Lemon juice has long been used as a diuretic, especially in a glass of hot or warm water. Although doctors prescribe diuretic medications, sometimes called water pills, to increase urine output, lemon juice may work as a natural remedy. Excess urine output may lead to dehydration, so check with your doctor if you decide to use hot water and lemons or other diuretics to increase urination.
Diuretics play a role in a variety of health issues. They rid the body of excess salts to reduce blood volume for patients with high blood pressure. The process inhibits the kidneys' ability to reabsorb sodium, so more sodium exits through urine. Increased urine output from diuretics also aids patients with urinary tract infections and high uric acid problems. Natural diuretics have been used to relieve water retention and help with temporary weight loss, but focusing on a healthy diet and exercise may provide long-term weight loss, according to licensed dietitian Katherine Zeratsky of MayoClinic.com.
Lemon juice works best with hot or warm water to increase urine flow, according to SteadyHealth.com. Not only does the juice from lemon rid your body of excess water, lemon may also help flush out excess amounts of electrolytes and sodium through urine. You can add a little bit of cranberry, another diuretic, to your lemon and hot or warm water for added flavoring. Remove the seeds from a lemon and squeeze the juice into a cup of hot water for the best results.
Potential Lemon Benefits
Aside from its use as a diuretic, lemon juice in hot water has also been advocated as a daily laxative, according to Purdue University. Lemons contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps fight cell damage caused by free radicals, MedlinePlus notes. Free radicals may play a part in the aging process, cancer, heart disease and arthritis. This could explain why lemon juice has been used as a diuretic with the intention of flushing out harmful bacteria and toxins from the urinary tract, according to SteadyHealth.com. Some people use lemon in caffeinated drinks, such as tea, which may increase urine flow. But lemon and hot water may provide a diuretic effect without the side effects of caffeine, such as nervousness, dizziness, irritability and insomnia.
Use lemon and hot water as a diuretic only when the need to increase urine flow arises. Prolonged use of lemons may erode the enamel of your teeth, deteriorating the teeth, and also lead to gum problems, according to Purdue University. Excess lemon consumption may also lead to potassium deficiencies and severe dehydration.