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Using a holy lemon to prevent nausea

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I'm slotted to take the glucose challenge test (ha'amasat sukar). The test measures the body's response to sugar, performed during pregnancy to screen for gestational diabetes. The test involves dissolving 50g of glucose (for the first test) in a cup of water, drinking it, and waiting for an hour, after which a blood test is taken.

In the past, I've always squeezed a lemon into the cup of water so I wouldn't get lightheaded, dizzy, or nauseous after drinking the extremely sweet cup of water. We have a lemon tree with holy lemons in our yard. Would I be allowed to use one of those, or is that considered using shemitah produce for medical purposes?


Rabbi Yehuda Amichay

Even though the lemon itself is not necessary for the test, since it is being used to negate dizziness/nausea/ etc., this is still considered a medical purpose. Again, shemitah produce may be eaten but not used for medication.

For this reason, it would be forbidden to use a holy lemon for this purpose. This applies not only to this particular test, but to negate nausea in general.

Instead, you can use lemon juice concentrate (imported) sold in supermarkets or another alternative solution. Today, there are even glucose challenge tests administered in a bottle flavored with lemon juice. Find out if your HMO uses these.