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  Substance Info: (and synonyms)
Lime

Background Info:

See also: Lime oil

Common Names: Lime, Green Lemon, Key Lime, Mexican Lime, Persian Lime, Sour Lemon, Tahiti Lime, West Indian Lime

The Lime is native to the Indo-Malayan region. It was unknown in Europe before the Crusades. From Europe, it was introduced into the Caribbean islands and Mexico. It is now grown in tropical regions almost throughout the world, particularly in Florida. There are two main types of this small, lemon-shaped green citrus fruit: the acidic (the chief kinds being Persian Limes and Mexican or Key Limes), which is commercially grown, and the sweet, which is uncommon in North America. Limes have been crossed with other types of citrus.

Limes are available, if not common, throughout the industrialised world, and have many traditional uses in the developing world. Sweetened or unsweetened bottled Lime juice, frozen Lime juice, Lime syrup and limeade are some of the more popular Lime products and are available in most supermarkets. The Lime is used in mixed drinks (like margaritas), as a marinade, garnish, and sauce, and in the famous Key Lime pie. Limes are often made into jam, jelly and marmalade, and they are sometimes pickled. The juice and the skin oil are used for flavourings in processed foods. The minced leaves are consumed in certain Javanese dishes. In the Philippines, the chopped peel is made into a sweetmeat with milk and coconut. In tropical Africa, Lime twigs are popular chewsticks. Limes are an excellent source of vitamin C.

The juice has been used in the process of dyeing leather, and as an ingredient in cosmetics. The dehydrated peel is fed to cattle. In India, the powdered dried peel and the sludge remaining after clarifying Lime juice are employed for cleaning metal. The hand-pressed peel oil is utilised in the perfume industry.

The juice is regarded as antiseptic, tonic, antiscorbutic, astringent, diuretic, and digestive. It is used as a remedy for intestinal hemorrhage and hemorrhoids, heart palpitations, headache, insect bites, convulsive cough, rheumatism, arthritis, falling hair, bad breath, and ulcers. The juice and the oil mixed together are given as a vermifuge. The pickled fruit is part of a poultice to allay neuralgia, and is eaten to relieve indigestion. The root bark serves as a febrifuge, as does the seed kernel, ground and mixed with Lime juice. The leaves are a treatment for skin and eye diseases, fever, sore throat, thrush, headache and post-partum pain. In addition, there are many purely superstitious uses of the Lime in Malaya.

 

Adverse Reactions:

IMMUNE REACTIONS


[ 1 / 5 ]

Allergic contact dermatitis due to citrus fruits is rare, but has been reported in cooks and bartenders. A bartender with hand dermatitis who had an allergic contact sensitivity to lime peel, fragrance mix I, and fragrance mix II. Most reported cases of citrus peel allergy are due to d-limonene, which makes up the majority of the peel oil. However, this patient had an allergic reaction to geraniol, which is a minor component of the peel oil and is present in fragrance mix I. It is important to consider a contact sensitivity to citrus in patients who have positive reactions to fragrance mix I and II and who are occupationally exposed to citrus fruits. (Swerdlin 2010 ref.28299 0)

Reference:
Swerdlin A, Rainey D, Storrs FJ. Fragrance mix reactions and lime allergic contact dermatitis. Dermatitis 2010 Aug;21(4):214-6.



[ 2 / 5 ]

Contact urticaria. A 25-year-old woman, with a history of seasonal rhinitis, had 3 separate episodes of generalized urticaria with oedema of the lips, face and mouth, associated with dyspnoea, following the use of a Tilia (lime) extract shampoo. Prick tests with inhalants, house dust and moulds were positive to Compositae and Tilia. (Picardo 1988 ref.2351 8) (Ed. It is not clear from this article whether the Tilia extract is from Common lime tree (Tilia vulgaria)(Linden tree) or lime (Citrus aurantifolia))

Reference:
Picardo M, Rovina R, Cristaudo A, Cannistraci C, Santucci B. Contact urticaria from Tilia (lime). Contact Dermatitis 1988;19(1):72-3



[ 3 / 5 ]

Sensitisation to pollen from the Lime tree may occur. (Bousquet 1984 ref.4396 4)

Reference:
Bousquet J, Cour P, Guerin B, Michel FB. Allergy in the Mediterranean area. I. Pollen counts and pollinosis of Montpellier. Clin Allergy 1984;14(3):249-258



[ 4 / 5 ]

Hayfever and asthma occur through exposure to Acacia pollen. Some patients had positive skin tests to alfalfa, red clover, acacia and lime tree pollens though these pollens were almost absent from the counts. (Bousquet 1984 ref.4396 0)

Reference:
Bousquet J, Cour P, Guerin B, Michel FB. Allergy in the Mediterranean area. I. Pollen counts and pollinosis of Montpellier. Clin Allergy 1984;14(3):249-258



[ 5 / 5 ]

Allergy reactions (as for other citrus fruit).
Contact Dermatitis and dermatitis.
See also: Lime oil

Reference:
Editor Comment Editorial comment, common knowledge, or still to add - -




Non-Immune reactions


[ 1 ]

Lime dermatitis from gin and tonic with a twist of lime. A 52-year-old woman presented with an eczematous rash at the side of her mouth and lips. She had been sucking the limes in her gin and tonic for up to 1 min after finishing her drink. Patch tests were positive for geraniol 2%, geranium oil and lime peel. Citrus oil is made up of 90% limonene and the remaining 10% consists of citral, gerraniol and bergapten. (Thomson 2007 ref.16537 2)

