TRY THIS: Lemons & Honey

Text: Clarissa Chatley

LUSTRIOUS LEMONS

I must begin by telling you that I am addicted to lemons.Each morning and evening, I drink a glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon. It you try this for a week and suddenly find yourself out of lemons, you’ll be dashing to the market to replenish your supply.This common citrus fruit has been cultivated in Asia for millenia. The Arabs introduced the fruit in Spain during the 11th century, and it migrated across the ocean with Christopher Columbus during his second trip to Haiti in 1493.

Lemons are acidic and provide antibacterial and antiseptic properties for cleaning, as well as many health benefits. You will find the common lemon has many more uses than to flavor tea or make lemonade.

What you can do with a lemon…

• Sanitize a cutting board. Simply run a slice of lemon over the entire surface to disinfect.
• Prevent browning by squeezing lemon juice over sliced fruit or guacamole.
• When making vinaigrette, replace white vinegar with lemon juice for a light, refreshing and more nutritional mix.
• Brighten your whites by adding half a cup of lemon juice to your normal wash.
• Decorate inexpensively by filling a glass bowl with lemons for a delightful centerpiece.
• Whiten your nails and eliminate gardening green by rubbing a wedge of lemon on the surface of your nails.
• A dot of lemon juice over a pimple several times a day will dry and heal it quickly.
• For natural highlights, squeeze several lemons to comb through your hair before sunbathing.
• Combine four tablespoons of lemon juice with half a gallon of water for an effective window cleaner.
• Combine boiling water with lemon juice and baking soda and pour down your drain for natural cleansing and maintenance.
• Pour lemon juice in your toilet for a fresh, clean and sanitary effect.
• Apply undiluted lemon juice to rid your bathroom surfaces of mold and mildew.
• Soak your toothbrush in lemon juice to kill germs.
• Sprinkle lemon juice over hands for a natural, effective sanitizer.
• A cup of lemon juice added to your dishwasher during the rinse cycle will help cut grease, disinfect silverware and add sparkle to your glassware.

Tips
• Immerse a slightly wrinkled lemon in warm water for approximately 30 minutes to bring the fruit back to form.
• To obtain more juice from your lemon, warm it by rolling it between your hands, cover it with boiling water or place it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
• Lemons will keep for up to a week at room temperature, two to three weeks refrigerated. Lemon zest (peel) can be frozen for months.
• To freeze the juice of a lemon, pour juice in an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer. Once solid, transfer the cubes into a freezer bag. Each cube is equivalent to the juice of approximately one lemon.

GOLDEN HONEY

When you really start to think about honey, doesn’t it amaze you that such a fine product comes from such a tiny being?

Honey is made by bees in one of the world’s most efficient facilities, the beehive. The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey!

Pure honey contains the natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants or secretions of living parts of plants. When scientists began to examine all of the elements found in this wonderful feat of nature, they found a complex combination of naturally flavored sugars as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.

The color and flavor of honey differ depending on the bees’ nectar source (the blossoms). In fact, there are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the United States, originating from such diverse floral sources as clover, eucalyptus and orange blossoms. In general, lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor, while darker honeys more robust.

Here are some great, little known uses for honey—the “liquid gold” of nature.

Antiseptic: Hydrogen peroxide is used for cleaning wounds and helping them heal quickly. Honey contains a good amount of hydrogen peroxide. Release its properties by diluting the honey in water. When applied on an open wound, the glucose, contained by honey, is diluted and gradually releases hydrogen peroxide. Honey will help your cuts and scrapes to heal faster as well as preventing wounds from sticking to the dressing and the appearance of scars.
Acne Remover: With constant exposure to the bee fluid, pimples eventually wither and fade. Apply a small amount of honey on the pimply regions of your face. Cover with adhesive bandages. Soon, your zit attack will be nothing more than a distant memory.

Energy Booster: Why buy palpitation-inducing energy drinks when you already have honey? Simply mix honey with water and drink. Honey’s glucose content will be absorbed by the brain and in the bloodstream, reducing fatigue in the process.

Sore Throat Relief: Some people believe that honey is an even better treatment for mild coughs and colds than over-the-counter medications. To create the sore throat-relieving serum, squeeze the juice from a lemon and mix it with some honey. Stir the mixture until both ingredients blend. Drink the solution. After a few moments, you will realize that your sore throat has been relieved and reduced. Make as many rounds of this as you like.

Parasite Remover: Honey, when mixed with vinegar and water, can remove worms and other parasites in your body. The combination of vinegar’s acidity and honey’s therapeutic components will help kill or expel bodily intruders. When you suspect that you have worms in your body, see a doctor, but also drink ample amounts of the solution regularly. The parasites might build a resistance if you don’t manage to get rid of them all as soon as possible.

Relaxant: Anxiety and nervousness are the enemies of a healthy mind. When these conditions swarm your thoughts, your actions are likely to produce negative results. Free yourself from bad states of mind by eating porridge (oatmeal or rice meal) mixed with honey. Honey’s nutrients produce a calming effect, especially when taken in significant amounts. No wonder some consider it a part of a breakfast of champions. Honey can also be mixed with a suitable beverage—such as chamomile tea—for a good night’s sleep.

Save our bees
Unfortunately, honeybee populations are in danger and they need our help. Bee colonies have been succumbing to a mysterious condition known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), where bees leave their hives but do not return. You can help by planting flowers that attract honeybees, making a donation to research into CCD being conducted by Pennsylvania State University and the University of California Davis, and by supporting your local beekeepers. Local honey can be found at farmers markets and farm stands all over our region.

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