The word lime comes from the Arabic and French word “lim”

By: Taylor


The word lime comes from the Arabic and French word “lim”, and refers to a green citrus fruit which grows from 3-6cm in diameter, typically smaller in size than that of a lemon. It’s known for its sour and acidic pulp and as s a great source of Vitamin C. Limes are often used to accent the flavor of different foods and beverages.

The lime is a valued asset when cooing for the acidity of the juice as well as the aroma of the zest. It is a common ingredient in authentic cooking Thai, Vietnamese and Mexican dishes and can also be used in ceviche for its pickling properties. In cuisine from Persia and Iraq, dried limes (also called loomi) is used as a flavoring. In India, the lime is an essential ingredient of any cuisine. Many varieties of pickles are made in India using limes, from sweetened lime pickle and lime chutney to salted pickle. In South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia, the lime leaves are used as an herb.

The use of the lime is not limited to food however, limes are frequently used to add flavor and zest to hot and cold drinks, including tea, water, tonics and cocktails. The popularity of the lime as an accompaniment to tequila (both as a cocktail and as a shot) is growing and overshadowing the use of the lemon.

History of Limes

There are no clear historical facts of the true origin of limes, the first known records show that limes were grown on a large scale in southern Iraq and Persia, and the first known limes grown commercially took place in Babylonia (Southern Iraq on today’s map).

In the 19th century, British sailors were issued some form of citrus daily to prevent scurvy. At first it was lemons, then the government switched to limes. While limes were not as effective as the lemons were, the limes were easier to obtain on Britain’s Caribbean colonies. It is because of the use of limes by British sailors that they acquired the nickname “Limey”. The ability to prevent scurvy was instrumental in allowing British sailors to remain at sea longer than their enemies and thus was a huge benefit to the British military.

Health Benefits of Limes

Limes contain both calcium and folate, These two nutrients are important for both post- menopausal women and women of child bearing age.
Lime skins contain an inhibitor of melanin production. UV Ray exposure (melanin) can build up and create deposits (spots) on the skin called a hyperpigmentation. Treating the skin with a mask made of lime peel can reduce the spots, and prevent them as well.
Limes contain limonoid compounds which have shown in studies to prevent colon, stomach and blood cancers. Though scientists don’t know the exact mechanism that causes this, studies have shown that the antioxidant limonoids also cause cell death in cancers. The lime limonoids also stay active longer within your bloodstream,they are a great way to mop up free radicals within the body.
Lime juice is used as an effective prevention of the formation of kidney stones. Citric acid is an natural inhibitor of kidney stones (made from crystalized calcium) and lime juice contains more citric acid than grapefruit or orange juice. For maximum benefits, use fresh lime juice mixed with water as opposes to commercial lime juice.
Eating the white pith of limes – which contains the flavonoid hesperidin – has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Limes are a great way to treat Gout. Gout is caused by an accumulation of free radicals in the body as well as an accumulation of toxins – primarily uric acid. Limes are a great source of antioxidants and detoxifiers (flavonoids and Vitamin C) which cleans the body of free radicals and toxins.
The Vitamin C and flavonoids in limes help protect the eyes from age related diseases as well as help protect them from infections.
Limes assist in treating respiratory disorders. The oils extracted from limes us used extensively in anti-congestive medicines such as vaporizers, inhalers and balms. Immediate relief from nausea and congestion can be had simply by inhaling the scratched peel of a lime.
The flavonoids in limes have antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antibiotic and detoxifying properties. These are all helpful in the treatment and healing of oral and peptic ulcers.
The flavonoids, antioxidants and Vitamin C also help promote oral health and prevent gums from being spongy and bleeding.
The acids present in limes assist in washing and cleaning of the digestive system tracts. The roughage in limes also helps to ease constipation. A lime and salt combination will act as a purgative and relief constipation.
Additionally, the very scent of the lime causes the body to excrete additional saliva, which then floods your mouth and aids in primary digestion. The acids in limes then take over and break down the macro molecules within the food you eat. The flavonoids stimulate the digestive system and cause an increase in the secretion of digestive juices, bile and acids they also stimulate the involuntary contraction of smooth gastrointestinal muscles that causes food to move through your digestive tract.
Lime juice and lime oil are beneficial to the skin, whether taken internally or applied externally. Keeping skin shiny, protects it from infection, reduces body order. The acid in limes scrub away dead cells, is used to cure dandruff, heal rashes and bruises and can rejuvenate the skin when used as a bath oil.
Limes promote weight loss. Drinking the juice of a full lime in a glass of water twice a day will help promote weight loss because the citric acid in limes acts as a natural fat burner.
The high potassium in limes is effective in removing toxic substances and the disinfecting properties of limes help cure infections of the urinary system. It stops the growth of the prostrate in males and clears blockages created from deposits of calcium in the urinary tract.

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