What detox drink is incredibly inexpensive to make yet comes with loads of benefits? It's plain and simple lemon water!
While long-time health enthusiasts have been drinking it for decades, lemon water is now a popular way to encourage one of the fundamental basics of health... the release of accumulated wastes and toxins.
We give instructions on exactly how to make lemon water below for best results, but first, let’s discuss what makes lemon juice especially beneficial when added to water from a detoxification standpoint.
As a citrus fruit, lemons are one of the highest in citric acid content even over limes, oranges and grapefruit. This is the element that gives it a very tart flavor.
In Ayurveda, the sour taste is known to work on digestion by increasing digestive juices and overall metabolism. Sour foods like lemons inspire healthy bowel functions, balancing Vata conditions like constipation and other digestion-related issues.
That's why drinking lemon water in the morning or drinking hot water with lemon juice can be so beneficial especially if you have stagnation in this region.
This is also one of the reasons it's likewise utilized on weight loss detox diets. (*)
Lemon water is cleansing to the body as a mucus dissolver. The acids in the juice are known to help break up phlegm and are often utilized as a typical household go-to when congested or sick with a cold or flu.
Likewise, an increase in citric acid intake via drinking lemon water is frequently offered as a dietary measure to inhibit and/or dissolve calcium and oxalate stones. This is believed to be due to the compound called hydroxycitrate, a derivative of citric acid researched for its stone-dissolving capability. Lemon's higher potassium content is also thought to play a role.
There is a lot to be said for the healing potential of lemon and its freshly squeezed juice. However, drinking straight lemon juice can be way too concentrated, so typically it's diluted in water at ratios dependent on what you’re using it for.
Using one ounce of juice in filtered water is a mild combination for gently cleansing the kidneys and flushing out impurities.
Some research indicates that 4 ounces of lemon juice a day may be most effective for such purposes. It is important, however, to always consult a health professional or seek medical treatment in severe emergencies.
Although the lemon juice in lemon water is initially acidic, it turns alkaline when digested. This can be balancing to body pH, potentially decreasing overly acidic tendencies and common problems with uric acid build-up in the blood and joints.
Since acid-forming foods are a typical part of many standard diets, alkalizing lemon water can help to address these concerns which can ultimately affect long-term health.
In some research on mice, lemon water was identified as useful for reducing uric acid levels in the bloodstream.
Lemon juice in water can also help to combat acidic conditions in the microbiome where parasites and candida can thrive. In addition, lemons themselves contain many cleansing antimicrobial compounds like limonene and linalool.
Consuming lemon water can work with a regular exercise routine to not only provide a thirst-quenching way to hydrate the body but also assists the natural cleansing that happens when we sweat and activate the lymph system.
In many herbal systems, the liver organ correlates to the sour taste. So, foods and drinks that have a very tart flavor are considered beneficial to liver health. One way in which the sourness of lemon works is by encouraging bile production, helpful for the breakdown of fats as well as promoting normal liver and gall bladder functions.
A glass of lemon water in the morning and evening can simply encourage the liver to do its job by opening up the detoxification pathways essential for flushing out toxins.
Back in the day (the 80s and 90s), we remember the all-popular "Master Cleanse" trend, a detox protocol that involved fasting on lemon water mixed with cayenne and maple syrup. We tried it many times and did see positive results, although it may not be for everyone.
Lemon juice is likewise a common drink to consume in between drinking freshly pressed juices when juice fasting.
Of course, one of the beneficial nutrients found in lemons is the antioxidant known as VITAMIN C. One ounce of lemon juice, according to nutrition data, contains about 14 milligrams of vitamin C or 23% the Daily Value based on a 2,000-calorie adult diet.
The natural food-based vitamin C in lemon water works to maintain one of the body's master antioxidants GLUTATHIONE. Glutathione is studied for its cleansing properties that assist the body's natural detoxification processes.
Vitamin C is a known skin cleanser and is essential for many bodily functions. It not only helps to prevent scurvy but likewise supports our immune defenses (*), at both innate and adaptive levels. Drinking lemon water can be a great way to get more of this valuable nutrient.
There are several ways to make lemon water depending on what you're using it for.
Generally, the standard recipe is to mix the juice from half a lemon into one cup of pure filtered water.
However, for other therapeutic uses between one to four ounces can be added to an 8-ounce glass of water.
Other Things to Consider When Making Lemon Water:
Always consult your physician before consuming lemon water if you have calcium or oxalate stones, gall stones or are taking any over-the-counter and/or prescribed medications. Seek the advice of a healthcare professional before adding lemon water to the diet if pregnant, nursing or if you have a serious medical condition.