Lemon contraindications

Adverse effects of eating lemon


What contraindications does lemon have?

Lemon is a food produced by a lemon tree (Citrus X limonia Osbeck). Lemons are edible citrus fruits which do not present important contraindications.

Lemons are used in numerous recipes and they also take part of many home remedies and natural treatments.

However, the use of this fruit is not totally free of contraindications. It is advisable to know what possible contraindications the lemon has in order to prevent possible adverse effects.

Beware of teeth and lemon

half a lemon

Photo of half a lemon

Lemon, because of its content in acids, can produce irritation and damage the dental enamel, that can acquire a yellowish color. This is mainly due to the citric acid that lemon contains, which is a very corrosive acid.

Therefore, taking lots of lemon, lemonade or without diluting it in water, can easily produce toothache, especially in sensitive people.

The way to drink lemon so as not to become so harmful to the teeth is to dilute it in water, drink it with a straw, or consume it during meals (not fasting).

Is lemon good for the stomach?

In the diet for ulcer or the diet for gastritis, it is often recommended to avoid acidic fruits, such as lemon, tomatoes,… This is because fruit acids lower the pH of the stomach and increase gastric acidity.

This property is beneficial because it facilitates digestion, but in sensitive stomachs, these acids produce more pain by increasing the acidity, that is, the opposite effect of the stomach protective medicines. Therefore, in the case of gastritis, stomach ulcer, Helicobacter infection or acidity, it is best to avoid very acidic foods like lemon.

limon para la ulcera Lemon for heartburn and stomach ulcer

Remedies with lemon and colic

One of the most popular remedies that are made with lemon is the remedy for gall stones which consists of drinking water with lemon and a spoonful of oil on an empty stomach. With this preparation the liver is stimulated with the intention of expelling and removing the stones from the gallbladder.

a spoonful of oil

Photo of a spoonful of oil

In this case, the contraindication is not only for the lemon but for the indication or recommended procedure. Taking oil with lemon on an empty stomach can cause the expulsion of stones that are too large, causing colic, with danger of obstruction of the bile duct. So, this is a dangerous contraindication.

Before starting any home remedy or treatment to eject stones, an ultrasound should be performed to see the their size.

For this reason treatments should not be used to remove stones with lemon, magnesium, fasting oil or liver plants, without previously performing an ultrasound of the gallbladder.

Is there a lemon allergy?

Yes, lemon allergy exists and there are people who should not consume it. Despite its benefits, lemon can cause allergic reactions with skin manifestations in some people.

People with allergies to fruits may have citrus allergy, but not necessarily. For example, when there is an allergy to Rosaceae, such as to peaches (Prunus persica), there is generally a cross-reactive allergy with apricots (Prunus americana) or plums (Prunus domestica), because they are from the same family and proteins are identical or very similar between related species.

Lemon (Citrus x limonia), belongs to the family of citrus (Rutaceae), such as lime (Citrus aurantifolia), orange (Citrus x sinensis) or mandarin (Citrus reticulata). Possibly, a person with Rosaceae allergy can eat lemon, although there are people who are also allergic to citrus fruits and can not consume these fruits. It is appropriate to consult with the allergist doctor in each particular case.

Lemon for people with migraine

It has also been proven that the ingestion of citrus fruits, such as lemon or orange juice, can cause migraine in certain people, specifically those who have diagnosed a deficit of the enzyme DAO, which does not mean that lemon produces migraine at all people.

Lemon, orange and other citrus fruits carry histamine, which is not harmful in itself, since the body can metabolize and neutralize it, using an enzyme called “DAO”. It has been observed that some people have low activity of this intestinal enzyme, which causes that the histamine of the food is not neutralized, and that it reaches the blood, being able to produce histaminosis (elevated levels of histamine), which would trigger effects of vasoconstriction, headache and migraines.

Masks for skin with lemon

Drawing by courtesy of © Dibujosparapintar

Photo of vegetarian lentils

Lemon is a plant widely used for skin care. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) has whitening properties of the skin that help remove stains on the skin. It is also a good remedy for oily skin and anti-wrinkle.

Although lemon is a widely used remedy in natural cosmetics, it should be used with caution in home remedies, since, used in excess, can be irritating to the skin, due to its content in citric acid and other acids.

*More information:

Lemon juice properties

Is lemon alkaline or acidic?

Lemon for weight loss

Lemon on an empty stomach

Infusion of lemon and honey

Lemon essential oil

punto rojoMore information on lemon

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

28 January, 2022

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