When you're feeling sick and nauseous, the last thing you want to do is run to the store to pick up something to relieve it. What if you could use something likely already in your kitchen? Something that not only helps bring you relief but also imparts real health benefits?
Lemons could be just the answer. In fact, they are a great way to soothe your stomach.
Most people experience nausea at some point. Whether sickness, pregnancy, chemotherapy, surgery, or travel, few people haven't experienced the discomfort of nausea during their lifetime. Lemons could help ease the pain of nausea for any of those causes.
Whatever reasons you may be experiencing nausea, lemons could be just the cure you need and likely already have on hand. Not only does it help end nausea, but they also have many health benefits.
Plus, lemons are versatile. You can take them in a variety of ways and have them whichever way works best for you!
Here is everything you need to know about using lemons for nausea.
How Lemons Help Relieve Nausea
Lemon is a great remedy for nausea because of the neutralizing acids it contains. These acids form bicarbonates, which is what helps bring relief. Also, they kick-start saliva production, which can help ease nausea.
Some causes of nausea that may benefit from lemons include:
When the flu or illness strikes, there is often little that the doctor can do. Antibiotics don't work on viruses, and medication to relieve the unfortunate side effects of illness are limited. More often than not, your doctor will recommend you go home and rest without giving you anything.
Lemons may provide some relief from symptoms, though. Research is starting to show that citric acid in lemons possibly keeps the virus and cell apart. Keeping them separated helps reduce some of the symptoms of sickness. Initial research is promising, but because of the nature of Norovirus (the virus that often causes flu-like symptoms), it’s hard to create studies about it. Scientists couldn’t find a way to replicate the Norovirus cell, so they couldn’t test it in a lab. However, with new technology it’s starting to become possible to work with Norovirus in a research setting, so expect new information to come out soon!
If you are suffering from the flu, you might want to consider giving lemons a try.
Starting usually around week 6 of pregnancy, upwards of 80% of all women experience morning sickness. Many women find that smelling lemon reduces their symptoms and makes life more bearable for them.
There is some science to back this up as well. In a study of 100 women, they were randomly assigned to inhale either lemon or almond oil whenever nausea hit. Women who smelled lemon saw a measurable difference and reported 9% less nausea than those who used almond oil.
In addition to smelling lemons, many women swear by consuming them in some form (whether drinks, candies, etc.) as a way to relieve their morning sickness. Sour flavors can help combat nausea, and consuming lemons has the double effect of both smell and taste to quell morning sickness.
Nausea is a common problem for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Even with medication, over 70% of chemotherapy patients still experience the discomfort of nausea. Many are desperate to find relief while they are in the fight of their lives. They need something simple that doesn’t require too much of their energy.
The Natural Cancer Institute recommends sucking on sour lemon candies to help ease nausea. The sour lemon flavor provides extra relief after chemotherapy.
Nausea can often strike after surgery. Between fasting before the procedure, recovering from anesthesia, and healing from surgery, the body is overwhelmed. An overwhelmed body is at risk of developing nausea. In this case, lemons can be an easy and natural way to help strengthen the body and ease nausea.
When you’re on the road, you don’t have time for nausea. However, the body is extremely vulnerable to sickness during the stress of travel. Whether it’s a rough boat ride, twisty car ride, or turbulent plane ride, travelers may find themselves sick from time to time.
While traveling, having a lemon on hand can help bring quick relief. Their antiemetic properties, as well as the sour flavor, can help soothe the stomach.
Daily Health Benefits of Lemons
Beyond nausea relief, lemons are also full of health benefits. Practitioners have used them for centuries for their various health benefits. Today, the health community has focused its attention back on them. Lemon water first thing in the morning is growing in popularity as a way to harness its health benefits.
Here are some of the ways you can benefit from more lemon in your diet.
