Whether it’s summertime carving for a tart treat or you need something cleaned, Lemons are abundantly available for both culinary preparations and magical rituals. Hailing from Asia, this fruit was not originally used in the for its culinary uses until later on in history. Thankfully now, from Lemonade to Lemon Drops, from Lemon Curd to Lemon Chicken, Lemon has taken its natural place as a fantastic accompaniment or as a main flavoring component in cooking. Now with Lemons, there are different subspecies that may be more sweet, more tart, crossbreeds, or even seedless variations. When cooking, sometimes the variety will affect the flavors in your dish so do your research.
Besides the juice, a lot of the Lemon is actually edible though the pith of the Lemon usually leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Incidentally Lemon Leaves in some traditions are also used in cooking. One of my fondest memories is taking Lemon Leaves and incorporating it into steamed seafood dishes, particularly shellfish, to impart a hint of citrusy fragrance without being overpoweringly tart. The zest is also used when a garnish is needed, but you can also candy them into a nice little treat.
Some fun tidbits on Lemons, they’re fantastic sources of Vitamin C when eaten in moderation. Many of you may know about the stories of sailors getting scurvy during their long voyages. Lemons and other citruses were deployed as a way to help them get Vitamin C in their diets to ward off this disease. Some traditional formulas to help recover from colds faster often utilized Lemons and Gingers to help warm up the body as well. Interestingly enough, some people used Lemon and Lemon juice as a bleaching agent. If you were tight on money, some people often used Lemon juice to help lighten their hair and if you were feeling too tan, some people used Lemon juice to help lighten their skin as well. Bear in mind, we do not condone using this to help lighten hair color or skin color as this can make your skin and body more sensitive to sunlight and some culture’s inappropriate racial preference for lighter skin.
Some also tote Lemon for its uses in cleaning properties. This also translates to its magical properties as well. Many people used Lemons as a cleanser for physical objects and that eventually led to their introduction as a ritual cleansing ingredient. In fact this is also some of the roots as to why certain cleaning products have a specific scent. Many cleaning products tend to have either a citrus scent, a Lavender scent, or Pine scent and incidentally these three ingredients were often used in their cultures as ingredients for purification spells. A simple ritual would be to add either a little Lemon juice or slices of Lemon into a bath and bathe yourself in that to help remove negative energies from you. You can also add other herbs to help personalize the intentions.
In addition to purification, Lemons are used in protection rituals. Much like how some stud Cloves in Oranges, some people stud Lemons as a ritual for protection. Varying from nails or pins, the common theme in these types of working is wrap thread or twine around the items that stud the lemon and hide it near an entrance. Again because of cultural variation, the intention for this would vary from protection to bringing blessings into the home.
Some also use Lemon to help bring love, lust, and sometimes fidelity as well. However many use Lemons to ward off people and exes more often than not. Some even go as far as using Lemons to break people up, to which we do not condone of course. Now if you are trying to ward off exes or getting rid of people who invade your boundaries Lemon is one to use in a variety of ways. For example when you see the person you are trying to banish from your life justifiably, you get a knife and cut a Lemon into pieces. Quietly walking behind the person, drop the Lemon pieces where they walked. Once you have dropped the pieces where they walked, return home quietly without detection and dispose of the knife off your property. Another example of using Lemon to repel people is to use it like a container by hollowing it out and putting a piece of paper with the name of the person you are trying to banish in the hollow. Take this Lemon and toss it into a river or a four way intersection to send them away. You can also fill the hollow with additional Salt, Black Pepper, or Red Pepper to help add a little heat to the movement.
Now as a caveat, regardless of the different species, when we call for Lemons to be used in magic, we tend to use any variety of Lemon interchangeably much like other herbs that bear the same name. Hopefully Lemons will sweeten up to you when you need a little sourness in your magical workings.