How do you start your day?
Perhaps just with a coffee or sometimes nothing at all, you just run out the door to work with a piece of toast in your hand? Yep we’ve all done that I suppose.
Just a little tip – taking coffee on an empty stomach is very harsh for the digestive system. One should always eat first if having coffee.
But a morning drink is really the best way to get started – and it should form part of your morning ritual or daily routine (Dinacharya). This drink helps the body to cleanse and kick starts the digestive fire in the morning, before any food enters. I usually make my drink straight after my bathroom stop, tongue scraping and brushing my teeth.
The Ayurvedic morning drink ingredients are:
- cup of hot water
- fresh lemon juice (1/4 lemon depending on how juicy)
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
- 1 tsp organic raw honey (unheated)
- Note: It is best to wait until the drink has cooled a little before adding the honey, as if heated, can become toxic for the body
There are variations too, for example you could add fennel if you have digestive issues or in the summer to aid in cooling, or ajwain to pacify Vata or in the Autumn. Adjust the drink as you feel necessary and according to your body type and any imbalances you may have.
Sipping on hot water opens up the channels of the body allowing Vata to move, ginger is an antibacterial and effectively scrapes the toxins from the walls of the digestive system, honey binds them and the lemon acts as a cleansing agent flushing the toxins from the GI tract towards elimination.This drink also counteracts any sluggishness in the lymphatic system. What a great combo – wouldn’t you agree?!
Lemon is Tridoshic (benefits all Doshas) and has so many other health benefits such as combats bad breath, increases digestive power, is high in Vitamin C which is great for fighting colds, relieving coughs and sore throats, moves Ama (toxins) and is an alkaline food, amongst many other things.
Now there is some talk about lemon juice eroding your tooth enamel – and the dentist industry is definitely putting fear into us by saying to stay away from it. But there are things you can do to protect your teeth. Brushing your teeth first gives a fine coating that will protect them (do not brush after the morning drink). Rinsing your mouth out after the morning drink will also help. You can add less lemon and more water so as to dilute it more too. And if you’re super worried about it, then you could use a straw so that the drink is taken into the back of the mouth and down the throat instead of being swished around the teeth.
And if you still feel the fear and want to ditch the lemon altogether, then even just sipping on hot water will aid your body in digestion and elimination. It’s really the best form of liquid we could ever think to ingest!
A guaranteed good morning… and a drink you will miss when you don’t have it – just need to find the time!