(From citrus). Called also citron,malus medica, malus citria. The citron tree. Citrus medico Lin. Sp. Pi. 1100.
It was first brought from Assyria and Media into Greece, and thence into the southern parts of Europe, where it thrives, and produces perfect fruit, called ce-dromela, which is larger and less succulent than the lemon; but in all other respects the citron and lemon trees agree: the lemon is a variety only of the citrus medica.
As to its medicinal qualities, the chief differences from those of the lemon are, that the citron juice is less acid, the yellow rind is hotter, bitterish, and its flavour more volatile, so that it rises with rectified spirit of wine. The citron juice, when sweetened with sugar, is called by the Italians aigre di cedre.
Oils obtained from the fresh peels of the more odoriferous kinds, by rolling the fruit on a plane stuck full of points, are brought from Italy, and used as perfumes; these are more grateful and less pungent than such as are drawn by distillation with water. The oil prepared either of these ways is subject to lose its flavour, and become thick and resinous in keeping; when distilled with rectified spirit of wine, and afterwards separated from the spirit by dilution with water, it retains much longer its odour, fluidity, and limpidness. See Lewis's Mat. Med.