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Which is better lemon essential oil or fresh lemon in your water?

April 16, 20184 min read

I get asked this all the time. Which is better? Fresh Lemon Juice vs Lemon Essential Oil in drinking water? And it’s a really good question. So you know me… I had to do some research and this is what I’ve found… After reading let me know in the comments below which you prefer to use.

Lemon Juice vs Lemon Essential Oil in Your Water


Drinking lemon water in the morning is a key part of the Ayurvedic daily routine and it’s the first habit we focus on in the Daily Essentials Course. The intense focus on this one habit made me curious about the difference between using fresh lemon juice vs lemon essential oil in our morning water. I’ve used both techniques in the past. During a major seasonal cleanse I love the ritual of preparing special fresh lemon water with basil and sea salt. However, on a regular basis, I use lemon oil in my water first thing in the morning since it’s easy and quick to use plus does not affect your teeth enamel.

But are the benefits the same?


The answer is of course Yes and No…

If you are looking to prep the body for digestion, to kickstart the production of bile to help with elimination, and boost the body with hydration for the day then yes absolutely either form works well for this.

Lemon in both the oil and fresh form is considered a “sour” taste which acts similar to bitters to promote the production of bile which kickstarts the digestive process and readies the body for food.

Lemon Water in the Morning

Lemon is cleansing on the digestive tract. Flushing the body with lemon water in the morning helps to get rid of waste products and toxins that build up overnight in your body. In Ayurveda, we prefer warm or hot water depending on your Dosha which does not shut down the digestive process like cold water. Think of your stomach and digestive system as a fire and keeping optimal digestion relies on keeping your fire burning hot not throwing a wet blanket over it.

Benefits of Fresh Lemon

If you are looking to increase Vitamin C, potassium, and citric acid in your body – then fresh lemon is the way to go. Although you will likely want to include at least ½ lemon in your water to get any real effect. This makes it quite a strong taste first thing in the morning and not for the faint of heart!

The high levels of acidity in the flesh of the lemon are cautioned though to make sure to rinse the mouth afterward and not sip this form of water all day as it may promote teeth enamel decay.

Fresh lemon taken too often can increase acidity levels in the stomach resulting in acid reflux and heartburn.

Which is better lemon essential oil or fresh lemon in your water

Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil

The peel of the lemon is where the nutrients are more densely packed and contain considerably more antioxidants and the compound D-Limonene. D-Limonene is attributed to healthy bowel movements, reducing acid reflux, improving mood, and promoting healthy cellular functions throughout the body.

Lemon Peel is also not acidic so it does not pose a risk to teeth enamel.

Another benefit of lemon essential oil is that it will not promote a histamine reaction if your body is reacting to citrus.

Essential Oils in Plastic Bottles

Lemon Oil is a highly concentrated cleanser and will break down plastics causing them to be absorbed by the water. Make sure to use glass or metal containers when adding any citrus essential oil to your water. Any essential oils in plastic bottles is not recommended. This is one of the lemon essential oil benefits in that is helps your body break down plastic molecules.


Which Will You Choose?

Whether you choose the fresh acidic cleanse from the fruit or the convenience and cellular recovery benefits of the essential oil will depends both on what you are looking for and on how likely you are to follow through with either method.

You won’t get any benefit at all if you don’t do it! Whichever form you prefer know that the benefits are huge either way.


Here’s My Strategy…

Lemon in water

During a short-term cleanse I take the extra effort and use fresh lemon, basil, and a little sea salt in my morning water. It’s a nice cleansing ritual but since I usually do this upstairs in my bedroom it’s not practical for an extended length of time.

The doTERRA lemon essential oil is my go-to throughout most of the year to enjoy the benefits from the peel along with the convenience.

What’s your preference? Share in the comments below – do you prefer to use lemon essential oil or fresh lemon in your morning water?

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