Australian scientists think lemon juice could be a cheap and effective form of birth control, as well as help stop the spread of AIDS. Roger Short says lab tests show that lemon juice kills off sperm and HIV. This is one of the secrets of birth control and venereal disease protection in the days before the Pill or the diaphragm.
Short believes lemons could be an alternative to costly HIV-drugs and traditional forms of contraceptives in developing countries. They can be used as a contraceptive by soaking a cotton ball in the juice and inserting it into the vagina before sex. “We can show in the lab that lemon juice is very effective in immobilizing human sperm and also very effective in killing HIV,” he says.
The practice of using lemon juice to prevent pregnancy was commonly used in medieval times. ?About 300 years ago, Mediterranean women used lemon juice as their main method of contraception,” says Short. He plans to test his theory in Thailand.
Other scientists think there may be damaging side-effects. Andrew Grulich says, “The acidity is something that may well help inactivate and kill HIV, but we also need to be concerned that the level of acidity might also damage the vaginal lining and allow an entry point for HIV.”
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