Ayurvedic medicine has long known the medicinal properties of lemons. It is used to stimulate the “agni,” which stimulates the nervous system. Strengthening the agni jumpstarts the metabolism, leading to a resolution of constipation and better digestion.
A common reason that people drink lemon water in the morning is to stimulate their digestion and prevent constipation. Strong digestion and regular bowel movements also help the body remove toxins.
Excellent Source of Vitamins
Vitamin C is vital for so many functions in the body. It protects the immune system, prevents cardiovascular disease, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. There are 100s of studies in the last few years that reveal a growing list of why vitamin C is essential for human health.
Most species actually make their own vitamin C, but humans are dependent on obtaining most of our vitamin C from our diet. Citrus is an excellent source of vitamin C. Unfortunately, vitamin C deficiency is a problem today. Lemons can be a great way to protect yourself and get some extra vitamin C in your diet.
Lemons are also high in potassium. Potassium helps with red cell production and helps control blood pressure. For better heart health, lemons can be useful.
Rich in Antioxidants
Lemons are rich in flavonoids, which help to reduce oxidative stress and damage. Oxidative stress and damage results in aging and chronic disease. Initial studies with rats show promise in helping turn back this oxidative stress.
The flavonoids in citrus, like lemons, are also great for insulin sensitivity, blood circulation, and metabolic health.
Aids Weight Loss
Lemons are rich in polyphenol antioxidants. These antioxidants were given to purposefully overfed mice. They found the rats that consumed polyphenol had a reduced weight gain.
Lemons, especially lemon water, work to assist weight loss by both giving the metabolism a slight boost and increasing feelings of fullness. When added with a healthy diet and exercise, they can help you stay at a healthy weight.
Protect Against Anemia
Lemons themselves carry very little iron. However, because they are chock-full of vitamin C, they allow the body absorb iron from other sources. They work exceptionally well for non-heme, i.e., non-meat, iron sources. Lemons help your body get the most amount of iron as possible to prevent anemia. It can be a beneficial boost, especially for vegetarians and vegans.
Reduces Risk of Cancer
It’s well known that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables help protect the body against cancer. Lemon, however, takes things a step further. Some studies found a link between those who ate the most citrus fruit and a lower risk of cancer. Some researchers believe that certain compounds in lemons, such as limonene and naringenin, could hold anti-cancer properties. Animal studies suggest that limonene does have anticancer properties as well.
Although these studies need further investigation, they do show promise in helping to prevent cancer.
How to Use Lemons to Fight Nausea
When you are sick, the last thing you want to do is create something complicated to provide relief. Here are some easy, and delicious, ways you can use lemons to combat sickness.
Lemonade is an easy way to take lemons when you feel sick. Consider adding ginger into the lemonade to boost its anti-nausea effects.
2. Lemon Water
Lemon water can be as simple or complicated as you’d like it to be. Try to avoid sparkling water as the carbonation can exacerbate the gut and lead to more problems. You can take it either cold or warm, depending on what is best for you. Another great option is to add grated ginger to hot lemon water to make a nausea-busting tea.
3. Lemon Candies
Lemon candies, such as lemon drops, can be helpful for those who are struggling to keep food and water down. Although you may miss out on the health benefits of lemons, it’s still a good option for those who need quick relief.
4. Mouth Rinse with Lemon Juice
Rinsing the mouth with lemon juice and water is another great option for those who struggle to keep food or water down. Rinsing helps create a sour flavor in your mouth without needing to consume anything.
5. Lemon Essential Oil
As stated in the study above, even just smelling lemons can be helpful, especially for pregnant women. Consider carrying around lemon essential oil to get a whiff whenever you need it.
6. Hana Tonic
When you need an extra boost on the go, or you need something stronger to fight your nausea, Hana Tonic can provide a convenient and nutrient-dense option. Hana Tonic combines lemon with other well-known nausea relieving ingredients in one single shot. It's easy to take with you anywhere and gives your nutrition and digestion a boost as well.