New Delhi: Did you ever think, a small lemon can be of multi-use, other than adding tang to a flavour?
Beauty expert Shehnaz Hussain has come up with some points to draw attention to its benefits in terms of health and beauty.
The lemon increases the body's resistance to disease. Its content of glucose and minerals helps to replace what the body loses through sweat, especially during the summer months.
It has been found that taking lemon regularly can help to relieve headaches, soothe digestive problems and even help people suffering from anxiety. It stimulates blood circulation, reduces arterial pressure, activates bile and intestinal secretions. In other words, it can promote a general feeling of well being too.
What we have to remember is that the lemon is best taken diluted, adding it to water. Starting your day with lemon and hot water can help to keep the system flushed and aid the removal of toxins and wastes benefits weight watchers. This will also reflect on the skin, keeping it clear and glowing.
Not only the juice, even the lemon peels have health benefits. Lemon zest, i.e. grated lemon peel is added to puddings, cakes and souffle for additional flavour. However, it actually has several health benefits and latest research has revealed that it can fight cancer.
Studies carried out at the Institute of Health Sciences in Baltimore, USA, have shown that it is not only anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, but actually fights cancer cells. It destroys malignant cells, without damaging the healthy ones.
Lemon is also an anti-depressant, reduces stress and fights nervous disorders. Doctors recommend the use of the entire lemon by freezing it and then grating the peel and pulp. Sprinkle this on your food. It not only enhances taste, but you will get all the nutrients in the lemon.
As a cosmetic ingredient, lemon can be used in various ways, but avoid using it undiluted, as it can be harsh on the skin. On areas where the skin is thicker, like elbows and knees, rub lemon halves and wash off with water. Over a period of time, it cleanses and lightens skin colour.
Lemon can also be used as a hand lotion. Mix it with rose water and rub it into the skin of the hands. For rough hands, rub granulated sugar and the juice of a lemon together with the hands, till the sugar dissolves. Then rinse off with water. Done regularly, it will help to improve the skin texture.
Oily skins can really benefit from a lemon treatment. Dilute the juice of half a lemon in a glass of water and use this to wash your face. Lemon not only helps to restore the normal acid-alkaline balance, but also reduces surface oil. During summer, freeze this lemon water in an ice cube tray. Wrap the ice in a clean tissue or cloth and rub it gently on oily skin. It reduces oil and is extremely refreshing.
Honey mixed with lemon juice can be applied on the face daily. While honey moisturizes the skin, lemon juice restores the normal balance and lightens skin colour over a period of time of regular use. Lemon can also be used as a hair rinse. You can add lemon juice to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse, after your shampoo. You can even add it to "tea water". Boil used tea leaves in enough water and cool the liquid. Add the juice of one lemon and use it as a last rinse. This helps to add shine to the hair.
Lemon peels can be dried and powdered and used in face packs and scrubs.
So, when nature has provided us with ideal ingredients, why should we use synthetic substances and essences?