When life gives you lemons, don't just make lemonade. This versatile, zesty fruit can keep you both healthy and clean. Here are five alternative uses.
-- Astringent. Squeeze some lemon juice into a glass jar, and dab some onto your face every morning, said New York City makeup artist Kimara Ahnert, whose clients includes Gwyneth Paltrow and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then wash it off with warm water followed by a moisturizer.
-- Deodorizer. Place a dried lemon slice under each seat of your car to freshen your vehicle, or hide it in your teenager's stinky shoe, said Elaine Giammetta, president of The Gourmet Girl Inc. If you're the one who smells, rub a slice under your arms (unless you've just shaved). Sucking on a lemon wedge can also help with bad breath, but save it for social emergencies; the strongly acidic lemon juice isn't good for tooth enamel.
-- Cure a hangover. Drinking a glass of hot water with lemon juice first thing in the morning -- or if you've had too much alcohol -- can help purify the liver, said Tony Burris, an herbalist who practices acupuncture in Boise, Idaho. Rubbing a lemon wedge into your armpit supposedly can also help ease the symptoms of a hangover, according to "Healing Remedies" (Ballantine Books, $16), by Joan and Lydia Wilen.
-- Cold fighter. For a sore throat, mix lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of sea salt and warm water to create an acidic environment that's hostile to bacteria and viruses, said Theresa Cheung, the author of "The Lemon Juice Diet (St. Martin's Griffin, $13.95.) Swallow what you've gargled to get an immunity-boosting shot of vitamin C, she said.
-- Nutrient booster. Adding lemon juice to green tea can increase the amount of catechins available for the body to absorb, according to some research. Catechins are antioxidants believed to help decrease the risk of heart disease. Adding lemon peel to your tea may reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Five Alternative Ways to Use Lemons
Citrus fruit helps the body inside and out
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.