Spring is here and you may have a lemon tree or you have a friend who may be giving some away. (Every person needs a lemon tree or a generous friend with an abundant supply!) Lemons have an abundant amount of medicinal benefits. If you don't seem to tolerate lemons well, you may want to consider limes. Limes have similar medicinal properties, but are milder in flavor.
Here are some of the healing properties of lemons:
benefits the eyes
helps to eliminate intestinal worms (especially the seeds)
contain at least 22 anti-cancer compounds
helps to prevent kidney stones
So here are a few ideas so you can integrate lemons throughout your day. .
1. DRINK WARM LEMON WATER UPON WAKING. And make it even more delicious and beneficial to your health by adding 1 teaspoon of grated ginger to your warm water. To give it a tiny bit of a sweet edge, add a small amount of maple syrup. I'll make two cups of this tasty drink and sip on it throughout the morning.
What does this all do? It wakes up your digestion, gets your bowels moving, gives you doses of immune boosting Vitamin C and supports healthy circulation. Once you get in the rhythm of having this drink every morning, you'll crave it and feel like the morning just wasn't the same without it. I've had clients who've given up their coffee when they've gotten into the rhythm of this routine.
2. LEMON IN YOUR DRESSINGS FOR RAW GREENS. Greens are nutrient powerhouses. Raw greens are popular, but many don't have the digestive strength to actually digest them. If you're in the mood for raw greens, try preparing them with a little lemon and olive oil and a dash of salt. If you're looking for a different kind of lemon-inspired dressing, this is delicious and a real kid favorite:
1 part lemon
1 part Braggs amino acids
1 part olive oil
1 part nutritional yeast
Mix all the ingredients together and massage into the thinly sliced greens. I recommend kale because it doesn't wilt easily. To make the greens even more digestible, allow the dressing to absorb into the greens for at least 5 minutes so the lemon can do its work of "cooking" the greens. This is similar to the traditional Latin American preparation of ceviche (raw fish) cured in lemon. Add raisins, pine nuts and sesame seeds for added nutrition, texture and extra layers of flavors.
3. SOIL SUPPORT FOR GROWING BERRIES - If you're growing berries, you'll need soil that is a bit more acidic. Instead of buying an expensive bag of fertilizer for berries, just use lemon peels instead and allow the lemon peels to change the PH of the soil.
4. LIME/LEMON DIGESTIVE APPETIZER - Thinly slice ginger. Add salt and lemon or lime juice. You can also add a little honey if you want to sweeten the flavor. Eat 1-2 slices before each meal. You can make enough for a few days and store it in the refrigerator.
5. LEMON PEEL AS A SOURCE OF VITAMIN C - The lemon peel actually holds the most Vitamin C. Roast vegetables with finely grated lemon peel. Add grated lemon peel to your salads or add some lemon zest to your teas.
6. CREATE YOUR OWN LEMON PEPPER - Dehydrate the lemon peel and create your own lemon pepper blend.
7. GINGER AND WHOLE LEMONADE - Here's a recipe from a talented Ayurvedic practitioner - Amy Branum (Lasya Vitality and Wellness). You will need a blender to work with the lemon peels.
1 quart of water
2 inches of ginger root
sweetener of choice - stevia, maple syrup, honey, or cane sugar
1. Slice the ginger into thin slices or shred with a grater.
2. Place the quart of water into a pan with the ginger and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Cut off each end of the lemons, then slice into quarters. Remove the seeds and slice each wedge again in half so that it is half as long.
4. Place the lemons into a blender.
5. Once the ginger is fully simmered, pour the ginger and water into the blender.
6. Add your sweetener of choice. I used cane sugar this time, but I normally use honey or maple syrup. I found 4 tbsp to be perfect.
7. Blend on high until fully mushed. In a vitamix, this may take one minute, in a blender, go for 3-5.
8. You can choose to pour through a metal strainer, or enjoy the thickness (and fiber) of the lemonade.