Does Lemon Help With Indigestion?

Lemons are a type of citrus fruit that have long been used for both cooking and medicinal purposes — but can they actually help treat indigestion? Acid reflux and indigestion occur when the acids in your stomach go back up your esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation in the lining of the esophagus (via Healthline). This can lead to a burning sensation in the chest known as heartburn. Acid reflux is also commonly accompanied by nausea and burping. While anyone can experience acid reflux and indigestion at any time, certain foods, like garlic and spices, can worsen symptoms after eating.

Currently, the most common household treatment for acid reflux is Tums, but some health experts believe lemon water can help reduce symptoms of indigestion. That's because lemons are rich in ascorbic acid. Although further evidence is still needed, research has shown that consuming ascorbic acid on a regular basis can help protect your stomach from damage and disease. Lemon water can also have an alkalizing effect on stomach acid. Even though lemons are acidic, mixing lemon juice with water can help neutralize your stomach acids when digested.

How to use lemon water for indigestion

Fortunately, you can easily prepare this potential remedy at home. If you have indigestion and acid reflux and want to try drinking lemon water for its alkalizing effects, all you have to do is a follow a few simple steps (via Medical News Today). To use lemon water for acid reflux, mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with 8 ounces of water. Since the water helps dilute the juice's potency and acidity, the lemon flavor shouldn't taste very strong. If the mixture is too pungent, start over and add a little less lemon juice.

Start by only drinking a little bit to see how your stomach reacts to the mixture. If your acid reflux doesn't worsen, you can gradually drink more and more until you reach a full glass. For some people, drinking lemon water 20 to 30 minutes before a meal can help settle their stomachs so they don't experience any indigestion while they're eating. Since lemon juice is still acidic before it reaches your stomach, however, you should drink lemon water with a straw. That's because the acid in the juice can actually erode the enamel in your teeth. Since there isn't much research on this topic, however, you should talk to a medical professional if your symptoms persist or worsen.