Over the past few decades, lemons have been deemed a type of superfood, helping to fend off disease and illness. Although sucking on a lemon isn’t the most enjoyable experience for your taste buds, this citrus fruit is packed with beneficial compounds, including potent antioxidants.
There has been some remarkable research conducted recently, showing the effects of high-dose intravenous vitamin C among cancer patients. Without getting too in-depth, it was found that cancer cells mistaken vitamin C for glucose — meaning, instead of allowing them to grow and thrive, they’re killed.
Of course, we know that lemons are packed with vitamin C — offering nearly your daily recommended amount in just one lemon, but their benefits stretch far beyond their nutritional value. Although we’ll touch on some unique ways to ingest lemon, there are also plenty of other unexpected uses for this fresh and vibrant fruit.
Try These 15 Unexpected Uses of Lemon
As mentioned, the nourishing and healing effects of lemon are based on nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin B6, zinc, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin E, fiber, and a variety of other beneficial vitamins and minerals. Although perfect for a vinaigrette or a fresh batch of lemonade, this fruit can also be used for the following:
- Lighten Skin Spots
From aging spots to scars, lemon juice has been shown to permanently lighten skin. Over time, prolonged exposure to the sun produces various skin spots and although there are cosmetic alternatives, lemons are cheaper and all-natural. Just remember, when treating your skin spots, stay out of the sun — lemon juice increases skin’s sensitivity to UV rays.
- Nail Care
Lemons have the ability to brighten nails, treating yellow areas — resulting in a healthier shine. Also, the addition of vitamin C helps encourage growth. A nail soak could not be simpler, make it part of your routine. Combine 3 tbsp of olive oil with 1 tbsp lemon juice, soaking for 10-15 minutes.
From cutting boards to your humidifier, lemons can help deodorize without the added fuss. Lemon has the ability to absorb a range of smells — ranging from odors in your fridge to bad breath. It not only absorbs offensive smells, but neutralizes them, leaving a more fresh and vibrant scent.
- Sore Throat Relief
When you’re sick, one of the worst symptoms is a sore, scratchy throat. The majority of medications available simply mask symptoms, they do not treat them. In contrast, lemon has the ability to soothe, all while boosting immune function. Drink a warm lemon water three times daily, helping dissolve mucus and treat the illness at the source.
- Highlights Hair
Many individuals notice that their hair naturally lightens during the summer months, especially among those who spend plenty of time outdoors. When applying lemon juice to your hair, it accelerates the sun’s natural lightening power. Leading to subtle but permanent highlights, it’s a great way to gradually change your hair color.
- Furniture Polish
Wood furniture can be easily restored with lemon, helping to remove stubborn water stains. When you apply lemon to wood surfaces, you will restore luster without the need for toxic polishes. This eco-friendly alternative will first restore (with the help of vinegar and flax oil), then polish (with olive oil).
- Natural Insecticide
Whether you’re looking to keep ants out of your home or pests out of your garden, lemon juice is an ingredient that’s often found in natural herbicides and insecticides. If you apply a little lemon juice around your doorways and clean your floors with a lemon-based cleaner, roaches, flea, and ants will steer away from the acidity.
- Maintains Guacamole’s Freshness
If you’ve ever made a fresh batch of guacamole, you know that it can quickly burn brown due to oxidation. If you want your guacamole to stay green and fresh-looking, squeeze a liberal amount of lemon juice onto your nutrient-rich snack. Of course, the acidity complements the ingredients, boosting both flavor and health benefits. This works for apples too.
- Tooth and Gum Health
Lemon often gets a bad rep in terms of oral health, as foods that are highly acidic can break down tooth enamel. Although you shouldn’t be brushing your teeth with lemon juice, adding it to sore or infected gums can help combat pain and infection. As mentioned above, it will also target bad breathe.
- All-Purpose Cleaner
Not only are lemons a cheap and effective cleaning solution, but they also reduce your exposure to conventional, toxin-ridden products. A number of studies have shown that these common cleaners expose individuals to hundreds of chemicals, affecting their reproductive and endocrine systems.
Instead, work towards a non-toxic home with the power of a few natural cleaning ingredients, including lemons. Offering compounds, such as citric acid, limonene, and ascorbic acid, you will not only clean your home but benefit from a fresh scent that you don’t need to worry about breathing in. Some other items to have on-hand include baking soda, coarse salt, and vinegar.
- Boosts Laundry Detergent
Lemon is able to naturally bleach clothing, removing stains while offering a fresh lemony scent. If you are trying to eliminate tough stains, lemon juice can combat mineral discolorations and rust from cotton. All you need to do is add 1 cup of lemon juice to your washer during its cycle.
- Helps Prevent Kidney Stones
If you’ve ever suffered from kidney stones, you know that they are anything but enjoyable. When you regularly consume lemon juice, you’re able to better control the production of urinary citrate — a chemical in urine that helps prevent kidney stones, more specifically, the crystals which form these painful stones.
- Freshen Up the Garbage
There’s no doubt that your garbage can start to smell a little funky, so to help offset this stench, place both uses lemon and orange peels at the base of your garbage can. This will help keep everything a bit more ‘fresh’ — just be sure to replace them each week.
- Treat warts
Get rid of warts naturally and without the associated pain — simply squeeze lemon juice onto a cotton ball and apply it to your wart. The acidity of the lemon will gradually break down the wart, making it disappear in a matter of weeks. Just make sure you’re consistent and regular in terms of application.
- Freshen Up Kitty Litter
Just like your garbage, lemons can freshen up your cat’s litter box. This will not only benefit you, but your cat. When litter boxes are dirty, this increases stress levels among cats. When you combine lemon and vinegar, you will disinfect and neutralize any odor. Please avoid using ammonia, as this isn’t healthy for you or your pets.
So the next time you purchase a bag of lemons, think of the endless possibilities. You are no longer restricted to lemon water — this beneficial fruit will help you target all aspects of your life. From beauty to cleaning, health to skincare, lemon offers it all.