If you’re one of the 10-30% of adults who have trouble falling or staying asleep, you might be looking for ways to get more rest. Drinking an herbal tea, like lemon ginger tea, could be a soothing bedtime ritual to help you leave the day behind. Lemon ginger tea is exactly what it sounds like: a sweet infusion of fresh lemon and ginger, with a little sweetener like honey or agave nectar, if desired. You might be wondering if lemon-ginger tea has any unique health benefits. While it doesn’t make you sleepy, it can help you relax and unwind and provide other benefits.
This article looks at 7 benefits of lemon ginger tea at bedtime and explains how to prepare it.
1. Soothes indigestion
If chronic indigestion or a heavy dinner keeps you awake later than you’d like, a cup of lemon-ginger tea can be a great tonic before bed. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a root that has long been used in alternative and folk medicine for its ability to alleviate delayed stomach emptying. Additionally, lemon (Citrus limon) contains a plant compound called limonene that aids digestion by helping to move food through your digestive tract, which can lessen the uncomfortable feeling of fullness. Although the amount of limonene in a cup of lemon-ginger tea varies, you may find that the combination of lemon, ginger, and water in lemon-ginger tea eases indigestion.
2. May Relieve Nausea
Ginger has long been touted for its ability to relieve nausea, which many people experience during pregnancy or chemotherapy, among other things. According to research, consuming 1-1.5 grams of ginger daily may be enough to achieve an anti-nausea effect. A review article found that ginger prevented and reduced chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in half of the studies assessed. Although scientists aren’t sure exactly how ginger works to reduce nausea, they do recognize gingerol as one of the key plant compounds responsible for this effect. However, the results are mixed. In another review of seven studies, three found ginger to have a positive effect on nausea, two showed somewhat positive effects, while two others did not find ginger to have any effect on nausea and vomiting. Ginger appears to be the most effective in helping to prevent pregnancy-related nausea. However, it seems less effective in preventing vomiting. Lemon-ginger tea is generally considered safe during pregnancy.
However, to be on the safe side, consult a healthcare professional if you wish to try it and if you are about to give birth or have a history of bleeding disorders.
3. May Reduce Nasal Congestion
The steam generated by the hot infusion of lemon and ginger can help open the nasal passages and clear a stuffy nose. Drinking something warm can also relieve a sore throat from mucus buildup. While these effects are mostly anecdotal and backed by folk medicine, they may be worth keeping in mind during cold and flu season or if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Lemon ginger tea won’t cure you of any of these ailments, but it can help decongest your nose, allowing air to flow a little more easily.
4. May Relieve Constipation
Constipation can result from several factors, including dehydration and a diet low in fiber (16%). When constipation is due to dehydration, relaxing in the evening with a hot cup of lemon-ginger tea can help because the water makes it easier for stool to pass through the digestive tract. If you are chronically constipated, be sure to drink enough fluids throughout the day.
Consult a healthcare professional if you have difficulty having a bowel movement or if you have a bowel movement less than three times a week.
5. May Help Fight Inflammation
Gingerol, one of the plant compounds found in ginger, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to conditions such as metabolic syndrome, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. However, studies show mixed results for the anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in humans. Additionally, it’s worth keeping in mind that there isn’t enough current research to know how much gingerol is needed to achieve these effects — and how much you’d actually get from drinking a typical cup of lemon-ginger tea.
6. You keep hydrated
When you drink lemon-ginger tea, in addition to the fragrant essence of ginger and lemon, you are of course drinking water, which means you are hydrating your body. This is important because staying hydrated allows vital organs, such as the kidneys, intestines and heart, to function properly. The amount of water you need per day depends on many factors, such as your medications, activities and any health issues. Most women need at least 2.3 liters of water a day, while men need 3.3 liters. The amount you need is unique to you and may vary from day to day.
7. A moment of mindfulness
Having comforting rituals, like a cup of lemon-ginger tea in the evening, can have the added benefit of giving you a moment of quiet reflection. See this as an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness isn’t just a way to relax, it can also have health benefits. A study found that mindfulness can help you process negative emotions and live your day with more intention. Plus, when you let the lemon peel evaporate right under your nose in your cup of hot lemon-ginger tea, you’re diffusing the lemon essential oils. This lemon oil vapor may be beneficial, although more research is needed. A study in mice found that inhaling lemon oil vapor helped with relaxation
Keep the following points in mind if you decide to drink lemon ginger tea regularly
Sweetening your lemon-ginger tea with honey or another sugar-based sweetener can be problematic if you
– you drink several cups of sweetened lemon-ginger tea a day
– you are diabetic
– you have difficulty regulating your blood sugar
– you watch your carbohydrate intake for other reasons, such as the keto diet.
When carbs are a problem, avoid sugar. Remember that sugar comes in many names, including:
– agave syrup
– organic sugars, such as organic cane sugar
If you find the tea too spicy, reduce the amount of ginger or use a natural, non-carb sweetener like stevia instead of honey or another type of sugar.
Drinking fluids before bed can cause you to get up to urinate in the middle of the night, disrupting your sleep. If this concerns you, or if you have trouble falling back to sleep in the middle of the night, consider drinking your lemon-ginger tea 1 or 2 hours before bedtime, rather than just before bedtime.
How to prepare lemon-ginger tea at home?
It’s easy to make lemon-ginger tea at home. After all, just infuse water with fresh ginger and lemon.
– A 2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger root, peeled.
– 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges and 1 fresh wedge for garnish
– 1 cup (237ml) water
– honey or agave nectar, to taste
1 Combine the ginger and lemon with the water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer on your stovetop. Leave to infuse for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
2 If you find the tonic too weak, grate the ginger instead or cut it into small pieces. You can also add a zest of lemon if you want more lemony notes.
Add honey or agave nectar to taste, if desired. Decorate with a wedge of fresh lemon.
You can also prepare a larger batch and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to heat it again. To do this, multiply this recipe for a few days.
An infusion of lemon and ginger has the potential to soothe minor stomach aches, help relieve a stuffy nose, and calm or even prevent nausea. Additionally, the simple act of drinking lemon and ginger tea can help create feelings of relaxation and could be a great tool for practicing mindfulness.