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Limonis Cortex, B.P., Lemon Peel. Succus Limonis, B.P., Lemon Juice.

Botanical name:


Related entry: Sweet orange peel - Bitter orange peel - Oil of orange - Oil of bergamot - Oil of lemon

Lemon peel consists of the fresh outer part of the pericarp of the fruit of Citrus Medica, Linn., var. β-Limonum, Hook. f. (N.O. Rutaceae), a small tree cultivated in the countries bordering the Mediterranean. It is also official in the U.S.P. The lemons are gathered when green, afterwards ripening and becoming yellow in colour. The peel, which is official in the fresh state only, is pale yellow in colour, and more or less rough on the outer surface; the inner surface should have very little of the white spongy portion of the mesocarp adhering to it. A transverse section shows numerous large oil glands near the epidermis. The odour of the peel is strong, fragrant, and characteristic; the taste is aromatic and bitter. Lemon peel may be distinguished from orange peel by its paler colour and different aroma, as well as by the fact that when moistened with strong hydrochloric acid it remains unchanged or becomes yellowish-brown, whereas orange peel becomes dark green in colour.

Constituents.—Lemon peel contains volatile oil and hesperidin,

Action and Uses.—Lemon peel is a bitter stomachic, but is more used as a flavouring agent than for this property. Dried lemon peel may be used in India and the Colonies in making official preparations for which fresh lemon peel is directed to be used, when the fresh peel cannot be obtained.


Acid Mixture

Elixir Limonis, B.P.C.—ELIXIR OF LEMON. 3 (tincture) in 50.
Dose.—4 to 15 mils (1 to 4 fluid drachms).
Syrupus Limonis, B.P.—SYRUP OF LEMON.
Fresh lemon peel, 2; alcohol, a sufficient quantity; lemon juice, clarified, 50; refined sugar, 76. Make a tincture of the lemon peel by macerating the sliced or grated peel in 3 of the alcohol for seven days, then pressing, filtering, and making the volume up to 4 by the addition of more alcohol. Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice by the aid of gentle heat, cool and add the previously prepared tincture. The finished product should weigh 130. Used as a flavouring agent in acid mixtures. It is a less stable preparation than Syrupus Acidi Citrici. Dose.—2 to 4 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).
Syrupus Limonis sine Acido, B.P.C.—SYRUP OF LEMON WITHOUT ACID. 1 (tincture) in 8.
Used for flavouring mixtures containing alkali carbonates.
Tinctura Limonis, B.P.—TINCTURE OF LEMON. Syn.—Tincture, of Lemon Peel.
Fresh lemon peel, cut small, 25; alcohol, 100. Macerate for seven days and complete the maceration process. Dose.—2 to 4 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).
Tinctura Limonis Corticis, U.S.P.—TINCTURE OF LEMON PEEL.
Lemon peel, fresh, in thin shavings and cut into narrow shreds, 50; alcohol (95 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100.
Tinctura Limonis Fortis, B.P.C.—STRONG TINCTURE OF LEMON. 1 to 1.
Used as a flavouring agent. Dose.—1 to 2 mils (15 to 30 minims).


Lemon juice is obtained from the ripe fruit of Citrus medica, Linn., var. β-Limonum, Hook. f. (N.O. Rutaceae), by expression. It occurs as a slightly turbid, acid, yellowish liquid. Specific gravity, 1.03 to 1.04. It should contain from 7 to 9 grammes of citric acid in 100 mils, and should not yield more than 3 per cent. of ash when evaporated to dryness and incinerated. For neutralisation 100 of lemon juice will require about 11.4 of potassium bicarbonate, 9.5 of sodium bicarbonate, or 16.5 of sodium carbonate.

Action and Uses.—Lemon juice is very prone to fermentation, and should be freshly prepared. It may be preserved by the addition of 10 per cent of alcohol. Lemon juice well diluted is a cooling and refreshing beverage in febrile conditions. It is administered in effervescence with alkali bicarbonates as an antacid drink, and for the sedative effect upon the stomach of the evolved carbonic acid gas. It is also used as a preventive of scurvy.

Dose.—30 to 60 mils (1 to 2 fluid ounces).

The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

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