Theophrastus to the Present: The Citron in Medicine

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The uses and medicinal properties of the etrog citron (Citrus medica L.) are mentioned frequently in ancient texts. Systematic descriptions appear for the first time in Greek natural history and medical writings. These descriptions were also used in later centuries in traditional Arabic medicine. In Greek sources, for example, the etrog (pl. etrogim) is mentioned as being effective in alleviating nausea in pregnant women, for hygiene, and for sweetening the breath. In the Talmud, the etrog is listed among the foods that increase sperm, although an excess of the fruit is considered bad for digestion. Parts of the etrog were renowned in particular as a remedy against poisoning. Various beliefs and virtues (segulot) were also attributed to the etrog, including increasing fertility and contributing to easing the pains of childbirth.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Citron Compendium
Subtitle of host publicationThe Citron (Etrog) Citrus medica L.: Science and Tradition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9783031257759
ISBN (Print)9783031257742
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023.


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