Some 10+ years ago I read the book Eat Right for Your Blood Type.  It recommended drinking the juice of half a lemon in warm water the first thing every morning.  I have done so ever since.  Years later, we read article after article listing the benefits of this morning ritual.  All I know is that my body loves lemons!  She, my body, knows exactly where and how to apply the goodness found in a lemon to her personal needs.

But, wait a minute, haven’t we been using lemons for decades.  I grew up with lemons in the grocery carriage; lemons are not a new food.  Society has suddenly realized that they are a SUPERFOOD.  Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber.  They contain numerous phytochemicals, many of them antioxidants.

Here are just a few my family’s traditional uses for the lovely, lowly, now SUPERFOOD – LEMONS.

When I was doing my junior year of college in France, I made my mother Lemon Tea’s.  It was the cold remedy that she used to keep her babies well.  It was a great hit with the students from Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and France.

Harriett E’s Lemon Tea
Take 2 lemons roll them on the table; this will break up the membrane and release more juice.  Slice them in half and squeeze the juice into a small sauce pan along with the lemon peels; add enough water to cover.  Bring to a rolling boil; turn the flame down and allow to gently boil for 10 minutes.
Strain into you cup.  Sweeten to taste.

She also made lemony syrup to put in our tea.  I never got this recipe right but, I use it all the time.  It is probably the reason why over the counter cough medicines don’t work for me.

Miss Poly’s Lemon Syrup
Brandy, Honey, and Lemon – Roll the lemon then squeeze the juice into a small sauce pan.  Add a ¼ local honey and a ½ cup of Brandy.  Bring to a boil to create soft ball syrup.  Add this to a cup of tea.

We would drink this in our PJ’s and then head straight to bed.  We slept all night, no coughing, but also sweated out most of our cold.

My mother will be 84 years old this year.  She has the most beautiful skin.  When we were teenagers she taught us how to take care of our faces.  No, she didn’t teach us how to apply makeup but, how to maintain flawless skin.   I remember my sister ragging me about a blackhead because she knew I knew better.

Now decades later my mother tells me she has oily skin.  How did I find out?  She asked me for the lemon peels from my morning drink.  She rubs them on her face as a natural astringent.

I could just go on and on raving about Lemons.  We could discuss how Lemon Meringue Pie was created in Philadelphia as a last minute use for leftover Lemon Curd. (I love Lemon Curd warm).  Or share my great recipe for Moroccans Lemon Chicken over Couscous.  We could even explore the uses another tradition food, Preserved Lemons.  Instead next time you are in the grocery store pick a few lemons.  Good Health to you.

 

 

 

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