The health benefits of warm lemon and cayenne pepper water

The health benefits of warm lemon and cayenne pepper water

No, this is absolutely NOT a post about a cleanse where all you drink is lemon and cayenne pepper water for a week in order to achieve drastic weight loss. Eek, does that thought make me cringe. While I do believe in cleanses, I veer away from the drastic and prefer food cleanses – that’s right, detoxification through foods that naturally detox and cleanse the body – yum!

However, drinking a warm glass of fresh squeezed lemon juice and non-irradiated cayenne pepper water is a practice that I do every morning to help stimulate my body’s detoxification systems on a daily basis.

So what’s the deal exactly?

Every morning, I roll out of bed, fill the tea kettle, put it on a burner at high-heat, and set the kitchen timer to 3 minutes (the time will vary depending on the amount of water in your kettle as well as your stove, but the water should be warm – slightly warmer than body temperature, but not hot). After the timer goes off, I fill a pint glass with the water. Then, using a wooden citrus reamer, I juice half a lemon directly in the glass, and top it off with a thin layer of non-irradiated cayenne pepper across the top. Lastly, I mix everything together and chug. I follow this with about a half glass of plain water, and wait 15-30 minutes before eating breakfast to let the drink work its magic.

[Note: I use a glass drinking straw with this drink to keep the acidic lemon from wearing away my tooth enamel. If you choose to try or adopt this practice, I highly suggest investing in these straws. Unlike plastic and stainless steel straws, they will not leech any harmful chemicals or metals.]

And why do I do this?

This practice stimulates the liver, the body’s primary detoxing organ, and kick-starts the digestive system. Your liver releases uric acid and creates bile to safely eliminate toxins. Keeping your liver and digestive system clean and in tip-top shape helps prevent chronic disease.

Lemon juice and cayenne pepper both have anti-fungal, immune boosting, and detoxifying properties:

  • Lemon is a natural detoxifier as vitamin C transforms toxins into digestible material. In addition to vitamin C, lemons are also packed with antioxidants and electrolytes including potassium, calcium and magnesium. Lemon is also known to stimulate the liver’s natural enzymes by helping to oxygenate the body.
  • Cayenne pepper stimulates the circulatory system by opening the capillaries, aids digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar. Furthermore, and very importantly, it increases the temperature of your body and kick-starts your metabolism, which, yes, can help you to lose weight over time. Be sure to always buy non-irradiated cayenne pepper (and all spices) since irradiation negates the health benefits of spices.

To boot, lemons, though acidic, and cayenne pepper, though super-spicy, actually help neutralize the body’s pH by making it more alkaline. pH imbalance has been attributed to numerous disorders as well as chronic illness.

This drink is also a great energy booster, and has replaced my morning green tea. When we wake up, our bodies are dehydrated. Rather then drinking coffee, which is a diuretic and further dehydrates the body, warm lemon cayenne pepper water gives our bodies the hydration it needs with the added perks of the lemon and cayenne pepper. It is an all-around super-stimulant.

Further Reading:

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50 Responses to The health benefits of warm lemon and cayenne pepper water

  1. Mary WInston says:

    Now you tell me! lol I’m just finishing up a two week detox and yuck am I tired of the monotony of one meal and shake replacements. I’ll remember this next time I feel I need a cleansing.

  2. Jaclyn says:

    Hm, is this kind of detox safe and gentle enough for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Or should that be avoided?

  3. […] Everyday after showering, I spray some magnesium oil (again, not really oil so it won’t stain clothing) on my legs and arms. It absorbs completely before I dress. I consider this a critical part of my daily routine, as with dry body brushing and my morning warm lemon cayenne pepper water. […]

  4. Can I substitute apple cider vinegar for the lemon juice and get the same results? Lemon juice of any kind has a tendency to cause stomach burn but ACV does not.

  5. Hb says:

    My friend has been doing this and lost 5 kg’s without any additional effort… I am sold.

  6. Nadia says:

    Wow – just by drinking it in the morning?? That’s great!

  7. noha says:

    can we add raw honey as well? will it alter the composition in anyway? or will it work just as well? thanks!

  8. Nadia says:

    Raw honey is great for you – I don’t see why not! It would certainly sweeten it up a bit :)

  9. Robert says:


    For a while now I’ve been drinking lemon juice with the zest diluted with water (be sure to use an organic lemon, otherwise you will consume some sort of wax). I drink this just because I think it is a very refreshing and healthy drink in the morning. Then I read that cayenne had all sorts of health benefits, so I added cayenne to my morning drink and I still enjoy it. Wondering what others had to say about it, I searched the internet and realized that this combination is mostly consumed for cleansing or detox reasons. That reminded me of the following documentary: The Truth aboud Food, by the BBC.

