Citron is a citrus fruit, globular, yellow, with thick skin. It originates from the Himalayan region and has been cultivated since ancient times for its beneficial properties for the organism.
From the genus “Citrus”, this fruit belongs to the family of Rutaceae, a group of citrus plants, the citrus. The citron was the first citrus fruit discovered and used in Europe, with both sweet (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck) and bitter species (C. aurantium L.), mandarins (C. reticulata Blanco), lemons [C. limon (L.) Osbeck], grapefruit (C. paradisi Macfad), limes [C. aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle], etc., i.e. citrus fruits or, by extension, citrus fruits.
However, this article is not about any of these citrus fruits, but about citron (Citrus medica L.). The citron is a sour fruit that was apparently the only one known to the Greeks and Romans.
Citron is the citrus fruit of a thorny tree, whose thorns are located on the branches. The Citrus medica is a citrus fruit similar to the lemon, but larger. The leaves of the tree are 2″ to 3″ (5 to 7.5 cm) long, oval-shaped and crenulate, with a narrowly winged petiole.
During flowering the flowers are white. The fruit is globular, yellow, and measures 2″ to 2.7″ (5 to 7 cm) in diameter when ripe.
Benefits of Citron
When eaten or applied topically, citron has numerous health benefits.
The leaves and peel of the fruit can be used. Although the juice also has recognized medicinal properties, its taste is rather tasteless.
For skin and mucous membranes, a topical mixture of leaves and peel of the fruit, previously pressed and macerated, with antifungal and antibacterial properties, can be applied.
Other properties attributed
Citron fruit juice appears to have antiscorbutic properties due to being a source of citric acid. It also appears to be beneficial for treating hematuria, kidney and bladder stones, and hypotensive properties.
The peel of the fruit seems to have tonic-stimulant, carminative and digestive properties, although more studies are needed. Infusion of citron leaves helps improve digestion and prevents constipation. The infusion of the seeds was used in ancient times as an anti-parasitic.
The decoction of the leaves was used in ancient times as an antispasmodic and antirheumatic.
Some minerals in citron juice are calcium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium. Like all citrus fruits, citron also contains antioxidants and is a natural source of vitamins A, B, and C. It contains no fat and is low in calories.
There are no documented warnings about the use of Citron.
Where the citron tree grows naturally, the fruit is used as a flavoring, giving it a lemony aroma.
The leaves, flowers, and bark of the fruit contain an abundance of essential oils, dominated by limonene and citral. The rind of the fruit contains pectin and, together with the pulp, hesperidin.