Citric Acid uses

Citric Acid – Uses, Safety & Side Effects

Citric acid is naturally found in citrus fruit and particularly lemons and limes.  As with most organic acids, it is a weak acid with a PH between 3 & 6.



  • Can be used as a preservative for Ice Cream, Sorbet, Wine, Soda, Canned & Dry Food
  • Can be used as an emulsifying agent and sour flavouring
  • Used in many canned & jarred foods to prevent botulism
  • Lemon Juice which contains Citric Acid will help prevent apples and bananas from turning brown

Uses for Cosmetics & Personal Care

  • used to brighten skin, correct dark spots and minimise fine lines
  • can be used as a preservative booster in cosmetics and personal care products
  • used to adjust the PH of cosmetic products
  • Citric Acid is one of the reactive components in fizzing bath bombs and toilet fizzies

Medical Uses

  • used to kill harmful bacteria and infections on the surface of the skin


  • Can help remove hard water build up
  • Can remove coffee & tea stains
  • Could remove urine stains

Citric Acid Safety & Side Effects

The FDA generally recognises manufactured citric acid as safe.  However, no safety studies exist to confirm safety when consumed over long periods in large amounts.

If you suffer from any of the follwing, you have to consult with your doctor before taking citric acid internally.

  • kidney disease;
  • congestive heart failure, enlarged heart, or history of heart attack;
  • other heart disease or high blood pressure;
  • low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia);
  • a urinary tract infection;
  • toxemia of pregnancy;
  • urination problems (or if you are unable to urinate);
  • swelling of your hands or feet, or in your lungs (pulmonary edema); or
  • chronic diarrhea (such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease)

Immediately seek medical attention if you experience any of the following after using citric acid

  • hives;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using citric acid and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • swelling, tingling, or numbness in your hands or feet;
  • muscle twitching or pain, leg pain or cramps;
  • unusual weakness, rapid and shallow breathing, fast or slow heart rate, dizziness, confusion, or mood changes;
  • feeling restless, nervous, or irritable;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • severe or ongoing diarrhea; or
  • seizure (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, or vomiting, stomach pain;
  • mild or occasional diarrhea; or
  • mild stomach pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Speak to your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to give medical advice. Always speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.

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