At a glance......
Lime health benefits and its trees whose fruits are called limes, including the key lime (Citrus aurantifolia), Persian lime, kaffir lime, and desert lime. Limes are a rich source of vitamin C, sour and are often used to accent the flavors of foods and beverages. They are grown year-round. Plants with a fruit called “limes” have diverse genetic origins; limes do not form a monophyletic group.
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) is a small, round green color hybrid citrus fruit.Due to its acidic sour juice and unique aroma, the lime fruit is widely used in various cuisines to accent flavor. It is a common ingredient in Mexican, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisine. There are several species of citrus fruits which are known as limes. These include Key lime, kaffir lime, wild lime, desert lime, and Persian lime. This zesty tropical fruit has been well known for its medicinal properties for ages. Lime finds its application in cosmetic and health products too. Extracted from the lime’s peel or skin, lime essential oil is extensively used in aromatherapy and perfumes.
Types and Lime Health Benefits
The majority of cultivated species are in reality hybrids, produced from the citron (Citrus medica), the mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata), the pomelo (Citrus maxima) and in particular with many lime varieties, the micrantha (Citrus micrantha).
- Australian limes (former Microcitrus and Eremocitrus)
- Australian desert lime (Citrus glauca)
- Australian finger lime (Citrus australasica)
- Australian lime (Citrus australis)
- Blood lime (red finger lime × (sweet orange × mandarin) )
- Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix); a papeda relative, is one of three most widely produced limes globally.
- Key lime (Citrus × aurantifolia=Citrus micrantha × Citrus medica) is also one of three most widely produced limes globally.
- Musk lime (calamondin, Citrofortunella mitis), a kumquat × mandarin hybrid
- Persian lime (Citrus × latifolia) a key lime × lemon hybrid, is the single most widely produced lime globally, with Mexico being the largest producer.
- Rangpur lime (Mandarin lime, lemandarin, Citrus limonia), a mandarin orange × citron hybrid
- Spanish lime (Melicoccus bijugatus); not a citrus
- Sweet lime etc. (Citrus limetta, etc.); several distinct citrus hybrids
- Wild lime (Adelia ricinella); not a citrus
- Wild lime (Zanthoxylum fagara); not a citrus
- Limequat (lime × kumquat)
Nutritional Value and Lime Health Benefits
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||126 kJ (30 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||2.8 g|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Lime Health Benefits
- Lowers Risk of Stroke – Vitamin C in lime juice and lime peels lowers ischemic stroke risks, especially for women. It also helps slow down the progression of coronary heart diseases like atherosclerosis by decreasing fatty streaks in arteries.
- Lowers Cholesterol – Hesperidin, a flavonoid present in lime, helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.
- Prevents Cancer – Lime scavenges free radicals and reduces oxidative stress. Antioxidant-packed phytochemicals like flavonoids, flavones, triterpenoid, and limonoids in lime have potent cancer-fighting properties. They can stop the growth of various cancer cells preventing colon, breast, prostate, pancreatic, stomach, lungs, kidneys, and blood cancer. It is also capable of eradicating cancer cells in some cases.
- Weight Loss – A study shows that the essential oils found in lime aid in reducing both body weight and food consumption. Also, the citric acid present in lime is an excellent fat burner. A glass of warm water with the juice of an entire lime is an excellent weight reducer. You can consume two glasses of warm water with lime juice a day and see remarkable results within a week.
- Treats Dark Spots – Lime juice is considered as a natural bleaching agent due to its skin lightening properties. It can be used to lighten dark spots. All you need to do is apply it with a cotton ball to the darkened portions of your skin and leave it for 30 minutes. However, ensure that you stay indoors and avoid direct exposure to sunlight this remedy can make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Also, it is advisable to apply sunscreen before venturing out. You can also use this remedy to lighten dark underarms (12).
