Lime is beneficial for skin and hair

lime.jpg (5162 bytes)by Namini Wijedasa
There are two common varieties of lime (Citrus aurantifolia): the sweet type and the sour kind. The latter alleviates all three humours vatha, pitta and kapha.

According to Dr. Randolph Stone, founder of Polarity Therapy, limes and lemons are so much alike that we speak of them as having the same value. He says most citrus fruits (limes, lemons, grapefruit and oranges) aid oxidation and elimination by the stored-up airy energy in their air-tight compartments. "Vitamin C and calcium are

their main contributions as food values," he says in an excerpt from the book Health Building. The article was available on the World Wide Web, reprinted with permission of CRCS Publications. "The lime and the lemon are particularly valuable for these factors, plus the new vitamin P which is found in them," the article elaborates.

Indian doctors note that lime is beneficial to skin and hair, is a traditional hair conditioner, removes excess grease secreted by the scalp and removes dandruff. Lime juice mixed with rose water is an excellent skin tonic. For sunburn, apply lime juice and milk. Meanwhile, for pimples and blackheads, wash with juice of a fresh lime in one glass of boiled whole mink. A teaspoon of glycerine may be added for dry skin.

According to Dr. Lakshmi Senaratne, who is the senior scientist (ayurveda) at the Bandaranaike Memorial Ayurveda Research Institute, it promotes secretion of gastric juice and hence increases appetite and digestion. Lime is anthelmintic, reduces thirst and exhaustion, is an effective treatment for indigestion, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. For all these conditions, says Senaratne, boil water, allow to cool, add lime juice and sugar and ingest. It also soothes fever and giddiness.

For anorexia, abdominal distension and pain, extract two tablespoons of the juice of a ripe lime and drink after adding salt. For abdominal pain and vomiting due to worms, grind nutmeg with lime juice and administer.

For common cold, steam a lime, extract two tablespoons of the juice, add two teaspoons of bee’s honey and drink at the outset of the ailment. Dr. Senaratne said this remedy was also effective treatment for indigestion and diarrhoea. Also for indigestion, take lime juice with sugar and salt to taste and for diarrhoea, take a glass of water, add two teaspoons of sugar, salt to taste and drink after stirring in one teaspoon of lime juice. For immediate relief from diarrhoea, take lime and tea.

For dandruff, she said, cut lime into pieces and boil with dill seed (uluhal). Crush the two and massage into scalp. Wash off after thirty minutes.

For common cold and fever, boil lime leaves with coriander and steam face as well as whole body twice a day. It lessens fever and body pain, Senaratne said. "Lime leaves are known to kill poison and is used also in treatment of swellings," she noted.

For boils, take unripe ahu, unripe lime, tender leaves of tamarind and boil all in water used to wash country rice. Apply the water on the boil.

The sweet variety, explains Senaratne, has different effects. It reduces vatha and pitta and is used in bleeding disorders, anorexia, thirst and vomiting. Just as sour lime reduces weight, sweet lime increases it and also promotes strength. It is a laxative, is good for cough, bronchitis, dyspepsia, nausea, flatulence, scabies and anaemia. "You must not take too much of the sour variety because it reduces weight," she cautioned.

Dr. Stone says in his exhaustive survey that limes and lemons play an important part in aiding digestion of protein foods, especially when used in combination with fresh papaya. Citrus fruit also changes the over-acid condition of the body to an alkaline one by its heavy fruit calcium contents, which supply the bones, teeth, blood and nervous system with calcium and phosphorous.

"Because of this, these citrus juices are a great aid to nervous persons, and are used in neurasthenia with fine results," he notes. "Citrus juices relieve and prevent nervous indigestion and halitosis (bad breath) due to upset digestion. Actors and business and professional people find the lime and lemon a great help to keep their breath sweet by drinking the juice of either, sweetened with honey and diluted with water, before or between meals and before retiring. This is also good for sore throats and colds, especially if pineapple juice is added to it. Lemon or lime juice is a great remedy for asthma, by using two tablespoonfuls before each meal and before retiring — in addition to a starch-free and milk-free diet."

