Citrus lemon (Citrus limon)


Lemon is an important medicinal plant characterized by juicy, oval shaped fruits that are cultivated worldwide.  The fruits have a distinct coloration which ranges from greenish yellow to pale yellow. It is quite similar to the lime fruit (Citrus aurantifolia) but it is  slightly bigger in size. Botanically, they are from the genus citrus and family Rutaceae family.

Nutritional benefits

Almost all parts of the plant is used medicinally. The leaves peel (rind) and juice of the fruit are rich in nutritional, phytochemical and antioxidant content. Lemons are rich in essential oils, vitamin C, polyphenols, terpenes, vitamin C,  carotenoids,  caffine, mucilages,  calcium  oxalates,  pectin,  sugar,  citric  acid, malic acid, vitamins and flavonoids. They also contain the following minerals: sodium, potassium, Calcium, Copper, iron, Magnesium, Zinc and Phosphorus.

Therapeutic benefits

  • Studies have shown that inhalation of the essential oils of lemon enhances mood, reduces stress and fatigue. It also has anti-cancerous and anti-tumor potentials
  • Lemon essential oils can also improve brain function, boost alarm, mental care and clarity. Lemon oil can also be taken internally to boost energy.
  • Due to its rich vitamin C content, lemons help boost immune systems and body defenses. It is highly effective against cold, flu, influenza and other viral infections.
  • Lemon also can be used in treating skin conditions  such as eczema and  acne due to its richness in citric acid and vitamin C.
  • Lemon contain the stimulant caffeine which helps relieve stress and headaches
  • The fruit has detoxifying effects and anti-inflammatory properties. Its high acidic content can dissolve and stop the development of kidney stones. It is also effective in preventing gall bladder inflammation.
  • Lemon has a high antimicrobial and antifungal activity. It is used in stopping food spoilage and treatment of skin infections.
  • Lemon also have antidiabetic and anti-obesity effects. limonene, an active component of lemons has showed potential to decrease LDL cholesterol, prevents the accumulation of lipids which lowers  blood sugar to permissible levels.

Toxicity of lemon.

Care should be taken when using lemon. Its high acidity and essential oils may have undesirable effect for individuals who are allergic. Pregnant or nursing women should also be properly guided when consuming the juice or oil.


The medicinal benefits of lemons  are enormous as they possesses  numerous  characteristics,  such  as antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, depurative effects but to mention a few. Use of the lemon fruit and other plant parts are highly beneficial to achieving and sustaining good health. 


Klimek-Szczykutowicz, M., Szopa, A and Ekiert, H. (2020). Citrus limon (Lemon) Phenomenon—A review of the chemistry, pharmacological properties and applications in the modern pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics industries, and biotechnological Studies. Plants, 9:1-24.

Chaturvedi, D., Shrivastava R., Suhane Nidhi(2016). Basket benefit of citrus lemon. Int. Res. J. Pharm, 7(6): 1-5.

Qudah T. Lemon as a source of functional and medicinal ingredient: A review. IJCBS,14:55-61.

Mattew, B.B., Jatawa, S.K., Tiwari, A(2012). Phytochemical analysis of Citrus limoneum pulp and peel. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci, 4(2): 269-371

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