A fruit more well known to many consumers in the preserved rather than in its natural form, the citron, Citrus medica Linn., is known as in French, cedrat, cidratier, citronnier des Juifs; in Spanish, cidra, poncil, poncidre, cedro limón, limón cidra, limón Francés, though in Central America it is usually known as toronja, the most popular Spanish term for grapefruit. In Portuguese, it is cidrao; in Italian, cedro or cedrone; in German, cedratzitrone or cederappelen; in Dutch, citroen; in India, citron, beg-poora, or leemoo; in Malaya, limau susu, limau mata kerbau, limau kerat lingtang; in Thailand, som-mu, som manao or som ma-nguâ; in Laos, manao ripon, mak vo or mak nao; in Vietnam, thank-yen or chanh; in Samoa, tipolo or moli-apatupatu; in China, kou-yuan. Theophrastus wrote of it as the Persian, or Median, Apple, and it was later called the Citrus Apple.
The citron is borne by the slow-growing shrub or even small tree reaching 8 to 15 ft (2.4-4.5 m) high along with stiff branches and stiff twigs and long or short spines in the leaf axils. The leaflets usually are evergreen, lemon-scented, ovate-lanceolate or ovate elliptic, 2 1/2 to 7 in (6.25-18 cm) long; leathery, along with short, wingless or nearly wingless petioles; the flower buds are usually large as well as white or purplish; the fragrant flowers about 1 1/2 in (4 cm) wide, in short clusters, are mainly perfect however, many male due to pistil abortion; 4- to 5-petalled, often pinkish or purplish on the outside, with 30 to 60 stamens. The fruit is aromatic, mainly oblong, obovoid or oval, occasionally pyriform, but highly variable; numerous shapes and smooth or rough fruits sometimes occurring on the same branch; one form is deeply divided from the apex into slender sections; frequently there exists a protruding style; size also varies from 3 1/2 to 9 in or even 1 ft (9-22.8 or 30 cm) long; peel is yellow whenever fully ripe; generally rough and bumpy but sometimes smooth; mostly very thick, fleshy, tightly clinging; pulp pale-yellow or greenish divided into as much as 14 or 15 segments, firm, not so juicy, acid or sweet; consists of several monoembryonic seeds, ovoid, smooth, white within.
Health benefits of Citron
The citron is really a big fragrant citrus fruit having a thicker rind, botanically regarded as Citrus medica by both the Swingle and Tanaka botanical name systems. It is among the four original citrus fruits (the others being pomelo, mandarin and papeda), from which most other citrus types developed through natural hybrid speciation or artificial hybridization.
Here are the top health advantages of citron:
1. Excellent natural pain reliever
In case you have a headache, drink a glass of water with a few freshly-squeezed citron juice. Citrons have got anti-inflammatory as well as pain-relieving qualities that ought to help make your headache disappear naturally.
2. Efficient against heartburn
You are able to repeat exactly the same experiment as above: squeeze some fresh citron juice in a glass of water and drink it slowly. The water can help clear your throat through the acid which made its way up, whilst the citron juice will relax the pain for a short period.
3. Good for colds
Seeing they’re rich in vitamin C, a tremendously powerful natural defense mechanisms booster, citrons assist in preventing and lower the seriousness of respiratory infections like colds in addition to speed healing. Just include a few drops of juice into a cup of warm tea.
4. Offers anticancer protection
Citrons really are a rich source of powerful antioxidants like vitamin C, a nutrient proven to drastically decrease cancer risks. Consuming fresh vitamin C-rich foods like citron can give rise to better health and cancer protection.
5. Maintains healthy teeth and gums
The generous quantities of vitamin C in citron pulp help with teeth and gum health as well and help avoid the dreaded scurvy, provided the fruit is consumed fresh.
6. Weight Loss
Lime water has always been ideal for weight reduction. Taken along with warm water as well as honey each morning, it may refresh the body as well as aid weight loss.
7. Promotes cardiovascular health
Citrons were demonstrated to include good quantities of potassium as well as magnesium, two dietary minerals of unimaginable importance to prevent coronary disease. Whilst magnesium maintains the healthiness of the heart muscle, potassium helps manage blood pressure (hypertension) as well as helps prevent diseases related to it.
8. Useful against insect bites and small cuts
Citron fruit and leaves produce a powerful lemony odor that effortlessly impregnates clothes. Even though it is pleasant for us, the smell efficiently repels mosquitoes, moths along with other insects. Rubbing a few drops of citron juice onto a mosquito bite is considered in lowering the itching sensation. And if you add a few drops of juice into a small cut, it ought to help stop the bleeding very quickly.
