Properties and Benefits of Citron

Properties and Benefits of Citron: One of the four original citrus fruit, the citron (Citrus medica) boasts as many health benefits as the mandarin, papeda and pomelo. Not only does it possess great antioxidant value, but it also exhibits antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

The citron is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, from where it spread to the Mediterranean basin. It predates most other citrus fruits and records suggest it was being cultivated as far back as 3000 years ago. Citrus medica is a small, evergreen tree which grows to about 2-5 meters in height. It has very fragrant leaves that give off a strong lemon odour. Flowers grow in clusters and differ in color depending on the variety: sweet citron varieties tend to have white-yellowish flowers, while acidic varieties are purple-colored. The tree is highly sensitive to frost.

Citron benefits

What does citron fruit look like? The citron is usually elongated or egg-shaped with a thin rind of yellow color. Unripe citrons are bright green. The fruit can grow to impressive sizes of up to 4-5 kg and 30 cm in diameter when fully mature. The rind of the fruit is furrowed or, in the case of some varieties, ribbed or even slightly bumpy. Basically, citrons look like lumpy, oversized lemons. Buda’s hand is a fingered citron variety known as such due to the fact that it resembles a hand with fingers, either opened or closed.

Unlike other citrus fruit, the citron has a rather thick pith (the white inner part of the rind) and very little pulp (some fruit have none, such as the Yemenite citron). The fruit usually contains a lot of seeds which are either colorless or white with a darker interior.

What does the citron fruit taste like? There are three varieties of citron: sweet, acidic and bitter. Sweet citrons have a lower acidic content and are thus sweeter. Varieties include the Moroccan and the Corsican citrons. Acidic citrons are those with a high acid content. Varieties include the Balady, Greek, Diamante and Florentine citrons. Pulpless citrons, such as the Yemenite citron, have no pulp, just a lot of bitter pith.

Citron

What are citrons used for? Citrons are widely used as candied sweets, preferably while green and unripe. Some pickle the fruit, while others use the peel to flavour all sorts of dishes, from rice to sweets. Unfortunately, few people eat them fresh. And there are plenty of reasons why you should eat fresh citron. Here are the top 8 health benefits of citron:

1) Excellent natural pain reliever. If you have a headache, drink a glass of water with some freshly-squeezed citron juice. Citrons possess anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties which should make your headache go away naturally.

2) Efficient against heartburn. You can repeat the same experiment as above: squeeze some fresh citron juice into a glass of water and drink it slowly. The water will help clear your throat from the acid that made its way up, while the citron juice will calm down the pain for a short while.

3) Good for colds. Seeing they are rich in vitamin C, an incredibly potent natural immune system booster, citrons help prevent and reduce the severity of respiratory infections such as colds as well as speed healing. Just add a few drops of juice to a cup of warm tea.

4) Offers anticancer protection. Citrons are a rich source of potent antioxidants such as vitamin C, a nutrient shown to drastically reduce cancer risks. Eating fresh vitamin C-rich foods such as citron can contribute to better health and cancer protection.

5) Maintains healthy teeth and gums. The generous amounts of vitamin C in citron pulp contribute to teeth and gum health as well and help prevent the dreaded scurvy, provided the fruit is consumed fresh.

6) Promotes cardiovascular health. Citrons were shown to contain good amounts of potassium and magnesium, two dietary minerals of unimaginable importance for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. While magnesium maintains the health of the heart muscle, potassium helps regulate blood pressure (hypertension) and prevents diseases associated with it.

7) Useful against insect bites and small cuts. Citron fruit and leaves give off a strong lemony odor which easily impregnates clothes. While it is pleasant for us, the smell efficiently repels mosquitoes, moths and other insects. Rubbing a couple of drops of citron juice onto a mosquito bite is said to help reduce the itching sensation. And if you add a few drops of juice to a small cut, it should help stop the bleeding almost immediately.

8) Natural remedy for bad breath. Citron pulp, juice, extract or seeds are believed to help improve bad breath naturally. However, because bad breath is often but a symptom of an underlying medical condition, this is only a temporary solution.

