The medicinal parts are the juice, peel and oil of the fruit.
Flower and Fruit
Flowers are arranged singly or in short, sparsely flowered racemes, hermaphrodite or functionally male. The petals are suffused with purple on the outer surface. There are 25 to 40 stamens in coherent groups. The fruit is yellow when ripe and grows to 6.5 to 12.5 cm. It is 8- to 10-locular, oblong or ovoid, with a broad, low, mamilliform projection at the apex. The rind is somewhat rough to almost smooth. The pulp is acidic.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
Lemon is a small tree, growing only 3 to 6 m tall with twigs that are angular when young and soon become rounded and glabrous with stout axillary spines. The leaves are pale green, broadly elliptical, acute, and serrate or crenate. The petiole has a flat wing or is merely margined and is distinctly articulated with the lamina.
The tree is indigenous to northern India, cultivated in Mediterranean regions and worldwide in subtropical regions.
Lemons are the fruit, lemon peel is the skin of the fruit and lemon oil the essential oil extracted from the skins of Citrus limon.
Actions & Pharmacology
Volatile oil in the fresh and dehydrated peel: chief components (+)-limonene in addition to citral (as an odor-bearer), n-nonanal, n-decanal, n-dodecanal, linalyl acetate, geranyl acetat, citronellyl acetat, methyl anthranilate; also in pressed oils, lipophilic flavinoids, including sinensetin, nobiletin and furocoumarins
Flavonoids: in particular the bitter neohesperidosides naringin and neohesperidin dyhydro chalcones, furthermore hesperidin, rutin, and ericitrim
The citroflavonoids in lemon affect vascular permeability and are anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and a source of vitamin C.
Indications & Usage
Lemon is used as a source of vitamin C in cases of general low resistance, scurvy, and colds. In folk medicine, lemon juice was recommended as a drink for fever, as a remedy for acute rheumatism, and as an antidote to intoxicants, particularly opium. Additional traditional uses that are still recommended include sunburn, and as a quinine substitute for malaria or to reduce body temperature in typhus patients.
Uses in Indian medicine include as a remedy for shaking and heartburn.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages. There is a low potential for sensitization through skin contact with volatile oil.
Mode of Administration
Lemon is used internally in the form of oil, tincture, or fresh fruit.