    This episode is, among other things, about detoxing and it is rather revealing. If you are into detoxing cures, the ‘eek’ and the ‘juck’ way, and you hate it – be sure to watch it. You can quite without feeling guilty.

    This is not to say that we shouldn’t drink our lemon cayenne, for it is still very nutritious and healthy. Even more so when consumed with the zest (the richest part of the lemon in nutrients).

    The Truth about Food consists of six episodes, all avaible on youtube.



  10. Nadia says:

    Thanks for sharing that link, Robert! I watched the whole series – very interesting.

    Yes, some people drink lemon and cayenne pepper water to a detox – that’s all they consume for a set period of time! I personally do not think that is a good idea and would not do it myself! Drinking it in the morning has so many benefits, though, and helps stimulate your detox systems after sleep.

  11. noha says:

    Van we cut up a small chili pepper instead of the cayenne pepper?? I can’t find it anywhere in dubai! And can we add apple cider vinegar and honey to that? Thanks Nadia :)

  12. maurae abrahams says:

    I’m drinking lemon and cayenne pepper every morning, it’s beneficial because I don’t get much time to work out, and finds that is burns belly fat. Shedding some pounds without any effort! I just love this drink.

  13. Meg says:

    I’ve done this for 3 days so far (and will pretty much make it a daily routine from now on) and my sinus’ feel so much better!! I’ve been struggling with chronic sinusitis for years and wake up super congested every morning and hate having to take OTC drugs for it. It has been less than 5 minutes and I can breath out of both nostrils clearly!! Another bonus. : ) Yay!! Thank you for sharing this.


  14. Someone recommended I try this when I go skiing to warm my hands and feet, but it sounds like a great every day drink, too! What’s your opinion on using pre-made lemon juice, whether store bought or juiced by me say, at the beginning of the week? Thanks!

  15. […] This practice helps stimulate the body’s detoxification systems. Lemon is a natural detoxifier as vitamin C transforms toxins into digestible material. Lemon is also known to stimulate the liver’s natural enzymes by helping to oxygenate the body. Cayenne pepper stimulates the circulatory system by opening the capillaries, aids digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar. It also kick-starts the metabolism. Read more about the health benefits of warm lemon and cayenne pepper water. […]

  16. lytlee says:

    Why does it have to be warm?

  17. Hope says:

    Would this drink be ok for people with colitis?

  18. Nadia says:

    I truthfully have no idea and would ask your doctor before trying it.

  19. christine says:


    I Was looking for it for a long time here in dubai and i finally found it in carre four in mirdiff city center and got myself a handfull coz dont when next it will be available.

  20. Kellie says:

    Thank you everyone for all the wonderful information. I am making a life change to only allow healthy food into my body and will let you know my progress. Best to all of you!

  21. Sarah says:

    Thank you for this wonderful and informative article. I am excited to try this out in the mornings before breakfast. Thanks for your research and providing additional articles!

  22. Nirmal says:

    I am taking black pepper instead of cayenne pepper added with lemon and water .Is this advise to continue or should I….

  23. Nadia says:

    That is up to you! Black pepper has its own benefits.

  24. i wil try lemon and pepper to cleanse my teeth enamel

  25. Nadia says:

    Oh no, that’s not the point – you want to be careful it does NOT damage your enamel! This is why I use a straw.

  26. Thoko says:

    i have a metabolism problem ,my friend advise me to drink hot water and cayenne pepper first thing in the morning, its about a week now I don’t have a running stomach but what is happening to me I get so constipated I fatted the whole day, is it going to give me the same benefit as other people or I should stop it, please advise

  27. Nadia says:

    I am not a doctor and cannot provide you with any advice. It seems like you should see a specialist for your stomach issues.

  28. […] glass straws are a must. I have a set of the bent Glass Dharma straws and use them daily for my morning lemon cayenne pepper drink and smoothies. And I will say that they also add a touch of elegance to a post-work […]

  29. Walks With Flowers says:

    I don’t always have time in the morning to make this so every few days I’ll make a big batch and store it in mason jars in the fridge. I also use fresh turmeric in mine as well as a little bit of raw organic honey.

  30. Jackie says:

    Thanks for the info. I find this drink beneficial as well: 1 cup green tea (water or coconut water is also good) – draw tea in hot water and add 1/2 lemon, 1/2 lime, 1 orange, 1 tbsp. raw organic honey, 1/2 tbsp. cider vinegar (with mother), 1 tbsp UDON oil or Flax seed oil. I added 1/2 grapefruit in the last 2 drink and absolutely love it. Today, I added 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper and I still enjoy it. I don’t have time to do it in the morning so I make it at night and store in the fridge and then take it with me to work. Walks with Flowers, I will add turmeric in my next drink – I have been trying it in other recipes but not this one. I also use turmeric with honey and avocado for facials and in my hair. Great results.

