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Lemon Tree


Scientific Name(S): Citrus limon (L.), family Rutaceae

Common Name(S): Lemon

The lemon ( Citrus × limon ) is a hybrid citrus tree of cultivated origin. The fruit are used primarily for their juice , though the pulp and rind ( zest ) are also used, primarily in cooking or mixing. Lemon juice is about 5% citric acid , which gives lemons a sour taste and a pH of 2 to 3. This acidity makes lemon juice a cheap, readily available acid for use in educational chemistry experiments.

Botany: The lemon tree is an evergreen, growing to over 6 m in height. Its toothed leaves are light green. The citrus fruit (lemon) is small, green to yellow in color, and oval in shape. Unlike other citrus varieties, the lemon tree bears fruit continuously. The plant is cultivated in Mediterranean and subtropical climates worldwide.

History: The lemon originated in southeast Asia, probably in india or southern China. Its history is sometimes unclear because of the confusion with the similarly appearing "citron," a closely related species. The lemon was thought to have been depicted in Roman artwork as early as the first century A.D. Other sources state that the fruit was first grown in Europe in the second century A.D.

In the 1600s, physicians became aware that daily intake of lemon juice would prevent outbreaks of scurvy among sailors on long sea voyages. Scurvy is a vitamin deficiency disease characterized by muscle wasting, inability of wound healing, bruising, and gum deterioration? English ships were required by law to carry enough lemon or lime juice for each sailor to get 1 ounce daily, earning them the nickname "limeys."

The California lemon industry began after the Gold Rush of 1849. From 1940 to 1965, production increased. Today, California and Arizona are the major lemon producers, making the US a major source ahead of Mexico and Italy.

More than 50% of the US lemon crop is processed into juice and other drink products. The peel, pulp, and seeds are also used to make oils, pectin, or other products. Lemon juice has long been used as a diuretic, diaphoretic, astringent, tonic, lotion, and gargle.

Uses of Lemon

Lemon has been used in food preparations and the agricultural industry to gel and stabilize foods. Important for its nutritional value, the lemon possesses vitamin C, which is necessary to sustain the body's resistance to infection and heal wounds. The lemon also contains antioxidant, anticancer, hydrophilic, and antimicrobial properties.

Side Effects of Lemon

Toxicology reports include erosive effects on tooth enamel.

Toxicology: The erosive effects of lemon juice on tooth enamel have also been evaluated. One study finds loss of gloss, alteration in enamel color, and irregular dental tissue loss upon morphological analysis.

Summary: The lemon is an important and versatile fruit, dating back to the first or second century A.D. It contains many important vitamins including vitamin C, a necessary factor in preventing infection and healing wounds. Lemon's effects as an antioxidant and antitumor agent have been reported. The pectin component is also beneficial, aiding in cardiovascular health. Lemons also play important roles as antimicrobials, for skin ailments, and in GI health. Toxicology includes erosive effects on tooth enamel.

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