Lemon juice... a super star?
It is more and more popular amongst the “healthy community”, online and in magazines, as if it were the saviour of our intoxicated bodies, as well as the ticket to a perfect health and a peach-like complexion.
As for me, I’m a little bit annoyed with this hot lemon water super star (although I have one every morning!); It is very trendy because it has loads of good properties, but one should be careful and learn more about it.
That’s the whole naturopathic concept: nothing is good for everyone, as we’re all different!
How to prepare a good cup of hot lemon water
Use tepid mineral water, not boiling water nor cold water, as our body will digest it slowly and needs more energy to absorb ice cold water than tepid water. Choose some nice fresh lemons, organic if possible, and never lemon juice from a bottle (no lemon syrup either!)
Press half a lemon into a glass and then add water (you can even add the lemon zest) to drink as you wake up on an empty stomach, preferably half an hour before you have your breakfast.
The benefits of hot lemon water
- Antiviral and antibacterial action (as it contains citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin and limonene, which reinforce the organism’s defences and fight infections);
- Stimulates the immune system;
- Cleanses the liver;
- Facilitates digestion;
- Soothes heartburns;
- Purifies the urinary system;
- Balances the blood pH;
- Cleanses the skin;
- Energising and improves mental health;
- Helps to heal wounds;
- Freshens the breath;
- Hydrates the lymphatic system and fights constipation, insomnia, low or high blood pressure, lack of mental clarity and fatigue;
- Helps in the weight loss process, as the pectin contained in the lemon helps to regulate the appetite.
The disadvantages of hot lemon water
Lemon juice has an acidic taste that we like, which comes from the high quantity of citric acid it contains. However, lemon juice transforms and becomes an alkaline food (non-acidic) once it has been absorbed by our digestive system. The acids from the lemon, when properly metabolised, are oxidised during the digestive process; therefore, they release alkaline residues, such as carbonates or bicarbonates. Lemon is therefore able to be acidic when outside from the organism, and alkaline when metabolized by our organism. However, people who consume lemon juice (in big quantities and daily) may have very different feelings about it. Some say that lemon is acidic for them, some say they do not feel that acidity. Why? In naturopathy, the key is in the ability to correctly metabolise the lemon acids. Yet on a physiological level, we are not all equal and we do not have the same digestive abilities. To be able to properly digest acids, it is imperative to have a good vital force. It is that vital force that is going to make the transformation of the acids happen. Otherwise, our body will have to seek for minerals to neutralise the acids that it cannot metabolise. They will be taken from where they are available: bones, teeth, nails, hair…which, in time, will lead to demineralisation. The resulting symptoms are often sensitivity to the cold, nervosity, emotivity and fragility of the immune system.
Naturopaths take each individual’s morphology into account to determine each person’s abilities to metabolise lemon juice. “Blood” type people are the ones who can enjoy hot lemon water the most. They can be recognised as they are physically strong, with a red complexion, jovial character, they don’t suffer from cold weather, they like their food and are great eaters. However, “neuro arthritic” types of people, who are sensitive to the cold, a bit skinny with very thin wrists and ankles, who do not have a huge appetite and have a nervous character, will struggle more to correctly metabolise the acidity from this fruit.
The first group of people – blood – would therefore be able to successfully follow a hot lemon water cure and will greatly benefit from it, whereas the second group of people – the neuro arthritic – might prefer to pass on that one and look for a more appropriate treatment.
In conclusion, if you think you can handle hot lemon water in the morning, do not go without it! Having said that, it would be a good idea to have a break from time to time. For example, 3 weeks of lemon juice per month, one week without - moderation is always the key word!
You can also add a bit of chopped fresh ginger to your lemon water for a boost, and even a pinch of Cayenne pepper (this is the perfect cocktail for a kick up the backside wakeup call!) Be careful with the enamel of your teeth: drink with a straw, rinse your mouth delicately after drinking and above all, do not brush your teeth straight after drinking.
If you are amongst the group that cannot handle the hot lemon water in the morning, you can alternatively drink a glass of hot water… it’s going to feel strange at first, but hot water has many good properties!
- It helps to lose weight by boosting the metabolism and fighting constipation;
- It balances the nervous system;
- It soothes menstrual cramps as it has a sedative effect;
- It improves digestion and cleanses toxins;
- It fights premature ageing (by its hydrating and toxic cleanse effect);
- It protects against infections;
- It fights urinary infections and improves renal health.
Hot lemon water or simply hot water, in any case… Cheers!