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Lemon Water: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

By Dr Anuja Bodhare +2 more


The mere mention of the word citrus brings to mind images of oranges and lemons! Lemon, in fact, is scientifically known as Citrus limon! It belongs to the family Rutaceae andis an evergreen shrub with yellow citrus fruits that taste and smell refreshing. Lemons are native to the Northern regions of India and are largely produced by the USA, China, Argentina, Spain, Italy and Brazil.1 

benefits of lemon water

Lemon fruits have been commonly used in Indian traditional medicine for their valuable nutritional and pharmaceutical properties. As the name suggests, lemon water is warm or cold water containing lemon juice or slices of lemons. Lemon fruit is commonly called lemon in English, Le citron in French, Zitrone in German, Ningmeng in Chinese, and Limon in Spanish.1,2 

Add it to your morning tea or make cold lemonade for those hot summer afternoons; either way, a lemon might help you build immunity. Let’s read along to know more about the benefits of lemon water and how it can help you stay healthier. 

Did you know?

Nutritional Value of Lemon: 

The nutritional value of one slice of lemon is given as follows. Add lemon slices to water and you have lemon water that has all the same nutrients: 

Nutritional components Value 
Carbohydrates 0.746 g 
Proteins  0.088 g 
Sugars 0.2 g 
Fats 0.024 g 
Fibres  0.224 g 
Energy 2.32 kcal 
Calcium 2.08 mg 
Magnesium  0.64 mg 
Sodium 0.16 mg 
Potassium 11 mg 
Iron 0.048 mg 
Phosphorus  1.28 mg 
Zinc  0.005 mg 
Selenium  0.032  µg  
Copper  0.03 mg 
Vitamin C  4.24 mg 
Vitamin B1 0.003 mg 
Vitamin B2 0.002 mg 
Vitamin B3 0.008 mg 
Vitamin B9 0.88  µg  
Vitamin A 0.08  µg 
Choline 0.408 mg 
β carotene 0.24  µg 
Vitamin E 0.012 mg 
α carotene 0.08  µg 
Table 1: The nutritional value of one slice of lemon.3 

Also Read: Beetroot Juice: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Properties of Lemon water:  

The biological activities of lemon are because of its high content of phenolic compounds.1 The properties of lemon water are: 

  • It may work as an antioxidant  
  • It might have an anti-inflammatory effect    
  • It may help in reducing microbial infection  
  • It may be helpful in parasitic infections  
  • It may help to fight allergic reactions  
  • It might help lower blood sugar levels  
  • It may help in weight management1  

Also Read: Carrot Juice: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Potential Uses of Lemon water: 

Lemon has been used for ages for the management of various diseases.4 The potential uses of lemon water are as follows: 

1. Potential Uses of lemon water for obesity  

Lemon water might be a  refreshing antioxidant drink that may benefit  weight loss due to citric acid, a vital fat burner. Drinking warm lemon water might be an effective method of reducing body weight. Drinking lemon water in the morning may help  in natural weight loss; it may also increase  the body temperature, thus boosting the metabolic rate.4,5 

A recent study by Samundy et al. 2016 involving overweight women as participants found that drinking warm lemon water reduced weight along with the waist circumference. It also showed a reduction in body mass index.5 

However, more studies are required to understand the effects of lemon water on weight management in people. 

2. Potential Uses of lemon water for the digestive system  

Lemons may aid  in the digestion process.  Lemon water might stimulate the digestive system to make digestive juices, bile and acids that might be helpful to  break down large food molecules. It also may increase  the series of wave-like muscular contractions in the intestine that might help improve digestion.4 

More studies on humans are required to establish the positive effect of lemon water on digestive system to be sure. 

3. Potential Uses of lemon water for skin  

Lemon water may have essential antioxidant and antibiotic properties. Lemon water may be helpful in rejuvenating the skin by keeping it shiny and away from infections and odours. Lemon slices or juice may be scrubbed on the skin to remove dead cells or applied to rashes and bruises.4 

Lemon products might have a positive effect on acne-prone skin that is damaged due to sunburn. The antioxidant properties of lemon water might be useful in cosmetic preparations. It might help manage oxidative stress, and the external application might also increase collagen (protein) production, making the skin smoother and more firm.1 

More scientific evidence is needed to confirm the effect of lemon water on human skin. 

4. Potential Uses of lemon water for urinary disorders  

Lemon water contains vital nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium and flavonoids. These nutrients might help detoxify, remove the toxic substances from the body, and stop the accumulation of uric acid in the urinary  system. The disinfectant properties of lemon water might help to clear infections from the urinary tract and also might help to stop the deposition of calcium in the urinary tract.4 

More scientific research is needed to understand the positive effects of lemon water on our health. You should always consult a qualified doctor before taking any ayurvedic supplements. Please do not replace or discontinue any ongoing medicine with any ayurvedic preparation without consulting a doctor first. 