  31. ashley reiss says:

    Is there a benefit to the the water bring warm or is it personal preference?

  32. darcyohDarcy says:

    Hi — you mentioned in another post that you have IC, so I was surprised to see you drink lemon everyday! I also have IC and am curious if you think it can be safe for a painful bladder…

  33. Nadia says:

    Citrus fruits actually aren’t one of my trigger foods which is weird, I know.

  34. Ann says:

    Started this yesterday. I have got diverticulitis and a slow metabolism. Fingers crossed that this can only have positive results.

  35. Jim says:

    Well… the morning weather is becoming brisker with the coming of autumn, and I have to say, this tea has had the benefit of, not only unclogging my sinuses in the morning, but giving me a good warming-up before I take my shower. I haven’t used lemon, but I will definitely consider it. I have raw ginger root on hand and may use that for further soothing and antimicrobial effects. When the weather turned, and I had been waking up with a scratchy throat, I found that a teaspoonful of the pepper in a cup of hot water really helped soothe (and possibly kill off) whatever was starting the trouble as the scratchiness is no longer there.

    Surprisingly enough, I heard about the usefulness of this herb in a decades-old book entitled “Back to Eden” by the late Jethro Kloss. Anyone into homeopathic, natural living should consider obtaining a copy of this text; it is truly a Godsend. Keep up the good fight, Nadia!

  36. From personal experience, studying natural cancer remedies, research articles and medical reports, You can make this even better and fix more things at the same time! Just add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of Turmeric to your warm lemon water with Cayenne pepper combination. Now you have the worlds best kept secret with 4 simple ingredients. Research the benefits of each of these ingredients separately and you will see what a healing drink this truly is.

  37. Lori says:

    I am wondering how much cayenne pepper do you put in lemon drink. Thanks

  38. Em says:

    I am at school and I only have access to room temperature water… could you tell me why it has to be warm? Is it just for the taste?

  39. am happy to learn for the first time how cayenne p-aper works.want to learn more.

  40. daneline says:

    I heard of this through a friend, have been trying it. Cant wait for results.


    I am request permission to use some of your articles in my book the history of food to help this and the next generation to live healthier lives.

  42. Nadia says:

    No, that is not possible but best of luck.

  43. shay nichole says:

    Will this help me lose weight?! That’s really all I need and wanna know. Lol

  44. Nadia says:

    If you want to lose weight, you’re going to need to do more than just drink some miracle tonic.

  45. Di says:

    I’m loving this! I started drinking it after a 3-day juice cleanse and my first juice in the morning was this exactly during said cleanse. On the 4th day, I found myself craving the flavor and missing the energy it gave me. I never once missed coffee during my cleanse and I no longer drink coffee in the mornings. Also, I lost 6 lbs with the cleanse and I’ve been eating healthier ever since (1 month) and I suspect the lemon water and cayenne do have something to do with my flat stomach. I’ve never had a flat stomach in my life, needless to say, I’m ecstatic! Having been able to quit coffee is more than enough motivation to try this. Good luck to all and thanks for sharing, Nadia! I googled this to learn if it can be ingested over long periods of time. Seems like it :D

  46. Arev Kirokian says:

    Should i be drinking this once a day?

  47. Maulik hk says:

    This works well in early morning empty stomach. But for better results, we should also channel the whole day in a healthy way. Otherwise its effects will be null.

  48. bacalove says:

    Cayenne – Start by taking ¼ teaspoon of this herb three times a day. Gradually work up to 1 teaspoon three times a day. Dissolve the cayenne in 4-6 ounces of distilled water. Drink this, and then chase it
    with more distilled water. Cayenne is a pure stimulant, increasing the functional activity and
    energy in the body. It is a specific food for the heart and blood vessels and helps them regain
    their elasticity. It equalizes the blood circulation throughout the whole body, thus it is valuable
    for any hemorrhage (whether internal or external) and for restoring normal blood pressure.
    Cayenne heals stomach and intestinal ulcers, stimulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines,
    has antiseptic qualities, and much more. Cayenne is the strongest of the three categories of
    Capsicum (paprika, red pepper and cayenne). Any Capsicum that has over 25 BTU’s (British
    Thermal Units) is classified as cayenne. At times you can purchase cayenne with as much as
    10,000 BTU’s, so decrease your dosage if it is too strong (too hot) for you. To assure that you get
    good quality cayenne, we recommend that you buy it at a health food store.”

    from dr. Christopher:
    – supplements for maintaining good health

  49. anee says:

    I have been taking lemon&honey &also Amla juice for quite along time; I thought it could lower my blood cholesterol,but it did not. what to do?

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