ONE of these days drop at Broadway Book centre and be dazzled by the books. No matter how much I tell myself I don’t want to buy books, I just want to read a few more…I end up buying something. Couldn’t resist this Bloomsbury “Super Food: Lemon” hardcover booklet, a little shabby but I got a 15% discount. These days I’m lost in the magic of lemons and how much they can do for us. Hey, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
Do you know that citrus trees are millions of years old and it is thought that there were originally only three varieties, namely mandarin, citron and pomelo and from these all other modern citrus fruit were born including lemons? It seems the lemon is most closely related to the toughie citron which is said to be native to the Punjab of India and Pakistan and from there spread via trading routes to the Middle East…Mesopotamia excavations have yielded seeds dating to 4,000 BC. The Romans made full use of the “happy citron fruit” and yes, even then lemons were thought to chase away evil or remove “black venom”!
Needless to say that lemons are the greatest of our food as medicine and myriad are the ways in which we can put them to use. One time in my teens I used to dry out lemon and orange peels and powder them to arrive at a bathing scrub of the very best kind. Honey sweetened lemonade you know is the most refreshing drink of them all on a hot day. Lemons are of course known as the most vitamin C fruit of them all and a healer for colds and flu…squeeze lemon juice in cut fruit or veg salads and relish the taste of freshness filled with morning sunshine.
Lemons’ citric acid is actually alkaline upon digestion and cleanses the digestive system; for example, first thing in the morning a glass of so so hot water with lemon is said to help flush liver toxins and improve bowel movement. You must have heard of that one. Another is lemon juice has properties to dissolve kidney stones by removing uric acid built up. Other things: lutein in lemons is food for preventing macular degeneration, cataracts in eyes, good skin health, boost immune system…lemons have vitamin A and rutin which help regulate blood pressure. Lemons are full of anti-carcinogenic compounds.
In a nutshell, lemons are irresistible. My recently acquired booklet is replete with lemon recipes, how to preserve lemons, generally how to use lemons at home and how to grow one’s own lemon tree. Hey, let lemons be the light in your life and home more often, every day. I am still trying to work out what I should do with all the hundreds of books I have collected over a lifetime…sooner or later they must go to homes where they will be read and cherished, I wish! On that note it’s avjo, selamat datang, poiteverem, au revoir, arriveddeci and vachun yeta here for now!

—Mme Butterfly

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