This section is from the book "Meals Medicinal", by W. T. Fernie. Also available from Amazon: Meals Medicinal: With "Herbal Simples" Curative Foods From the Cook in Place of Drugs From the Chemist.
During intermittent fevers, fresh lemon-juice is helpful and refreshing, being-mixed with strong, hot, black tea, or coffee, without sugar. Throughout Italy, and at Rome, a decoction of fresh lemons is extolled as a specific antidote to such intermittent fevers; for which purpose a fresh, unpeeled lemon is cut into thin slices, and put in an earthenware jar with three break-fast-cupfuls of cold water, and boiled down to one cupful; this is to be strained, the lemon being squeezed, and the decoction is to be given shortly before the access of fever is periodically expected. The lemon juice has quinine-like properties in bringing down the temperature of a fever-stricken patient.
For making lemonade to assuage the thirst in feverish states, it would be a mistake to pour boiling water upon sliced lemons, because then the peel would become also infused, and it would act medicinally. Fresh lemon-juice should be squeezed into cold water, that of three lemons to a quart of water, which has been first boiled, and then allowed to become cold; a few crushed strawberries (if in season) may be added, and the cut-up rind of one lemon. "But" says ma brither Peter to Mrs. McLeerie, in Wee Macgregor: "Lemonade's mair puff than pleasure." A capital lemonade has been formulated by Dr. Leftwich, which is nutritious, and eminently palatable, especially for children in feverish disorders, being more supporting than beef tea. Two lemons are peeled twice, the inner white peel being rejected, and the outer yellow peel, with the sliced fruit, placed in a quart jug with, say, two lumps of sugar. Pour boiling water on them, and stir occasionally. When cooled to the temperature of ordinary tea, insert an egg whisk, and slowly add the whites of two newlaid eggs. Continue whisking for two or three minutes, and strain, whilst still hot, through muslin; serve when cold. For patients who are not feverish, two eggs may be used for each pint of the liquid, and thus it will be made more nutritious.
Children, who often show an aversion to beef-tea, readily take this lemonade.
The lemon treatment for making the blood alkaline against gouty acids in the system, is now gaining well-merited favour, unless carried to excess. A leading medical journal has lately advocated taking the juice of from four to fourteen lemons daily, which latter would undoubtedly be injurious. It is said that working girls often do themselves no little harm by sucking lemons to give a white complexion. For making Lemon Marmalade, of a delicious sort, slice very finely twelve nice lemons, scoop all out, and cover the pulp with three pints of clear cold water; boil the skins well for two hours before adding them to the pulp; leave the skins in the water after boiling overnight, then weigh the skins and pulp together; strain off the water in which the skins have been boiled, and to a pound of fruit with water add a pound and a quarter of loaf sugar; strain off all pips, and boil for one and a half hours until perfectly clear. Turn into glass jars, and tie down when cold. The juice of one lemon squeezed into a tumblerful of very hot water, and drunk on getting into bed, will usually throw a patient with catarrh into a profuse perspiration, and he wakes almost well the next morning.
For Lemon Whey: boil a pint of milk with a teaspoonful or two of fresh lemon-juice, and then strain through muslin, squeezing all the liquid from the curd. If this curd be well broken up after coagulation, and all the liquid be thoroughly drained out, much of the fat, and some of the divided casein of the milk will pass into the whey, and will thereby much increase its nutritive properties.
As a safeguard against accidental diarrhoea when travelling in hot countries, an efficient means may be found in fresh lemon juice. The patient should he down, and keep sipping a mixture of half lemon-juice, and half water (first boiled, and cooled), or simply sucking lemons until the symptoms have ceased; there is no risk of taking the juice to excess. An excellent "cocktail ' 'to be given when tired, and thirsty, may be made with one fresh egg, one tablespoonful of pounded sugar, four or five squeezes of fresh lemon-juice, and four or five small lumps of ice. Fill up with cold water. Mash well, and strain into a large glass, grating a little nutmeg on top. For Lemon Pie (a southern recipe): take the yolk of four eggs, beaten to a cream, with a cupful of granulated sugar, and the grated rind of a lemon. Peel the lemon, removing every particle of white rind, and cut it into thin slices. Have a pie plate lined with puff paste, arrange the slices of lemon thereupon. Add enough milk to the eggs, and sugar to fill up the plate, pour this in, and bake until set. Beat the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth, and stir in two large heaped tablespoonfuls of sugar, putting the same on top of the pie; then bake a light brown.
Charles Dickens, in a letter to Mark Lemon, when the latter was editor of Punch, and overwrought with the literary strain, thus admonished him: -
"0 my Lemon, round and fat!
0 my bright, and right, and tight 'un! Think a little what you're at:
Leave your work, and come to Brighton".
Lemons grow in special abundance at Mentoni; and a legend obtains there that Eve, when banished from the garden of Eden, carried away with her two or three Lemons, and wandered about with them until she came to Mentoni, which seemed so like Paradise that she settled there, and planted her fruit.