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What does drinking lemon juice and ginger do?

Drinking lemon juice mixed with ginger is a popular health tonic that has been used for centuries in many cultures. The combination is touted to have a variety of health benefits, from aiding digestion to boosting immunity. Here we’ll explore what effects drinking lemon juice and ginger may have.

Aids Digestion

One of the main traditional uses of drinking lemon juice and ginger is to help stimulate digestion. The citric acid in lemon juice and the volatile oils in ginger are both known to aid digestion. Let’s look at how each ingredient contributes to better digestion:

Lemon Juice

  • Encourages the production of stomach acid, bile, and other digestive juices in the stomach and intestines.
  • May help relieve symptoms of indigestion, bloating, and heartburn.
  • Acts as a mild natural laxative due to its acidic nature.


  • Increases gastric motility – the rate at which food moves through the digestive tract.
  • Provides relief for nausea, gas, bloating, and cramping.
  • Stimulates the production of saliva, bile, and other gastric juices for better digestion.

By drinking lemon juice and ginger together, you get the combined effects of improved digestion. The ginger adds an extra boost to the lemon’s already digestive-stimulating abilities.


Lemon juice and ginger are both commonly used as detoxification agents. They may help flush toxins out of the body and provide antioxidants.

Lemon Juice

  • Contains antioxidants like vitamin C that help neutralize free radicals.
  • Has a diuretic effect to increase urine output.
  • May stimulate enzyme production in the liver to aid detoxification.


  • Contains antioxidants like gingerols that scavenge free radicals.
  • Increases circulation and sweating to eliminate waste products.
  • Stimulates detox pathways in the liver.

Together, lemon juice and ginger provide a good dose of antioxidants and stimulation of detoxification mechanisms. This may be helpful for flushing built-up toxins out of the body.

Weight Loss

Drinking lemon juice and ginger daily may support weight loss in a few ways:

  • Improving digestion and metabolism to better process food.
  • Detoxifying the body and stimulating liver function.
  • Acting as a mild diuretic to reduce water weight.
  • Increasing satiety and curbing appetite due to ginger’s effect.

However, there is limited direct evidence that the combination actually leads to significant weight loss. But the indirect effects on digestion, detoxification, and metabolism may complement a healthy diet and exercise regime.


Lemon juice and ginger each contain compounds that may help strengthen the immune system. Here’s a closer look at what they provide:

Lemon Juice Ginger
  • High in vitamin C
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Boosts white blood cell production
  • Contains antioxidants like gingerols
  • Anti-inflammatory effect
  • May inhibit growth of pathogens

Vitamin C from the lemon juice and antioxidants from both ingredients can support immune cell function. This may help bolster the body’s defenses against pathogens and inflammation.

Heart Health

There are a few ways that drinking lemon juice and ginger may support heart health:

Blood Pressure

  • Lemon juice is high in potassium which helps relax blood vessels.
  • Gingerol compounds in ginger exhibit anti-hypertensive effects.
  • The combination may help maintain healthy blood pressure.

Blood lipids

  • Lemons contain antioxidants that protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation.
  • Ginger may help lower LDL and raise HDL cholesterol.
  • May support healthy cholesterol levels.

Blood clotting

  • Ginger has natural blood thinning properties.
  • Can help prevent excessive clotting and thrombosis.
  • Use cautiously if taking blood-thinning medication.

However, more research is still needed to confirm ginger and lemon’s specific effects on heart health in humans.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Chronic inflammation is thought to contribute to many modern health conditions. Lemon juice and ginger exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that may help:

Lemon Juice Ginger
  • Vitamin C reduces inflammatory markers.
  • Antioxidants decrease oxidative stress.
  • May reduce risk of inflammatory conditions.
  • Gingerols suppress inflammatory pathways.
  • Lowers production of inflammatory cytokines.
  • Shown to reduce pain and inflammation.

The anti-inflammatory abilities of lemon and ginger may help relieve inflammatory disorders when used regularly. More clinical research is needed.

Antioxidant Content

Antioxidants help prevent cellular damage from free radicals in the body. Lemon juice and ginger provide a variety of antioxidant compounds:

Lemon Juice Ginger
  • Vitamin C
  • Flavonoids
  • Hesperidin
  • Eriocitrin
  • Gingerols
  • Shogaols
  • Zingerone

These antioxidants may help combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals and protect cells against damage. More human research is needed on their antioxidant capacity.

Possible Side Effects

Drinking lemon juice mixed with ginger is generally considered safe and well-tolerated for most people. However, there are some possible side effects and cautions to be aware of:

  • May cause heartburn in those with gastric reflux.
  • Can interact with blood thinners or medications for diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Ginger may exacerbate gallbladder issues.
  • Excess lemon juice can erode tooth enamel over time.
  • Drinking with a reusable straw can help prevent enamel erosion.

When in doubt, talk to your doctor before beginning to drink lemon and ginger regularly, especially if taking any medications.

How to Drink Lemon Juice and Ginger

There are lots of ways to incorporate lemon juice and ginger into your routine. Here are some popular preparation methods:

Lemon Ginger Tea

  • Combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, grated ginger, and hot water.
  • Can add maple syrup or honey to sweeten if desired.
  • Drink first thing in the morning, before bed, or with meals.

Lemon Ginger Detox Water

  • Infuse sliced lemon and ginger in a pitcher of water.
  • Allow to steep overnight in the fridge.
  • Drink throughout the day.

Lemon Ginger Shot

  • Mix lemon juice and grated ginger.
  • Take as a quick shot before meals.
  • Can add cayenne or mint for extra kick.

The amounts can be adjusted to taste and tolerability. Many recommend starting with the juice from 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon of grated ginger.


Drinking lemon juice combined with ginger root is an easy way to incorporate two powerful ingredients linked to a variety of potential health benefits. From better digestion and immunity to anti-inflammatory effects and detoxification, ginger and lemon are staples in many health tonics and rituals.

While human research is still emerging, the combination appears generally safe for most people when consumed in moderation. As with any supplement, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider if you have any specific medical conditions or take medications.

Overall, drinking lemon juice and ginger is an ancient remedy that may provide a range of health perks along with a refreshing, zesty flavor.