- Treats Acne And Blemishes – Is lime good for acne? Acne, pimples, and blemishes are caused when dirt, oil and dead skin cells clog your pores. Acne and pimples are common problems for people with oily skin. The bacteria present in facial pores aggravate the inflammation, increasing redness and soreness (13). The antibiotic properties of lime juice inhibit the growth of the acne causing bacteria. To keep acne and pimples at bay, you can prepare a face pack of lime juice with honey. While honey possesses antibacterial properties that prevent the growth of bacteria, the acidic nature of lime juice will control excess oil. This face pack should be used every week as part of your skincare regimen. The scars left by pimples can be lightened by massaging some fresh lime juice on them.
- Anti-Aging Properties – With the progression of age and the exposure to UV rays, melanin that imparts color to your skin, can build up and get accumulated in your skin, giving rise to dark spots and other signs of aging. The peel of lime inhibits melanin production. Scrubbing your skin with lime peel or applying facial mask containing bits of lime peel can significantly reduce this hyper-pigmentation (13).
- Treats Skin Tan – Excessive sun exposure can tan your skin. Lime juice can be used to remove this tan effectively (14). All you need to do is prepare a face pack by mixing some gram flour (besan) with curd (dahi) and add some lime juice to this mixture. Apply this paste evenly on your skin and allow it to dry. Now wash your face with water and dry it. This face pack should be applied weekly for better results.
- Treats open Pores – Astringents are effective in causing temporary tightening of muscles. That is the reason why they are often used in beauty and skincare products for improving the appearance of your facial skin. Lime oil possesses astringent properties (15) and can be used to tighten pores and temporarily reduce oil production to provide a brighter and flawless complexion.
- Removal of Dead Skin – The citric acid present in lime peels can slough off dead skin cells (6). They are often used in beauty treatments in spas as well as home remedies to improve the health and appearance of facial skin.
- Lime For Glowing Skin – For a glowing complexion, all you need to do is have a glass of lukewarm water with some honey and freshly squeezed lime juice early in the morning regularly. This will provide an inner glow to your skin.
- Treats Dandruff – Dandruff is, undoubtedly, one of the most common hair problems. It is a condition characterized by excess flaking of the scalp. Lime juice is often used as an ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos. Citric acid present in lime juice has been found to be very effective and beneficial in dealing with dandruff issues. To get rid of dandruff, rub lime slice directly on the scalp. Rinsing the hair with lime juice added to water also helps in removing dandruff. Lime juice can sometimes dry your scalp. In such a case, you can combine it with olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil.
- Treats Hair – Oily hair is caused due to the secretion of excess oil called sebum by the sebaceous glands, giving your hair a sticky, oily and dull appearance. Lime juice, with its oil absorbing property, rids your scalp of all the excess oil. Rubbing a slice of lime on the scalp for few minutes before rinsing can also help in removing the excess oil from your scalp and hair. Alternatively, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice in water and rinse your hair with it to remove excess oil.
- Promotes Hair Growth – Lime juice is beneficial in promoting hair growth. It has been used to treat baldness, hair thinning and hair loss problems for ages now. The main nutrient that promotes hair growth is Vitamin C, that is present in limes in large amounts. The addition of lime juice to various oils and its application promotes hair growth.
- Lime For Shiny Hair – Shiny hair is loved and desired by all. Lime juice can impart that much desired shine to your hair. The application of lime juice along with honey and olive oil mixture before washing your hair can provide you with shiny sparkling hairs. Lime juice is also incorporated in shampoos along with other essential ingredients for providing you with silky smooth and shining hair.
- Lightens Hair Color – As stated earlier, lime juice possesses natural lightening properties. If you want your hair color to be lightened without the use of chemicals, lime juice is a great option. All you need to do is apply lime juice on your hair and sit in the sun for an hour or expose your hair to sunlight. Then, rinse your hair. This procedure will make your hair 2-3 shades lighter in color.