9. Natural remedy for bad breath
Citron pulp, juice, extract or seeds are viewed to help enhance bad breath naturally. However, simply because bad breath is frequently but a sign of an actual medical problem, this can be just a temporary solution. Due to its higher vitamin C content, citrons were utilized in the past to deal with seasickness, scurvy, nausea and vomiting. Moreover, these were suitable for the management of skin diseases as well as hemorrhoids. The scientific explanation for this is that vitamin C plays a role in maintaining skin and blood vessel integrity and therefore helps skin heal and helps prevent hemorrhoids, that are essentially blood vessels, from bleeding.
10. Citron and Blood Pressure
In South India, the juice is extremely suitable for high blood pressure levels. Taken very first thing each morning with warm water, the juice might help reduce high blood pressure. Citron lime consists of potassium that also enhances heart health. This particular juice along with warm water is yet another blood purifier, cleansing as well as purifying the liver.
History of Citron
The citron’s place of origin is unidentified yet seeds were found in Mesopotamian excavations dating back to 4000 B.C. The armies of Alexander the Great are believed to have carried the citron towards the Mediterranean region about 300 B.C. A Jewish coin struck in 136 B.C. bore a representation of the citron on one side. A Chinese writer in AD 300 spoke of a gift of “40 Chinese bushels of citrons from Ta-ch’in” in AD 284. Ta-ch’in is understood to mean the Roman Empire. The citron was a staple, commercial food item in Rome in AD 301. There are actually wild citron trees in Chittagong, Sitakund Hill, Khasi and Garo hills of northern India. Dioscorides mentioned citron within the 1st Century AD and Pliny named it malus medica, malus Assyria and citrus in AD 177. The fruit was imported into Greece from Persia (now Iran). Greek colonists began growing the citron in Palestine about 200 B.C. The tree is assumed to have been effectively introduced into Italy within the 3rd Century. The trees were mainly destroyed by barbarians within the 4th Century but those who work in the “Kingdom of Naples” and in Sardinia and Sicily survived. By the year 1003, the citron was commonly cultivated at Salerno and fruits (called poma cedrina) were presented as a token of gratitude to Norman lords. For centuries, this area provided citron to the Jews in Italy, France and Germany for their Feast of the Tabernacles (sukkot) ceremony. Moses had specified the cone of the cedar, hadar (kedros in Greek) and when it fell into disfavor it was substituted with the citron, and the Palestine Greeks known as the latter kedromelon (cedar apple). Kedros was Latinized as cedrus and also this evolved into citrus, as well as subsequently into citron. For several years, most Citrus species were recognized as botanical types of Citrus medica.
Spaniards most likely brought the citron along with other Citrus species to St. Augustine, Florida, although it might have survived there only in greenhouses. The tree was introduced into Puerto Rico in 1640. Commercial citron culture and processing began in California in 1880. The trees suffered serious cold damage in 1913 and, in a short time, the project was abandoned. From 1926 to 1936, there were scattered small plantings of citron in Florida, especially one on Terra Ceia Island, supplying fruits to the Hills Brothers Canning Company. The groves ultimately succumbed to cold and today the citron is grown in southern Florida very rarely like a curiosity. The main producing areas of citron for food utilize are Sicily, Corsica and Crete along with other islands off the coasts of Italy, Greece and France, and also the neighboring mainland. Citron is additionally developed commercially within the central, mountainous coffee regions of Puerto Rico. Some is candied locally but many is distributed in brine to the United States and Europe. Citron is delicately grown in several other islands of the Caribbean as well as in Central and South America. It’s been rather generally grown in Brazil for several years. There have always been scattered citron trees within the Cauca Valley of Colombia. After 5 years of study, horticulturists decided in 1964 that commercial culture might be rewarding. Citron trees usually are not uncommon in a few of the Pacific Islands but they are rare within the Philippines.
Types of Citron
Citron cultivars mostly are of two types: 1) those that have pinkish new growth, purple flower buds as well as purple-tinted petals, acid pulp and dark inner seed coat and chalazal spot; 2) those that have no pink or purple tint within the new growth nor the flowers, with non-acid pulp, colorless inner seed coat, and pale-yellow chalazal spot. One of the better-known cultivars are:
Origin unknown however the leading citron of Corsica; introduced into the United States around 1891 and evidently the cultivar grown in California; ellipsoid or faintly obovate, furrowed at base; big; peel yellow, rough, lumpy, very thick, fleshy; pulp crisp, non-juicy, non-acid, seedy. Tree small, spreading, moderately thorny with a few large spines.
(‘Cedro Liscio’; probably the same as ‘Italian’ and ‘Sicilian’)-of unknown origin however the leading cultivar in Italy and liked by processor’s elsewhere; long-oval or ellipsoid, furrowed at base, extensively nippled at apex; peel yellow, smooth or faintly ribbed; very thick, fleshy; pulp crisp, non-juicy, acid; seedy. Tree small, spreading, thorny as ‘Corsican’. Much the same is usually a cultivar known as “Earle” in Cuba.
