35 Health Benefits Of Lemon – Ayurveda Details

Lemon is used extensively in Ayurveda. It is used in food, in medicine and also in purification procedure of metalling Ayurvedic ingredients. For medicinal purpose, it is used predominantly in digestive disorders. Botanical name of lemon is Citrus medica, it belongs to Rutaceae family. 

Synonyms: Jambira, Nimbuka, Dantashata


Vernacular names:
Tamil name – ezhumicchgai, elumicchai.
Kannada name – dodda nimbe, brihat nimbe.
Malayalam name – cherunarakam.
Urdu name –  bara nebu, lembu, lemu, nembu
Persian name – kalanbak, lemu-e-tursh
Arab name –  limoon, qalambak.
Hindi name – jamiri nimbu, khatta, pahari nimbu
Telugu name –  dabba.
English: lemon.

Classical categorization:
Charaka –
Phalavarga (group of fruits), Amlavarga (group of sour substances)
Sushruta and Vagbhata – Phalavarga (group of fruits)

Medicinal properties:
Rasa – Taste – Amla (sour)
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Teekshna (piercing)
Vipaka – taste conversion after digestion – Amla – Sour
VeeryaUshna – Hot potency

Vakrashodhi – lemon juice, when used to rinse or when consumed, leads to cleansing of oral cavity. Hence lemon juice is a good remedy for bad breath or tongue coating problems.

Rochana – Lemon increases digestion power.
Dantaharshana –
Being sour in taste, it may cause tingling sensation in teeth.

Trushna Nivarana – It relieves thirst. Hence, lemon juice is one of the preferred drinks to quench thirst.

Shula Nivarana – relieves abdominal colic pain. This is the reason, lemon juice is the first home remedy, used for gastritis pain and colicky pain due to indigestion. This is the reason, it is the ingredient of innumerable Ayurvedic medicines used in digestive disorders, such as Lashunadi Vati

Kasa Nivarana – Lemon is extremely useful to relieve coughing. It soothes the mucus of the throat.

Kaphotklesha, Chardi Nivarana – It helps to relieve excessive accumulation of Kapha in stomach, leading to vomiting. Hence, lemon juice is drunk whenever one feels nausea, excessive salivation, vomiting etc.

In such cases, in some people, either the vomiting feeling is relieved or the person vomits and expels out all the excessive, vitiated Kapha out of the body, due to lemon. It has cleansing action over the stomach, when there is excess of Kapha (heaviness, excessive gastric secretions and indigestion.)

Trushnahara – Relieves excessive thirst.
Amadoshahara – It relieves Ama, a product of indigestion and malabsorption.

Asya vairasya hara – Relieves bad breath

Hrutpeeda – relieves pain in chest region, due to gastritis.
Vahnimandyahara – it promotes digestion. Hence, it is an ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicine for indigestion such as – Hingvadi Churna.

Trushnahara – Relieves excessive thirst.
Amadoshahara – It relieves Ama, a product of indigestion and malabsorption.

Asya vairasya hara – Relieves bad breath

Hrutpeeda – relieves pain in chest region, due to gastritis.
Vahnimandyahara – it promotes digestion. Hence, it is an ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicine for indigestion such as – Hingvadi Churna
Krumihara – It relieves intestinal worms.
The smaller variety of lemon also carries similar health benefits.
Vataghna –Balances Vata.
Dipana, Pachana – Digestive, improves digestive enzymes
Laghu (light to digest)
Useful in abdominal colic caused to imbalance of Vata, Pitta and kapha.
Visha hara – It is a natural detoxifying herb. This is the reason, it is used in the purification procedure of many mineral ingredients, such as Iron pyrite.

It helps to relieve constipation and gastro-enteritis.

 Effect of Lemon on Tridosha – 
Unripe lemon is sour in taste. It decreases Vata and kapha but increases Pitta.
Ripe lemon decreases Pitta and Kapha.

Lemon benefits for face and skin – It is attributed with qualities like
Varnya – improves complexion and skin texture
Pushtiprada – it nourishes the skin. (Reference: Raja Nighantu)
Being sour, it enters into deep pours and brings about cleansing action.

Lemon use in weight loss – Hot water lemon therapy is a famous home remedy for weight loss. Drinking a glass of hot water, mixed along with 1 – 2 spoons of lemon juice extract, early in the morning, on emtpy stomach decreases fat deposition. Obesity is related with Kapha dosha, and lemon decreases Kapha. Hence it helps.

Lemon juice benefits: – Jambira
रोचनो दीपनस्तीक्ष्णः सुगन्धिर्मुखशोधनः|
जम्बीरः कफवातघ्नः क्रिमिघ्नो भक्तपाचनः||१६७||
rocano dīpanastīkṣṇaḥ sugandhirmukhaśodhanaḥ|
jambīraḥ kaphavātaghnaḥ krimighno bhaktapācanaḥ||167|| – Charaka Sutrasthana 27

Jambira (Citurs medica Linn) is
Rochana – appetizer,
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Teekshna -Piercing
Sugandhi – good smelling
Mukha Shodhana – mouth- cleanser,
balances Kapha as well as Vata and
Krimighna – anti- infective.
Pachana – It helps digestion of food.

Lemon Juice with Tankan Bhasma for warts:
Tankana bhasma is mixed with lemon juice and fine paste is made and applied over the warts.
Take 3 grams of Tankana Bhasma in a stainless steel spoon. Add half a teaspoon of Tankana Bhasma  (available in any Ayurveda medical store) to it. Apply this paste over the wart region. You can use the end part of another spoon to apply it. Do it once a day. Be careful not to apply it to other parts of skin, as it may cause burning sensation. Wash it off after 5 minutes. 

