If you have visited our Maharishi AyurVeda Health Centre in Bad Ems before, the doctor has given you many useful tips you can use at home. One of the simplest recipes is the lemon and honey drink, taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Even if you want to have breakfast early, it’s best to wait for half an hour, to allow the drink to really unfold its beneficial effects.
Before taking breakfast, large parts of the small intestine are still empty and thus the healing effects of honey and lemon will also reach its deeper sections.
“Sour taste makes merry” –
an old and tried home remedy:
the lemon and honey drink
How to prepare:
- Pour lukewarm water in a glass;
- Add the juice of half a lemon, freshly pressed (about 2 teaspoons);
- Sweeten to taste with good quality honey (from 1/2 to 2 teaspoons);
- Stir well – ready!
Taking this delicious and refreshing drink regularly prevents flatulence, helps bowel movement, detoxifies the physiology, and helps in weight loss. Very important: the water should never be over 40 ˚C, as Ayurveda tells us that honey, when heated, breaks down into very unhealthy components which are hard to eliminate from the body (Ama).
Ideal composition – optimum effect
“Sour taste makes merry,” as the saying goes. The lemon’s sour taste reduces Vata Dosha, and the mild acidity cleanses the Shrotas – the transportation and metabolism pathways in our body. Lemon in general is also detoxifying.
A strong sour taste would make the Shrotas contract, just like one pulls a face when biting into a lemon slice. Because narrower Shrotas would lead to more Ama (metabolism deposits) in the tissues and cells, Ayurveda buffers this unwanted effect by adding honey and thus creating an overall mild and pleasant taste. This not only upholds the lemon acid’s detoxifying effect, it even enhances it, as the taste of honey is not only sweet: it also has an astringent component, which reduces the heaviness and slowness of Kapha Dosha when diluted.
When we go more into detail, we discover even more wonderful effects of this simple drink:
The lemon is one of the fruits richest in vitamin C, which is absorbed especially well because of the bioflavonoids from the lemon’s endocarp (membranes).
- reduces the formation of slime in the body.
- is antibacterial / antiviral and prevents infections (vitamin C).
- normalizes the intestinal flora.
- helps eliminate toxins (via liver and kidney).
- helps to remove uric acid from the joints.
- In the presence of lemon juice, iron in food is better absorbed.
- Lemons are rich in antioxidants, so they reduce damage from free radicals and thereby indirectly prevent inflammation, aging, atherosclerosis, and cancer.
- Lemon juice stimulates cellular respiration, generating more energy.
- By stimulating energy consumption, body fat doesn’t accumulate as much.
- The pectin contained in lemon juice improves digestion; it stimulates the function of the gallbladder and the pancreas, prevents bloating, and promotes bowel movement.
- Lemon juice improves the hormonal balance.
- It is rich in magnesium and potassium and thus improves brain performance and concentration.
- Lemon juice reduces the permeability of the small blood vessels, which is a good protection against bleeding gums, edema, inflammation, and allergies.
- extracts water from bacterial cells, causing them to shrivel and die.
- contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide from the other constituents and thus has a bacteriostatic and bactericidal effect.
- shortens the duration of treatment necessary in cases of diarrhea due to coliform and salmonella infections.
- supports the development of a healthy intestinal flora because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
- strengthens the immune system with the calcium, iron, magnesium and sodium contained in it.
- stimulates the intestinal movements and thus promotes digestion and elimination.
- Regular administration of honey promotes blood formation due to its iron content.
- The diastase contained in honey acts as a starch-splitting enzyme and therefore honey has a beneficial effect on gastric ulcers.
- The acetylcholine in honey promotes the incorporation of fructose into the liver and the inclusion of glucose for muscle strength in the muscle’s tissue.
- The acetylcholine also has a positive, invigorating effect on the heart. When the heart is tired, honey expands the coronary arteries, improving the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart.
By including the lemon and honey drink in your morning routine, not only will you get an immediate freshness kick, but also your long-term health will benefit from the many positive effects.