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Lemon Peel

Lemon is a small evergreen tree scientifically named as Citrus limon. Lemon tree belongs to the family Rutaceae and genus Citrus. Lemon tree is native to Asia. The lemon tree reaches 10 to 20 feet in height and usually has sharp thorns on the twigs. The alternate leaves, reddish when young, become dark-green above, light-green below; finely toothed, with slender wings on the petioles. The peel of lemon, Citrus limon, is a leathery exocarp, or skin, containing numerous oil glands.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Citrus limon
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Jambir Hindi : Jambiri nimbu Marathi : Limbu Gujarati : Limbu Bengali : Kagdi Lebu Telugu : Nimma pandu Tamil : Elumichchai Malayalam : Chru narinkai
Chemical Constituents
The main chemical component of lemon peel is limonene. Lemon peel contains between 0.2-0.6% essential oil with limonene along with citral which is a mixture of neral and geraniol. It also contains perillyl alcohol and other monoterpenes; many bitter tasting flavonoid including neohesperidosides and rutinosides of hesperetin and naringenin. Lemon peel contains number of different flavone as glycosides; carotenoids; citric acid and many other plant acids, abundant pectins, and coumarin derivatives. There are also many phenols contained in the peel including polymethoxylated flavones and numerous hydroxycinnamates (1). Whereas lemon peel oil obtained from lemon peel contains a-pinene, camphene, b-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, a-terpinene, linalool, b-bisabolene, limonene, trans-a-bergamotene, nerol and neral. β-Pinene, myrcene, neral, geranial, neryl acetate, geranyl acetate, and β-caryophyllene have also been identified in the leaf oil (2).
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Lemon peel is antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, bactericidal, depurative, diuretic, haemostatic, and tonic in action. Lemon peel is very beneficial to the circulatory system and aids with blood flow, reducing blood pressure. It improves circulation of the blood and is helpful in conditions like atherosclerosis (3). The therapeutic properties of lemon oil extracted from lemon peel are anti-anemic, anti-rheumatic, anti-sclerotic, carminative, depurative, febrifuge, hypotensive, and insecticidal. Limnone present in the lemon peel also prevents the growth of the abnormal tissues in case of skin cancer (4). The rubefacient and diuretic properties are also used to bring balance to the fluids in the cells and ensuring optimum circulation. It also stimulates liver for proper secretion. Use of lemon peel is a very good remedy in nausea.
Health Benefits
There are various benefits of lemon peel as it is an excellent natural astringent, antiseptic, and bactericidal in action (5). It boosts the immune system and cleanses the body, improves the functions of the digestive system, and it is helpful with constipation, dyspepsia and cellulite. Lemon peel tea can be used as a medicine for stimulating the appetite, as well as for treating gastric juice deficiency and to aid digestion. The bio-flavonoids present in the lemon peel are reported to reduce the permeability of blood vessels, especially of capillaries, so that extracts from lemon peel can be included in remedies for phlebitis (6). Monoterpene found in lemon peel called limonene show that it very effectively prevents individuals from developing abnormal growths on the skin. Limonene also has demonstrated prevention efficacy in preclinical models of breast and colon abnormal growths. Other monoterpenes from lemon oil have been shown to have tremendous activity in combating abnormal growths including in rodent mammary, skin, liver, lung and upper stomach. Geraniol has in vivo activity against murine abnormal white blood cells and perillyl alcohol and d-limonene have chemotherapeutic activity against rodent mammary, liver and pancreatic abnormal growths(7).
Application in Cosmetics
Lemon peel is very beneficial for skin. There are various benefits of lemon peel as it is an excellent natural astringent, antiseptic, and bactericidal which are of particular benefit to the problem skin. Acne most often occurs in oily skin, the acid in the lemon peel helps to eliminate excess oils on the face. Thus lemon peel can be used to treat acne. Lemon peel also acts as a skin lightener, which is beneficial to remove tan or naturally uneven tones. The acid in the lemon peel is primarily what drives these benefits, and it naturally breaks up oil, and helps to dissolve dead skin cells. The lightening occurs for the same reason, as sun-exposed cells are broken up by the lemon's acidity, and new growths are promoted. This is especially useful to soften freckles as well as get rid of acne. Lemon peel can also help with mild sunburn. It can also be used to balance the pH of the skin, by counteracting acidity on its surface and acts as a very mild natural bleach or lightener on the skin, which enables it to brighten dull skin color and calm redness, as well as the irritation of an inflamed skin. Lemon Peel Powder can be used in cosmetics as it can maintain the natural oil balance of the skin thus giving it a glowing, natural look. It Cleans skin thoroughly acts as a natural astringent, maintains natural oil balance, refreshes and rejuvenates the skin.
Research References
1. Lota M. L., de Rocca Serra D, Tomi F., Jacquemond C., Casanova J. Volatile components of peel and leaf oils of lemon and lime species. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 50(4):796-805. 2. Manthey J. A., Grohmann K., Phenols in citrus peel byproducts: concentrations of hydroxycinnamates and polymethoxylated flavones in citrus peel molasses. J Agric Food Chem. 2001 49(7): 3268-73. 3. Y. Miyake., K. Yamamoto.,Y. Morimitsu, and T. Osawa. Isolation of C- Glucosylflavone from Lemon Peel and Antioxidative Activity of Flavonoid Compounds in Lemon Fruit J. Agric. Food Chem., 1997, 45 (12): 4619–4623 4. Crowell PL. Prevention and therapy of cancer by dietary monoterpenes. J Nutr. 1999 129(3): 775S-778S. Review. 5. S. F. van Vuuren, A. M. Viljoen. Antimicrobial activity of limonene enantiomers and 1, 8- cineole alone and in combination. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 2007 22(6): 540–544. 6. G. Mandalari, R.N. Bennett, G. Bisignano, D. Trombetta, A. Saija, C.B. Faulds, M.J. Gasson,A. Narbad. Antimicrobial activity of flavonoids extracted from bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso) peel, a byproduct of the essential oil industry. Journal of Applied Microbiology 2007 103(6), pages 2056–2064. 7. G K Poon, D Vigushin, L J Griggs, M G Rowlands, R C Coombes and M Jarman Identification and characterization of limonene metabolites in patients with advanced cancer by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. 1996 24 ( 5): 565-571 8. M. N. Gould Cancer chemoprevention and therapy by monoterpenes. Environ Health Perspect. 1997 105(4): 977–979