Ayurvedic tradition tells us to drink warm water with the juice from half a lemon first thing in the morning upon rising. This pleasantly tart beverage is a simple way to stimulate the liver and promote bile flow, which in turn aids digestion. Interestingly, lemon water also sometimes helps resolve heartburn symptoms by stimulating healthy stomach function. It also aids in balancing the body’s pH.
There is something else that warm lemon water may do though: ruin your teeth. Lemon juice is highly acidic because of the citric acid, so over time, routine consumption of lemon juice (or any acidic food or drink) will erode your teeth enamel. (You can look this up yourself to confirm. And this actually has happened to several people who I personally know!) The hot water will further intensify the attack because the rate of chemical reactions increases with temperature. When the enamel is worn away, it exposes the underlying dentin (which is yellower in color than enamel), which may lead to painful sensitivity.
In order to minimize the erosion, you can brush your teeth prior to drinking your lemon water instead of after, or wait a significant amount of time (at least 60 minutes) after to brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush. This is because acid leaves the enamel softened and more prone to erosion during brushing! Additionally, you can rinse your mouth with purified water after you finish your lemon water. Or you can drink your lemon water with a straw (so that it bypasses your teeth).
Lemon Juice vs. Lemon Essential Oil
Something else you can do is use lemon essential oil (make sure it is labeled for human consumption) instead of lemon juice. Lemon oil is cold-pressed from the aromatic rinds of lemons, not the fruit. It is pH neutral as it does not contain citric acid and is safe for the teeth enamel. As well, it is more potent than lemon juice; it takes 3,000 lemon rinds to produce 1 kg of lemon essential oil.
Lemon essential oil may also help to support your energy level and mental clarity so try adding a drop to your bottle of water before you go to the gym (don’t add it to a plastic bottle as the oil will degrade the plastic). Lemon oil can be used for any reason or any time you would normally use lemon juice.
The Secret Ingredient in Lemon Essential Oil
The lemon essential oil contains d-limonene (which is not present in the juice). Limonene is a widely distributed, natural, non-toxic compound found in citrus fruits, spices, herbs, and some conifer essential oils. It is a powerful antioxidant with a lot of research behind it: look it up and see for yourself. D-limonene is shown to cause no toxicity to humans—even at huge doses.
If you do a little bit of research, you will find that the evidence is overwhelming that incorporating limonene in your diet is a healthy lifestyle choice.
If you are currently adding lemon juice to your water, and want more than just a little zing to start your morning, why not try adding one drop of essential oil for a little while and see if you feel a difference?
If you have any questions on essential oils, please email me.
Do you drink lemon water in the morning? Are you going to make a change to your regimen and try lemon oil?
About the Writer
This article was written by Erin Budd, (BSc, MBA), a health-conscious mom to two adorable boys, and wife to a wonderful husband (who would like you to know that since they got married, he feels healthier than before, and has lost weight and maintained it, due to the lifestyle changes that Erin brought in).
Always prepared, Erin does not leave home without her essential oils. She is committed to helping others learn about their many uses and to stop using toxic chemicals (especially on kids!), and is always happy to talk about them and teach people how to use them.
Often, she can be found creating in the kitchen and feeding her family nutrient dense, real food. Since she became a new mother, she’s been engrossed in how she can help her family be as healthy as possible. Something is going right because they almost never get sick.
She also owns and operates Essential oil solutions 4 U, a blog about what essential oils can do for your health.