Everyday Detox:: Ginger Lemon Tea

everyday detox

Starting my day with a warm glass of water followed by another with the juice of at least half of a lemon is one of the first ways I nurture myself every morning.  It’s a morning ritual that helps keep my lymphatic system charged and begins my day with a surplus of hydration and glides my body to an alkaline state.  In the fall, winter and spring I add grated ginger to the mix as it is the perfect way to boost the immune system during prime cold and flu seasons.  (I do not add ginger during the summer because it is warming to the body and I live in an insanely hot climate and don’t need the extra heat.)  {To find out more about my self-care ritual and its importance to health and balance see What Beauty Products Do You Really Use?}

I know.  About now you are thinking you couldn’t possibly start your day without coffee.  Have you ever wondered why, even after coffee, you can’t wake up in the morning?  Would it interest you to know that dehydration is the main cause of feeling hungry?  When you start your day with coffee or tea you start your day off dehydrated which triggers those mid-morning munchies.  Those mid-morning munchies are not good for your waistline.  If you are one of those people who can’t take coffee without sugar then you are adding insult to injury.

Below are 5  reasons to start your day with lemon ginger water:

1.  Jump starts and hydrates the lymphatic system.  Warm water (cold water must go through the process of warming up and does not have the same stimulating effects) immediately starts the hydration process.  Lemon water stimulates the lymphatic system to remove the toxins accumulated in the lymph glands, colon, and bladder overnight.  Adding ginger further helps in elimination of waste through the colon and studies have shown that it provides protection against the development of cancer cells and polyps. Lemon ginger water is also extremely beneficial in cleansing the liver. Chronic dehydration, a problem rampant in our society, leads to stress on the adrenal glands leading to adrenal fatigue.  Starting your day with a mug of lemon ginger water is like an everyday detox that helps you flush toxins, nourish your adrenals, and boost your metabolism.

2. Lemon Water is alkalizing. The body functions best in a more alkaline state and cancer cells tend to breed in an acidic body. Unfortunately due to the Standard American Diet (SAD) , the toxins in  household, beauty and personal care items, and even the day to day toxins in the environment, most people live in an acidic state which breeds illness and disease.  An alkaline state also calms chronic inflammation which is a prime cause of autoimmune diseases and illnesses with immune factors  such as rheumatoid arthritis, polymyositis, ankylosing spondylitis, and fibromyalgia. Ginger displays anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and various other muscular disorders. The chemical components of the root are instrumental in inhibiting the biosynthesis of prostaglandins which are responsible for causing inflammation. Thus the root has proven to be a highly effective form of treatment, in some cases, even more so than the NSAIDs that are traditionally prescribed.  Also, remember, cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment.

3.  Great for glowing skin!  Lemon ginger water is better than any anti-aging cream on the planet.  Rich in Vitamins C and B (specifically riboflavin which protects cells from damage and is great for tissue repair), and minerals like calcium, phosphorous and magnesium (which are great for bones but also calms stress, nourishes adrenal glands, and stimulates collagen).  Your skin can’t glow if your body is toxic or acidic so reasons #1 and #2 are also going to help your skin radiate with health.

4.  Both ginger and lemon are great for digestion.  Ginger is both anti-inflammatory and mucous dissolving (grains cause both inflammation and mucous in both the digestive and respiratory tract).  Lemon is alkalizing.  Both are full of healthy enzymes. Together they stimulate proper digestion.  Lemon stimulates the liver to produce bile which optimizes digestion.  Ginger helps protein digestion, perfect before a protein-rich breakfast.  Water helps lubricate everything to working properly.  All of these factors also encourage the elimination of toxins ingested through foods through the colon.  Which leads us to our last but certainly best reason to drink lemon ginger water in the morning.

5.  Lemon ginger water helps weight loss!  First, people who are more alkaline lose weight more efficiently.  There are many reasons for this; the main one being they limit sugars and grains which cause insulin spikes leading to glycogen being stored as fat.  Ginger is anti-inflammatory which also aids in weight loss and people with chronic inflammation hold weight in both fat and water as the body’s way of trying to fight the reasons for inflammation.  Lemon is a natural diuretic and also stimulates digestion by stimulating bile production in the  liver.  The combination of lemon, ginger, and water hydrate and boost the body’s ability to detox.  A detoxed body is a lean body.

