemon is inexpensive and easy to grow. Here are some interesting facts about this delicious tart fruit.
Discovery of lemon
Lemon was discovered by a Scottish doctor, James Lind, in the 1700s. He firmly believed that lemon and its juice could cure sailors of scurvy. This was at a time when vitamin C was not yet discovered. Hence, even today, The British Navy carries enough lemons to provide every sailor with an ounce of lemon juice each day. This is perhaps why, in 1849 during the California Gold Rush, undernourished miners were willing to pay a lot for a lemon. It is for its ability to prevent and cure scurvy.
Lemon as royal gifts
In the Victorian period, lemon trees were regarded as a sign of prestige among the elite. Lemons were exchanged as gifts of goodwill by royalty as they were precious, and rare with intangible value of exclusivity.
As a beauty product
You will be surprised to know that during the Renaissance era, women of high society used it as a beauty product to make their lips pink and bright. The citric acid in the lemon is a natural bleach lightening the skin and exfoliating it too. This helps to remove the dead cells from the skin of the lips thus making them bright.
Not just that, the powerful bleaching component of lemon makes for a natural colourant. Lemon juice can gently dye hair giving your tresses their natural highlights without harming your hair or scalp.
How to use lemon as a beauty product: Cut a slice of lemon and hold it against your lips for less than 60 seconds. Wash off with warm water. Lemons will brighten your lips and give you a glowing smile.
Protection from poison
Lemon emerges as a saviour too. The ancient Egyptians believed that consuming lemon protected them from several types of poison.
In its wellness avatar, the lemon is packed with nutrition. Considered a superfood. It has a savvy Latin name, Citrus Limon.
Funnily enough, lemon got its name from the Asian word that means “sour fruit”. On not such a sour note, there are 2 types of lemons- acidic and sweet. Between the two, the acidic one is grown commercially.
World record for the largest lemon
The Guinness World Record is held for the heaviest type of lemon cultivated in Israel. The lemon weighed 5.265 kg and was grown by Aharon Shemoel on his farm in Kefar Zeitim, Israel.
Oh hello, it’s Limoncello
Amalfi lemons, which are two times bigger than the average lemon, are used as the key ingredient in preparing the signature liqueur of Amalfi, Limoncello. They are cultivated on Italy’s Amalfi coast.
Under the lemon tree
Not only do they produce lemons all year round, but their fruits are also tasty and nutritious. The average life expectancy of a lemon tree is around 50 years, but if you take good care of your lemon trees they can live up to 100 years. Their output is also great as these trees yield about 1000 lemons per annum.
If you want to power a simple LED bulb, you can use about 6 lemons to provide an electrical current. Lemons only have negatively charged ions making them the only anionic food. Attaching electrodes to a lemon can create a battery that can produce electricity.
As a cleaning agent
Lemon has a vibrant smell. You can get rid of foul smells by using lemon and salt. Lemon juice is great for cleaning sinks, pans, plastic storage containers, dishwashers, and other kitchen/household things.
It also helps in removing mineral buildup in faucets and sinks. Copper, brass or aluminium utensils can be brightened by massaging them with lemon and salt.
Putting lemon juice on fruits can prevent them from spoiling, going mouldy, and turning brown.
Lemon festival in France
In February, there is a grand lemon festival in Menton, France. The festival celebrates the annual production of special lemons and other citrus fruit. All the floats and sculptures created at this carnival use only lemons and oranges.
Gosh, these are a lot of fun facts about the lemon which you probably did not know. Now you can more than ‘drizzle-it-on-salads’ and give this citrus more merit than we ever gave it. Enjoy the lemon to its fullest.
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