[Originally published in The Connecticut Wiccan & Pagan Network, Inc (CWPN) Spring 2014 newsletter]
Lemons are a wonderful citrus fruit that can be used for a variety of reasons. They are most well known for their culinary uses but they can be used for a variety of other things. Lemons are an easy to obtain fruit that are mostly available year round in grocery stores either as the whole fruit, or just as a bottle of the undiluted juice that can be used for magical and mundane purposes ranging from cleaning and cooking to healing the body and being used in spellwork.
Lemons are used in the kitchen for cooking for their wonderful zingy, sour ﬂavor. They are made famously into lemonade, which children are known to sell on hot summer days in order to make some extra money. In the kitchen they can be used to freshen your refrigerator like a box of baking soda can do, all you do is use the juice of a lemon on a cotton ball and leave it in the fridge for a few hours and then dispose of the cotton. After you ﬁnish chopping onions, garlic or other smelly foods you can freshen and sanitize your cutting boards by running a lemon slice over the board or using undiluted juice straight from the bottle. Before chopping veggies, however, you can use lemon juice (for its sanitizing properties) with a mix of water to wash pesticides off of your vegetables and to help keep them from browning.
Lemon juice is reported to be able to cure a variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold and the ﬂu all the way to certain cancers. Adding lemon juice to a large glass of water ﬁrst thing in the morning is a good way to detox the body and help clear out organs that process wastes such as the liver, bladder, kidneys and the blood. It also lowers high blood sugar, which may help those who suffer from diabetes when their sugar levels are too high. I've used lemons to help with a sore throat during cold seasons for the past few years and I love how they take care of the pain, while still being delicious. What I do is keep a small jar in my refrigerator ﬁlled with lemon slices and honey. Whenever I have a slice leftover from cooking I put it in the jar and since the lemon juice will break down the honey, I have to add a bit of honey every now and then. When I feel a cold or a sore throat coming on I add a heaping spoonful of the lemon-honey mixture to warm water and drink it. Both lemon and honey have anti-viral, anti-fungal properties that get rid of the painful infections we seem to catch in the winter. Since honey is thicker the mixture lingers a little longer on the throat where the bacteria lives. As a plus, this is very delicious and ginger can be added as well. If you can handle the taste of straight up lemon, then you can suck on a lemon slice in order to settle and upset stomach.
Magically lemons are known by the folk name “Ulamula.” They are feminine and therefore acquainted with the Moon. They have powers over longevity, puriﬁcation, love and friendship and therefore can be used in a multitude of spell-work. Utilizing the zest in an herb sachet would work, or you can use lemon essential oil to add to incenses, foot soaks/bath salts to purify your body before ritual. I've also heard of drying lemons slices and hanging them in a window to symbolize the God aspect of the Lord and the Lady duo, if that's your thing. The wonderful thing about lemons being edible is that you can use food during your spellwork. Scott Cunningham suggests feeding lemon pie to your spouse will “help strengthen ﬁdelity.”
Lemons can also be used during your beauty regiment. The essential oil is an astringent and is detoxifying so using the essential oil can clear oily skin and clear up blemishes. Essential oils need to be used with carrier oils, so instead of a bottled essential oil you can use slices of lemons swabbed on your skin could work. Lemons can be used for an inexhaustible list of uses ranging from health and beauty, to magickal and household cleaning purposes. Whether you call them lemons or ulamula they're a very useful and obtainable option for most pagans. References: Aura Cacia, Essential Oil Directory, Lemon Essential Oil, Author Unknown, http://www.auracacia.com/auracacia/ aclearn/eo_lemon.html Care2, Green Living, 13 Healing Power of Lemons, Michelle Schoffro Cook, http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-healing-powers-of-lemons.html?page=2 Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham (Llewellyn, 2011) 154,155 The Old Farmer's Almanac, Household Uses for Lemons, Author Unknown, http://www.almanac.com/ content/household-uses-lemons True Activist, 45 Uses for Lemons that Will Blow Your Socks Off, Author Unknown, http://www.trueactivist.com/45-uses-for-lemons-thatwill-blow-your-socks-off/