Reference:
Thomson MA, Preston PW, Prais L, Foulds IS. Lime dermatitis from gin and tonic with a twist of lime. Contact Dermatitis 2007 Feb;56(2):114-115



[ 2 ]

Photocontact dermatitis is not a common condition, but neither is it rare. Both photo-irritant contact dermatitis (PICD) and photoallergic contact dermatitis (PACD) are seen by most dermatologists in general practice. PICD is diagnosed on clinical grounds and is usually caused by furocoumarins in plants like limes and celery. PACD is caused primarily by sunscreens but can also be the result of fragrances and antibacterial agents. PACD can only be diagnosed by photo-patch testing that most dermatologists, even those who patch test and give phototherapy in their office, do not perform. (Deleo 2004 ref.16287 7)

Reference:
Deleo VA. Photocontact dermatitis. Dermatol Ther 2004;17(4):279-88.



[ 3 ]

A 6-year-old boy presented with marked, symmetric, painful erythema and edema of both hands that rapidly developed into dramatic bullae covering the entire dorsum of the hands. The history revealed that the hands had been bathed in lime juice for a prolonged period in the preparation of limeade. This resulted in a phytophotodermatitis, a phototoxic reaction, occurring in skin exposed to sunlight after contact with plants containing furanocoumarins. In Lime, rind contained 6- to 182-fold concentrations of all furanocoumarins measured when compared with pulp. Bergapten was the most abundant substance in the rind. (Wagner 2002 ref.7735 5)

Reference:
Wagner AM, Wu JJ, Hansen RC, Nigg HN, Beiere RC. Bullous phytophotodermatitis associated with high natural concentrations of furanocoumarins in limes. Am J Contact Dermat 2002;13(1):10-4



[ 4 ]

Phytophotodermatitis is a phototoxic dermatitis resulting from contact with psoralen-containing plants such as celery, limes, parsley, figs, and carrots. Berloque dermatitis is a variant of phytophotodermatitis and is caused by high concentrations of psoralen-containing fragrances, most commonly oil of bergamot. Berloque dermatitis is rarely seen today because of the removal of these fragrances from most cosmetic products in the United States. We report, however, a group of patients still at risk for berloque dermatitis. These patients use the colognes "Florida Water" and "Kananga Water," which are popular in Hispanic, African American, and Caribbean populations. These fragrant waters are used for spiritual blessing, treating headaches, and personal hygiene. (Wang 2002 ref.7734 1)

Reference:
Wang L, Sterling B, Don P. Berloque dermatitis induced by "Florida water". Cutis 2002;70(1):29-30



[ 5 ]

Coumarins, resulting in Phototoxic dermatitis, in lime pulp were 13 to 182 times less concentrated than those in the peel. (Nigg 1993 ref.2890 2)

Reference:
Nigg HN, Nordby HE, Beier RC, Dillman A, et al. Phototoxic coumarins in limes. Food Chem Toxicol 1993;31(5):331-5



[ 6 ]

Phytophotodermatitis (Egan 1993 ref.1057 3)

Reference:
Egan CL, Sterling G. Phytophotodermatitis: a visit to Margaritaville. Cutis 1993;51(1):41-2



[ 7 ]

97 (16%) of 622 children and seven (7%) of 104 counsellors developed a phototoxic dermatitis. The eruptions were confined to the hands, wrists, and forearms, and appeared as discrete and confluent polymorphous patches and linear streaks. The cause was attributed to the making of pomander balls (sachets), which was made by children puncturing the skin of limes (the principal component) with scissors, releasing oils known to contain photoreactive furocoumarin (psoralen) compounds. (Gross 1987 ref.2954 4)

Reference:
Gross TP, Ratner L, De Rodrigues O, et al. An outbreak of phototoxic dermatitis due to limes. Am J Epidemiol 1987;125:509-514




Occupational reactions


[ 1 ]

Barman, Food industry

A report on a bartender with hand dermatitis had allergic contact sensitivity to the skin of lemon, lime, and orange but not to their juices. Although most reported cases of citrus peel allergy are due to d-limonene, for our patient, reactions to patch tests for geraniol and citral, two minor components of citrus peel oil, were positive, whereas those for d-limonene were negative. (Cardullo 1989 ref.7732 1)

Reference:
Reorganization process. Data in process of being reorganized. Editorial staff 2006



[ 2 ]

Occupational contact dermatitis, with asthma and rhinitis, from camomile in a cosmetician also with contact urticaria from both camomile and lime flowers. (Rudzki ref.24534 5)

Reference:
Rudzki E, Rapiejko P, Rebandel P. Occupational contact dermatitis, with asthma and rhinitis, from camomile in a cosmetician also with contact urticaria from both camomile and lime flowers. Contact Dermatitis 2003 Sep;49(3):162.



[ 3 ]

A report on a bartender with hand dermatitis had allergic contact sensitivity to the skin of lemon, lime, and orange but not to their juices. Although most reported cases of citrus peel allergy are due to d-limonene, for our patient, reactions to patch tests for geraniol and citral, two minor components of citrus peel oil, were positive, whereas those for d-limonene were negative. (Cardullo 1989 ref.7732 1)

Reference:
Cardullo AC, Ruszkowski AM, DeLeo VA. Allergic contact dermatitis resulting from sensitivity to citrus peel, geraniol, and citral. J Am Acad Dermatol 1989;21(2 Pt 2):395-7




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Allergy Advisor  - Food Additive and Preservative Allergy and Intolerance Database


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