- Treats Scurvy – Scurvy is a disease caused due to the deficiency of Vitamin C. It is characterized by frequent infections in the form of cold, ulcers on the tongue and mouth, cracked lips and lip corners, spongy, swollen and bleeding gums etc. Being packed with Vitamin C, lime is extremely effective in curing scurvy. This has been a popular cure since the nineteenth century when the British used to have lime juice to ward off scurvy. Even today, limes are given to workers working in hazardous environments like cement factories, painting shops, mines, furnaces and other dangerous work to prevent the outbreak of scurvy.
- Gum Care – The deficiency of Vitamin C can also lead to gum problems. As stated above, scurvy can cause bleeding and spongy gums. Often, ulcers and microbial growth are caused due to physical trauma. Limes contain flavonoids that inhibit microbial growth and, along with potassium, facilitate the healing of ulcers and wounds.
- Eye Care – The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of limes are beneficial for your eyes. The antioxidant property of Vitamin C protects your eyes from aging and macular degeneration while the flavonoids prevent infections.
- Treats Arthritis – Arthritis is caused due to the accumulation of excess uric acid in the body. This uric acid is a waste product that is normally removed through urination. But when excess uric acid builds up, it worsens the pain and inflammation of arthritis. The citric acid found in citrus fruits like limes dissolves the uric acid, causing the elimination of greater amounts through urine. Lime also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease pain and inflammation.
- Treats Gout – Gout is caused by the accumulation of free radicals or toxins in the body, primarily uric acid. Being a wonderful source of antioxidants and detoxifiers like Vitamin C and flavonoids, lime can help reduce the number of free radicals and detoxify your body, preventing gout.
- Treats Piles – Piles can be defined as an uncomfortable condition that occurs in the anal region, causing bleeding and discomfort during excretion and general activity. When left uncured, piles can even lead to certain forms of cancer. Limes can help heal ulcers and wounds in the digestive and excretory systems, thus providing relief from constipation, which is the root cause of piles.
- Treatment of Fever – Lime and lime juice possess natural fever reducing qualities. In case of high to moderate fever, the patient should be given lime juice and water along with other fruit juices to bring down the temperature to manageable levels. The high concentrations of Vitamin C in citrus fruits help lower the temperature naturally.
- Treatment of Common Cold – The high amount of vitamin C in limes not only treats common cold but also increases the resistance of the body towards common cold.
- Aids Digestion – The refreshing fragrance of lime can make your mouth water even before consuming it. The acids present in this fruit facilitate smoother digestion by breaking the macro molecules of food. Flavonoids are compounds found in the fragrant oil extracted from lime. These compounds stimulate the digestive system by increasing the secretion of digestive juices, bile, and acids.
- Treats Dehydration – Lime juice is a refreshing drink that provides quick hydration and rejuvenation, besides being rich in Vitamin C. It also helps to cure fatigue and vomiting bouts.
- Treats Cystitis – Cystitis, also known as urinary tract infection, is an inflammation of the urinary bladder caused due to lack of hygiene or allergic reaction to drugs or radiation therapy. Limes have a high content of potassium, which helps eliminate the toxic substances and precipitates that get accumulated in the kidneys and the urinary bladder. Limes also possess disinfectant properties that can help cure infections in the urinary system. Besides, they prevent prostrate growth and prevent blockage of urine caused by calcium deposits in the urinary tract. In case of urinary tract infection, lime juice boiled in water should be taken every couple of hours to get relief.
- Treats Peptic Ulcers – Peptic ulcers generally develop in the inner lining of your stomach, esophagus and upper small intestines, leading to a lot of abdominal pain. The acids in lime help reduce gastric acidity by causing an alkaline reaction in the digestive system. Besides Vitamin C, limes contain flavonoids, such as limonoids like Limonin Glucoside that possess antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-carcinogenic and detoxifying properties that facilitate the quick healing of peptic and oral ulcers.
- Beneficial For The Heart – Limes are rich in soluble fiber that can lower blood pressure level as well as LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol. This soluble fiber also cures the inflammation of the blood vessels, providing protection against heart attack, strokes, and heart disease.
