The citron (Citrus medica) is a large fragrant citrus fruit with a thick rind. It is said to resemble a 'huge, rough lemon'. It is one of the original citrus fruits from which all other citrus types developed through natural hybrid speciation or artificial hybridization. Though citron cultivars take on a wide variety of physical forms, they are all closely related genetically. It is used in Asian cuisine, traditional medicines, perfume, and religious rituals and offerings. Hybrids of citrons with other citrus are commercially more prominent, notably lemons and many limes.
From ancient through medieval times, the citron was used mainly for medical purposes: to combat seasickness, pulmonary troubles, intestinal ailments, scurvy and other disorders. The essential oil of the flavedo (the outermost, pigmented layer of rind) was also regarded as an antibiotic. Citron juice with wine was considered an effective antidote to poison, as Theophrastus reported. In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, the juice is still used for treating conditions like nausea, vomiting, and excessive thirst.
The juice of the citron has a high Vitamin C content and is used in the Indian system of medicine as an anthelmintic, appetizer, tonic, in cough, rheumatism, vomiting, flatulence, haemorrhoids, skin diseases and weak eyesight. There is also an increasing market for the soluble fiber (pectin) which can be extracted from the thick albedo of the citron.
• In Judaism
The citron is used by Jews (the word for it in Hebrew is etrog) for a religious ritual during the Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles; therefore, it is considered to be a Jewish symbol, one found on various Hebrew antiques and archaeological findings.
• In Buddhism
Fingered citron:A variety of citron native to China has sections that separate into finger-like parts and is used as an offering in Buddhist temples.
• In Hinduism
In Nepal, citron (bimiro in Nepali language) is worshipped during the Bhai Tika ceremony in Tihar festival.
For many centuries, citron's fragrant essential oil has been used in perfumery, the same oil that was used medicinally for its antibiotic properties. Its major constituent is limonene.