11 Benefits and Uses of Lemon Peel

Medically Reviewed on 8/31/2022
11 Benefits and Uses of Lemon Peel
Lemon peels are packed with vitamin C, pectin, calcium, potassium, fiber, alpha hydroxy acids, and flavonoids such as D-limonene

Although the juice and pulp of lemon are widely used, lemon peels actually have a higher concentration of nutrients. 

Lemon peels are packed with vitamin C, pectin, calcium, potassium, fiber, alpha hydroxy acids, and flavonoids such as D-limonene. Studies have shown that lemon peel contains bioactive compounds that have several health benefits.

Learn about the potential health benefits and uses of lemon peel.

What is the nutritional value of lemon peels?

Table. Nutrients in 100 grams of lemon peel
Nutrient Amount
Water 81.6 grams
Calories 47 kcal
Protein 1.5 grams
Fat 0.3 grams
Carbohydrates 16 grams
Fiber 10.6 grams
Sugar 4.17 grams
Calcium 134 mg
Iron 0.8 mg
Magnesium 15 mg
Phosphorus 12 mg
Potassium 160 mg
Sodium 6 mg
Zinc 0.25 mg
Copper 0.092 mg
Selenium 0.7 mcg
Vitamin C 129 mg
Thiamin 0.06 mg
Riboflavin 0.08 mg
Niacin 0.4 mg
Pantothenic acid 0.319 mg
Vitamin B6 0.172 mg
Folate 13 mcg
Vitamin A 50 IU
Vitamin E 0.25 mg

11 benefits and uses of lemon peel

1. Promotes heart health

Lemon peels are rich in vitamin C—about 31 mg, which accounts for 51% of your daily vitamin C needs. Studies have shown that consuming vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, the fiber and plant chemicals in lemon peels such as hesperidin and diosmin can help lower blood cholesterol levels

2. Loaded with antioxidants

Lemon peels are a great source of antioxidants including vitamin C and D-limonene, which help your body fight free radicals and cellular damage. Regular consumption of antioxidants such as D-limonene has been linked in studies to a decreased risk of type II diabetes and heart disease. In addition, D-limonene aids in boosting the activity of an enzyme that counteracts oxidative stress, which is linked to tissue damage and accelerated aging

3. Boosts immunity

Due to the high antioxidant content, lemon peel can boost your immune system and strengthen its ability to fight infection and disease. 

4. Improves digestion

Lemon zest has long been used as a digestive aid. Lemon peel is high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps prevent constipation and indigestion and promotes bile output. 

5. May treat gallstones

Studies suggest that lemon peel may aid in the treatment of gallstones. D-limonene, a cholesterol solvent, dissolves the cholesterol in gallstones and may be an effective alternative to surgery.

6. Supports oral health

Lemon peel has antibacterial properties that help prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause dental cavities and gum infections. 

7. May treat bacterial and fungal infections

Anecdotal research suggests that consuming lemon peel tea can prevent the common cold, flu, ear infection, and urinary tract infections because lemon peel has antimicrobial qualities. Lemon peel slows the growth of fungi and bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Despite these promising findings, however, more research is needed to make a strong conclusion.

8. May have anticancer properties

Due to its flavonoid content, including salvestrol Q40 and limonene, lemon peel has been connected to both cancer prevention and treatment. D-limonene has been shown in animal studies to increase the death rate of cancer cells and inhibit the growth of stomach cancer cells. However, lemon peels should not be considered a cancer cure.

9. Improves bone health

Lemon peel may promote bone health due to its high levels of calcium and vitamin C, both of which are necessary building blocks for the bones. In one animal study, ascorbic acid was shown to help treat osteoporosis. Since lemon peel is rich in ascorbic acid, it may have the potential to prevent osteoporosis and other bone disorders, although additional research is needed.

10. Boosts skin health

Lemon peel has several properties that are beneficial for skin health. It acts as an exfoliant that can help remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of new skin cells. However, you should never apply lemon peel directly to the skin. Dilute with olive oil or other carrier oils and do a patch test before applying it over a large area.

11. Natural cleaning solution

Lemons are often used as natural cleaning products because of their antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Combined with vinegar, lemon peel can be used to make a great all-purpose cleaner.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

Does lemon peel have side effects?

Lemon peel has no known side effects and is considered safe according to the FDA. 

Animal studies have linked large amounts of D-limonene to carcinogenic effects. However, humans do not have the protein that is involved in this process, so the finding is irrelevant to humans.

Before using lemon peel, scrub the fruit or wash it with baking soda to remove any pesticide residue.

Additionally, it is important to speak with your doctor before you begin to drink lemon peel water if you have a history of health issues such as stomach ulcers.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 8/31/2022
Image Source: iStock image

The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/

Protective Effect of Lemon Peel Extract on Oxidative Stress in H9c2 Rat Heart Cell Injury https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8131012/

Antioxidant Properties of Fresh and Frozen Peels of Citrus Species https://www.foodandnutritionjournal.org/volume7number2/antioxidant-properties-of-fresh-and-frozen-peels-of-citrus-species/

Lemon Peel Benefits: Why You Shouldn’t Throw Out the Rind https://utopia.org/guide/lemon-peel-benefits-rind/