Irene's Immune-Boosting Lemon Elixir

Irene's Immune-Boosting Lemon Elixir

This lemony, tangy, just-the-right-amount-of sweet-and-spicy immune boosting elixir will make you feel so good from the inside out. It'll speed up recovery time from a cold. And it'll jumpstart your entire system in the morning (that's right, your morning "go" doesn't require coffee).


Whenever I'm feeling under the weather, like I need an immunity boost, or simply craving a cold refreshing drink, this is what I make. I created it in an effort to use the entirety of a lemon, rather than just the juice. And it is so damn delicious.

I used to just squeeze lemon juice into a cup of water and call it a day, but then I learned that the antioxidants found in lemons are far more potent in the rind and pith of the fruit. I also used to take a Vitamin C supplement, until I learned how they're made and the potential affects on our bodies over time.

All Vitamin C supplements are made in a lab. Some are made from real foods (still in a lab), but most of them are ascorbic acid, a synthetic version of Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is typically derived from GMO corn or rice (corn sugar, corn starch, or rice starch). Sounds like something I don't want.

Several studies over the past couple decades provide a reason to give pause about synthetic Vitamin C, including one from the June 2001 issue of Science, showing that "synthetic vitamin C may contribute to the formation of genotoxins that can lead to cancer". Another study shared in the January 2008 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition noted that athletes who took 1000 mg of isolated ascorbic acid per day showed reduced endurance capacity from interference with antioxidant enzymes.

Eating real, whole foods is the best and most healthy way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C. And with this recipe, you're getting all the nutritious benefits of eating the entire lemon, including a good morning poo! The pulp of the lemon has a ton of fiber! And the Vitamin C pulls water into the gut, which helps stimulate bowel movements and soften stools. 

There's a lot of benefits to drinking lemon water, especially first thing in the morning (a quick Google search will give you tons of info on this). But what's even better is drinking the entire lemon (rind, pith, seeds and all!). Throw in the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of turmeric and cinnamon, the digestive and metabolic benefits of cayenne pepper, and the antioxidant and antibacterial properties of honey (it also gives you a lil energy boost!), and you're giving your body a kick-ass start to the day. 

Now, onto the recipe... ;)

  • 1/2 - 1 whole lemon (rind, pith, seeds and all)
  • 1 cup water for every 1/2 lemon
  • a couple dashes each of ceylon cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne pepper*
  • 1 tablespoon honey for every 1/2 lemon*
  • handful of ice

*feel free to adjust for taste or as you see fit

Blend on high for ~1 minute until well blended and a creamy, frothy consistency is formed. Enjoy immediately! After, be sure to rinse your mouth and teeth well with water as the acidity from the lemon can be harsh on tooth enamel, if not rinsed.