They say that if life hands you lemons, make lemonade. But why stop there? Did you know that outside of food and beverages, lemons can be used as a natural beauty ingredient? Lemons are so versatile that there are a hundred ways you can use them! From being one of the most popular flavors used in products (be it food or beauty essentials) to a now iconic pop culture reference (thank you Hubbard and Beyonce!), these zesty little fruits prove that there are more to them than just being a juice stand favorite.
Health benefits of lemon
Lemons help improve the immune system with its vitamin C component. Other benefits include helping muscle function thanks to its calcium and potassium components, and promoting weight loss through pectins that make you feel fuller. Its antioxidant properties also help clear the kidney when added with water by increasing your urine’s citrate levels.
Lemons are packed with nutrients that make them a wonderful first aid and health ingredient. They are widely popular as a sore throat remedy, thanks to their acidic nature that increases the acidity of the throat area which kills the bacteria and viruses causing the discomfort. The astringent juice also helps bring down the inflammation by shrinking swollen tissues and reducing mucus. When mixed with honey, the latter will help coat the throat with its own antibacterial properties that can help soothe the soreness. Just add a teaspoon of lemon juice and honey to a cup of warm water for instant relief.
Don’t have time to create your own lemon cure for sore throat? Go for lozenges with lemon in them! Try Fisherman’s Friend, a trusted brand, which started its history back in 1865 when pharmacist and founder James Lofthouse decided to create a lozenge form of his liquid formulation to make them easier to carry at sea. In 1997, Fisherman’s Friend finally released its Sugar-free Lemon-flavored lozenges —the first on its roster with a fruit flavor.
In the Philippines, Fisherman’s Friend comes in other fun flavors like Original, Strong Mint, Sugar Free Mint, Sugar Free Mandarin, Sugar Free Cherry and most recently, the Sugar Free Spearmint which was launched locally in 2016. Each pack tastes so good you won’t think they’re lozenges! Grab a pack of Fisherman’s Friend from leading drugstores, convenience stores and supermarkets nationwide for as low as Php44.75. You can also check their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FishermansFriendPH.
The antibacterial properties and alpha hydroxyl acids in lemon juice make it an effective ingredient used in beauty products formulated to help clear skin. Lemons also help lighten dark spots and remove blackheads with its citric acid component. Got oily skin? Get a cotton swab and damp it with a few drops of lemon juice to manage it.
Lemon also has amazing benefits for hair and nails. Try going DIY and whip up your very own hair mask by mixing its juice with olive oil, coconut oil, and honey to cure your dry scalp and dandruff problem. A mixture of olive oil and lemon juice, on the other hand, can help whiten and strengthen yellowing and brittle nails.
A cook’s secret weapon
Are you one of those who love adding a dash of lemon to almost everything you eat? According to the pros at food website Epicurious, there is a solid reason why you love using this fruit as a secret ingredient.
The trick is actually a secret of many fancy chefs who use lemon juice to transform a dish. Not only does a splash of citrus make the flavors of a recipe come together, it also sharpens them without overwhelming the palate. So the next time you are planning to host a dinner party, pull off this trick to make your dishes taste a little more extra.
From health to beauty, lemons are truly a very versatile ingredient that can cater to a variety of needs. So the next time life throws you lemons, you have to make the best out of them.