While billions of dollars are poured into research and development for pharmaceutical drugs, the humble lime has been proven to mitigate and even cure diseases that cause millions to suffer and hundreds of thousands to die each year worldwide.
The lime is best know for its role in key lime pie and margaritas, but did you know it possesses remarkable healing properties as well?
Sickle cell anemia (SCA):According to the CDC, SCA afflicts about 95,000 Americans and is diagnosed in 1 in every 500,000 African-American births. A hereditary blood disorder, SCA is characterized by an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin molecule in red blood cells. A clinical trial on lime juice was recently found to reduce painful episodes (50.0% lime juice intervention versus 92.7% control); febrile illness (46.6% lime juice intervention versus 87.3% control) and hospital admission rate (3.4% lime juice intervention versus 34.5% control) for sickle cell anemia in children.
Malaria: Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, which the WHO estimates causes 219 million of illness resulting in 660,000 deaths each year. A wide range of highly toxic drugs are used to treat the disease, but a recent study found that lime juice greatly increased malarial clearance when combined with standard drug therapy. They concluded: “lime juice when used with the appropriate antimalarial may enhance malaria parasite clearance especially in those with uncomplicated malaria.”
Bacterial Agents In Food: A recent study found that the popular food known as ceviche, naturally containing pathogenic agents from fish, could be completely sanitized with lime juice. Both Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Salmonella enterica (two common causes of food poisoning) were all reduced to below detection limits through the addition of lime extract.
Disinfecting water: Lime has been found to enhance the disinfection of water, by both killing norovirus as well as Escherichia coli. Lime has also been found to kill the cholera pathogen, which is believed to affect 3–5 million people and causes 100,000–130,000 deaths a year as of 2010.
Killing pancreatic cancer: Pancreatic cancer is a notoriously difficult to treat type of cancer. Lime juice was found to induce programmed cell death in pancreatic cancer cells.