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The citrus fruit benefits health and well-being



Published: Mon, January 20, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

By LINDA M. LINONIS

linonis@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

It makes sense to use a lemon scent to lighten up the hum-drum days of winter.

Mandy Smith, horticulture education major at Fellows Riverside Gardens of Mill Creek MetroParks, recently presented “Botanical Delights: Lemon” at the D.D. and Velma Davis Education & Visitor Center to a small group.

“The smell of citrus ... lemon ... is invigorating and rejuvenating,” Smith said. It has many uses, including medicinal and culinary.

In taxony, the classification of organisms on earth, the lemon is in the genus of citrus and species, limon. Citrus plants are known as agrumes, or sour fruit.

Smith noted there are some 400 cultivars of lemon but not all are in the mainstream. Lisbon and Garey’s Eureka are most frequently found in grocery stores. What is called the improved Meyer is also available but has a thin peel and bruises easily.

The lemon is a versatile fruit that offers many positive contributions to the human diet and well-being.

Lemon is a good dietary source of vitamin C. It is an antioxidant that reduces cold symptoms and an immune builder.

Lemon is a natural diuretic and helps flush toxins from the liver. A mixture of olive oil and lemon juice will help strengthen and whiten fingernails, she said.

For hair, lemon juice can help remove dandruff and create natural highlights by applying it then sitting in the sun. Gargling with lemon juice helps a sore throat and curbs bad breath.

It’s also antibacterial and may be used to clean wooden cutting boards. It works as a disinfectant and degreaser.

Culinary uses include tenderizing, seasoning foods including fish and helping curb browning of cut-up pears, apples and avocados by sprinkling juice over the fruit.

For a furniture polish, combine one part lemon juice to two parts olive oil. If you put some drops of lemon juice in outdoor paint, it will keep insects away while you brush away.

Lemon peel also has positive properties. Its uses are aromatic and essential oil, provides vitamin P that helps in normalizing cells and strengthening them against free radicals. The zest is used in flavoring and limoncello is used an Italian liqueur.

Lark Rienerth of Boardman said she attended because the program “sounded interestng.” Dawn Warminski of Hubbard said she attended a previous program on elderberry and it was a positive experience. “I wanted to learn something new, and I love lemon,” she said.


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