Are Lemon Seeds Toxic – Is It Safe To Consume Lemon Seeds?

Last Updated on December 31, 2022 by Grow with Bovees

Have you ever accidentally swallowed or chewed a lemon seed?

I think it is safe to say that most people who enjoy lemons have unintentionally done this without thinking more about it.

There are those, however, that question whether one can eat lemon seeds or if the seeds are toxic and if they will have a negative effect when being digested.

If you are one of those people, then this is the article for you, as I am going to discuss a couple of details about lemon seeds. Including answering the question of whether they pose a toxic threat or are lemon seeds edible.

What Are Lemon Seeds?

For those of you that are unsure of what we are talking about when we say lemon seeds, they are the small white pips found in the center of the lemon fruit.

They are of good use for the lemon, as they protect the plant from pests due to the bitter or sour layer that surrounds it. This white part is known as the pith.

Lemon seeds are commonly removed before ingestion of a lemon, but sometimes end up in cooking or baking when only the juice of the lemon is required.

What Are Lemon Seeds Made Of?

Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are the main components of a lemon seed. You will, however, also find some minerals and vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2 and C — vitamin C making up the most generous amount.

To be more specific, about 79% of the lemon seed is made up of diacylglycerols, oil, lipids etc. and the other 21% consists of essential elements which include dietary fiber, amino acids, organic acids and phytosterols.

Now that we have got that covered, let us go to the question at hand. Are these seeds safe to consume?

Are Lemon Seeds Poisonous?

Are lemon seeds poisonous? Long story short, lemon seeds are not harmful when ingested moderately. They are, in fact, good for your health but are very often mistaken as poisonous due to their bitter taste.

The bitterness of the lemon seed comes from the medical ingredient salicylic acid which is found in them. This happens to be the main component in Aspirin.

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The nutritional value of lemon seeds is similar to that of the lemon itself, and they are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants.

In fact, lemon seeds also carry with them antifungal and bacterial properties, as well as being found in a few beauty products.

Caution should be taken when you are suffering from any digestion issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, as the hard seed coat covering the lemon seed is quite hard to digest and this may trigger intestinal symptoms to flare up.

Accidentally, ingesting one or two seeds will not result in any discomfort as the seed will pass through the digestive tract and bowel undigested, but consuming a handful of them definitely will.

Uses and Benefits When You Consume Lemon Seeds

Now that we have eased your mind with the good news that lemon seeds do not pose a toxic threat to your body, let us continue by going through some health benefits of lemon seeds and the uses of this versatile seed. These include its amazing healing properties.


Lemon seeds are a great immune booster, increasing your immunity against infections and your body’s strength to fight off diseases. This is due to the high concentration of the strong antioxidant known as vitamin C.

Essential Oil — Lemon Seed Extract

The lemon oil extracted from lemon seeds is commonly used in medicines and, as mentioned above, in several beauty products. Several cosmetic products contain the scent of lemon seeds.

This essential lemon seed oil is also great to use in your hair or on your skin, ultimately giving you a fresh and younger look.

Parasitic Killer

If you find that your kids are struggling with parasitic infections or intestinal critters such as parasitic threadworms, you can treat it without having to use toxic pharmaceuticals.

Simply crush a few lemon seeds — until you have an amount of a teaspoon — bring it to the boil together with some water or milk, and have your child drink it. This remedy will wash away thread worms from the gut.

Similar to drinking lemon water to detox your body, the seeds of the lemon can be used for the same detoxifying effect, ridding the body of toxins and parasites that may be found in the human body.

Antifungal Property

Another amazing property that these citrus seeds have, is that they are antifungal and can be used to prevent or treat candidiasis — also known as candida albicans.

This is a type of fungus that can be found inside your body or skin which can cause infections in human beings.

Another fungal infection that can be treated using crushed lemon seeds is athlete’s foot. Simply blend them into a powder and apply the powder to the affected area, and you will be rid of your fungal infection in no time.

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Pain Reliever Medicine

Coming back to the salicylic acid that was mentioned earlier, which we learned is a compound that is found in the medicine Aspirin, which is a tablet commonly used for the treatment of headaches and/or other pain.

