You may have heard that a lemon and honey drink in the morning works wonders for your health. This is because honey and lemon both contain powerful therapeutic properties – and mixing them together makes an excellent tonic to kick start your day.
It’s so simple to make:- use tepid/warm water from a boiled kettle (not boiling water), add 1 teaspoon of (local) organic honey and the juice from half a lemon. Mix and TA DA that’s it – drink up. It really is so simple that you’d be mad not to give it a go – read on to see 10 benefits of drinking this first thing in the morning (for best results make it fresh and drink on an empty stomach).
It replaces the usual caffeine-loaded first drink of the day
Caffeine is a stimulant acting on the pleasure centres of the brain, temporarily giving us a high. This is usually followed by a mid-morning low- as many habitual coffee drinkers admit. Coffee increases acidity and causes digestive disturbances. It increases the heart rate and elevates blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
Tea also contains caffeine, albeit in smaller amounts. Theophylline, theobromine and L-theanine are three other psychoactive stimulants in tea. Caffeine and these other substances do have some beneficial effects such as improving focus and concentration. Also, both these beverages contain antioxidants that protect our body from free radical damage. However, drinking coffee and tea on an empty stomach can do more harm than good.
Lemon & Honey water is an easy to prepare drink that provides just the right amount of calories from the natural sugars in the honey, along with a host of enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. They are in relatively small amounts, but they really count on an empty stomach. The drink has no more than 20-25 calories, most of it coming from the honey, (1 tsp=7 gms sugar) and just 1 calorie from the lemon juice. It is neither too sour not too sweet.
An aid to digestion
One of the first noticeable benefits of drinking lemon and honey water is improved digestion. The drink increases stomach acid production and bile secretion. They facilitate the breakdown of food materials and absorption of nutrients.
Undigested materials remaining in the digestive tract often cause bloating due to the action of gut bacteria that try to digest them. Their faster elimination from the body is also important in maintaining digestive health.
The diuretic effect
Diuretics are substances that increase the production of urine. Doctors often prescribe diuretics to treat hypertension and edema caused by excess amount of water in the body.
Inflammatory response of the body to injuries results in accumulation of fluid in tissues. Swelling of the feet and facial edema are typical symptoms of this water retention. Extra water puts a load on the heart and increases blood pressure. Lemon & Honey water can help eliminate excess fluid and reduce edema and hypertension
A boost to your immunity
The vitamin C in the lemon juice will help to strengthen your immunity system.
Also the honey will help to guard against seasonal infections as well as allergies. You will find a marked reduction in colds and flu if you keep taking this drink every day.
You probably know that honey treatment is often advised when people have severe allergies to pollen and other environmental pollutions. Your local organic honey will contain these substances in minute amounts, so ingesting them with the drink helps desensitize the body.
Helps fight throat infections
When you have a sore throat, a warm drink of Lemon & Honey water provides instant comfort and relief. But the effect is not superficial or temporary. The peroxides in honey act as disinfectants. That’s one of the reasons why honey applied to wounds and burns aid their healing. Drinking the Lemon & Honey water may help reduce the bacterial load in the infected area. It may also reduce inflammation and associated pain.
Detoxifies the body
Numerous toxic substances enter our body through food contaminated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Environmental pollutants also get absorbed through our skin and respiratory tract. They accumulate in tissues, especially in the liver and kidneys, and interfere with their proper functioning.
Citrus fruit juices are popular in detoxifying liquid diets. Lemon water mixed with honey is a gentle, yet powerful detoxification agent. It is a liver tonic, improving its function of neutralizing toxins.
Relieves urinary tract infections
The diuretic effect of lemon juice and antimicrobial effect of honey work together to flush out unwanted substances and disease-causing bacteria from the kidneys, urinary bladder, and the urogenital tract.
Excessively acidic and concentrated urine is one of the common causes of kidney stones and burning during urination. Sodium citrate and potassium citrate are often prescribed as a first line of treatment for these conditions. Lemon juice is acidic due to its citric acid content, but it gets converted to sodium citrate in the body. That is why drinking Lemon & Honey water is said to be alkalizing
Helps promote clear skin
Taking Lemon & Honey water early in the morning is one of the best things you can do for acne control. You may find the skin getting clearer within 2 to 3 weeks of starting on this drink.
Antioxidants in lemon and honey and their antibacterial properties also contribute to skin clarification.
Wards off the common cold
Coughs and congestion are often treated with commercial products containing lemon and honey – why buy them? Why not use your own ‘home brew’?
Honey has always been used in Ayurveda to treat all problems related to excessive phlegm in the body. It has the property of reducing mucus production and drying up the respiratory tract.
Lemon helps in thinning mucus, making it easier to cough up. Working together, these two ingredients can effectively reduce the congestion in the airways and bring relief.
Relief of constipation and wind
Regular consumption of warm Lemon & Honey water in the morning promotes regularity. The beneficial effect comes not only from the warm water that helps move the stomach contents along but from lemon juice’s property of lightening body secretions, including mucus secretion from the intestinal walls. This gets things moving effortlessly. Regular voiding helps reduce bloating and flatulence that accompany constipation.