Lemons and Mucus

Lemons add color and flavor to food and provide a healthy dose of vitamin C. One-half cup of lemon pulp and juice supplies 90 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. Acidic lemons have a refreshing sourness most people cut with sugar or honey. If you use it in cleaning, lemon juice can cut through grease, so you might reason that it would also cut through bodily mucus. But little evidence exists to support the idea that ingesting lemons or drinking lemon juice will decrease the amount of mucus you produce, or relieve the congestion of a cold or sinus infection.

Lemons Credit: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Nasal Mucus

Colds, allergies and sinus infections can lead to a stuffy nose and sinuses clogged with thick mucus. Tea with lemon, hot lemonade or honey and lemon are common home remedies that can help ease congestion. But their positive effect might derive from the liquids more than from the inclusion of lemon. Drinking more liquids helps to thin mucus and unclog sinuses. The high vitamin C content of lemons could reduce the duration of your cold by 8 to 14 percent, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis patients produce too much mucus, which clogs the lungs and digestive system. There is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis. Treatments aim to manage symptoms. In addition to medication and physical therapy, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that cystic fibrosis patients consume more foods that decrease mucus production, including lemons. Lemons alone, however, are unlikely to have much effect on the disease.

Gastric Mucus

Your nasal passages aren't the only area in your body that produces mucus. Your stomach produces mucus, which serves to line and protect your stomach from harmful substances. Substances that irritate or thin this gastric mucus can lead to injury or ulcers. Researchers at Sao Paolo State University reported in the August 2009 issue of "Chemico-biological Interactions" that introducing limonene, a phytochemical found in lemons, to the stomach prompted the stomach to produce more mucus, and protected the stomach from damage from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, a common cause of ulcers. Limonene is often used as a flavoring agent.

Other Considerations

If you enjoy lemons, help yourself to lemonade, lemon water and honey and lemon for a cough or sore throat. Some people might not tolerate the acid in lemons if they consume a lot of them, and the high sugar content of many lemon beverages can be a concern for some.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.