Some months ago, two friends in the beauty and health industries, Stephen Dimmick and Angela Paul, enlightened me to the wonders of hot water with lemon. Their suggestion was to have a cup of hot water with the juice of half of a lemon the first thing every morning, before any coffee or food. Stephen suggested taking it further by adding fresh ginger into the mix.
Why? What does it do?
“It’s wonderful for your skin,” Angela told me, reminding me that lemon is a natural detoxifier, which, along with a regimen that involves exercise, good diet, plenty of sleep and a lot of water, can slow the aging process and help cleanse the system. Adding ginger promotes good digestion.
Well, who am I to not try something that seems so logical – something so simple suggested by two friends who look so vibrant? After doing it for a few weeks, I did notice some changes in my skin for the better. It was clearer and, if you will, “brighter.” I felt better, too.
Feeling and looking a little better was nice, and I decided to look into some of the science behind this magical morning elixir. Like its citrus sisters, oranges and grapefruits, lemon contains Vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties that help protect cells against toxin damage from things like chemicals in foods, everyday air pollutants or cigarette smoke. Vitamin C also boosts the immune system and can help prevent certain cancers, like those of the mouth, stomach and breast.
Ginger has been used as an effective treatment for nausea and upset stomach for centuries. Fresh ginger contains something called gingerol, which possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and aids in healthy cellular activity in the gastrointestinal tract.
No, it’s not a magic potion that will give you the skin of a nine year old and rectify years of self-abuse. But from where I’m sitting, hot water with lemon and ginger looks like a simple, sensible and inexpensive addition to a smart morning routine.