Lime; zest for life | Daily News


Lime; zest for life

Fruits belonging to the Citrus family are known as miracle fruits. The lime which is the least sweet of the common citrus fruits, an up until recently a closely guarded military secret, possesses 32 percent of the vitamin C needed in a day. The secret is that in order to prevent scurvy during the 19th century, British sailors were issued a daily allowance of lime. Green Thumbs speaks to Institute of Indigenous Medicine, Department of Dravyaguna Vignana, Senior Lecturer, Dr. S. D. Hapuarachchi on lime, perfect for everyday use in sickness and in health.

“Lime trees flourish in tropical and subtropical climates and Limes are a very good source of magnesium and potassium. It rejuvenates the skin promoting healthier and younger looking skin. It improves digestion, fights infections and helps with weight loss. It lowers blood sugar, reduces heart disease. It also prevents cancer and reduces inflammation. The lime fruit has antioxidant properties that help with your skin as well,” said Hapuarachchi.

The lime is used in cooking all around the world points out Hapuarachchi. Usually lime is used for vegetable and fruit salads. Lime juice is added to some cooked vegetables and fish, meat and curry dishes. If you take the papaya fruit, lime is normally squirted onto the papaya slice creating a food that is mouthwatering and nutritious.

“Limes have a higher concentration of sugars and acids than lemons do. Lime juice may be squeezed from fresh limes, or purchased in bottles in both unsweetened and sweetened varieties. Lime juice is used to make limeade. Limeade is a lime flavored drink sweetened with sugar. A typical method of preparation is to juice limes, and combine the juice with simple syrup or honey syrup, along with some additional water. Lime is also used to make many cocktails.Lime pickles are an integral part of Indian cuisine and is an essential part of Onam Sadhya. Sadhya is a feast of Kerala origin and of importance to all Malayalis. Lime is an ingredient in several high end cocktails. Freshly squeezed lime juice is also considered a key ingredient in margaritas, although sometimes lemon juice is substituted. In cooking, lime is valued both for the acidity of its juice and the floral aroma,” pointed out Hapuarachchi.

Lime extracts and lime essential oils are frequently used in perfumes, cleaning products, and aromatherapy. “In Sri Lankan meals, side-dishes include pickles, chutneys and sambols, and the most famous of which is coconut sambol. This recipe calls for ground coconut mixed with chili peppers, dried Maldivian fish and lime juice,” said Hapuarachchi.

Hapuarachchi added that in her research the lime leaf tea is an alternative herbal medicine for nerve tonic, high blood pressure, peptic ulcers, colds, asthma, digestion, scurvy, constipation, bronchial and respiratory conditions and it is also used as a sedative. Lime leaf contains Vitamin C as well as flavonoids which makes it a good medicinal herb to treat various diseases like heart diseases and cancer.

“I have found out in my readings that the fresh juice may be used for arthritis and it is also a good herbal remedy when it is mixed with water to stop diarrhea and belly aches. The juice is also good to be used as a disinfectant for wounds, cuts and bruises. Some persons cut the lime fruits in halves and use them to rub their arthritic joints. Many of those same persons have testified that it is an effective remedy to alleviate the joint pains and will eventually cure this ailment. To make the tea you boil four or six of the leaves in the amount of water that will bring out the taste. You boil the lime leaves just for a few minutes and then make it sweet with a small amount of brown sugar,” explained Hapuarachchi.



Hapuarachchi points to 21 Impressive Health Benefits of Lime as a reliable source when it comes to Health benefits of lime.

Lime is also used in the treatment of scurvy, piles, peptic ulcer, gout, and gums. It also aids in skin care, hair care, and eye care and may help lower the risk of developing cancer.

* Skin Care - Lime juice contains healthy acids and helps remove dead cells when applied to the skin. You can create a refreshing bathing experience by just adding this juice to your bath. It also helps reduce body odor. It fights skin damage caused due to sun, dust, and pollution. Vitamin C protects the skin from infections as well as cures rashes, acne, pimples, bruises, and blemishes.

* It prevents Scurvy – It is a well- known cure for scurvy. Early symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency include weakness, feeling tired, and sore arms and legs. Without treatment, decreased red blood cells, gum disease, changes to hair, and bleeding from the skin may occur. As scurvy worsens there can be poor wound healing, personality changes, and finally death from infection or bleeding.

* Aids in Digestion - Limes have a pleasing aroma, which may cause your mouth to water. The digestive saliva floods your mouth. The flavonoids stimulate the digestive system and increase secretion of digestive juices. This helps move the food throughout the intestine.

* Helps in weight loss - Also, the citric acid present in it is an excellent fat burner.

* Diabetes (Manages Blood Sugar)- The high levels of soluble fiber found in lime make it effective in helping to regulate the body’s absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This helps reduce the occurrence of blood sugar spikes that are a serious risk to diabetic patients.

* Prevents Heart Diseases- studies have shown that foods rich in vitamin C have a protective effect against coronary heart disease. Additionally, soluble fiber and limonin found in limes help lower blood pressure.

* Decreases cancer risk – Antioxidant-packed phytochemicals in lime have potent cancer-fighting properties preventing colon, breast, prostate, pancreatic, stomach, lungs, kidneys, and blood cancer.

* Relieves inflammation - Has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used for a number of inflammatory issues.

* Prevents Kidney Stones - The citric acid in fresh or concentrated lime juice helps remove and prevent kidney stones by increasing urinary citrate and urine volume.

* Boost Immunity - Lime strengthens the body’s line of defense and helps ward off infections and diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia. Vitamin C in the citrus fruit helps to battle coughs and colds and boosts the body’s overall immunity.

* Increases iron absorption - Vitamin C in lime when paired with foods rich in iron, helps maximize the body’s ability to absorb iron.

* Eye Care: The antioxidant properties of lime protect eyes from aging and macular degeneration.

* Provides relief from Gout (a common and complex form of arthritis)

* Relief from Piles - Piles is another term for hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are collections of inflamed tissue in the anal canal. They contain blood vessels, support tissue, muscle, and elastic fibers. Internal hemorrhoids often result in painless, bright red rectal bleeding when defecating. External hemorrhoids often result in pain and swelling in the area of the anus.

* Hair Care: Applying lime juice to the scalp has tremendous benefits like shiny, healthy, and dandruff-free hair and scalp

* Boosts Women’s Health: Calcium and folate present in it are two important nutrients for women in menopausal and child-bearing age

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