The “how” is easy.  Grate about 1/2 inch of peeled ginger root into a mug.  Pour boiled water over the top and let sit for about 3-5 minutes.  Squeeze a half of a lemon into the water.  For a touch of sweet add in 1 tsp. of stevia or 2 tsp. of raw local honey.  (If using honey, wait for water to cool to warm instead of hot).  I find the taste of lemon and ginger enough for me but will add local honey during allergy season or if I am feeling a cold coming on.

Try this for 28 days and see a change in your energy levels, the radiance in your skin, and the numbers on the scale.


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Wishing you peace and balance,





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  1. says

    Ok, dumb question. Is this ginger root like you can buy at the grocery store? I believe I’ve seen it there, though I’ve never used it. You just peel it and grate?

    This seems like a small change I might be able to make :)

  2. mary says

    More great advice from Detox Diva! Where would I be without you?
    I rush around like crazy in the morning (because I stay in bed as long as possible) before having to rush to work but I should be able to do this. Certainly no excuse at weekends. Is it OK to have tea later as I would really miss my morning tea (this is England, after all!)

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Oh yeah, Mary, totally! You just have to get this down into your body before anything else. It’s about hydrating and stimulating the lymph glands BEFORE you get anything else into your body.

  3. mary says

    In that case, I can handle it:) The reasons you give are a very strong argument. At the moment, the first thing that goes into system in the morning is half a grapefruit, which actually is probably not a bad thing as I expect it’s alkanaline. But this lemon and ginger is definitely something I will try – have both in so tomorrow morning will give it a go!

    • thedetoxdiva says

      The half of a grapefruit is a good thing as yes, it is alkaline but it doesn’t have the same properties as lemon so adding this before the grapefruit (and I know you are eating a little protein with that, right??) would be a good warming thing for those chilly Manchester mornings!

  4. says

    What do you think of the typical morning ritual of a glass of OJ? This tea does sound lovely, especially with the cooler weather moving in.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Oh I have to be honest. The glass of OJ in the morning does nothing for the body as it spikes blood sugar too high and makes carb cravings skyrocket. Eating an orange is a MUCH better option.

  5. says

    Laura liked her lemon ginger water, but filtered out the ginger. We have been cooking lentils, cannelini beans, black beans all morning. Hoping to make the squash soup tonight.
    I’m trying to go along with her as best i can, but coaching two soccer games, I had to hit the coffee.
    Tomorrow I’ll do the ginger / lemon water. xo

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I am really glad to hear she liked the lemon ginger water. MANY people don’t eat the ginger. (Me having morning sickness makes me eat the entire knob!) Some people steep the ginger first and leave it behind which is totally fine. The same benefits apply!

  6. says

    I’ve been making a pitcher of purified water, lemon, cucumber, mint leaves and ginger for the last few days. It tastes great both hot and cold. By having it “ready-to-drink” in a glass pitcher, I notice that I’ve been reaching for this more than my water purifier. I think I’ve lost a bit of weight too, my pants feel a bit loose.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      That sounds awesome. I usually do the cucumber and mint cold and the lemon and ginger but yes, I can see how them all together might be really delicious!

      • thedetoxdiva says

        I actually don’t blend cucumber at all into my morning drink. I use lemon and no, I don’t blend it. I steep it.

  7. says

    We do a limited-calorie fast for two days a week and on those days I drink lemon water throughout the day … I love how it makes me feel (very energetic). I usually drink it cool to room temperature but I really like the idea of drinking it hot and adding in the ginger. I’m definitely trying it out! Thanks, as always, for such great information!!

  8. mary says

    Just sipping my first lemon and ginger first thing. It tastes lovely. I don’t feel the need to add honey or anything sweet as I actually like bitter tastes. Not sure I fancy the grapefruit now. You mentioned protein, Detox Diva….some days I do, some days I don’t. Sometimes it’s just a bowl of porridge or the lovely spelt flakes I’m enjoying these days sprinkled with amazing organic turkish sultanas. Very nice indeed. But I understand protein is a good idea. It’s just not always practical in the mornings when time is limited.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      A splash of almond milk or some almond butter to that porridge would be a great protein addition, or even chia or flax seeds. There are many ways to get the tastes that you want with some sneaky additions.

