Recent studies have shown that certain elements in lemons can help alleviate the effects of cancer and the side effects of medical treatment on cancer. They can also help prevent cancer and possibly the movement or growth of cancer cells.
Whether taken in the form of lemon juice, as lemon essential oil or as the lemon itself to taste another type of food or drink, one can access the cancer prevention and treatment qualities of the wonderful fruits that lemon contains.
Here is a list of some ways that lemon can help a person with cancer:
1. Lemons have phytochemicals. Limonene is a powerful phytochemical found in lemon rind. Note: Phytochemicals are not nutrients. They are plant chemicals produced by the lemon plant as a way to protect themselves. One could balance it in this way with the body’s immune system.
New research shows that phytochemicals can also help protect people from disease. The antimicrobial qualities of limonene work by increasing the amount of enzymes in our body that cause carcinogens detoxification. We refer here to Glutathione S-transferase, or GST, in particular. Limonene promotes GST levels in our small intestine and liver. With more GST in our body, more carcinogens are destroyed.
Studies have also been done with animals showing that limonene helps reduce the growth of mammalian tumors. This added to optimism about the possibility of limonene in lemon rind helping in the treatment of breast cancer in humans. The terpenes in lemons can stimulate enzymes that make estrogen less effective, and in this way, it is thought that it may reduce the risk of breast cancer in humans.
Limonene also works by preventing free radical effects that can sometimes lead to cancer. Because limonene works as an antioxidant, the free radicals are destroyed.
To get the most out of your lemon, don’t peel the skin. Wash the rind very well, then zest it (do not include the bitter white pith). Add this to baked foods, hot tea, yogurt and soups and you can reap the full health and cancer prevention benefits of limonene.
2. Lemons bring out antidepressant ingredients in green tea. We especially refer to the green tea catechins. Catechins are unique antioxidants that help reduce cancer risk by inhibiting cancer cell activity and strengthening a person’s immunity. Unfortunately, after digestion only 20 percent of the total catechins from green tea remain in the body. This is because catechins are volatile and unstable in non-acidic sites such as the intestines.
However, a study by Purdue University showed that citrus juice (like lemon juice) can increase catechin levels in our body to more than five times, and lemon juice had the best results on all citrus fruits. caused up to 80 per cent of catkins to remain green tea. .
When tea is taken with lemon juice, the catechins interact and the stabilizing power of the lemon allows for the greatest percentage of the ability to withstand the degradation that occurs in the intestines.
Lemon essential oil is an acceptable form of supportive care when used with aromatherapy, says the National Cancer Institute. Supportive care is defined as care given to improve the quality of life of cancer patients. The goal in supportive care is not medicine, but prevention of cancer symptoms, or treating the symptoms when they occur. Supportive care with lemon essential oils in aromatherapy can also be used to treat the side effects of medical treatment for cancer. Some of these side effects may be social, spiritual or psychological. Anxiety and stress for example felt by a cancer patient could be reduced with an aromatherapy massage using lemon essential oils. In summary, supportive care is more concerned with symptom management and comfort care than with medicine.
Lemon essential oil is highly concentrated. It is produced in special cells in the lemon plant that are usually found under the leaves of the plant or in its skin. It should be distilled with steam or water; or crushed. If chemicals are used in its manufacture, it cannot be considered an essential oil.
How does aromatherapy lemon essential oil work? There are several theories, but the main thing that is adhered to is the belief that the odor receptors in our nose react with the fragrance of the lemon essential oil and send a message through the nerve endings to the limbic system of our brain. This is the part of our brain that is at the heart of our emotions and feelings. Imaging studies supported the effects of odor on the limbic system.
Aromatherapy is administered in many ways, including by inhalation indirectly through the use of a room diffuser or directly through the use of a single inhaler; or by aromatherapy massage. It is not advisable to take lemon essential oil orally.
Massage with lemon essential oil has added benefits to help a person relax, relieve pain and stress, improve circulation and lower blood pressure. Studies are also being done to find out how it can help with other cancer symptoms such as lack of energy, swelling and depression.
Studies have shown the benefits of aromatherapy in cancer patients and many have said that aromatherapy treatment with lemon and other essential oils has improved their sense of well-being, the National Cancer Institute said.
Aromatherapy is not regulated by law in the United States. However, there are two organizations that have national educational standards for aromatherapists. These are the International Aromatherapists Alliance and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.
There was a time when anything substandard was called a ‘lemon’. There was also the saying, “when life gives you a lemon, make a lemonade,” which was another way of saying, make the most of anything you find that is below par. But we know today that lemons are among nature’s most precious gifts to us.
When life gives us a lemon, we should use every part of it.
To your good health!