Because of its high vitamin C content, citrons were used in the past to treat seasickness, scurvy, nausea and vomiting. Moreover, they were recommended for the treatment of skin diseases and hemorrhoids. The scientific explanation for this is that vitamin C contributes to maintaining skin and blood vessel integrity and thus helps skin heal and prevents hemorrhoids, which are essentially blood vessels, from bleeding.

Citron essential oil, made from the rind of the fruit, was believed to possess potent antibiotic properties. The thick white pith from underneath the rind is a rich source of pectin, a type of soluble dietary fiber. Pectin is known to help combat diarrhea and constipation and, as a result, the pith can be consumed to this purpose.

While it may be just a dry citrus fruit, often too acidic or bitter to be worth eating, keep in mind that citron is an incredibly healthy fruit that brings about many incredible health benefits, worth a chew.




7 thoughts on “Properties and Benefits of Citron

  1. Very nice information, in fact, I had a severe headache. With dizziness. A glass of citron juice with a pinch of salt immediately relieved my headache. That was due to the pith. Cheers to the citron lime. And nice to know so many benefit it has.

    • I’m really happy to hear that citron juice helped you. The fruit is surprisingly healthy and rich in important nutrients, so its juice shares its benefits too. And thank you for sharing your headache relief solution with us. I’m thinking of trying it too next time I get a headache.

  2. Just finished the Jewish holidays, where Citron was used. Heard about the medicinal properties and wanted to do something with a few of them. I opened them up and noticed that very little juice would come, so I food processed the whole fruit and cooked it up with water and some honey.
    Just checking to make sure its ok to drink a bit since I guess was quite concentrated (depending on how much water one added).
    I strained it and put the juice away in containers and also froze some.
    Since I have never worked with citron, is all this ok to consume? The whole rind was processed and cooked.
    Please answer. Thank you so much.

    • Hello, Esther. It’s ok to cook and eat the thick white inner rind of the fruit. You can also candy it in sugar, pickle it, make it into jam. You can use the inner rind to flavor various dishes. I’m sure it was delicious the way you cooked it.

  3. Can this citron juice help in weight loss and melt the fat inside the body? I’m too fat that’s why I’m asking. I’m expecting the helpful reply.

    • Hello, Mohammed. Citron and citron juice can help you lose weight if you incorporate them into your diet, but you have to pay attention at all the other things you eat as well. It’s the whole diet that matters if you want to lose weight. Losing weight is 70 or 80% about what you eat, how much you eat and how you eat. For example, if you have a glass of citron juice, a plain yogurt and some plain oats cereal in the morning, then continue with some grilled chicken and a salad in the afternoon and some boiled cod or other fish in the evening with some lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil, then you can lose weight. You can eat a fruit or two in between meals or some nuts or seeds as a snack. This is how you need to eat if you want to lose weight: small meals and clean, simple eating. Food has to be fresh, simple, low in fats, but also nutritious to keep you healthy. When I wanted to lose weight, I changed my eating completely. Nothing processed, no baked goods, no cookies, no biscuits, no candy, no cooking with butter or margarine, no frying, no white bread, no chips, no croissants, nothing already processed and ready to eat and reduced my salt intake considerably. This is how I avoided hidden calories, fats and a lot of unhealthy preservatives, not to mention water retention. You can see a dietitian and have him or her give you a detailed meal plan or simply eat healthier food prepared at home. The simpler the dish, the better. I lost an extra 12 kilograms by eating plenty of vegetables, some fresh fruit when I had a craving for something sweet, moderate amounts of whole grains, raw, unsalted nuts and seeds as snacks and moderate amounts of eggs, fish and chicken. I made sure I ate whenever I felt hungry and the more natural I ate, the more energy I had and the better I felt both physically and mentally.
      If you want to lose weight, you have to change your diet, not just incorporate citron juice in it. You can drink citron juice as part of a healthier diet to include a greater variety of quality foods that will help you maintain a healthy weight and good health. Wishing you lots of health.

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