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Lemons are among the most popular fruits traditionally used for medicinal purposes. They have been used at home for healing sore throat, skin scars, fever, rheumatism, gallstones, cholera, dull hair, and of course, the common cold.
Undoubtedly, not all of these home remedies have been scientifically proven, but that does not mean the lemon is impotent.
Here are ten things that science has confirmed the lemon can do:
1. Makes Green Tea Healthier – Green tea, by itself, is already considered among the world’s healthiest drinks. But add lemon juice to it and you make it even better. It’s not just the added vitamin C per se but the fact that when we add vitamin C to green tea, the body is more able to absorb the drink’s polyphenols and gain their health benefits. 
2. Inhibits Cancer – Apigenin, a flavonoid found in lemons, has been many times shown to have an inhibitory effect on cancer cell growth for ovarian, endometrial, breast, cervical, colon, lung, prostate, thyroid, skin, gastric, adrenocortical, and hepatocellular cancer, as well as leukemia and neuroblastoma. Interestingly, researchers have also found that apigenin is better absorbed by the body when delivered through natural foods, like the lemon, than when isolated in its purified form. 
3. Promotes Oral Health – Topically applied lemon peel essential oils are effective against the bacteria that cause periodontitis and dental cavities. 
4. Fights Ringworm Fungi – At a concentration of 900 ppm, essential oil from lemon peel has been shown capable of killing the Trichophyton mentagrophytes fungus,  which is a cause of tinea skin infections (e.g., ringworm). 
5. Reduces the Risk of Inflammatory Polyarthritis – Researchers found that people with high vitamin C intakes had about one-third the risk of inflammatory polyarthritis as that of those with the lowest vitamin C intakes.  Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C. 
6. Controls Cholera Outbreaks – The results of a study conducted during a cholera epidemic in Africa in 1994 suggests that adding acidifiers such as lemon or lime in main meals can help curb the food-borne spread of infection. 
7. Reduces Kidney Stone Formation – Lemonade therapy (4 oz lemon juice plus tap water, drunk several times a day) increases urine volume and the amount of calcium contained in the urine of people suffering from recurrent kidney stone formation. This helps in the treatment of the disease and in the prevention of its recurrence. 
8. Alleviates Depression – Orally consumed lemon essential oils have been found to increase the levels of feel-good hormones dopamine and serotonin in the brain, resulting in an antidepressant effect. 
9. Dramatically Increases Iron Absorption – In a study involving 63 male subjects, researchers found that the intake of lemon juice (or other rich sources of vitamin C) with meals increased the subjects’ iron absorption up to nearly twice the amount that they would normally absorb without vitamin C intake! It is important that the vitamin is consumed with the meal. The consumption of vitamin C at breakfast did not affect iron absorption during lunch and dinner. 
10. Prevents or Alleviates Upper Respiratory Tract Infections – A review of previous studies done on the effect of vitamin C on upper respiratory tract infections shows that among people who are not getting the amount of vitamin C they need, such as those under acute physical stress, a correction of their vitamin deficiency helps prevent the occurrence of respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and the common cold. In non-deficient populations, although vitamin C shows no preventive effects, it does help to alleviate symptoms enough to allow the patients to attend school or go to work within a shorter period of time than if they had not increased their vitamin C intake. As a fruit rich in vitamin C, lemons can be useful in increasing a person’s natural intake of this vitamin. 
Although we focus much on the juice of the lemon, we must not forget that lemon peel also contains a lot of health benefits in the form of antioxidants and pectin. Lemon peel can be incorporated in food through lemon zest.
However, like many fruits and vegetables, conventionally grown lemons can be tainted with toxic chemicals, especially on their skin. Should you wish to prepare food with lemon zest, always make sure you use organically grown lemons.
Thanks to the awesome http://thehealthyhappywife.blogspot.ca/2014/06/greek-salad-with-homemade-lemon-dressing.html for kind permission to include their recipe photo in our infographic.
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