Lemon: citrus limonium
Common name: Lemon
Botanical name: Citrus medica var. limonum
Taste: sour, cool, dry
Tongue: swollen, red tip
Pulse: Rapid, soggy
All citrus fruits help digestion, and keep the energy of the body flowing smoothly. Lemon, specifically, is cooling (where orange is more heating), and acts directly on a stagnant liver. Liver stagnation is fairly common nowadays, especially in women (it’s commonly referred to, in Western medicine, as PMS, although this is a very narrow way of looking at it). It manifests as stress, digestive issues, sighing frequently, depression, mood swings, sleep disorders, stomach upset, nausea, and a general feeling of tension.
1. Cold, fever, flu. Lemon peel, added to whatever herbal formula you are using, will greatly boost the effects.
2. Indigestion, heartburn, digestive disorders. Lemon peel is aromatic, and acts to aid digestion. A pinch of dried lemon peel in hard-to-digest foods will greatly help their digestibility.
3. Gall stones and kidney stones. Please consult somebody if you have either of these conditions .
4. Liver stagnation. I find the classic liver stagnation person to switch back and forth between diving into things, and then holding back in fear. PMS symptoms abound. This is the type of person who gets caught up in inertia, and needs to exercise daily to keep feeling good. Deeper than that, though, I find that the liver stagnation person has a deep fear of letting go. Lemon won’t all of a sudden transform them overnight, but it will greatly help the symptoms, over time.
5. Nausea. Specifically nausea from stress and tension. Combine with peach leaf.
Rind: Peel the rind and dry on paper, then grind with a pestle and mortar, and store in jars. It can be added to foods and teas to boost the effects and get stagnant energy moving.
Juice: Squeezed into water, or made into lemonade as a hot summer drink… I don’t think I need to give a list of lemon juice uses…
Oil/ extract: I use the oil around my house to brighten it up when it gets stuffy feeling (like if I’ve been sitting at my computer writing for 2 days straight, or if we both get sick and stay in bed for a few days), or to flavour foods, or to add to cleaning products. It also works well, diluted, on pressure points.
Cautions and contraindications:
Avoid eye contact. Can irritate peptic ulcers.