(‘Ethrog’, ‘Atrog’; C. medica var. Ethrog Engl.)-the leading cultivar in Israel; ellipsoid, spindle-shaped or lemon-like along with moderate neck and frequently with persistent style at base; generally with notable nipple at apex; medium-small as harvested; if not selected early, it’ll remain on the tree, continuing to enlarge for years till the branch cannot support it. For ritual use, the fruit ought to be about 5 oz (142 g) and not oblong in form. Peel is yellow-colored, semi-rough as well as bumpy, faintly ribbed, thick, fleshy; flesh is crisp, firm, with little juice; acid; seedy. Tree is small, not vigorous; leaves rounded at apex and cupped. This cultivar has been the official citron for use in the Feast of the Tabernacles ritual but when not available any yellow, unblemished, lemon-sized citron with adhering style could be substituted.
Plate XXI, (‘Buddha’s Hand’, or ‘Buddha’s Fingers’; C. medica var. sarcodactylus Swing.); known as fu shou in China, bushukon in Japan, limau jari, jeruk tangan, limau kerat lingtang, in Malaya; djerook tangan in Indonesia; som-mu in Thailand; phât thu in Vietnam. The fruit is corrugated, wholly or partly split into about 5 finger-like segments, along with little or no flesh; seedless or along with loose seeds. The fruit is extremely aromatic and is also placed just as one offering on temple altars. It really is commonly grown in China and Japan; is candied in China.
In India, there are many named types, in addition to the ‘Fingered’, in the northwest:
‘Bajoura‘-small, with thin peel, much acid juice.
‘Chhangura‘-believed to be the wild form as well as commonly present in a natural state; fruit rough, small, without pulp.
‘Madhankri‘ or ‘Madhkunkur’-fruit large with sweetish pulp.
‘Turunj‘-fruit large, along with thick peel, the white inner part sweet and edible; pulp scant, dry, acid. Leaves are oblong as well as distinctly notched in the apex.
Uses of Citron
Even though the lemon or orange are peeled to consume their pulpy as well as juicy segments, the citron’s pulp is dry, that contains a little amount of insipid juice, if any. The main content of the citron fruit is definitely the thick white rind, that adheres towards the segments and can’t be separated from them easily. The citron gets halved as well as depulped, then its rind is cooked in sugar, diced, and utilized as a confection.
Today the citron can be used for the fragrance or even zest of the flavedo, however the most important part is still inner rind (referred to as pith or albedo), that is a fairly essential article in international trade and is also broadly used in the food industry as succade, as it is termed when it’s candied in sugar.
The dozens of types of citron are collectively referred to as Lebu in Bangladesh, where it’s the primary citrus fruit.
In Iran, the citron’s thick white rind is utilized to help make jam; in Pakistan the fruit is utilized to create jam but is additionally pickled; in South Indian cuisine, the citron is traditionally used in pickles and preserves. In Korea, citron (called yujacha) is utilized to make tea, that supposedly helps you to suppress coughing, reduce hangovers, and is also great at treating indigestion.
In olden days plus the Middle Ages, the ‘Etrog’ was employed like a solution for seasickness, pulmonary troubles, intestinal ailments along with other problems. Citron juice along with wine was considered a highly effective purgative to eliminate the system of poison. In India, the peel is really a solution for dysentery and is also consumed to beat halitosis. The distilled juice is given like a sedative. The candied peel is sold in China as a stomachic, stimulant, expectorant and tonic. In West Tropical Africa, the citron is utilized only like a medication, particularly towards rheumatism.
The flowers are utilized medicinally by the Chinese. In Malaya, a decoction of the fruit is taken to drive off evil spirits. A decoction of the shoots of wild plants is administered to enhance appetite, reduce stomachache and discharge intestinal worms. The leaf juice, coupled with that of Polygonum and Indigofera is taken after childbirth. A leaf infusion is offered just as one antispasmodic. In Southeast Asia, citron seeds are given like a vennifuge. In Panama, they’re ground up as well as coupled with other ingredients and given just as one antidote for poison. The essential oil of the peel is undoubtedly an antibiotic.
Citron features a shelf-life of one to two weeks whenever stored in the fridge at temperatures in between 7-9 Celsius (45-59F). Keep citron in the sealed plastic bag, since this will extend its lifespan significantly. If keeping at room temperature, put the fruit in the dry, cool area: Expect the fruit to harden in a week.
Tip: Rather than keeping citrons in the kitchen area, make sure they are into centerpiece by stacking them in a bowl amongst other colorful fruit, and put on the dinning table. They’ll keep going longer in the cooler room, as well as brighten the space. Citrons are incredibly aromatic as well.