Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spa Girl says check out lemons

I have always loved lemons, not only for their magnificent colour but the flavor they provide to so many foods. One of my first art assignments was to paint a cluster of lemons and I have cherished them ever since. They are inexpensive, easily available and this citrus fruit is also good for medicinal uses.

Known for there aromatic rind and tangy acidic flavor, lemons are very high in nutritional value and are used in traditional medicines because of their well-known therapeutic powers. One lemon without peel contains 0.92 grams protein, 24 calories and 2.4 grams of dietary fibre not to mention among other things, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and E. Higher citrate levels than oranges; lemons can help keep gums, teeth and bones healthy, aids in the absorption of iron and is a good prevention against colds and flu.

Believed to be a native plant of India, northern Burma, and China, the exact origin of the lemon has remained a mystery.

Lemon juice can also be used as a short-term preservative on foods that tend to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced, such as apples, bananas and avocados. The high levels of acid found in lemons denature the enzymes which cause browning and degradation.

So what’s good for food must be good for the face!

Adapted from Better Basics for the Home, by Annie Berthold-Bond (Three Rivers Press, 1999)

This refreshing gently-abrasive scrub, rich in alpha-hydroxy acids and vitamin C sloughs away the tired dead skin and diminishes the appearance of age spots.

Lemon Scrub

¼ cup sea salt
enough lemon juice to make a paste

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Dab gently on your face with fingertips or a cotton ball, then massage into your skin, being careful to avoid your eyes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.

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