Citrus Medica. The Lemon Tree. Nat. Ord. Aurantiaceae. Linn. Syst. Polyadelphia Poly-andria. Hab. Southern Europe, East and West Indies, the Azores, &c.
Citrus Limetta. The Lime Tree, found in most tropical countries.
Med. Prop. and Action. The juice of the fruits of these trees, known respectively as Lemon-juice and Lime-juice, is refrigerant and sedative; the peel of the fruit dried, is an aromatic bitter, and forms an elegant adjunct to other vegetable tonics. The volatile oil obtained from the rind (oil of lemons) is stimulant and acrid; it is rarely used in medicine. That which is commonly sold as Essential Salts of Lemons is the Binoxalate of Potash, and does not exist in any of the Lime-tribe: it is a misnomer, which might lead to serious mistakes. Lemon-juice contains Citric Acid, and Malic Acid in combination with potash, and mucilage. In the article Citric Acid, the refrigerant property of Lemon-juice has been considered, but it has other qualities which deserve notice. Dr. Owen Rees found that Lemon-juice, in doses of j. thrice daily, caused a great depression of the heart's action: in one case it fell from 120 to 75: in another from 110 to 74; the pulse, at the same time, being rendered smaller. These effects were observed in patients suffering from acute Rheumatism, but the same effect was observed in the healthy body: thus, a clinical clerk took f j. of Lemon-juice thrice daily for three days, and carefully noted his pulse, which was naturally full, and about 75 in the minute. After five doses the pulse became much weaker, was more compressible, and numbered 70 in the minute. On the third day the pulse be<ame as low as 66, and was very small and compressible. The urine was always acid, and also natural in quantity, till the third day, when it increased somewhat; the Sp. Gr. was then 1.017, and there was a deficiency of Lithic Acid. (See Acids, part ii.) As an antidote to acro-narcotic poisons, Lime or Lemon-juice is often very effectual. Its modus operandi is obscure, but its effects are often very remarkable. In over-doses of Croton seeds (Croton Tig-lium), I have witnessed almost immediate cessation of the vomiting, purging, and pain, from a single draught of Lime-juice. Both Lemon and Lime juice possess most valuable anti-scorbutic properties.
Offic. Prep. Of the Peel (Cortex Limonis): -
ij.; Lemon-juice strained Oj.; Refined Sugar lb.ij. 1/4). Dose, fl. drm. j. - fl. drs. ij., or more.
iiss.; Proof Spirit Oj. Prepared by maceration and percolation). Dose, fl. drm. j. - fl. drs. ij.
Of the Juice (Succus Limonis). Syrupus Limonis.
Of the Oil (Oleum Limonis). Spiritus AmmoniAe Aromaticus (see art. Amnion. Sp. Arom.).
Doge of Lemon-juice, fl. drs. ij. - fl. oz. ]"., or more.
In Acute Dysentery and Diarrha, Lime-juice has occasionally appeared to have been of service. In an able paper, Dr. W. Fergusson* quotes numerous authorities, and his own experience, in favour of the opinion, that the juice of the Lime and Lemon, so often considered as a cause of these diseases, is, in reality, an important means of cure. Amongst others, he quotes a letter from Dr. O'Connor, who states that, in the disease called " Bische," in Trinidad, and which appears to be identical with very acute Dysentery, the natives constantly and successfully employ suppositories, the base of which is the Lime or Lemon, with strong Lemonade for drink. This constitutes the sole treatment. He also instances Dr. Denger, of Nimeguen, who, in his account of the epidemic Dysentery in that town, in 1736, successfully employed large and repeated doses of Lemon-juice. Dr. Zimmermann, likewise, found in the Dysentery epidemic in Switzerland, in 1765, that the juice of acid fruits was of "prodigious use," and apparently tended to the recovery of the patients. In addition to this, I may add that the remedy commonly in use amongst the Burmese of the Tenasserim Provinces, for bilious Diarrhoea, is Lime-juice, which they take in large quantities. The value of this remedy merits further investigation.