Wednesday, August 31, 2011

11 benefits of lemon

The lemon is the common name for Citrus limon. Lemons are used for culinary and nonculinary purposes throughout the world. The fruit is used primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind (zest) are also used, primarily in cooking and baking. Lemon juice is about 5% (approximately 0.3 mole per liter) citric acid, which gives lemons a tart taste; a pH of 2 to 3; and makes lemon juice an inexpensive, readily available acid. Below are 30 uses for this popular fruit.
  1. Lighten age spots
    Before buying expensive medicated creams to lighten unsightly liver spots and freckles, try this: Apply lemon juice directly to the area, let sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse your skin clean. Lemon juice is a safe and effective skin-lightening agent. 
  2. Create blond highlights
    For blond highlights worthy of the finest beauty salon, add 1/4 cup lemon juice to 3/4 cup water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Then sit in the sun until your hair dries. Lemon juice is a natural bleach. Don't forget to put on plenty of sunscreen before you sit out in the sun. To maximize the effect, repeat once daily for up to a week. 
  3. Clean and whiten nails
    Pamper your fingernails without the help of a manicurist. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to 1 cup warm water and soak your fingertips in the mixture for 5 minutes. After pushing back the cuticles, rub some lemon peel back and forth against the nail. 
  4. Cleanse your face
    Clean and exfoliate your face by washing it with lemon juice. You can also dab lemon juice on blackheads to draw them out during the day. Your skin should improve after several days of treatment. 
  5. Freshen your breath
    Make an impromptu mouthwash using lemon juice straight from the bottle. Rinse with the juice and then swallow it for longer-lasting fresh breath. The citric acid in the juice alters the pH level in your mouth, killing the bacteria that cause bad breath. Rinse after a few minutes, because long-term exposure to the acid in the lemon can harm tooth enamel. 
  6. Treat flaky dandruff
    If itchy, scaly dandruff has you scratching your head, relief may be no farther away than your refrigerator. Just massage 2 tablespoons lemon juice into your scalp and rinse with water. Then stir 1 teaspoon lemon juice into 1 cup water and rinse your hair with it. Repeat this daily until your dandruff disappears. No more itchy scalp, and your hair will smell lemon-fresh. 
  7. Soften dry, scaly elbows
    It's bad enough that your elbows are dry and itchy, but they look terrible too. Your elbows will look and feel better after a few treatments with this regimen: Mix baking soda and lemon juice to make an abrasive paste. Then rub the paste into your elbows for a soothing, smoothing, and exfoliating treatment. 
  8. Remove berry stains
    Sure it was fun to pick your own berries, but now your fingers are stained with berry juice that won't come off with soap and water. Try washing your hands with undiluted lemon juice. Wait a few minutes and wash with warm, soapy water. Repeat if necessary until the stain is completely gone. 
  9. Disinfect cuts and scrapes
    Stop bleeding and disinfect minor cuts and scrapes. Pour a few drops of lemon juice directly on the cut or apply the juice with a cotton ball and hold firmly in place for one minute. 
  10. Soothe poison ivy rash
    You won't need an ocean of calamine lotion the next time poison ivy comes a-creeping around. Just apply lemon juice full-strength directly to the affected area to soothe itching and alleviate the rash. 
  11. Remove warts
    You've tried countless remedies to get rid of your warts, and nothing seems to work. Next time, try this: Apply a dab of lemon juice directly to the wart, using a cotton swab. Repeat for several days until the acids in the lemon juice dissolve the wart completely.
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