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THE LEMON always graces the fridge, be it fresh or pickled. And not unoften, they are used as beauty aids too. The lemon is thoroughly Indian. They originated in Asian countries such as India and Malaysia.

There are very interesting stories about the lemon. Alexander introduced the thirst quenching lemon to Europe and the Middle East during the third century. Later Arab traders popularised the fruit in other tropical countries. Now lemons are cultivated world wide.

Lemons or lime fall into the citrus fruits group. The scientific name for lemon is citrus limon. In India it is also known as limbu, bara nimbu, nyomb, naranga, yelumichai payam etc.

The lemon plant is a short, thorny shrub or bush and requires tropical climate for its optimal growth. The rind is dark green and on ripening turns yellow. The fruit is juicy with few seeds and is very aromatic. The juicy pale yellow acid flesh never fails to awaken and refresh the taste buds due to its mouth watering acid sweet taste. It is a soothing drink in summer as well as in disease conditions such as fever, diarrhoea etc. Lime is used as an appetiser and antiscorbutic other than cookery use.

It is also used in cosmetics therapy. Scurvy is a disease due to the deficiency of Vitamin C and characterised by body aches, bleeding gums etc. Long ago, there was a law making it mandatory for English sailors to carry lemon on their long voyages to protect them from scurvy.

Due to this relationship between lime and this disorder they used to refer this condition as 'limey.'#Uses of lemon.