- Lowers Cholesterol – Limes contain a flavonoid called hesperidin, which has been shown to lower the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body. If you are suffering from increased cholesterol levels, it is advisable to boost your hesperidin levels by consuming more of limes.
- Aids Weight Loss – Lime benefits weight loss. Lime juice has been traditionally used in several weight reduction programs and is a great refresher and antioxidant drink. Lime juice is naturally sweet but extremely low in calories. It contains citric acid, which is an excellent fat burner. To lose weight, add 1-2 teaspoons of raw, organic honey and the juice of a fresh lime to 8 ounces of warm water. Drink it early in the morning on empty stomach to get beneficial results within a week.
- Good For Women’s Health – This citrus fruit contains calcium and folate, two vital nutrients for post-menopausal women as well as those in the child-bearing age. One fresh medium sized lime contains 22 milligrams calcium and five micrograms folate. Women in these phases should make lime a part their diet to get some relief.
- Treats Respiratory Disorders – The flavonoid-rich oil contained in lime extracts is used as an ingredient in anti-congestive medicines like vaporizers, balms, and inhalers due to the presence of kaempherol. Scratching the peel of a lime and inhaling it provides relief from congestion and nausea.
- Beneficial For Diabetics – According to the American Diabetes Association, citrus fruits like lime are beneficial for diabetics due to several reasons. Firstly, the high levels of soluble fiber in limes help regulate the body’s absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This prevents the occurrence of a blood sugar spike, which is risky for diabetic patients. Secondly, like most citrus fruits, limes have a low glycemic index. They do not cause unexpected spikes in the glucose levels, thus adding to the benefits for diabetic patients.
- Prevents Cholera – Though now eradicated in many parts of the world, cholera continues to be a fatal disease in some places. Fortunately, limes and other citrus fruits can help prevent the occurrence of cholera. Lime juice, when added to potentially infected water, can prove to be an effective disinfectant. This juice, when consumed regularly by the patient who has been exposed to cholera-infected water, can reduce the ill effects of this deadly disease.
- Anti-Cancer Properties – The limonoid compounds present in limes have been shown to possess anti-carcinogenic properties that help prevent cancers of the colon, blood and stomach. Though the exact effect is yet to be known, scientists have observed through research that the antioxidant limonoids can cause the death of cancer cells. Besides, they stay active in your blood cells for longer and can fight more free radicals than green tea or dark chocolate.
- Antiviral Properties – Lime helps to fight and protect against viral infections that cause common cold, mumps, measles, pox and other similar diseases. It is effective in curing throat, mouth, stomach, intestines, colon, and urinary infections. It is also an effective cure for infections of the respiratory system, such as coughs and chest congestion, bronchitis, sinusitis, and asthma.
- Works As An Antiseptic – Lime contains antiseptic properties and is used to cure infections of the skin and external wounds, like insect bites and cuts. It is also effective in curing sores, gangrene, ulcers, rashes, carbuncles and other similar problems. When consumed, it can cure infection in the colon, urinary tract, and kidneys.
- Bactericidal Properties – Lime in oral form can be used in the treatment of illnesses caused by bacteria, such as, diarrhea, food poisoning, cholera, and typhoid. As mentioned previously, it also is an effective cure for bacterial infections of the intestines, colon, stomach, and the urinary tract.
- As An Astringent – Because of its astringent properties, lime helps in curing toothaches and strengthens gums. It also tightens loose muscles. It is extremely beneficial to those who are recovering from injury, and is helpful in relieving pain in muscles and joints.
- Other Benefits – Lime helps rejuvenate your skin and protects it from infections, thanks to its antioxidant, disinfectant and antibiotic properties. The presence of a large amount of Vitamin C and flavonoids in lime juice helps reduce the body odor and sweat. For this purpose, you can mix some lime juice in your bath water to get a rejuvenating bath experience. When applied externally on your skin, it helps treat bruises and rashes.