Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

    Citrus limonum

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    C. limonum. Citri succus. Citric acid. C.medica


    Citrus is, in last con­sequence, derived from Greek kedromelon [κεδρο­μῆλον] "apple of cedar" (Greek melon [μῆλον] is cognate to Latin malum "apple"); this name, however, did not signify lemon, but citron whose culti­;vation in Egypt is reported by Greek travel­;lers. The Romans, then, shortened the Greek name to citrus.


    English lemon, and a number of other names for that fruit, derive from Arabic al-limun [الليمون] "lemon"; see lime for more. The botanical species epithet of citron, medicus, alludes to the Central Asian people of the Medes, who are supposed to have introduced citron to the Mediterranean countries.


    Traditional name


    Used parts


    Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Rosiflorae / Rosidae; Rutales; Rutaceae - Citrus Family



    Original proving

    no proving

    Description of the substance

    DESCRIPTION: These plants are native to the southern and southeastern mainland of Asia and the bordering Malayan islands. They are small, spiny shrubs or trees with alternate, usually evergreen, leaves, which are shiny and leathery and dotted with oil glands. The stems are mostly winged and jointed with the leaves and there is usually a spine on the twigs at the attachment of each stem. Their flowers smell sweet and they have five petals that are white and some kinds have purple staining the outer surfaces. The fruits are spherical or egg-shaped and have 8-14 juicy sections containing large, white or greenish seed leaves (cotyledons).

    The finest fruits arrive wrapped separately in paper, cases of the Messina lemons containing 360, and of Murcia lemons 200. Those from Naples and Malaga are thought to be less fine. Inferior fruits, preserved in salt water, are packed in barrels. It is stated that they can be kept fresh for months if dipped in melted paraffin or varnished with shellac dissolved in alcohol.

    The peel, Limonis Cortex, is white and spongy inside, varying much in thickness, and the yellow outer layer, formerly called the flavedo, has a fragrant odour and aromatic, bitter taste. Only the fresh rind is official.

    Candied lemon peel may be prepared by boiling the peel in syrup and then exposing it to the air until the sugar is crystallized.

    The juice, L. succus, is largely imported as a source of citric acid, but is mixed with that of lime and bergamot. It does not keep well, and several methods are tried for preserving it, such as covering it with a layer of almond oil, mixing with alcohol and filtering, or adding sulphur dioxide, but none appear to be very satisfactory. The juice should be pressed fresh for pharmaceutical purposes, the amount of citric acid being greatest in December and January and least in August.

    In Sicily, the pulp left after the production of the volatile oil is pressed for juice in large quantities and the solid matter left is used as cattle food.

    The oil, Oleum Limonis, is more fragrant and valuable if obtained by expression than by distillation. It is usually prepared in Sicily and Calabria, and sometimes at Nice and Mentone, where the 'Essence de Citron distillée' is prepared by rubbing fresh lemons on a coarse, tin grater, and distilling the grated peel with water. The better 'Essence de Citron au zeste' is prepared with the aid of a saucer-shaped, pewter dish with a pouring lip at one side and a closed funnel sunk from the middle. In the bottom are sharp, strong brass pins on which the peel is rubbed. This vessel is called an écuelle à piquer, but a machine called scorzetta is gradually coming into use.

    The method of expression in Sicily is that of squeezing large slices of peel against sponges fixed in the hand, the sponges when soaked being wrung into an earthen bowl with a spout, in which the oil separates from the watery liquid. The peel is afterwards pickled in brine and sold to manufacturers for candying.

    The roots and wood are cut in winter. The latter takes a beautiful polish and is nicely veined.

    The dried flowers and leaves are used in pharmacy in France.

    The Lemon is widely used in cookery and confectionery. A thousand lemons yield between 1 and 2 lb. of oil. The immature fruit yields less and the quality is inferior.

    The Lemon is grown for its acid juice, which is used in flavoring and in making various drinks. Lemon peel is candied. Lemon trees are grown as pot plants and outside in regions fairly free of frost. It is commercially important in California; Spain and Italy mostly stock the European countries. The origin of the Lemon is unclear. Its native home may have been southern China and adjacent parts of Upper Burma, from which it spread into India and westward. It is recorded that by 1150 AD it was growing in Spain, where it was introduced by the Arabs. The Crusaders also had a part in its introduction into western Europe (1096-1271 AD); since then it has been grown there continuously. Columbus brought Lemon seeds and probably fruit with him on his second voyage (he reached Hispaniola on November 22, 1493). It was brought to Florida by the Spaniards, perhaps as early as 1565 and to California about 1769 when the Franciscan fathers started the establishment of the missions.

    One of the great advantages of the lemon is that it will grow in relatively poor soil. The recommended soils are sand, clay and sandy-clay-deep, with high permeability and good drainage. Black soils are also suitable if not lying over calcareous subsoil. Ph should be between 5.5 and 6.5.
    Citrus trees can make very attractive container plants for those who have the space and the access to natural light indoors to support citrus growth or for those who need to move their plants inside occasionally to escape winter freezes. The container must be large enough to give the citrus room to grow. Container you choose, make sure that it has holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.
    All citruses require lots of sunlight to grow properly. You may wish to choose partial shade as opposed to full sunlight to slow the growth of your tree and acclimatize it if you plan to move it indoors from time to time.
    When providing nutrition to citrus trees, it is important to consider both the specific mineral needs of the plant, and soil conditions that affect a plant%27s ability to take up nutrients.
    The rough lemon is widely grown from seed.