Uses for the lemon plant include the usual wedge in a glass of water and a wide range of functions and items like health products and building material. Since the lemon plant provides edible fruit as well as wood and extracted oil, its many uses make it a multifaceted, versatile addition to a garden.
The lemon plant's fruit is edible and can be eaten as fresh fruit. The lemon's acerbic taste is often too sour for the fruit to be eaten on its own, so lemon juice or slices of fruit are often used to flavor other foods. Sauces and drinks gain flavor from lemon juice, and lemon often serves as a garnish in meat dishes. Grated lemon peel is widely used in baked goods, and lemon flavoring contributes to other confections like cake frosting, sherbet and jellies, according to Purdue University Horticulture. Beyond human consumption, the lemon peel may be dried and used as feed for cattle.
Medicinally, the juice of the lemon plant is a versatile component of many products and treatments. The following ailments and disorders may be treated with lemon juice: gingivitis, constipation, common cold and stomach upset. Lemon juice is also widely used as a diuretic (rids the body of excess water) and an astringent (an acidic cleanser commonly used to clean skin). Practice caution and contact a professional when using lemon topically or medicinally; lemon peel oil and juice may cause skin irritation.
Home and Entertainment
For use in the home, the lemon plant provides stain removal with its juice. Highly acidic, the juice of a lemon can successfully clean dirty copper. The oil from the lemon peel is a widely used ingredient in household wood furniture polish and dish detergents for both its cleansing properties and fresh scent. In addition, the wood of the lemon plant is highly workable and is used for carving; items such as toys and chess pieces are often made from the wood of a lemon plant, according to Purdue University Horticulture.
The pleasing aroma of citrus is widely utilized in a variety of cosmetics. An oil extracted from the lemon plant's twigs, leaves and underdeveloped fruit is used as an ingredient in personal fragrances. Lemon peel oil, like its use in detergents, often makes the ingredient list in shampoos, bath soaps and facial cleansers and moisturizers.