  9. says

    We are prepping for a hurricane in my neck of the woods and in my preparation, I stocked up on lemon and ginger for my water. I love this idea! I plan to be in a balanced alkaline state if my power is out for a week!

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Lynn, on my last post there is a killer infographic (you may not like my political views but you will love the infographic) on preparedness and I agree so wholeheartedly (though unless you are cooking with gas, not sure how you want to prepare the quinoa) with the things you should stock up on. Ginger and lemon to go with the water….absolutely. Stay safe my sweet girl.

  10. says

    I love ginger and lemon tea. !! You have so many good suggestions here. I am a huge health food nut an exercise fanatic, use my Vitamix everyday and LOVE it !!!

  11. says

    I LOVE lemon ginger tea! I’ve been making lemon ginger tea for several years, and for the past few months have been having lemon water (had to build up to a half of a lemon in a glass of water, now I LOVE it!) every morning before breakfast. I didn’t think to add ginger to my daily lemon water (not sure why I didnt, I just love that combo), now I definitely will!

    My obsession with lemon ginger tea began when I had a run-in with viral meningitis during my most difficult quarter of nursing school (during finals, I might add– passing finals with meningitis… boo-yah!), and all I could keep down was lemon ginger tea. It was the only thing that would help with the horrendous nausea. I loved it so much I just kept drinking it.

    I also regularly have migraines, and I’ve noticed that when I drink the lemon water on a regular basis in the morning, they are much more few and far between. I don’t know the cause of my migraines (but dehydration is an issue with me, so I am sure that is a contributory factor), but I have found that the lemon water helps immensely with keeping them at bay (moreso than just regular water).

    I can never finish of my knob of ginger though– so last winter after throwing out a good size chunk, I decided to freeze it. I cute the amount I use for tea, put it in an ice cube trays (each cube was my portion for tea), added a little water, and froze it. All winter all I had to do was pop a cube into the rest of my water, microwave, let steep and add my lemon. It was so easy; I loved it!

    Do you have an issue with finding blue mold in your ginger? I think the ring of blue or green I can see on the inside is mold, and sometimes at the grocery store I can’t find any without it! Do you know if that’s ok to use anyway, or is it nasty mold like I assumed it is?

    Thanks for this post! very interesting!

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I sometimes see the green ring but you know, I peel my ginger anyway so it’s really not an issue with me. I live in a place where I have fairly fresh ginger all year round though. Not all mold is nasty however I don’t actually think this is a mold at all since ginger is an anti-bacterial. It goes dry before it really molds….Your ice cube idea is top notch….. Good on you for surviving so brilliantly viral meningitis!!! I add it in the winter even to my room temp lemon water and I am better off for it.

  12. says

    Consuming fresh lemon juice is a great and tasty way to start each morning. Many folks think it may be strange to substitute the caffeinated beverages for this drink, but you’re right in that it is a much better option for both energy and overall health. It’s ironic how so many different chemical alternatives are being marketed constantly to promote energy, weight loss, and youth when nature already provides us with great resources. Our ancestors knew about this.. it seems over time, we’ve forgotten.

  13. tess says

    I don’t want to sound stupid, but I thought lemons were acidic? How does that create alkalinity? Just looking for clarification. I started drinking lemon ginger water a few weeks ago and was looking to see if there were any benefits when I came across your blog. Thanks!

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Terri, lemons are acidic but they leave behind an alkaline ash in the body which alkalizes the body! That’s why I recommend drinking lemon water, to alkalize the blood.

  14. Sarah says

    How do you feel about Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (like Braggs) in the hot lemon water in the morning. I have heard so many things about how this will also alkalize the body. Some say it will also help you lose weight. My mom did it to get more “regular.”

    • thedetoxdiva says

      As with ALL things, it is not a quick fix however it IS something to drink during the day because it is amazing at flushing the body (and yes, alkalizing it too). It is a base for my natural cough syrup and I love drinking a capful in my water during the day instead of juice as I find it refreshing. I think it is one thing that can contribute to a slimmer waistline but it is not a cure all.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      If you are having a problem lasting in bed…… I think ginger and lemon might be only a small part of what you need.

