Until a few years ago, honey and lemon drinks were something I bought in a packet from the chemistwhen I had the flu. Naturally, those little packets didn’t help much, so I was skeptical when I started this challenge. But drinking real lemon juice and proper honey in warm water is a totally different experience, and with all the hype around it I embarked on a 12 month quest to see if it really was as miraculous as everyone says.
I am pleased to report I am thoroughly converted, and here is why.
I have not had a cold, flu or any stomach illnesses for the entire year.
Literally. Though I have sometimes felt very early signs of sickness (too many sneezes in a day, run down, extra tired, suspicious tummy rumblings) nothing at all has materialised. Sure I’ve had tired days and a few headaches, but nothing to write home about. As soon as I got back on the regime these stopped happening, and I now absolutely swear by honey/lemon—to the point I‘ve become prematurely old-aged and carry them both in my bag when I stay at friend’s places or hotels. This actually blows my mind. All of my life I’ve been getting tonsillitis-getter. And with a large family, including lots of little ones, there is always someone around who has the latest bug. I am happy to report I no longer catch them, even when it rips through the rest of the gang.
I no longer need coffee and have become a morning person.
The zing I get from lemon and honey first thing in the morning has become something I crave, and doesn’t leave me with headaches or the dreaded caffeine comedown. I also have more energy for longer and am quicker to smile in the morning.
It used to take me at least an hour to open my second eye and stop grunting at people like a cavewoman, but I’m now annoying the people that love me in new and wonderful ways, like throwing deep philosophical questions at them as I bound into the kitchen.
The people around me are becoming more healthy — the biggest reward.
So this has taken the longest: to convince my family that honey and lemon can help them prevent some of their own illnesses.
But after playing nurse and administering my magic potion to them when they are at their most desperate, they can finally see its benefits. When they say, «Whoa! That helped straight away!» I feel delighted; it reminds me to keep going every morning so I don’t suffer the indignities of needing to be three feet from a toilet at all times, or running through a box of tissues an hour.
It’s such a lovely feeling to know that I can help my loved ones feel more well through something so simple and available.
I generally use the juice of half a fresh lemon, and a decent teaspoon of organic, raw unheated honey in a standard mug with freshly boiled water that has cooled a little (but still hot enough to melt the honey). I then add a splash of cold so I can drink immediately in one go to rehydrate me as soon as I wake.
However, it does depend on the lemon and the honey, some lemons are juicier or more sour and some honeys more sweet, so experimenting is important! Also half a lemon may be too intense to start, my family uses a quarter.
Why does it work? There are at least nine major benefits to drinking warm honey lemon water every morning. But I’ll list my three favourites here:
1. It protects you from infection such as UTIs
Because this mixture when taken first thing in the morning stimulates the digestive system, as well as hydrating the colon and more, honey lemon water keeps constipation at bay. It also acts as a diuretic, cleansing the urinary tract and ensuring no urinary tract infections.
2. It improves digestion
Every part of this drink aids in the digestive process; lemons assist your liver in producing more bile so you can break down complex foods better and use the good stuff from your meals. Honey is antibacterial which protects you from any infections you might have. It also helps with the production of mucus in the stomach, helping to flush out toxins. For this reason, it also assists with healthy weight balance.
3. Makes you glow with health and beauty
Lemon has many benefits for skin, but it also helps purify the blood as well as aiding in the production of new blood cells that act as cleaning agents. The water and honey create a restorative, antibacterial and collagen boosting powerhouse for your skin too.