Herbal teas not only help you stay hydrated by contributing to your body’s water needs, but they offer many benefits without the caffeine. While there are hundreds of varieties, the benefits of lemon basil tea can provide the powerful medicinal properties of both along with an aroma and taste that’s delectable.
The benefits of drinking a glass of warm water with some freshly squeezed lemon in the morning have long been touted – a ritual that many take part in around the world. But the benefits of lemon basil tea may take that ritual to a whole new level.
In an article published by the renowned Cleveland Clinic, internal medicine specialist Roxanne B. Sukol, MD, MS suggests taking up the habit due to its ability to aid digestion, hydrate, boost weight loss, prevent oxidative cell damage, and more. Adding basil to the mix will provide even more beneficial properties.
Benefits of Lemon Basil Tea
If you want an alternative to unhealthy soda or are just looking for a tea that can support your wellness efforts, lemon basil tea is one of the best. But don’t take our word for it, both ingredients have been studied significantly, which means there is plenty of scientific evidence.
1. Immune Boosting Vitamin C
Citrus fruits like lemon are well-known for their high vitamin C content, a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant that can help strengthen the immune system, protect against heart disease, lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Of course, it’s famous for its role in battling a cold. While studies haven’t proven that taking a vitamin C supplement can reduce the incidence of colds in a population, at least one review revealed that vitamin C may help reduce the duration of a cold.
As noted in the journal Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, scientific research has also indicated that vitamin C may aid in protecting against a variety of cancers.
Its antioxidant properties help to fight free radicals while helping to neutralize the effects of nitrites. Nitrites are preservatives found in some packaged, processed foods that have been linked to cancer.
2. Supporting Weight Loss
One of the reasons that so many have started the lemon water habit is to prevent weight gain or to help support weight loss efforts.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found that rodents consuming a high fat diet with lemon peel phenols added for 12 weeks gained less weight than the animals that didn’t consume the lemon.
If you drink lemon as a tea throughout the day, enjoying the benefits of lemon basil tea in particular, it can naturally help to prevent overeating. That’s because, just like water, it takes up space in the stomach that leads to a feeling of fullness while providing the added boost of the other ingredients.
3. Better Digestion
While lemon is acidic, in the body it promotes an alkaline pH which can aid digestion and help break food down more efficiently. That makes it easier for the body to extract the maximum amount of nutrients from the meals you’re consuming.
Combined with the water you drink in the lemon basil tea, it stimulates healthier digestion and waste elimination, reducing the risk of constipation too.
4. Prevent Bloating
Lemon is considered a mild diuretic, which means it encourages healthy elimination of water through your urine which can prevent bloating and water retention, including that “water weight gain.”
That means you might start using the bathroom more often when you drink lemon basil tea, but that can be beneficial too by helping to clear the urinary tract of unwanted elements, including toxins.
5. Managing Blood Sugar Levels
Enjoying the benefits of lemon basil tea by drinking it (without any form of sugar added) instead of soda or other high-sugar beverages will obviously help reduce blood sugar levels as you’ll be reducing your sugar intake.
But it goes beyond that as basil, particularly holy basil (sometimes referred to as tulsi), is known for its ability to maintain or decrease blood sugar levels.
There have been multiple studies that have shown this, including one that found that an extract of holy basil lowered blood sugar by more than 36 percent in rats without health issues and 18 percent in those with diabetes.
6. Lower Cortisol Levels
The effects of holy basil on blood sugar may come thanks, at least in part, to its ability to aid in regulating cortisol levels.
A scientific article published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine noted that it was shown not only to counter metabolic stress by balancing blood glucose, lipid, and blood pressure levels, but it had positive effects on psychological stress.
Keeping cortisol levels in check is important for overall health. Cortisol is the so-called “stress hormone,” believed to be the root of an astonishing number of health conditions. That includes diabetes as well as contributing to reduced immune function, weight gain and obesity, and even memory problems.
7. Better Oral Health – and Better Breath
Lemon basil tea also packs a punch when it comes to improving oral health and your breath.
Lemon has been found in scientific research to contain antimicrobial and phytochemical properties in addition to antioxidants that work together to help kill bacteria while reducing inflammation in the mouth.
Basil is also known to fight bacteria in the mouth that can increase plaque, lead to cavities, and bad breath. Holy basil in particular has been shown in research to be a natural mouth cleanser and freshener due to its compounds that kill germs that hide in your mouth.
Additionally, studies have demonstrated that holy basil may prevent the growth of oral cancer cells and diminish ulcers in the mouth.
8. Enhancing Immune Boosting and Cancer-fighting Benefits
While lemon helps to keep your immune system strong and may reduce your risk of many cancers, basil also brings some potent immune boosting and cancer-fighting benefits.
A review published in Nutrition and Cancer outlined the research on the herb’s ability to kill cancer. It highlights that as it contains significant immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory processes which help protect vital organs and reduce stress, those who consume basil aren’t as likely to have a compromised immune system.
That means that they are also less susceptible to developing cancer cells.
Basil’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties are also good news for your immune system and overall health. One of the key benefits is the ability to fight free radical damage while protecting cells and DNA structure.
Basil contains two antioxidants called viceninare and orientin. They are known to protect white blood cells that are responsible for cellular structures where DNA is stored as well as proper immune functioning.
Toxins in the diet and environmental air pollution lead to oxidative stress, but the antioxidants such as the type contained in basil will help fight oxidation to lower the risk of disease and even slow the effects of aging.
How to Enjoy the Benefits of Lemon Basil Tea
Lemon basil tea is super quick and easy to make, ideal to drink when you first wake up to give your body a healthy boost, get your digestive system going, and say goodbye to frustrating constipation and bloat. But you can sip it anytime of day as it may help fight cravings while keeping you hydrated at the same time. It’s a great way to enjoy more flavor when you’re trying to meet your body’s water needs too.
All you need is a cup of hot, just before boiling, water, two or three basil leaves and a couple pieces of organic lemon rind, about 1 ½” to 2” long. Simply add the basil and lemon to the hot water, let it sit for a few minutes and enjoy the magic.