  15. says

    Hi! Thank you for the great info! I was wondering how much lemon juice and ginger to use for a mug of water. Also, how hot should the water be? Am I adding the ginger to the water and allowing it to steep? I just do better with step by step instructions. Thanks :)

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I used to recommend chia or flax seed but after several more biochemistry courses I no longer do UNLESS you do so within reason and you buy them super fresh AND refrigerate! They go so rancid so quickly. Same goes with Hemp seeds. Just be aware these are so high in PUFAs that they should be used very minimally. Flax is also estrogenic so not appropriate for women with estrogen dominance.

  16. djshep says

    Thank you. I appreciate all that you share :)

    I am confused, as I have heard flax oil is great and better then fish oil and to take it with zinc or an enzyme to help digest it. I bought both and take a table spoon of fish oil each morning and a table spoon of flax oil at lunch. Refrigerated.

    I have been researching B17, apricot seeds. Seems there are a lot of benefits from B17?

    I juice and/or blend everyday with spinach, kale, dandelion leafs, ginger, veggies and fruits. I try to mix it up each day. I add camu camu berry powder to my drinks. I drink green tea with matcha, and dandelion tea everyday also. I hope I am not over doing it.

    Thank you

    • thedetoxdiva says

      First off, flax seed oil is NOT as bio-available as fish oil for Omega-3 but I NEVER EVER recommend fish oils even refrigerated (pretty much unless you are standing over the fresh fish watching the oil be extracted..). You are falling prey to mainstream nutrition and obviously are searching for that “longevity” factor but trust me on this, a REAL foods diet is far superior to the “juice” (especially of the dark green leafies with no protein) sensation you are talking about. Yes, you are overdoing it because you have lost touch with the love of nourishing your body. Are you enjoying your smoothie (and if so, ditch the leafy greens and add some gelatin to the fruit smoothies to prevent blood sugar spikes)? Do you love Matcha? And dandelion?? Do you love the taste or gulp it down because someone said it was detoxifying for the liver? (it’s a fair call question.) There really are so many factors to ACTUALLY detoxing the liver and a lot of them have nothing to do with dandelion tea!

      • djshep says

        I respect all that you have said. Not only am I juicing/blending everyday, along with taking other vitamins etc, so is my 22 year old son, whom is very active and weight trains. He is now concerned and would like to know a healthy diet that will benefit him and myself without stripping the nutrition we need.

        Can you recommend a healthy diet? I am 42, 5’4, 135 lbs. I am active. Besides Vertigo, I have no other health issues, but would like to lose maybe 5 or 10 lbs and to eat foods that help me to feel energized through the day. Regarding Vertigo, I have been drinking warm purified water with lemon and ginger for almost a year now and apple cider vinegar. I am not sure what is helping with the Vertigo, but I no longer feel the side effects, dizziness etc.

        As a child my mother always cooked variety of meats, and fish, then simmered the bones etc to make soup and gravies. I don’t have a lot of time to do this, is there another alternative to get gelatin?

        I really appreciate and respect all that you are sharing.

        Thank you :D

        • thedetoxdiva says

          Gelatin is gelatin. There are no alternatives to either simmering bones with marrow to make bone broth or buying grass-fed gelatin or hydrolyzed collagen because the vegan option are actually dangerous to liver detoxification processes. There is always time to simmer a pot of bones to make bone broth. It might take some prioritizing or giving up something that is not essential but it is worth it in the end. It takes 10 minutes to put something in a pot and then three hours to simmer…. That’s it. Other than that, I do recommend you read the posts on gelatin and consider ordering some.
          I don’t actually recommend diets to people via comment. I do, however, have an easy scheduler if you would like to come for a consult where we can look at your current lifestyle, health goals, any challenges, and then come up with something that will work for you.

  17. says

    Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.

    I know my visitors would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely
    interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Lizbeth, how do you like it? Stop looking for absolutes. If you like it room temperature then steep it in HOT water (so the ginger releases) and then let it cool. If you like it hot, steep it for 10 minutes and drink it.

