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Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck

Winter hit me hard this year. As all of our beloved trees and perennials went into hibernation so did we. Being a So. Cal. native the cold and lack of sun affected me the most, I spend many days inside. I slept, I cooked soup, I drank tea, I lit candles and incense, I enjoyed holiday dinners and I reveled in the quiet nights by the fireplace. What I loved the most was looking outside my bedroom window at the big, beautiful, yellow, lemons ripening as the days went by. Finally by mid February, I started harvesting. Now in the height of cold and flu season, every glass of water, cup of tea and bowl of yogi food I have, has a half a lemon squeezed into it. I swear this is what helped us all stay healthy here at The Villa while many people were struggling to get over this season’s flu.

I also started rubbing lemon all over my face, careful not to get it in my eye. It stings for the first minute and I just know the juice is killing all of the bacteria on my skin. I have struggled with acne since I was 17, now at 24 and after two weeks of lemon masks every night I haven’t broken out and my scars are more than half gone! The natural citric acid in the lemon is eating away at the years of scar tissue built up on my face. I love my lemon tree, and I look forward to giving it a nice haircut and a full 25lb bag of organic citrus food at the end of the month.

Lemon is one of the most important and versatile natural remedies for the home. With its high vitamin C levels it is valuable for preventing colds and flu, preventing stomach infections, circulatory problems and arteriosclerosis. It is thought to be native to India and was first grown in Europe in 2nd century CE. Now it is cultivated worldwide in Mediterranean and subtropical climates. Despite being acidic, once digested, lemon has an alkaline effect within the body. The volatile oil is antiseptic and antibacterial. The bioflavonoids are antioxidant and strengthen the inner lining of blood vessels, veins and capillaries. Which helps counter varicose veins and easy bruising. Lemon juice is good for cold, flu and chest infection. It stimulates liver detoxification, improves the appetite, and helps ease stomach acidity, ulcers, arthritis, gout, and rheumatism. As a gargle, lemon juice is helpful for sore throats, gingivitis and mouth ulcers. Above all, lemon is a food that helps maintain general good health. And it is my new favorite winter time fruit. 

Bela Ballatore

Bela Ballatore is the Lifestyle Manager at The Villa, CHC Headquarters. On top of writing for the Apothecary page, she manages the herbal and vegetable gardens and the chickens on the farm. She fell in love with cooking as a young girl, cooking side by side with her father. Through cooking and Kundalini yoga her father helped her develop her spiritual practice at a young age. She moved to Nevada County in 2019 to further her dreams in connecting to Mother Gaia and living a healthy life. Continually participating in meditative work on the land and taking on new roles at CHC she takes steps towards a healthy mind, body and soul everyday.

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