The epitome of perfection- the lemon. I know, I know; it’s a strong statement. Why would I consider a tiny fruit “perfect?” Hear me out. Of course, I’m a huge fan of the sweet, delicious summertime beverage that the lemon graces us with but it’s so much more than that. The lemon’s bright disposition and sweet, sour smell is enough to turn the saddest frown upside down (more on that to come) and it’s an eco-wonder when it comes to household uses! Yes, the lemon is more than a colorful embellishment for your next cocktail. Here are some fun new uses for lemons so you get the most out of every slice!
For Your Heath
Need an easy way to keep up your New Year’s Resolution to be healthier? (It’s almost May- we’re all slacking. No judgement here!) Lemons are the answer you’re looking for! Drinking the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon mixed in with a glass of lukewarm water, particularly after a meal, will help relieve heartburn, freshen breath and may help boost your metabolism! The scent of lemon has also been proven to improve mood and increase focus, so drink up!
Maybe you’re feeling a little queasy, you aren’t feeling up to drinking anything right now. This tiny super fruit has you covered! Sucking on a lemon is a great way to settle an upset stomach and the chewing of lemon peels has been known to control motion sickness. If you are going to test out the latter, however, please make sure you purchase USDA certified organic lemons. We don’t want anyone consuming any pesticides or herbicides!
(BONUS #1: Here’s an old bartenders’ trick for you! Dealing with a hangover headache? Lemon juice mixed with a few teaspoons of hot tea is a great cure for your agony! Try it out!)
Lemons at Home
Home is where the heart is but a stinky, dirty home can make your experience a little less pleasant. Enter lemons: the all-natural, all-purpose cleaner! Lemons have been used for years as a natural deodorizer in homes. Shove a few slices down the garbage disposal, grind them up and, viola, a happy, lemon scent is radiating throughout your kitchen. A lesser known trick, however, is a cashmere-lover’s dream! This closet-friendly trick keeps your rooms and closets smelling lemon-y fresh and keeps the moths away without the old-fashioned mothballs. Stick cloves all over the skins of some fresh, ripe lemons and put them in your closets. As the lemons dry, the scent of them (mixed with the cloves) will repel the moths and leave your home smelling amazing! It certainly beats those mothballs, doesn’t it?!
Lemons don’t just repel moths, either. To keep other pests like ants, roaches and fleas away from your home add some fresh lemon juice to a spray bottle and generously spray any areas of your home where they may get in. This includes doorways, window sills and any other cracks or thresholds to your home. These pests hate the smell of citrus so spraying your home regularly is a great, chemical-free way to keep them at bay!
So, lemons control smells, they control pests, anything else? Yep! Stains! Add a cup of lemon juice to your laundry during the wash cycle and, because of its natural bleaching element, the lemon juice will work to eliminate stains from your cotton items. It goes without saying that they will also come out smelling wonderfully fresh!
(BONUS #2: Lemon juice is a natural disinfectant. One great way to use this “sour power” is to clean off your other produce (which may contain nasty pesticides, herbicides, bacteria- and who knows what else, right?). Squeeze out the juice of a lemon into a spray bottle and spray it on your other produce before you rinse it off to make sure it is all disinfected! Easy!)
Lemons are great for your mind, great for your body, great for your home and, now, I’ll tell you how they are great for your garden, too! (Didn’t I tell you? They’re the super-fruit!) It’s obvious, yes, that lemon juice contains high amounts of citric acid. Did you know, however, that citric acid has a burning effect when used on weeds? Pour some freshly squeezed lemon juice into a spray bottle (it’s sounding like investing in a spray bottle is a good idea, no?) and douse those weeds with lemon juice- ideally on a dry, hot day! Most likely, the citric acid will kill them off. No chemicals needed!
Weeds aren’t the only pests that lemons keep out of your garden. Strategically placing lemon rinds just under the surface of your garden throughout the season (typically Spring and Summer) will deter garden diggers like squirrels and cats from pulling up your plantings. Grated peels and rinds, left around your garden, porch or patio, are also a great way to repel mosquitoes. Not planning on sitting still? No problem! Simply rub the peels on your skin. Mosquitoes hate the smell and will keep far away from you!
So many uses for such a small fruit! A natural miracle cure. A green(yellow?)-cleaner. A gardener’s dream. There’s a use out there for everyone- even if it’s just atop your Lemon Drop! So, next time you’re in the produce aisle, pick up a couple of the little guys and maybe drop a few of these tips on the person next to you! (Spread the lemon-y love!) I’d love to hear any other lemon-flavored tips your might have up your sleeve, or if you try any of these out yourselves I’d love to hear how they worked for you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments section! Until next time…