12 Evidence-Based Benefits of Lemon

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

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The health benefits of lemon are attributed to its vitamin C content that helps improve the kin quality, encourages weight loss, improves digestion, and acts as a breath freshener. Lemons also help with the treatment of constipation, dental problems, throat infections, fever, burns, respiratory disorders, and high blood pressure, while also benefiting your hair. Known for its therapeutic property through the generations, lemon also helps to strengthen your immune system.

Lemon juice, especially, has several health benefits associated with it. Even more, as a refreshing drink, lemonade helps you stay calm and cool.

What Is Lemon?

Lemon is a fruit that contains flavonoids, which are composites that have antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties. It helps prevent diabetes, constipation, as well as improve the skin health.

Watch Video: 9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon

People use it to make lemonade by mixing the citrus’ fruit juice and water. Many people also use it as a washing agent, because of its ability to remove stains. Its strong scent can also repel mosquitoes, while drinking lemon juice with olive oil is a home remedy for helping get rid of gallstones. It is well known for its medicinal power and is used in many different ways. As per the results reported in a study by the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, lemon water may provide some protection against inflammatory polyarthritis and arthritis, too. However, more research is needed to confirm the efficacy of these results.

Nutrition Facts

Lemons, raw, without peel
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]88.98
Energy [kcal]29
Protein [g]1.1
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.3
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]9.32
Fiber, total dietary [g]2.8
Sugars, total [g]2.5
Calcium, Ca [mg]26
Iron, Fe [mg]0.6
Magnesium, Mg [mg]8
Phosphorus, P [mg]16
Potassium, K [mg]138
Sodium, Na [mg]2
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.06
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]53
Thiamin [mg]0.04
Riboflavin [mg]0.02
Niacin [mg]0.1
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.08
Folate, DFE [µg]11
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]1
Vitamin A, IU [IU]22
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.15
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]0
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.04
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.09
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Nutrition Facts of Lemon

The health benefits of lemon are due to its many nourishing elements. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, lemon contains a good amount of vitamin C, and a small amount of a number of vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins ( niacin, folate, thiamin, riboflavin) as well as potassium, zinc, and magnesium.

Health Benefits of Lemon

Various health benefits of lemon are explained in detail below:

Improves Heart Health

Drinking lemon juice is helpful for people suffering from heart problems because it contains potassium. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, and nausea as it provides a calming sensation to both, the mind and body. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, daily lemon intake and walking (average body movement) were effective in reducing high blood pressure. Another study highlights the importance of foods rich in vitamin C in preventing various coronary heart disease.

Weight Loss

If a person drinks lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey, it may help reduce body weight in people. A research study performed mice confirmed that polyphenols present in it suppress body weight gain and body fat accumulation. This could have positive implications for lemon juice drinks in human weight loss.

Prevents Kidney Stones

Lemon, both from the fresh fruit and from juice concentrates, has more citric acid content per liter than grapefruit juice and orange juice concentrate. This is confirmed through a study in the journal Endourology by Dr. Stephen Nakada. Another study confirmed that the high citric acid content in the fruit help increase urinary citrate levels more than 2-fold without changing total urinary volume. Thus, lemonade therapy can be used as a secondary therapy for treatment of hypocitraturic calcium nephrolithiasis (urinary stones formed due to low citrate consumption). Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlight the fact that lemonade or the juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals.

Treats Indigestion

Lemon juice may help provide relief from problems related to indigestion and constipation. Add a few drops of this citrus fruit juice to your dish (take care, as citrus generally does not go well with milk), and it will aid in digestion. It acts as a blood purifier and a cleansing agent. The recipe is lemon juice, cold water, soda, salts (common salt or rock salt), and sugar/honey for sweetness. You can also add some mint leaves or crushed fennel seeds for added flavor. Drink this whenever you have a heavy lunch or dinner.

Reduces Fever

Lemon juice can assist in treating a person who is suffering from a cold, flu or fever. It helps break fevers by increasing perspiration.

Fresh lemon and leaves on a wooden table

Dental Care

A study headed by Dr. Pirkko Pussinen of Helsinki University reports that low concentrations of vitamin C can cause periodontitis (gum infection).

If the fresh lemon juice is applied to the area of a toothache, it can assist in alleviating the pain. Massaging the juice on the gums can stop gum bleeding while also eliminating the bad odors that can come from various gum diseases and other conditions. For any serious dental issue, it is best to consult a doctor for treatment.

Additionally, it can be used in cleaning your teeth. Keep your eye out for a toothpaste containing lemon as one of the ingredients, or add a drop of its juice onto your normal toothpaste. Some people also rub their teeth with the outer layer (the inner side touching your teeth) after removing its juice. But be careful, it can be highly acidic, so if your mouth starts burning, rinse your gums and mouth quickly with water.

Hair Care

Lemon juice has proven itself useful in the treatment of hair care on a wide scale. When applied to the scalp, the juice can treat problems like dandruff, hair loss and other problems related to the hair and scalp. If you apply this juice directly to the hair, it can give your hair a natural shine as well.

Skin Care

Lemon juice, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can also cure problems related to the skin. The juice can be applied to reduce the pain of sunburns and it helps to ease the pain from bee stings, too. It is also good for acne and eczema. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Drinking its juice mixed with water and honey brings a healthy glow to the skin, and if you thoroughly search the cosmetic market, you will find some soaps containing this juice, but they aren’t too easy to find!

Relieves Burns

Using lemon juice on the site of old burns can help fade the scars, and since it is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin while you have an irritating burn.

Stops Minor Bleeding

It has antiseptic and coagulant properties, so it can stop minor bleeding. You can apply lemon juice to a small cotton ball and place it inside your nose to stop nosebleeds.

Soothes Respiratory Disorders

Lemon juice assists in relieving respiratory problems and breathing problems, such as its ability to soothe a person suffering from an asthma attack. Being a rich source of vitamin C, it helps in dealing with more long-term respiratory disorders as well.

Foot Relaxation

Lemon is an aromatic and antiseptic agent and is useful for foot relaxation. Add some of its juice to warm water and dip your feet into the mixture for instant relief and muscle relaxation.

Reduces Corns

Lemon juice can help dissolve lumps on the skin, so it can be applied to the areas where the skin has hardened up, like the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands. Drinking it with water can help patients reduce gallstones for the same reasons.

Health benefits of lemon - infographic

Throat Infections

Lemon is an excellent fruit that fights problems related to throat infections, due to its well-known antibacterial properties.

Other Benefits

Lemon is also commonly employed to reduce mental stress and depression. Lemon has proved to be nature’s boon to everyone who uses it. It provides many valuable solutions to health-related problems because it contains its own set of antiseptic and natural medications. A good practice is to eat anywhere from a quarter to a half of this little yet powerful citrus fruit per day to get maximum health benefits!

About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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