For the Love of Lemons

While no one really knows the exact origin of lemons, they have been used for ornamental, medicinal, culinary and non-culinary purposes since the beginning of time.

It is believed that lemons arrived in Europe near Italy, around the first century AD, however, they were not widely cultivated. They were later introduced in the Middle east 700 years later, where they were used as ornamental plants. Lemons were spread throughout the Mediterranean region between 1000 and 1150.
The Italians were the first to substantially cultivate lemons in the middle of the 15th century. The lemon was later introduced to the Americas in late 1400's, when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola on his voyages. Spanish conquest throughout the New World helped spread lemon seeds. 

In the mid 1700's, the Scottish physician James Lind's did experiments on seamen suffering from scurvy , which involved adding lemon juice to their diets, though vitamin C was not yet known. (Lemons are a major source of vitamin "C".)
During the 19th century, lemons were increasingly planted in Florida and California. Today there are more than 20 varieties of lemons in the US.

Below is the quick list of uses:

  • Produce preserver/cleaner
  • All-purpose cleaner/stain remover
  • Skin/hair/tooth/nail care 
  • Sore throat/nausea relief
  • Natural air freshener/deodorizer
  • Laundry booster
  • Salt Substitute
  • Brass/Silver Polish
  • Food Flavoring
  • Aromatherapy (Uplifting)

Below are some other resources - articles and Books - regarding Lemons: