Ode to the Lemon

I adore lemons. There is little better than a cool lemon cucumber water on a hot summer day or the occasional glass of sweet-tart lemonade to refresh us. Why are lemons so darn good at cooling us off? What else does the lovely bright citrus offer? Let’s explore it a little.

36996058_sBotanically, this citrus fruit belongs to the family of Rutaceae, in the genus, Citrus (which also includes orange, pomelo, tangerine, and grapefruit). Scientific name: Citrus limon. It is the smallest among citrus fruits, nevertheless, holds more health benefiting nutrients than other larger citrus family fruits such as oranges, yuzu, pomelo (Citrus maxima), etc.

The lemon’s acidic taste comes from its citric acid which constitutes about 8% of its juice. Citric acid makes it easier for the body to absorb some minerals.

Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C  (ascorbic acid). A 3.5-ounce serving provides about 88% of daily recommended intake. Ascorbic acid is a powerful water-soluble natural anti-oxidant. Consuming foods rich in vitamin C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.

Lemons also contain a variety of flavonoid glycosides (Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin) that have been found to have a bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulators. Naringenin has also been shown to reduce oxidant injury to DNA in the cells in-vitro studies.

Lemon has long been sought to bolster the immune system and with 138mg of potassium, 53 mg of vitamin C, 26 mg of calcium and 22 mg of vitamin A it’s no wonder it improves the bodies natural functions.

Herbalists look to lemon to improve digestion, as an antimicrobial, as a cooling agent and as an anti-inflammatory.

But what about Lemon essential oil? It is such an amazing scent and like many essential oils, the constituents of lemon oil have antiseptic properties so it is an ideal additive to cleaning products. It’s uplifting and cleansing in aromatherapy and can create a more cheerful atmosphere. A Japanese study suggested that after diffusing lemon oil throughout a busy office building, typing errors decreased by 54%. How cool is that! What essential oil doesn’t contain is the water-soluble vitamins and Lemon waterminerals present in infusions.

One note of caution, you will see a lot of skin treatments with lemon because of it’s lovely astringency and vitamin content but it can increase the photosensitivity of the skin.

A glass of lemon water (yum) will surely do your body good! I like to keep a pitcher in the fridge during the summer and only replace the lemon once a week or so.

How do you use lemon? Tell us in the comments below.

 

Auntie Kandy’s Giveaway!

I want to learn all about you. What do you like? What do you know? What do you want to know more about? I’ve put together a quick 9 question survey to help me serve you better.

Complete the survey to receive a coupon code for free shipping and a chance to win a great AKA basket full of goodies. This basket contains more than $35 worth of Auntie Kandy’s Apothecary products and 6 sample sizes so you can try out a little bit of everything.

AKA Survey GiveawayThe basket includes:

The survey will be open until April 2nd and the winner of the give away will be drawn via Randompicker.com on April 3rd and announced. The free shipping discount code will be emailed to all who have entered on Sunday the 13th, 20th, 27th and 3rd. The discount code covers shipping in North America only. The prize will be shipped to the winner via USPS priority  service.

I can’t wait to learn all about you!

Be Well,
Aunt Kandy

Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra)

Manipura (solar plexus yellow-solar-chakra-symbol-imagechakra) is our Will, Power and Assertiveness energy center.  It is a source of personal power and governs self-esteem, warrior energy, and the power of transformation. 

The third chakra is called Manipura, which means “lustrous gem” and is located around the navel in the area of the solar plexus and up to the breastbone.

When you feel self-confident, have a strong sense of purpose, and are self-motivated, your third chakra is open and healthy. If your third chakra is out of balance, you can suffer from low self-esteem, have difficulty making decisions, and may have anger or control issues. The element is fire and the color is yellow, bright like the sun.

 

Balance in Manipura is important

A overcharged Manipura

A sluggish Manipura

Some physical symptoms of imbalance are poor circulation, pain in lower back, dry skin and hair and constant constipation or diarrhea.

Check out some ways to balance your overcharged or sluggish Muladhara.

 

Lavender (Lavandula spp) Monograph

eLAVENDER-botanicalLavender (Lavandula spp)
Family: Lamiaceae
Common medicinal properties: Analgesic, AntiCancer, Antifungal,  Antioxidant,  Antiperspirant, Antirheumatic, AntiViral, Aromatic, Cardiac tonic cordial, Chlagogue, Cicatrisant, Cytophylactic, Deodorant/Perfumes, Diaporetic/Sudorific, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Hypotensive, Insect repellents, Muscle Relaxant, Nervine, Parturient, Sedative, Splenic, Vermifuge, Vulnerary
Current Research:
Migraine. Some research suggests that rubbing 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil on the upper lip, so that the vapor is inhaled, might reduce migraine pain and nausea, and help stop the headache spreading.
Contraindications:Sedative medications (Barbiturates) interacts with LAVENDER, Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with LAVENDER

Parts Used: Flowers, leaves and stems

Constituents: volatile oil (up to 1.5%, containing linabol, linalyl acetate, lavendulyl acetate, terpinenol, cineole, camphor, borneol, pinene, limonene), tannins, coumarins (coumarin, umbelliferone, hemiarin), flavonoids, triterpenoids, rosmarinic acid

Energetics:  Cool and Dry

Folk applications: Clothing smelling of lavender attracts love (thus the drawer sachets). Rub lavender against anything you want to attract a man. It is burned or smoldered to induce peacefulness and rest. It is carried to see ghosts.

Balancing a sluggish Muladhara

When your Root Chakra (Muladhara) is sluggish you are poorly grounded and have trouble functioning on the physical plane. Try some of these to connect more fully to the material.

  • Choose one or two of your favorite items and think about the way you use them in the physical world. Thank them for helping to ground you.
  • Drink a long steeped hibiscus tea
  • Add more whole grains into your diet
  • Wear dark reds to strengthen the chakra
  • Treat yourself to a deep aromatherapy mister with vetiver and cedar.
  • Carry or wear a deep red jasper stone

Balancing an overcharged Muladhara

If your root chakra is overcharged it means you are relying too heavily on the material realm for your sense of security. Here are some great ways to work towards balance.

  • Clean out a closet, drawer or box that is full of things you don’t need. Keep only what you know will be used in the coming year.
  • Take a nice relaxing pink colored bath to lighten up that deep heavy red chakra (wearing pink is also helpful).
  • Treat yourself to a nice lightening aromatherapy mister with sage and geranium.
  • Carry or wear pink quartz