5. Other Potential Uses of lemon water  

  • Lemon water might help heal wounds and ulcers of the digestive and excretory system due to its vitamin C content. It also might help solve symptoms related to piles.4  
  • Lemon water contains vitamin C that may be helpful with bleeding gum related to scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency.    
  • In addition, its antioxidant mechanism fights the free radicals and may help   in eye care.4  
  • Drinking lemon water might be helpful to overcome the uneasy feeling of nausea.4  
  • Lemon water helpsmanage cholera, tiredness, and high fever.4  
  • Sipping on lemon water may be useful in cough, common cold, sore throat.1  

I would recommend considering lemon water in your routine if you were dealing with kidney stones. It contains citrate, which might help fend off certain stones. You may try lemon juice concentrate with water each day for a refreshing way to support your kidneys. Just be mindful of your sugar intake. Stay hydrated and follow your doctor’s advice for the best results!

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Wheatgrass Juice: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

How to Use Lemon Water? 

Lemons are zero calorie and super healthy.1 Lemon water can be used in the following ways to make your days more vibrant and food more fun: 

  • Lemon water is a raw ingredient that can be used in making lemonades and other soft drinks. It is also used in salad dressing, and sauces.1 
  • Lemon water can be consumed as it is or mixed with some honey or ginger for an extra zing.1 

In my opinion, starting your day with lemon water might provide a potassium boost. Potassium is essential for various bodily functions, including nerve-muscle coordination, nutrient transportation, waste removal, and blood pressure regulation. By incorporating lemon water into your morning routine, you may give your body a healthy dose of this vital mineral to support overall well-being.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Side Effects of Lemon water: 

Research has proven some health benefits of lemon water, yet rarely people might experience side effects. Lemon water contains acids which may be harmful to the teeth enamel. Other than this, no major study reports side effects of lemon water in humans .2,4 

However, if any negative reactions are observed, immediately contact an Ayurvedic physician who will provide the proper guidance and treat you appropriately. 

In light of what I’ve observed, sipping on lemon water regularly might help reduce inflammation, particularly in joints that are prone to overuse, such as the knees. Inflammation might cause discomfort and limit mobility, so incorporating lemon water into your daily routine may provide some relief.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Precautions to Take With Lemon water: 

Lemon water is considered to be safe when taken in moderate dosages. However, general precautions have to be followed. 

  • There is insufficient information about the  safe use of lemon water during pregnancy. However, if unusual symptoms appear, immediately consult an Ayurvedic physician. 
  • Concentrated lemon juice may cause tooth enamel decay, so precautions need to be taken to avoid such problems. It is also recommended to dilute the lemon juice with water first and then use it.2 

Also Read: Can You Have Sex With UTI? Understanding Risks and Precautions

Interactions With Other Drugs: 

According to the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA),   extracts of lemon are classified as safe products. 

There is not enough information about the interaction of lemon water with any drug. However, this does not mean no interactions can occur. We recommend you always consult your Ayurvedic doctor to stay safe.  

Also Read: Mulberry: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are the disadvantages of lemon water? 

Lemon water is safe when consumed in diluted form. Otherwise, concentrated citric acids in lemon may damage the tooth enamel.2 

What is scurvy, and how does lemon water help? 

Scurvy is a disease caused because of the deficiency of vitamin C. It is associated with infections like cold and cough, cracked lips,  ulcers in the mouth and swollen and bleeding gums. Lemons are a good source of vitamin C and may provide the essential nutrients needed by the body.4 

Does lemon water help in constipation?

Yes. Lemon water with salt might act as an laxative and may help  relieve constipation. However, these studies are insufficient to confirm the beneficial effects of lemon water on humans.4 

Does lemon water help in dehydration? 

Yes. Drinking lemon water daily in the morning might help  boost the body system and keep you hydrated with all the essential vitamins needed by the body. However, this information is insufficient to confirm the effect of lemon on dehydration.2 

What vitamins are present in lemon water?

Lemon water contains vitamin B1, B3, B2, B9, C, A, and vitamin E.3 


  1. Klimek-Szczykutowicz M, Szopa A, Ekiert H. Citrus limon (Lemon) Phenomenon-A Review of the Chemistry, Pharmacological Properties, Applications in the Modern Pharmaceutical, Food, and Cosmetics Industries, and Biotechnological Studies. Plants. 2020;9(1):119. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2223-7747/9/1/119/htm    
  1. Cleveland Clinic [Internet]. 7 Reasons to Start Your Day with Lemon Water. [cited 2022 Jun 8]. Available from: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/7-reasons-to-start-your-day-with-lemon-water-infographic/ 
  1. United States Department of Agriculture [Internet]. Lemon, raw; 2020 Oct 30 [cited 2022 Jun 8]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102594/nutrients 
  1. Mohanapriya M, Ramaswamy L, Rajendran R. Health And Medicinal Properties Of Lemon (Citrus Limonum). Inter J of Ayur and Herbal Med . 2013 Jan;3(1):1095–1100. Available from: http://interscience.org.uk/v3-i1/8-ijahm.pdf 
  1. Kumbhakar S, Verma R, Biju B. Effect of warm lemon water drink on selected physical parameters among the overweight female nursing students of RIMS & R, UP. Inter J of Nurs Resea and Pract. 2016 Jun;3(1):9–12. Available from: http://www.uphtr.com/IJNRP/issue_files/Vol%203,%20No%202%20-%203%20Ms%20Samundy.pdf  

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