Lemon properties

The properties of the lemon

The term lemon from oriental linguistic idioms such as the Arabic limun or the Malay lemo, is an evergreen plant and is part of the Rutaceae family. The discovery of the lemon takes place in the Indus valley in 2550 BC, when this citrus fruit was found during archaeological excavations. In the first century AD, through the Red Sea and the countless maritime communications to India, the lemon was discovered by the Romans, it was cultivated as a little-known fruit in Campania in the last years of Pompeii, before this city was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 after Christ.

Later it was the Arabs who replanted in the various regions of the Mediterranean, thanks to the expansions of the Crescent towards the East to the West. They used lemon juice as a disinfectant for throat infections and as a replacement for vinegar. In the Renaissance period, lemon pots were invented, i.e. closed and unheated rooms, but sheltered by large windows, in which lemons were planted in pots, helping them to grow even in artificial environments.

In this way the lemons are also cultivated for ornamentation, the most common Medici villas are those of Bòboli and the Vatican ones, as regards the overcoming of ornamental use in favor of food use, we must remember the greenhouses of lemons on the Garda, who built reserves of prized citrus fruits for the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The varieties of lemons

The variety of lemons grown all over the world differ in their external appearance, while their food quality remains unchanged.

These are:

Feminello lemon . It is typical of Sicily and is the most cultivated in Italy, has an oblong shape, has a more or less wrinkled epicarp, has a juicy pulp with many seeds. This lemon ripens from October to March;

Feminello Zagara Bianca or Orange blossom lemon . It derives from the vegetative mutation of the common Femminello and is characterized by high productivity;

Syracusan Feminello or Feminello Masculuni lemon . It derives from the common Feminello and is characterized by its best quality and high fruit growth;

Continella grape-seeded lemon . It is very valuable for the absence of seeds, the skin is thick, small in size and has a good yield of juice and acidity;

Feminello Dosaco lemon . It is appreciated for the rich production of verdelli with low seed content and for the high quantity of juice produced;

Feminello Santa Teresa lemon . It has a low productivity and the quality of the fruit is not excellent;

Feminello Scandurra lemon . It is a vegetative mutation found in the Catania area (Aci Reale), which is characterized by constant fruiting, by the average growth of the fruit, but has a low productivity;

Feminello Lunario lemon . It is characterized by flowering for almost the whole year and is used as an ornamental pot plant due to the lower content of citric acid;

Sfusato amalfitano lemon or Femminello sfusato . It is seedless, has an elongated shape, the peel is thicker and more wrinkled, it is rich in essential oils, it has a constant fruiting and an average productivity, with it the first lemon liqueur called limoncello was produced;

Monachello lemon . It is not very productive, has an elongated shape, a smooth and medium-thick skin, light yellow in color and there are seeds;

Interdonato lemon . It is long and thick, not very juicy, but excellent for the production of Primofiore lemon (from September to October);

Verdello lemon . It is a summer fruit, has a smooth yellow-green epicarp, has a low acidity and is almost seedless;

Bastardo lemon . It matures after a year, has a smooth and intense yellow epicarp;

Maiolino lemon . It has a slightly wrinkled pale yellow skin, has few seeds and low acidity and is usually harvested between April and May;

Marzano lemon . It has a rounded shape, a wrinkled epicarp, has seeds and a high acidity;

Procida lemon . It is larger, sweeter, the epicarp is rich in essential oils and aromatic alcohols;

canaliculated lemon or canned lemon . It blooms in spring and autumn, is very productive, is of medium size with the skin divided by furrows;

lemon peretto or from Portugal . It has a pear shape, the color is bright yellow and is slightly sweeter;

variegated lemon . It is used above all to decorate given the variegation of its leaves and fruits and for the purple color of its flowers;

willow lemon . It is bright yellow, has a medium skin and is slightly elongated. Its peculiarity lies in the leaves which are elongated and pungent;

carob lemon . It has fruit and flowers in clusters, the flowers develop a purplish color and has an abundant productivity.

Benefits and properties of using lemon

The lemon has countless properties, in fact it is used both in medicine and pharmacology for therapeutic purposes:

– it strengthens the immune defenses by protecting against febrile states, coughs, colds and flu;

– it has a purifying and detoxifying power, in fact taking lemon juice in the morning on an empty stomach rebalances the intestine;

– it is an antioxidant, thanks to vitamin C, it is used to fight free radicals which are responsible for aging, arteriosclerosis, heart attack and arthritis;

– it decreases the levels of uric acid and therefore allows to prevent hyperuricemia and the cave;

– it is indicated when a higher intake of vitamin C is required, for example in case of pregnancy or breastfeeding or for pathologies such as hyperthyroidism and inflammatory diseases;

– lemon also contains vitamins A and B which are used for nervous and sympathetic balance, for proper liver function, for cellular regeneration of the skin and scalp;

– to prevent dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia thanks to vitamin PP;

– through citric acid, which facilitates the formation of potassium carbonate, gastric acidity is combated, helping to dispose of sweets and saturated fats faster;

– it is an adjuvant in the destruction of gallbladder stones;

– it is also an anticoagulant, that is, it helps the blood to become more fluid and prevent thrombosis;

– it can cure asthma or hay fever attacks by dissolving it in hot water and inhaled;

– lemon can prevent bowel or stomach cancer.

Diseases and parasites of lemon

The lemon tree is very beautiful, but like all it is prone to diseases and parasites:

• the disease caused by the fungus Phoma tracheiphila, which settles inside the woody vessels, causes infection at the level of the root system or the canopy when the climate is wetter and temperatures are around 15/20 ° C. A due to this fungus, the branches turn yellow, lose their leaves and dry up and the plant dies after a few months up to a maximum of one year;

• the Exocortite virus, due to which the plant has a reduction in the development, desquamation and cracking of the bark;

• the annular spotting virus which creates chlorotic rings on the fruit or leaves of the plant;

• the psorosis virus, is the appearance of chlorotic notches in the veins of the younger leaves;

• the sadness virus, comes from Southeast Asia and causes detachment of the branches and loss of leaves;

• petrifying, this causes alteration to the fruits which are hard as stone;

• cristacortis is the disease that derives from the symptom in which the plants appear normal, but development is slowed and productivity is reduced;

• insects;

• mites, they include the Panonic (the damaged organs acquire a bronzed color), the red spider, the wonder mite (creates flowers with anomalies and unable to develop fruit);

• nematodes;

• the cochineal, it pierces the leaf lamina or the young stems, feeding on their lymph;

• slugs;

• snails;

• rodents;

• voles.

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