Lemon – Nature’s Gift to Mankind
Lemon is a must not only for the health conscious but in your beauty kit as well.
An innocuous little clear light yellow coloured fruit with a tangy sour taste known as the lemon should not be easily dismissed. The lemon is one of the richest sources of vitamin C available to man (the others being gooseberry and the orange), and possesses invaluable anti-infection properties. Vitamin C is undoubtedly one of nature’s all purpose remedies which helps the body fight off health challenges.
Regular intake of vitamin C – otherwise known as ascorbic acid – keeps the body well toned, active and strong but refusing to let bacteria and virus invade its defences. Vitamin C is extremely necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system, especially during illness.
A very interesting and unique feature of this particular vitamin is that in healthy body. It is absorbed I moderate amounts – so much and no more – while excesses are instantly rejected if the doses are too large.
But when a person falls ill, automatically the body’s need of vitamin C increases tremendously and having it in greater amount being beneficial; the body miraculously starts absorbing large quantities of it; but even while needing extra supplements it is better to take it in smaller doses several times in the day to facilitate absorption – rather that a lot at once.
Vitamin C is also an indispensable ingredient in the forming of collagen – the protein that helps form connective tissue in the skin – consequently, people with burn injuries need more of it to help recover quickly.
Lemon with its high natural acid content helps aid digestion and acts as an efficacious counter-irritant. When a meal has been too rich in fats – the easiest, cheapest, least dangerous and most natural antidote is the juice of a lemon diluted with water. It immediately corrects the body’s discomfort by cutting fat.
The juice of a freshly squeezed lemon in a glass of warm water goes a long way in keeping a person slim ‘n’ trim and is an ideal way to reduce excess weight.
When fagged out or feeling low on stamina, one of the simplest ways to get energy is squeeze a quarter of a lemon into a glass of cold water, add to it a pinch of salt and two spoonfuls of honey and one has a fresh, natural healthy tonic that will have one zipping off again.
For those who might find it too sour and tangy to be taken with water, a dash of lemon over fresh salad, cooked vegetables or lentils will ensure the daily quota of vitamin C. Where then is the need for pills and capsules?
Apart from its aids to one’s insides, externally too, the multifaceted lemon has innumerable uses.
- Fresh lemon juice rubbed on the scalp just half-an-hour before washing the hair helps to effectively control dandruff.
- Rubbed over teeth, it lightens stains and sets them sparkling.
- To curb nauseous feeling, lemon is a boon taken with a little salt and pepper.
- Mixed with honey and glycerine, lemon goes a long way in treating coughs and ensuring a speedy cure.
Besides is mild, healthy bleaching properties, lemon juice is an excellent natural deep-pore cleanser. Diluted with a little water (for it should never be applied in a concentrated form), applied gently and left on for 8-10 minutes, it imparts a super glow, leaving even the dullest skin looking radiant. With its tingling freshness, it is one of the best astringents for an oily skin and being natural, costs a fraction of what other synthetic astringents cost. However, care should be taken to see that there is no broken skin; wait until it has healed before applying.
Fresh salad greens when washed in highly diluted lemon water stay fresh much longer than otherwise, as do fruits like apples, guavas and pears which otherwise turn a dull brown.
Silver jewellery that has lost its shine is best soaked in lemon juice, and then see it look as good as new! Copper cleansed with lemon juice glows brilliantly. Silk clothes, dipped for a final rinse in cold water to which lime juice has been added, shimmer with an extra special sheen even as the dye is strengthened.
Truly the lemon is incredibly versatile and has a hundred different and supremely effective uses, so don’t just give it a go-by, but stretch your hands towards it as often as possible. It will not be in vain.
Layered Lemon Sponge
- 1 plain sponge cake
- 3 tbsp sugar syrup
For the lemon curd:
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 2 eggs
- Juice of 3 large lemons
- ½ tsp (2g) grated lemon rind
- ½ cup (100g) butter
To prepare the lemon curd:
- Mix sugar and butter till well blended. Add lemon rind and lemon juice and mix well. Hold the vessel over a pan of boiling water and stir till the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and keep aside. Beat the eggs lightly and fold into the cooked butter-sugar mixture. Cook on a low heat and keep stirring continuously till the custard is cooked and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and keep aside to cool.
- Slice the cake horizontally into three slices. Sprinkle 3 tbsp sugar syrup or as required over the sliced sponge cake to make it slightly moist. Divide the lemon curd into two portions. Spread one portion evenly over the lower cake slice. Place the middle cake slice over it and spread the remaining lemon curd over it. Place the top slice of cake over it and press gently. Refrigerate for 20 minutes and serve cold.