Lemon- The Sour Stomach Elixir
Caught in the middle of flu season I was struggling with a 48 hour stomach bug that left me weak, crampy and nauseous. Curled up holding my abdomen in pain, Van's Guatemalan babysitter was quick to bring me over a glass of room temperature lemon water, claiming it would help my sickness. I always knew that hot lemon and honey soothed sore throats, but this was the first time I had heard that pure lemon water could calm stomach pain and nausea. You know what, it worked. Within the next thirty minutes my cramping calmed, my nausea diminished and I felt fifty percent better. Could this have been a fluke, a placebo effect manifested from to my dire desire to get better or was this the real thing? I did drink the juice of 2 entire lemons and I know that lemons have an alkalizing affect on the body... hmmm. I needed to get to the bottom of this and started investigating how this simple solution could help alleviate so many of my stomach flu symptoms. These were my findings…
Nausea: I contacted my Chinese herbalist, doctor and confidant, Clinton Choate, to get his input on this stomach flu miracle and this is how he responded “ The taste of lemon is sour and is attracted to the Liver Organ system in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) energetic correspondence. Therefore, we can say that in small amounts the sour flavor aids liver function. In a situation where the Liver becomes congested from various reasons it can lead to a situation where the Liver can invade the Stomach causing nausea. Here the liver's energy backs up and vents out to the stomach which sits underneath it. Using a few drops of lemon in warm water may help relieve this type of nausea." Definitely good to know! I also discovered that lemons are often used to alleviate morning sickness. Just by sniffing them, or sucking on them lemons naturally calm an upset belly.
Cramping: Drinking lemon water frequently helps to reduce the buildup of waste in your colon by cleaning out your bowls. The result is the removal of lingering waste, which may have been the culprit in some of my cramping. Lemon water also helps the digestive system by reducing the chances for diarrhea and constipation, promoting healthy fluid bowel functions.
Fever: Lemon juice can treat a person who is suffering from a cold, flu or fever. It helps to break fevers by increasing perspiration and cooling the body. Besides breaking a fever, the health benefits of lemons are endless due to its many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and protein. Lemon is also a fruit that contains flavonoids, which are composites that contain antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. It seems to me like a lemon a day may keep the doctor away!