Stone says lime juice also has an antiseptic value and a healing and dissolving effect on abnormal tissues. When mixed with almond or olive oil, it is a wonderful remedy for eczema, applied externally and used internally as well. In bad cases of eczema, use a starchless, all fruit diet, including the lemon and oil internally and apply the lemon and fresh pineapple juice externally every hour until cured.

Athlete’s foot yields quickly to the application of lemon juice, especially when combined with fresh papaya juice. The dissolving effect of lemon juice has been shown also in cataracts, by putting several drops of a solution made up of equal parts of lemon juice and distilled water in the affected eye or eyes three times daily.

He recommends that a combination of lemon juice and table salt be rubbed into discoloured teeth: it cleanses and whitens them.

As other doctors, Stone emphasises that coughs and colds are helped by lemon juice, especially when mixed with honey, some garlic and fresh pineapple juice. The mixture is even effective without the pineapple juice, but the addition of the pineapple juice yields quicker results. "This is a wonderful remedy even in diphtheria and other throat

conditions," he says. "Alcoholism and the tobacco habit can be overcome easily, by sucking a lemon whenever the desire to indulge is active. This is not only a perfect

substitute but is also a builder and replacer of the lost phosphates, calcium, and vitamins needed to balance the system. Abstinence from meat, fish, eggs, and heavily spiced foods, as well as maintaining a rational nourishing diet, must accompany the cure. Any determined patient can be cured by this method in a month or more."

"For wrinkles and lines under the eyes there is nothing better than a mixture of lemon juice and olive or almond oil, gently massaged from under the outer corner of the eye, inward, toward the nose; also, from the same outer corner of the eye in an upward diagonal direction," he continues. "This same mixture is also excellent for the scalp and for treating any scalp infection. To keep joints and feet pliant, especially for dancers and artists, there is nothing better than to rub them with equal parts of oil and lemon juice."

For rheumatism and arthritis, take the juice of half a lemon before each meal and before retiring and adhere to a strictly vegetarian, non-starch diet for this condition.

In chills, fever, headaches, use the fresh lemon with clover or alfalfa tea freely and abstain from food until these symptoms disappear.

For dropsy and cirrhosis of the liver, peel the lemon, cut it up, cover it with honey and eat it. Start with one lemon a day and go as high as ten a day by adding one each day, until improved then work backwards down to one a day. One should remain on a fruit and juice diet while on this procedure.

For fatigue and thirst quenching, the lemon and alfalfa tea is good. Or suck a lemon when exhausted or thirsty. It is far better than the vinegar and water drink used for that purpose in hot climates.

Stone has another lime-based remedy for diarrhoea: use apple pulp mixed with lime juice and a little honey and powdered cinnamon sprinkled on the mixture.

"In cosmetics and beauty treatment, the lemon is of great value, whether it be for a hair rinse, for reducing enlarged pores or for whitening and softening the skin," stone recommends. "It is of great help in removing objectionable odours from the hands such as after peeling onions or garlic, and is also a stain remover, for such as fruit stains."

For the hands, simply take the rind of the lemon after the juice has been squeezed out and rub the fingers and hands with the remaining pulp.

Lemon and oil sniffed up through the nose is a great cleanser of the nasal passages. This will also clear up adenoids.

For constipation take a mixture of half a cupful of lemon juice with half a cupful of olive, almond, or sesame oil four times a day, until the bowels move.

For poultices on boils, abscesses and skin eruptions, apply the pulp of the lemon, and take the juice with the oil internally also. As a gargle for sore throat, use lemon and oil, and take it internally also.

Stone says that wherever almond oil is not available, olive oil or sesame seed oil will do nicely when it is to be taken by mouth; otherwise, even cottonseed oil or other vegetable oils may be substituted for external use.