Lemon Home Remedies for
Internal Use and Topical Application
by Nancy Hearn, CNC

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Lemon home remedies have been used effectively throughout history for many purposes. Many of these remedies are still used today by people around the world.

For example, the ancient Egyptians used lemon juice to counter the effects of food poisoning.

Ayurvedic practitioners in India prescribed lemon peel for liver illnesses. Lemon juice is still used today to help tone and cleanse the liver and kidneys.

The health benefits of lemons come from its high concentration of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, and volatile oils.

In addition, lemon juice has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, and it helps support the immune system.

Lemon Home Remedies for Internal Use

In addition to all the health benefits of drinking lemon water daily, lemon juice has been used as a home remedy for the following conditions. 

As with all natural remedies, what works for one person does not necessarily work for everyone.

However, since lemons are inexpensive and have little or no side effects (see cautions below), I believe most of these lemon home remedies  are worth trying. I have used several of them myself.

  • Sore throat or tonsillitis:   Mix the juice of ½ lemon and a pinch of salt in 4 ounces of water and gargle. 
  • Canker sores:  Add lemon juice to water and swish in your mouth to help relieve canker sores.  Note: The lemon juice can speed healing, however it can be painful if the sores are open.
  • Flu symptoms:  Add lemon juice to hot water and honey to help relieve nausea and reduce fever and support your immune system to fight the virus.
  • Cold symptoms:  Drink lemon water throughout the day at the first sign of cold symptoms.  Lemon juice can help relieve coughing and chest congestion and works like an expectorant.
  • Fatigue:  Drink a glass of lemon juice in water mid-afternoon for an energy boost. Lemon water can also help relieve fatigue after exercise by replenishing electrolytes and helping to regain pH balance in the body. Intense or prolonged exercise can be very acidifying.
  • Weight loss:  Drink lemon water first thing in the morning to help lose weight.  You can read more here on Losing Weight with Lemon Water.
  • Water retention:   Lemon water acts like a diuretic and can help relieve water retention. When the body is dehydrated, salt is retained in the body, and extra salt will retain extra fluid in the tissues. Drink enough water daily to stay hydrated and add and ounce or so of lemon juice to your water once a day.
  • Digestive ailments:  Lemon juice is similar in structure to saliva, hydrochloric acid, bile and digestive juices. The digestive qualities of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as gas, belching and bloating. 
  • Constipation or diarrhea:  Drink a glass of lemon water regularly to help eliminate waste through the bowels more efficiently, thus preventing or alleviating constipation, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Heartburn: For relief of heartburn, try a teaspoon of lemon juice in half a glass of water.
  • Acidosis:  When lemon juice is metabolized in the body, it creates an alkaline-forming environment to help restore pH balance. Acidosis is believe to be one of the underlying causes of some disease conditions in the body, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Reducing acidosis can help relieve pain and other symptoms.

Lemon Home Remedies for Topical Use

Most of the topic remedies using lemon juice or lemon oil are effective because of the antioxidants, citric acid, and antibacterial properties of the lemon that can help fight infection and heal damaged skin. 

  • Nose bleeds:   Apply lemon juice to cotton and place it just inside the nostril. It can also help prevent nasal infection.
  • Skin rashes:   Add lemon essential oil and honey to warm water poultice and apply to skin rashes for soothing relief and to help prevent infection.
  • Corns and callouses:  Apply a slice of lemon on the corn or callous overnight for a week or two.  You can use skin tape to hold it in place.
  • Insect repellant:   Combine lemon essential oil and vegetable glycerine (or water) in a small glass spray bottle and spray liberally on the skin to repel insects. You can also add other essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree oil or citronella for greater effectiveness.
  • Varicose veins:   Add lemon oil to some type of carrier oil—such as almond, olive or jojoba oil— and apply to varicose veins daily.
  • Bug bites:   Combine lemon oil and honey to a carrier oil and apply to bug bites to relieve pain and itching.
  • Aging skin:  Give yourself a lemon peel facial by applying two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to your face using a cotton pad. Be sure to avoid eye area. Leave on 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water. The acidity of the lemon can help remove old skin cells and promote new cell growth.  It can also help to soften wrinkles and remove age spots.
  • Acne and skin blemishes:   Apply lemon juice to your skin blemishes or scars with a cotton pad or cotton ball.  


  1. Drinking lemon water regularly can diminish tooth enamel. Find out how to prevent this on Lemon in Water. 
  2. If you have ulcers or a known citrus allergy, you should not drink lemon water.
  3. Pregnant women should only drink lemon water in moderation and should consult a doctor first.


NaturalNews.com: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make 100 Home Remedies to Improve Your Health; 2012.

Return from Lemon Home Remedies to Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

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