Lemon seeds have proven to be a natural remedy for pain relief.

Insect Repellent

You will find that a lot of air or room fresheners have a lemon scent. This is not only because it smells really fresh and nice, but also because it has the properties of a natural mosquito repellent.

Are Lemon Seeds Toxic to Dogs?

Even though the lemon seeds health benefits are plenty, due to the acidity that lemon fruits carry with them, ingestion by dogs can cause severe gastrointestinal disturbances such as abdominal pain.

The substance which causes these abdominal disturbances is known as psoralens, and it is found in both the lemon itself and in lemon seeds.

Even though lemon seeds cause stomach problems in dogs, I would not go as far as saying that they are toxic to them, unless they eat a large amount of seeds. In which case, the dog may start experiencing issues such as muscle termers.

Seeing as a single slice of the citrus fruit is able to cause diarrhea and vomiting, I would say, do not feed your dogs lemons or lemon seeds. They are not animal feed.

Eating Seeds During Pregnancy

Any woman carrying a child will know that she has to be careful with the food she eats. This is no different with lemon seeds. Although it might not be bad for you, it may also not be advised.

The hormones that are produced during pregnancy slow down the digestive system of your body, making you more prone to intestinal issues such as loose stools, heartburn and other digestive diseases.

As established above, eating lemon seeds can potentially cause digestive irritation, so eating them during pregnancy may cause more discomfort in your gut area.

To be on the safe side, if you are pregnant, discuss ingestion of lemon seeds with a healthcare worker prior to eating them, in order to protect your health and the health of your unborn baby.

Are Other Fruit Seeds Toxic?

After all of this lemon seed talk, you might be wondering whether there are other fruit seeds that have harmful or toxic properties.

The answer is yes, some fruit seeds or pips can pose a poisonous threat to humans. These fruits include then pips of peaches, plums, cherries, apricots and apple seeds.

Their fruit pips have a hard seed coating which contains a compound known as amygdalin which is poisonous.

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When ingesting amygdalin, it breaks down and turns into hydrogen cyanide. Cyanide compounds can be harmful to your health. But again, they are only lethal when ingested in larger amounts. Swallowing one or two pips will not kill you.

If you want to get rid of the toxic compound hydrogen cyanide, simply roast the kernels, as it can not survive when heat is applied.

Is Lemon Skin Edible?

The most common part to eat of these acidic fruits is the lemon pulp itself, whilst the peels are often thrown into the garbage. Next time, rethink your decision about chucking the skin of the lemons you eat, because the skin is in fact filled with health benefits as well.

Benefits Of Lemon Peel

Lemon skin is definitely edible. Together with the lemon juice, it is part of the healthiest foods, and it also contains high levels of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C. Eating it will boost your immune system, decreasing the occurrence of diseases.

Another great benefit of lemon peel is that it plays a vital role and aids in weight loss and is great at reducing cholesterol. It has shown great improvement in obese people as well as healthy people.

Lemon peel also adds a lovely aroma to baking and cooking.

Nutritional Properties of Lemon Skin

You will be amazed at the nutritional value of lemon skin contributing to its health benefits.

Just for interest sake, here is what the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) has to say about the nutrients contained in only one tablespoon of lemon skin:

  • Vitamin C — 7.74mg
  • Calcium (Ca) — 8.04mg
  • Fats — 0.018g
  • Protein — 0g
  • Sodium (Na)  — 0.36mg
  • Potassium (K) — 9.6mg

Plant Your Own Lemons

Planting your own lemons is really simple and propagation of the seeds can be done using a damp paper towel in a plastic bag or straight into the ground.

So, either plant the seeds directly in the ground or let them sprout in a plastic bag first, you can then grow your own lemon tree indoors!

Conclusion Of Are Lemon Seeds Toxic

To finish off this article, we can summarize that the entire lemon is in fact edible and that lemon seeds are not toxic to your health if ingested moderately, but they have a few great natural ingredients that are beneficial to human health.

So, if you are a person who regularly adds lemon seeds or any part of lemon to your diet, and your gut is okay with it, continue doing so.

If, however, you start to develop gastrointestinal issues, such as belly pain, we advise you to either cut down on the seeds or stop eating them all together.