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In my miscellaneous monday post this week I mentioned my love of lemon water, and many of you commented that you love it as well. Reading that article led me to thinking of some more great uses for lemon. The Polish culture is very into natural remedies and cures (sometimes seeming at times like witchcraft). I grew up being given different natural remedies when I was sick or squeezing lemons on fabrics to get a stain out.  Some of the uses listed below I knew, but some of the others I Googled and was amazed at how many more uses people have come up with for the beautiful, yellow, citrusy goodness.

Beauty:

  • Freshen your breath – the citric acid from lemons destroys odor causing bacteria. You can quickly rid bad breath by squirting a few drops of lemon juice into your mouth, or drink lemon water during the day, to freshen up your breath anytime!
  • Naturally whiten your teeth – by rubbing half a lemon with table salt and a pinch of baking soda on the teeth or brush your teeth with a mixture of lemon juice, salt and baking soda.
  • Add Highlights to your hair – use 1/4 cup lemon juice and 3/4 cup water mixed together and apply the mixture to your hair. I prefer to mix it in a spray bottle and then spray it on my hair and comb it through. Sit in the sun for 25 minutes or use the heat from a blow dryer for a sun bleached look. Each use will lighten the hair slightly. I used to do this at summer camp… not the greatest results for dark hair. Much better for blondes!
  • Lighten dark circles under your eyes – Soak makeup sponges in lemon juice overnight. Then lay over eye and let it sit for 5 minutes. Rinse face with warm water. Also works with lemon slices.
  • Fingernail Cleaner – The acidic properties of lemons are potent enough to remove the yellowish fingernail stains coming from cigarettes and coffee. Just rub the juice from a freshly squeezed lemon on your fingernail and the stains will eventually fade. You can even use the rind as a makeshift scrubber for faster results.
  • Fades freckles and age spots by applying lemon juice on the areas before going to bed at night. Over the course of a week or two, it will cleanse the skin and lighten its color. You can also add 1/2 cup of fresh juice to your bath water and soak for 20 minutes for an all over skin treatment.
  • Acne Remover – Lemon juice, when applied in high doses, can cure acne. Set aside a cup of unsweetened lemon juice. Wet a paper towel with lemon juice then rub it on your skin blemishes, pimples, and other acne lesions.

Health:

  • Body Detox – Lemon water is also great for detoxifying for your body. In a glass, mix the juice from a lemon with warm water and sweeten with 1 tsp of honey. Lemon juice aids your liver in flushing out unwanted toxins, stimulates blood circulation, reduces arterial pressure, and activates bile and intestinal secretions. So it’s a good idea to drink lemon water daily.
  • Treatment for Sore Throat – Slice a lemon and extract the juice. Cut the peel into small pieces and mix them with the juice. Heat the mixture then add honey, depending on your tolerance for sourness. Now, drink the mixture. Your throat will gradually clear up. Just repeat the entire process if your throat gets clogged again.
  • Aide for Metabolism – Drinking lemon water or lemonade everyday can help increase your metabolic rate. The acidic content of the drink is abrasive for most substances, especially the broken down food particles in your stomach. Once lemon mixes with your gastric acids, the rate of burning particles increases, boosting your metabolism.
  • Short-Term Deodorant –  An empty deodorant container can be a major problem. No one wants to be the stinky one. For these emergency cases, you can wet your armpits with lemon extract. The deodorizing effect will last for only a few hours, so you must rush to a convenience store upon application. Yikes, that’s a weird one, who knew!

Kitchen:

  • Food Preservative – The acidity of lemon can kill any trace of bacteria that resides in meat. Bacteria will instantly neutralize the lemon juice’s abrasive properties. As for parasites, you still need to wash and boil the meat to keep it free from microbes. You can mix lemon juice with water, when washing, to improve the microbe-killing rate.
  • Microwave Refresh Microwaves sometimes develop an odd smell over time. To get rid of it, mix lemon juice with water, place it in your microwave and set it to 1 minute.
  • Antibacterial Soap – When creating soap, you can add lemon extract to the mixture before the soap hardens. The addition of lemon extract practically increases the efficiency of regular soaps in removing germs from the body.
  • China and Kitchenware Disinfectant – You can use lemon extract when washing your china and other kitchen equipment. Its acidic content displaces dirt and kills germs easily. It complements the dish-washing soap perfectly, since the cleaning and disinfecting rates increase when the two are used in conjunction.

Home & Other:

  • Stain Remover –  Using lemon extracts on your fabrics helps stains to disappear faster with only a few scrubs. It will also whiten, your whites. You can use lemon extracts when removing blood, ketchup, and coffee stains. It works not only on clothing, but also on plastic containers, cutting boards and furniture.
  • Table Decoration – The sight of the several lemons arranged on a clear glass bowl can be pretty and can make a dining area look more presentable. Place that arrangement at the middle of your dining table to enhance the theme of your dining room. You can apply a preservative on the lemons to keep them looking fresh. This reminds me of the movie “The Break-Up” when they get into a fight over buying lemons for the lemon centerpiece.
  • Metal Shining Solution – Lemon juice can serve as a cheaper version of the metal cleaner. Its acidic properties work wonders on the surfaces of metal furniture and china. Couple the juice with soap, when cleaning metal items. You will then see why some environmentalists have practically traded their canned cleaners for this fruit.
  • Natural Insecticide – Lemon contains an ingredient that is generally disliked by insects. That ingredient is called D-limonene. If you’re out on a camping trip and you suddenly run out of insecticides, you can boil lemon juice or extract, then place it in your tent. You will be surprised on how a simple solution can repulse pests like mosquitoes and mites.

sources: 1 2 3

Do you use any of these? Do you know any others?

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