Ever heard of something called jamu? Ever come across the benefits of drinking lemon juice and water first thing in the morning? In the recipe below, I’m combining the two to create a delicious tonic, great for starting your day.
What is jamu?
Jamu is a drink that originated in Indonesia. Bright golden-yellow in colour and treated like a cure-all for many ailments, this popular drink contains a lot of powerful healing ingredients that offer great benefits to anyone but that are particularly applicable to those of us fighting or preventing cancer.
Jamu is made from turmeric, ginger, a bit of lime or lemon juice and honey, which all contain healthful flavonoids, phytonutrients, and other compounds that have anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and immune boosting properties.
Why should I be drinking it?
Studies have shown that turmeric can reduce symptoms of depression, is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory substances in the world, can boost skin health, aids in liver detoxification, and a number of laboratory studies have even shown that it has direct anticancer effects, able to kill cancer cells (in particular, breast, bowel, stomach, and skin) and prevent more from growing1, 2.
Ginger has been proven in studies to successfully combat nausea, to have anti-fungal effects and the ability to combat bacterial infections, to also ease inflammation, and (most important for us) to have anti-cancer properties3. More research is needed, but in test tubes, ginger has shown that it may be effective at blocking cancer cell growth and development, particularly in in ovarian, pancreatic, gastrointestinal, and prostate cancer4.
Lemon and limes have more to them than being great in lemonade on a hot day. Citrus fruits have been shown to improve the condition of skin, boost immunity with their vitamin C content, and to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and once again studies have also shown their anti-cancer effects such as reduced cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death)5, 6.
Finally, delicious and helpful honey! It’s not just for sweetening drinks and desserts. Honey has been proven to have antimicrobial effects by preventing the growth of bad bacteria and fungi, it is rich in antioxidants (if it is of high-quality), and boosts energy7. When it comes to cancer, honey has been shown to boost immunity, scavenge toxic free radicals, and the flavonoids it contains have been shown to induce apoptosis, disrupt the mitochondrial membranes of cancer cells, and inhibit cell proliferation8.
Jamu can be taken like a shot or mixed with flat or sparkling water. It was this option of mixing it with water that got me thinking. I had just been reading about the benefits of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning, and since you also have the option of using lemon juice in jamu, I thought, why not combine the two?
The Benefits of Lemon Water
There is a lot of buzz right now about the benefits of drinking fresh celery juice first thing in the morning (google “Medical Medium” if you are interested), but unfortunately it can be too time consuming to do for people like me who always find themselves rushing in the morning, even without trying to juice and drink celery before leaving for work! The next best thing that you can do is to drink lemon and water instead.
Lemons (and citrus in general) has been used for centuries to preserve foods, cleanse water, and treat illnesses like scurvy9. More recently, we have expanded our knowledge of the benefits of this cheerful fruit, in particular when you drink it in water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Drinking lemon water in this way helps to flush out toxins, promotes glowing skin and anti-aging, boosts your energy and mood, helps support weight loss, stimulates a sluggish fatty liver by loosening and dispersing fat cells, helps to hydrate you, and helps to balance your pH and alkalize your cells9.
Imagine the benefits of combining both jamu and lemon water! Below is a recipe that I adapted from two separate ones: one for jamu and one for morning lemon water9, 10. Give it a try and let me know in the comments below or in the Facebook group how you like it!
Jamu Lemon Water Tonic
Makes: 4 cups of jamu and 2 cups of lemon water
- ½ cup sliced, dried turmeric (or fresh, if you have access to it)
- ½ cup sliced ginger
- 6 cups fresh filtered water
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1-3 teaspoons honey
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Medium-sized pot
- Fine mesh strainer or a wide-mouth funnel and cheesecloth
- Wooden spoon
- Large mason Jar
- Combine the ginger and turmeric in a blender along with 4 cups of the water. Puree until smooth.
- Add turmeric-ginger mixture to a pot and bring to a simmer. Once it simmers, turn the heat down to its lowest setting and let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Place either the mesh strainer or the funnel over the jar (if you are using the funnel, line it with cheesecloth) and strain the mixture. If using a strainer, use the back of a wooden spoon to press the mixture into the strainer and extract as much jamu as possible; if using the cheese cloth, once all of the mixture has been poured through, you can twist together the corners of the cloth to create a pouch and keep twisting to squeeze out as much juice as possible.
- Stir in the lime juice and the honey. Add more honey if you prefer things on the sweeter side or add a bit of stevia or monk fruit sweetener if you would like a sweeter taste but would also like to avoid adding more sugars with the honey. Let the mixture cool completely.
- To drink, add 2-3 tablespoons (about one ounce) of jamu to a glass. Top it with the remaining two cups of water and the lemon juice and enjoy! You can refrigerate the rest of the jamu.
- If the lemon and lime is too sour for you, you can use just one or the other.
- You should wait at least 15-30 minutes after drinking this to eat anything, as an empty stomach ensures that it is digested properly.
- Vitamin C can be sensitive to heat, so it is best to use cold or room temperature water to avoid killing it off.
- The strong turmeric and ginger juices can cause some stomach discomfort in people with sensitive stomachs, so start by sipping it slowly. It is best to drink this on an empty stomach, but if you experience any discomfort, try eating a little something or watering it down further.
- It is very important to make sure you rinse your mouth with some more water after you finish drinking this to rinse the acid away and protect the enamel of your teeth.
- “Turmeric and Curcumin Benefits: Can This Herb Really Combat Disease?”: https://draxe.com/turmeric-curcumin-benefits/
- “Turmeric”: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/turmeric
- “12 Major Benefits of Ginger for Body and Brain”: https://draxe.com/10-medicinal-ginger-health-benefits/
- Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. “Chapter 7: The Amazing and Mighty Ginger – 7.6.4 Anticarcinogenic Activities of Ginger”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
- “What are the benefits of drinking lime water?”: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322556.php
- “Anticancer Potential of Citrus Juices and Their Extracts: A Systematic Review of Both Preclinical and Clinical Studies”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5491624/
- “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Honey”: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/10/20/health-benefits-honey.aspx
- “Does Honey Have the Characteristics of Natural Cancer Vaccine?”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942905/
- “7 Powerful Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water”: https://www.foodmatters.com/article/7-powerful-benefits-drinking-lemon-water?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FMNLWeek-227-powerful-benefits-drinking-lemon-water&utm_content=FMNLWeek-227-powerful-benefits-drinking-lemon-water+Version+B+CID_66198c46c1d9fa5ba1331b423d781ec8&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Heres%207%20powerful%20benefits%20of%20drinking%20lemon%20water%20in%20the%20morning
- Jamu Shot and Tonic”: https://hormonesbalance.com/recipes/jamu-shot-spritzer-a-womans-tonic/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email