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Lemons and limes may be one of the most understated medicines on the planet. If everyone knew the medicinal benefit of these sweet and sour pocket rocket citrus fruits, there would be a tree in every garden. Both lemon and lime pacify all three doshas, with lemons only potentially aggravating Pitta once already out of balance. In taste, lemons and limes are sour, astringent and bitter.

Both lemon and lime support a healthy digestive fire and system overall by stimulating salivary glands and digestive enzymes. These fruits also are a good friend to the liver by increasing bile flow and emulsion of fats. Lemons and limes increase the appetite and help to ease symptoms of nausea, travel sickness, indigestion and morning sickness. Both fruits also have a laxative effect on the bowel helping to clear build up and stagnation. Hence why the Ayurvedic morning routine includes lemon water as one of the initial practices to complete upon waking.

As an all-round Vata pacifier, lemon in particular can soothe a cough by ceasing the action and clearing mucous. Because of its anti-bacterial, antibiotic benefits and high Vitamin C content, lemons used as a gargle can be a strong defence against sore throats, colds, flu, fevers and ear infections.

Lemons and limes while sour in taste, post-digestively are actually very alkaline, assisting to prevent and heal chronic illness across the board including autoimmune disease, cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes - to name a few.

While lemons have a slightly warming effect on the body and can at times, aggravate an already elevated Pitta dosha, lime then becomes the cooling support. Lime can assist to clear heated toxins from the blood, and is a key medicine in preventing bleeding of the gums and internal mucous membranes via its astringent action on veins and capillaries.

Lemons and limes also support optimum health of the kidneys with their high citrate content which can help prevent kidney stones. This powerful action on the kidneys may also assist with other acidic conditions through the reduction of uric acid.

As always, I highly recommend that you seek the guidance of your Ayurvedic Practitioner before commencing a medicinal use of lemon or lime to ensure best practice. Please contact us here if you have any questions or would like to arrange an appointment.


The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the science of Ayurveda. If you have an acute or chronic health concern, please consult your chosen trained health care professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner, contact The Sattva Centre directly -


Ayurvedic Medicine, 2013, Sebastian Pole

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