"Lime" refers to a number of citruses with typically round, green to yellow fruits, which are frequently associated with the lemon. Lime fruit, particularly its juice and zest, is used in food and beverages for its flavor and floral aroma. Due to its acidity, it is also used for pickling. Dried limes are typically used as flavoring in Persian cuisine. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), lime has generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status for use in food in the United States when it is taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods.
Lime is believed to be native to the tropical regions of Asia and the Malay Archipelago. It may have been brought to Persia, Palestine, Egypt, and Europe by Arabs from India at about the same time as sour orange and lemon. It is thought that lime was introduced to Florida in the United States during the establishment of St. Augustine in 1565. Today, south Florida is the source of more than 85% of North American limes.
In the 1700s, British sailors consumed limes and other citrus fruits on board ships to prevent rickets, which occurs from a lack of vitamin C. Hence, the sailors derived the nickname "limey."
Evidence of limeade's use in iron-deficient women is conflicting. Preliminary studies have observed a protective effect of lime against cholera, but there are no well-designed clinical trials at this time evaluating the use of lime in the treatment of other conditions.