Lemon for vascular health – Regular use of lemon in diet helps to decrease cholesterol deposition in the blood vessels. Hence it lowers the risk of heart diseases. (reference)
Lemon for cancer – There are unconfirmed reports of use of lemon as a medicine in cancer therapy. But much research is required in this regard.

The Citrus aurantifolia / Lemon fruits are pungent, sweetish , sour in taste and sour in their vipAka. By the virtue of using them the vAta gets appeased, where as the pitta and kapha gets increased. Occasionally the ripened lemon becomes a cause for manifestation of vAtarakta [gout] condition too.

When the fruit – entire  is eaten in raw from it is gets digested slowly since it is heavy for digestion. When taken along with food it increases the taste of food and the digestive agni too. The vata gets pacified and kapha pitta gets increased when taken in raw form.

The lemon when taken after subjected to cooking on the contrary appeases the vAta kapha and increases the rakta ; pittaM.

The lemon / nimbUka has the ability to increase the shleShma soon after its ingestion and digestion, it is considered to be non benevolent for eye and its diseases.  It by the virtue of its tiikShNa [penetrating] and sour taste acts as a wormicide and relieves the abdominal coli8c caused by the vAta,pitta and kapha.

The lemon is capaple of bringing taste and palatability when mixed with food prepared from spoilt grains [naShTadhAnyam].

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  1. Lemon is full of vitamin C, very healthy thing. But if you worm the juice, you destroy this vitamin. Some people say that lemon has cooling feature. Doctor, shall one drink lemon juice while got cold?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Lemon is hot in nature, as per Ayurveda.
      During cold, one can drink lemon juice, but in very limited quantity only.

  2. Vikram says:

    DFG dont worm the juice just taken with warm water …..its called as anupana in ayurveda…it increases the potency of drug action.

  3. A.Hanumantharau says:

    The article is an eye opener to the new generation, with it’s professorial way of expression keeping in view of the layman to the fully equipped person, with the glossary of all the terms used in the article to be easily discernable for all.

  4. Hi Doctor ,

    I read some where about the same for Lemon.But what they have written is to Mix 2 tb of honey along with Lemon in Warm Water with empty stomach in the morning is good for health .Is it True.How it helps?can pls explain?

  5. donroy81 says:

    Hello Dr. Hebbar, If lemon is hot in nature, is having lemonade in summer to “cool off” counterproductive?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      The sugar added to the lemonade balances the hotness of lemon and gives nourishing and cleansing effect. So, it is not really counter-productive.

  6. I want to know ,is lemon helpful in increasing heomoglobin during pregnancy or not?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Dear Mrs Sandhya Singh, to some extent, lemon helps to increase hemoglobin.

    • Sudha udipi says:

      Yes. Vit C in the food increases the bioavailability of iron in the food That means more iron is absorbed from the from the food. So it is always good to include lemon juice in the recipes.

  7. Hello Sir,

    Does ayurveda prescribe any use of dried and powdered skin of lemon?

  8. pathak Yagya says:

    ib my hands and soles there is heat could it help in it.

  9. Hello Dr Hebbar, your website is very informative.

    I wanted to know if we can apply lemon juice on hair. And I read that it can cause white hair, is that true? thanks

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      You can. It does not cause white hairs.

    • kudos 4 lemon says:

      i read somewhere, lemon has anti fungal & anti bacterial properties.it eliminates dandruff and hair related problem within a short period of time and enhances hair growth.. lemon juice with coconut oil cleanses the pores which induces the hair to grow thick and black.. it restricts the hair to turn white.. i have been using it for sometime and results are very positive.. 20 minutes before bath or leave it on head the day before night.. after bath u can see your hair lustrous… i didn’t tried raw lemon juice on hair..

  10. manav mishra says:

    Sir I want to knw tht ..is lemon juice helps in reduce uric acid level.. is it true.. I didn’t heard abt this in ayurveda..plz tell me.sir.

  11. Sir,
    I have IBS and haemorrhoids , I have Pitta-Vata . Can i take lemon juice with salt

  12. Jaideep Rana says:

    Sir, I have sama pitta condition and lots of acne. Will taking ripe lemon be beneficial to me ? If not, should I take hot water in such condition during the day ?
    Basically I am interested in getting rid of ama in my body, as I have a very thick white coating upon rising in the morning.
    Thank you in advance, looking forward for a possible response.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, lukewarm water – one cup added with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in the morning, empty stomach for a month should be useful in your case.

  13. Shubham says:

    Dear Dr,

    We usually drink lemon water (with / without salt or sugar) during summers in afternoon. If lemon is hot in potency, should that be avoided?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, if jaggery or sugar is added to the lemon water, the net effect will be coolant. Hence, it can be taken.

  14. Sir, Unripe lemon increase Pitta but ripe lemon doesn,t. Why is it so as both are sour , in fact the unripe one is very hard and bitter (I have the tree in my house) ? Are the qualities of lemon and lime the same ?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, it was with the assumption that ripe lemon will have lesser sourness than the unripe one.
      Lemon and lime are same.

  15. Hitesh Tulaskar says:

    Namaste Sir,

    i have heard about drinking lemon juice with warm water empty stomach to clear constipation (good bowel movements). My age is 25. I regularly wakes up 5.30 in morning and drinks warm water (then performs kapalbhati for 25 mins and few asanas after clearing motions). But sometimes i feel my motions are not clear. Please help me on this.

  16. Sir, Can under weight person take lemon juice with rock salt empty stomach for flatulence? Thanks in advance

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