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12 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Lemons

Wednesday, July 5th 2023 10:00am 20 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Lemon (Citrus limon) is a citrus fruit that has been used for culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic purposes for centuries. Lemon is rich in phytochemicals, including flavonoids, carotenoids, limonoids, and terpenoids, as well as vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, folate, potassium, and calcium. Lemon has been traditionally used to treat various ailments, such as fever, cough, sore throat, digestive disorders, and skin infections. In recent years, lemon has attracted increasing attention from researchers and consumers alike as a potential health-promoting food. In this article, we will review the evidence-based health benefits of lemon in relation to anxiety disorders, cardiovascular diseases, cholera, inflammation, kidney stones, Vibrio infections, cholesterol oxidation, cardiovascular disease prevention, depression, skin health, digestive health, and immune system support.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by excessive and persistent fear or worry that interferes with daily activities. Anxiety disorders are a common and disabling condition, affecting about 1 in 5 adults in the United States alone. While there are various pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions available for anxiety disorders, many people seek complementary and alternative remedies to manage their symptoms. Lemon has been traditionally used as a natural remedy for anxiety, but its efficacy and safety have not been well studied until recently.

A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2014 examined the effects of aromatherapy with lemon essential oil on anxiety and mood in 72 women with anxiety disorders. The study found that the group receiving the lemon essential oil intervention had significantly lower anxiety scores and higher positive mood scores than the control group after four weeks of treatment. The researchers concluded that lemon essential oil may be a safe and effective adjunct therapy for anxiety disorders.

Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2016 investigated the effects of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a herb related to lemon, on cognitive and mood performance in 20 healthy volunteers. The study found that the group receiving the lemon balm intervention had significantly improved calmness and alertness scores than the control group after one week of treatment. The researchers suggested that lemon balm may have potential as a natural anxiolytic agent.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, including coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart failure. CVDs are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, accounting for about 17.9 million deaths each year. Lifestyle modifications, such as healthy diet and physical activity, are important for preventing and managing CVDs. Lemon is a rich source of bioactive compounds that may benefit cardiovascular health through various mechanisms.

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