Add Some Lemons

December 20, 2014 Updated: December 19, 2014

In my Chicago acupuncture practice I often recommend my patients drink tea with lemon. Lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is vital to the function of a strong immune system. Unlike oranges (which are also rich in vitamin C) lemons do not increase phlegm production. So they are a particularly good choice for people who are prone to allergies,colds,flu’s, ear and sinus infections.

Vitamin C Is a Powerful Antioxidant

Vitamin C travels through the body neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals can interact with the healthy cells of the body, damaging them and their membranes, and also cause a lot of inflammation, or painful swelling, in the body. This is one of the reasons that vitamin C has been shown to be helpful for reducing some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

  • Place thinly sliced lemons, peel and all, underneath and around fish before cooking. Baking or broiling will soften the slices so that they can be eaten along with the fish.
  • Combine lemon juice with olive or flax oil, freshly crushed garlic and pepper to make a light and refreshing salad dressing.
  • If you are watching your salt intake (and even if you are not), serve lemon wedges with meals as their tartness makes a great salt substitute.
  • Add to tea – for a delicious immune booster try astragalus tea with lemon and honey.

Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at

*Image of “lemons” via Shutterstock