  18. Ruby says

    I have been sick on and off for 3 months with the flu, fatigue, I think my immunity is up the creek. So I have started taking garlic and horseradish supplements, I also boil a knob of ginger for 20 minutes then put it all in a flask, I drink this hot with manuka honey and lemon the flavour intensifies the longer it is brewing in the flask. I have had a sore throat for about 5 weeks, so I thought ginger would help me. I do not peel the ginger I discard the sliced ginger when my flask is finished. I drink this yummy drink about 3 times a day, I worry I might be overdoing it. I am getting so desperate for my health and well being I have started eating a clove of garlic each morning.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I don’t think you are going to overdo it. I do think your taking garlic and horseradish supplements is a bit of a waste when you could be eating them in delicious real foods….

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Of course you can. You can sip this anytime throughout the day. It’s effective, for our purposes, in the morning, to jumpstart the lymphatic system.

  19. Jlina says

    I did this for a while but it is VERY hard on your teeth – errodes the enamel which does not come back. I think there are other ways to alkalize your system and prioritize my teeth!

    Posting this only to say, those that do this, consider a straw or at least rinse with water afterwards. And do NOT EVER brush your teeth within 30 minutes to an hour of splashing lemon water all over them, it takes that long for the enamel to re-harden.

    I’m going to start on a ginger/lemon tea for female issues but the straight lemon juice isn’t worth my teeth.

    Thanks for an informative article!

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I never ever suggested, Jlina, that readers use STRAIGHT lemon juice. Ginger and lemon tea (in water) is actually NOT AT ALL erosive to enamel, especially if you are not using abrasive toothpastes! (Oh and by the way, you can remineralize your teeth to some degree.)

  20. says

    I have been taking ginger and lemon for the months, not everyday. With fantastic results

    I recently learnt that ginger can cause dryness in the wrong places? is this true?

  21. Casyn says

    Just wondering, if i can pre made the ginger and lemon mixture ahead and refrigerator it for usage every morning? Instead of making it fresh everyday due to time constraint.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I suppose you could though I would urge you to wake up a little earlier and really revel in the experience of making it and creating a relaxing start to the day.

  22. Liz says

    This sounds like a great start to my morning; I still need my coffee though :) I am a migraine sufferer and I depend upon meds to get me through them :( is there anything you can suggest that can help ease them? I think my body needs a better way to deal and I am trying to live a healthier life. I am big with fresh produce and organic products too . Love your blog!

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Migraines indicate a trigger so I am not really sure why you are relying on meds when you should be looking for your trigger. I do believe your body needs a healthier lifestyle but maybe you could start with this before you go for your coffee and then make sure your beans are high quality low mycotoxins.

  23. joe says

    is there a difference in using either lemon or apple cider vinegar for akalizing in the morning (with warm water)?
    or is it good to rotate the two?

    • thedetoxdiva says

      It’s basically acid. One is NOT superior than the other. Personally, I find lemon more ENJOYABLE but if you LIKE apple cider vinegar and water, go for it!!

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I don’t always peel it unless I want to eat the ginger (and I often do.) If you don’t peel it buy organic and clean well.

  24. Kiandra Copeland says

    Question: Is it better to drink it warm or cold? I found the lemon-ginger detox on skinnyms.com website and they said to let it sit for a few hours to fuse with the water. Second question: Is it good to boil the water with lemon and ginger together?

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I wouldn’t boil it with lemon juice as it would kill the enzymes but I don’t see the difference between warm and cold. I think people WAY overthink this. I drink it hot in the morning. In the summer, I prefer it cooler.

  25. Al Dacruz says

    Thank you very much for sharing this very helpful info, I’ve been making ginger, adding lemon and honey however, not always at the optimum temperatures, your guide has allowed me to correct this for maximum benefit.
    Extremely grateful. Kind regards.

  26. says

    I have a question. I am diabetic and I take medication. Do I do the ginger/lemon first or take my medication first? What do you recommend? This is all new to me and I would love to try it every morning & to see where it goes.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      I wouldn’t think it would really matter here. Maybe try it both ways and see where you feel better. You aren’t adding any sweetener but if you eat the ginger (like I do) then you would consider that you would be taking your meds post-prandial.

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