Saturday, May 3, 2014

Detoxify and Improve Sleep with Dried Lemon Tea

How to make dried lemon tea. It's so easy and helps me sleep! #tea #lemon
Recently my amazing Aunt and Uncle told me about the health benefits that they've seen from drinking warm lemon water, including better sleep and general improvements in health. At first, it sounded a bit fishy because-- well, it's lemon water. I mean, lemon in water. Nothing else. Even with my uber crunchiness, I was skeptical! So I started doing some research and it's actually pretty amazing what this stuff can do!!

Not only can lemon beverages support your immune system due to the high level of vitamin C, but it can also aid in better digestion, calm indigestion and heartburn symptoms. If you suffer from stress or anxiety, the impact lemon has on your GI system is particularly important because it can impacts the gut-brain connection by controlling the level of unhealthy bacteria in the body. Balancing bacteria, particularly in the gut, can help your stress response.

But it can do more than that! It helps to balance pH, improve weight loss, aids in blood sugar stabilization, and can help to decrease acne. It can even detoxify the body! There is even a suggestion that it may support adrenal fatigue because it helps to eliminate toxins in the body.  In his classic 1939 book “Back to Eden”, Jethro Kloss, the father of herbalists points out:

Lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile, and is very good in cases of malaria. Sufferers of chronic rheumatism and gout will benefit by taking lemon juice, also those who have a tendency to bleed, uterine haemorrhages, etc”

But there is so much more! Check out these 20 reasons to drink a beverage with lemon by LA Healthy Living

Doesn't that sounds pretty amazing that a simple glass of lemon water has so many health benefits? With lemon beverages I'm sleeping better, my heartburn has improved and there is a less desire to snack (aka weight loss). But I hardly every use an entire lemon in one day so it seems like a waste. A friend, Candice, (pssst -you're awesome!) told me about dehydrating lemons! They can stay good for months (with proper storage) and once you put them back into a liquid-- boom!-- instant rehydration. 

Dehydrating does change the flavor of the lemons just slightly-- they are a just little less sour and more sweet, but so yum! They are even good as a snack! 

How To Make Oven Dried Lemons
Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature (hopefully between 130-180F. pssst… mine was at 170 F) and don't forget to prop the oven door open with something that won't melt or catch on fire so the air can circulate.

How to dehydrate fruit in the oven #fruit #easy

I suggest using organic lemons because they don't have any pesticides or toxins. Did you know that certain types of pesticides and chemicals on food have been linked to Autism, learning disabilities, Alzheimers, Parkinsons and cancer?

  • Anyways, cut your organic lemons into ⅛ - ¼ inch slices (mine are a little thicker because I'm still traumatized by my kitchen accident and all things sharp/pointy) and put them on a wire rack. 
  • Cook them in the oven for 7-10 hours depending on their thickness, juiciness and oven temperature. A bonus is that your house will smell lovely as they cook! :) 
  • Once they are dry, store them in an airtight jar in a dark place (aka mason jar in the pantry).

You can add them to water, tea, cucumber water, or even made candied lemons. Nom nom. I usually drink a glass of warm lemon water in the morning when I wake up and I drink Sleepy Time Dried Lemon Tea before bed to help me sleep, but you can definitely get creative! You'll just need to give them a few minutes to flavor the beverage because they need to rehydrate a bit. 

Sleepy Time Dried Lemon Tea
A lot of my readers have told me that they have trouble falling asleep. I find that drinking this tea before bedtime really helps me fall asleep and I hope it helps you too! 
Prepare the tea according to package instructions, and add the honey. Stir, then add the lemons. I let them sit for a couple of minutes, then drink and enjoy. It's so lovely-- warm, sweet and just a bit tangy from the lemons.

I recommend using a kettle (like this one: Cuisinart Enamel-on-Steel Teakettle) instead of the microwave because of all these reasons

Easy dried lemon tea for sleep #tea #sleep

Have you tried dehydrated fruit in your drinks before?! This can also work for limes and orange, too! I'd love to hear about what you've tried! And you can toss an apple, pear, pineapple, or any other fruit in the oven with your lemons to dehydrate, but remember their cook time will depend largely on their water content (apples less than lemons, but pineapple more than lemons) so check on them frequently!

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Other Tea Ideas
Bullet Proof Chai Tea from Cheerfully Imperfect. She also dries fruit in the oven
Raspberry Leaf Tea from Yogi Mama
Herbal Tea for Sleep from the Holistic Health Herbalist

Or Maybe Something to Help Lose Weight or Detoxify?
Weight Loss Tips from Mind Body Oasis
Detox Juice by Ribas with Love

I do not recommend drinking lemon water or tea as your only beverage because the lemons can wear on the enamel of your teeth with chronic prolonged exposure. You know, that thing about moderation? Yeah, that's good. :)