Lemon juice is high in vitamin C, and lemon leaves contain many other essential nutrients.
As food, lemon leaves help your body absorb nutrients and boost your immune system. They can also help treat constipation and intestinal infections.
Lemon leaves can be used in cooking and in teas to flavor soups and stews. They also make a great addition to a salad.
Lemon leaves are also being researched to help treat and prevent certain types of cancer.
How to use lemon leaves?
Lemon leaves can be added to a juice or used as a tea to treat the following symptoms:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sore throat
- Cold sores
- Upset stomach
To make lemon tea, use a 1inch-long piece of fresh lemon to infuse 2 to 3 cups of water. Let the tea steep for up to 30 minutes. Strain and drink hot.
Lemon tea can be added to a hot or cold beverage, such as:
- Hot tea
Lemon tea can also be used as a natural supplement.
Side effects and risks
Lemon leaves are generally safe for most people. However, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a doctor before using lemon leaves.
More serious side effects of lemon leaves are rare. But they can include:
- A burning sensation in your mouth
- Pain and swelling at the site of the lemon peel
- An allergic reaction
If you experience these symptoms, discontinue use and seek emergency care.
Where to buy lemon leaves?
You can buy fresh lemon leaves in grocery stores or health food stores.
You can also find dried lemon leaves at some grocery stores.
You can also make your own lemon leaves tea.
Shop for lemon leaves here.
What are the benefits?
Lemon leaves contain many nutrients. They can help:
- Help relieve constipation
- Treat nausea and vomiting
- Relieve cold symptoms
- Treat diarrhea and ulcers
- Relieve pain and inflammation
Lemon leaves can be used in teas or mixed into a juice.
Some people take lemon leaves for:
- Chronic cough
- Chest cold
- Sinus infections
- Menstrual cramps
- Acute bronchitis
- Urinary tract infections and cystitis
- Stomach pain
- Vaginal infections
Lemon leaves may also be used for:
- Skin conditions
- Skin infections
- Joint pain
- Ear infections
- Urinary tract infections
Lemon leaves can also be used as a natural supplement.
What are the risks?
Lemon leaves aren’t toxic or harmful in small quantities. However, they can cause irritation if ingested in large quantities.
If you have an allergic reaction to lemon leaves, discontinue use and seek emergency medical care.
If you have a history of stomach ulcers, you should avoid using lemon leaves.
If you take vitamin supplements, make sure you talk to your doctor before using lemon leaves.
Talk to a doctor before using lemon leaves if you:
- Have a bleeding disorder
- Have a history of bleeding
- Are taking aspirin or other blood thinners
A 2015 review of dietary supplements also said that lemon leaves may increase the risk for bleeding in people who are already bleeding.
What are the alternatives?
Lemon leaves aren’t as effective or necessary as other treatments.
However, lemon leaves can be helpful in treating certain symptoms.
If you have a large amount of lemon leaves in your system, your doctor may prescribe medication to treat your symptoms.
Take home remedies
If you have mild symptoms, you can take the following self-care measures:
Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, juice, or tea, to alleviate constipation.
Eat a diet with at least 3 to 6 ounces of vegetables and 2 to 3 ounces of protein each day.
You can also add lemon leaves to your diet. Lemon leaves are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E, all of which are essential for good health.
If you’re taking a blood thinner, such as warfarin, ask your doctor about using lemon leaves to prevent bleeding.
Take care when cooking with lemon leaves
Lemon leaves are generally safe to consume. However, if you take any supplements, it’s important to talk to your doctor before using lemon leaves.
As with any supplement, you may experience side effects. Lemon leaves may also interact with other medications.
To avoid these risks, only use lemon leaves after consulting with your doctor.
Take a few minutes to read our guide to cooking with lemon leaves.
What foods contain lemon leaves?
You can find lemon leaves in many foods, including:
- Citrus fruits
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
How to eat citrus peel?
When you prepare citrus fruit, you can eat the citrus peel or leave it on the counter.
To eat the bitter peel:
- Hold the fruit by the stem end.
- With a sharp knife, cut lengthwise through the fruit, but not through the peel.
- Using the knife, cut the peel off the fruit.
- If you’re not sure of the color of the peel, cut it away. You should have a few pieces of peel.
To leave the peel on the fruit:
- Cut off the top with a sharp knife.
- Discard the top.
- Use a knife to cut a small hole into the fruit.
Shop for citrus peel.
Is it safe to eat lemon leaves?
Lemon leaves are generally safe when consumed in small quantities.
If you’re using lemon leaves for a symptom, you may want to discontinue use and consult with a doctor.
If you’re using lemon leaves for an alternative treatment, talk to your doctor before use.
Lemon leaves contain many nutrients and have a few health benefits.
Lemon leaves aren’t the most effective means for treating any condition, but they can be helpful for some conditions.
If you’re using lemon leaves for a symptom, talk to your doctor to see if it’s safe to continue using.
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