A lemon (Citrus limon) is an oval shaped citrus fruit with a tough yellow skin and a white, tasteless rind (inner skin/zest). It's pulp (inner fruit) contains yellow juice which is high in citric acid and vitamin C. Lemon juice contains health giving anti-inflammatory phytochemical compounds that can reduce the symptoms of dermatitis and eczema. Drinking the water-diluted juice of at least 5 lemons per day can give relief from eczema by slowing the deterioration of eczema affected skin and preventing normal skin areas becoming affect by eczema. Lemon juice is also a mild sedative. Lemons must first be properly prepared to make them safe for consumption.
Do not chew on the pulp of a lemon (the yellow inner
fruit that contains the juice) as the citric acid will quickly corrode
your teeth !)
Hazard: Do not spill lemon juice onto your hands (skin) whilst you're preparing the lemon to drink. The citric acid could inflame your skin condition. Use a tea cloth or cloth towel to hold the cut lemon with. You could, perhaps, ask someone else who does not have eczema or dermatitis to extract the lemon juice for you.
Lemon pulp (the yellow inner fruit that contains the juice) by it's own is too acidic on the teeth to eat. It must first be juiced and diluted (watered-down) into other ingredients before consumption. For example lemon cordial is lemon juice mixed with water. 2 lemons per 1 litre of water should dilute the citric acid enough to drink without immediately corroding your teeth. Lemon juice can be mixed with food to reduced its concentration of acidity. For example, a little lemon juice well mixed into a jug of fruit salad puree/whip(blended) apricots, puree/whip(blended) bananas and puree/whip(blended) plums is quite eatable.
For babies fruit juice may cause diarrhoea or reduce food appetite. Banana
can cause constipation for babies.
Your lemon intake will be limited by the strength of your teeth. For example consuming 8 lemons a day would be medicinal for your skin, but quite hazardous for your teeth. I can't recommend lemon cordial in concentrations higher than the juice of 2 lemons for 1 litre of water. The difficulty is that to gain any medicinal effect from lemons at least 5 a day might need to be consumed. If you can mix lemons into food or drink well enough to avoid tooth decay then do consume as many as you feel is better. I don't mind people consuming well over 10 lemons a day if their eczema condition is serious, my concern here is that the acid in the lemons can cause very rapid tooth decay. I can not recommend that a well person consume more than two lemons in 24 hours, simply because of the dental hazard. So, when your eczema condition clears up you may like to reduce your lemon intake. I made the following lemon cordial recipe to a medicinal T and not as a convenient refreshment for people with out a skin disease. It's acidacidy only allows it to be taken for a few weeks at the very most.
Leave the lemon fruits on the tree
until you need them as fresh is best and wash lemons in clean water before
Basic lemon cordial can be prepared as such.
* Cut 2 lemons in half and squeeze
the juice into a jug.
* Pour a litre of fresh water or more into the jug.
* Then mix it using a spoon.
* Drink it whilst eating your main meal for that day as the food you're eating will help further dilute the lemon juice and protect your teeth.
If you know of, or can find, a more
effective way of diluting lemon juice then of course do so. For example,
some people use soy milk to dilute lemon juice. The lemon cordial recipe
is just a serving suggestion of mine and can be improved upon. Perhaps
the white, spongy, tasteless (comparatively) acidless rind (mesocarp/albedo/inner
skin/zest) can be pealed off and eaten instead of the yellow, pulp, lemon
juice, but I don't know if it will still have the same medicinal effect
as the juice. This question is noring food for some thought.
(See) digitized photo "lemon_picture_four.jpg": a yellow, round, out of fashion lemon variety. Although only 45 millimeters in length and 44 millimeters in diameter this old-fashioned miniature lemon contains higher concentrations of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals than much larger common lemon varieties. Older and heirloom lemon varieties are preferable (to modern lemons) for treating eczema and dermatitis as lesser amounts of their diluted lemon juice - a very acidic drink - can be consumed for similar medicinal effect.
A true 'Meyer' lemon (Citrus limon X sinensis) is a hybrid (cross between) a lemon (Citrus limon) and a sweet orange (Citrus sinensis). It bears round, yellow-orange, thin peel fruits which are smaller than common lemon varieties and lower in teeth wearing citric acid. Fortunately the 'Meyer' is just as medicinal for eczema as a lemon. If you've a choice, the lower citric acid Meyer is always preferable to other lemon varieties.
Whilst, lemons are the most effective of the Cordial fruits at preventing normal skin areas becoming affect by eczema. Should you have a history of dental decay (cavities) then consider not using lemon juice. In this case I would suggest that consuming quite a few mushrooms might be a satisfactory alternative to lemons.
Some common varieties of lemons in Australia are the Eureka, Lisbon, Villa Franca and the Meyer.[10,11] Lemon trees bloom and bear fruit continuously through out the year. All have thorns. The thorny Lisbon lemon tree fruits well during the Winter and Spring.[10,11] Over the Summer, the Lisbon will bear more fruit than the Eureka in a hot dry climate, but can not in a humid coastal climate.[10,11] The Villa Franca is mostly grown in dry inland Queensland, it is less thorny than the Lisbon and bears fruits that are the same as the Eureka's.[10,11] The Meyer is frost hardy and will fruit in climates that are too cold or too hot for the Eureka and Lisbon.[10,11]
Don't plant a lemon tree in the same place as one that has died for the soil could be plant diseased. Don't water a lemon tree's trunk in the cooler seasons as it could contract a plant fungi.
Attention: Choose lemons from a healthy tree. Don't use lemons from a tree that looks sick. Don't use lemons from a tree that is planted in a polluted area. For example, a freeway, factory or petrol station etc. Nor use lemons from a tree that has recently been sprayed with pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers. Avoid using polluted or diseased lemons.
Warning: Lemon trees have thorns. Wear gloves when handling lemon bushes to prevent possible thorn injuries and keep lemon trees away from small children.
Botanical classification of lemons
Species: Citrus limon. (L.) Burm. f. and citrus limon X sinensis (Meyer) [11,13]
2.5 meters to 10 meters
Tree leaf length: 5 cm to 10 cm
Flower size: 1 cm to 2 cm
Fruit size: 8 cm to 13 cm
Root depth Can be grown in a pot =<30cm deep[10,13]
Lemon tolerances limits
Temperature of tree death -2o
Temperature of slowed growth >10o[10,13]
Lemon juice is a mild natural sedative (mood calming medicine).[9,14] Lemons contain the aldehyde isomers geranial and neral, both known as citral and citronellal. The citral in the lemon is part of what makes up the mild natural sedative (mood calming medicine from a plant). Although aldehydes in high concentrations are very toxic, it's unlikely, in my opinion, that a person could ever consume enough lemons in a day to constitute an excessive aldehyde amount. I don't know which lemon juice phytochemicals (plant substances) reduce the inflammation of eczema nor do I understand how they do this (pharmacodynamics). Perhaps they're flavonoids, there are many thousands of structurally unique flavonoids in plants. However there are countless medicinal compounds in plants that can't be categorized as flavonoids. I once assumed that it could be the flavonoid quercetin (flavon-3-ols)[14,15] but I don't believe it is. As apples, onions, kale, red wine, common green/black teas contain ample quercetin. All of which, for the most part, are ineffective medicinal treatments for reducing eczema inflammation. So, I don't yet know what is in the lemon that makes it medicinal for eczema.