Hot Lemon Drink Remedy for Colds That Works

Three medium lemons on cutting board.

Upon waking up in the morning, if you are feeling just a slight soreness in the throat, it is a sign that you have been exposed to the cold virus. Whether it becomes a full-blown infection will depend on how well your body responds to it. If your immune system is strong, it will conquer the viruses in no time at all. However, if you are already feeling a sore throat, then, without preventative measure, chances are that it will get worse and you will have to live for a week or more with all the symptoms as your immune system battle it out with the multiplying invaders. The body will attempt to protect itself and to detoxify. To expel them out of your nose, it will flush them and you get the runny nose; to clear them out of your eyes, you get the watery eyes; to get them out of your throat, you do the coughing. You get the idea. Thanks, immune system. Eventually, the microbes are defeated and your immune system wins – but it takes about seven days. Do you really want to live for seven-plus days with all the symptoms that this battle entails?

Well, here is a preventative measure for you! A friend of mine taught me this hot lemon drink remedy for colds that is excellent at “nipping the microbes in the butt” (if they had any). It is something she grew up with in Haiti. I have been using it for several years and it works. It is very easy and natural, and will give you all the many benefits of lemon in addition to its antiviral and antibacterial powers. Lemons have numerous uses and in this remedy, they are used for medicinal purposes. This hot lemon remedy for colds works best at the beginning of the infection when the number of viruses or bacteria is low, before they’ve had a chance to multiply. It is such a simple and powerful home remedy that I am sure that there are many variations of it the world over. Following is my variation of the boiled lemon juice remedy for colds:

Recipe for Hot Lemon Drink Remedy for Colds

  • A medium-size lemon (or two small limes) – organic is best
  • 3 cups filtered water (710 ml)
Instructions for Making Hot Lemon Drink:
Lemon poked with a fork.

1. Wash lemon. Cut off ends. Poke lemon all around.

Lemon in pot of water on stove, cooking at medium heat.

2a. Put lemon in pot with water and boil at medium heat until water boils.

Lemon boiling at low heat in covered pot.

2b. When water boils, reduce to very low heat and cover pot. Keep on low boil for one hour.

Lemon falls apart when pressed with a fork.

3. Boiling is done when skin breaks easily.

Scraping pulp from lemon peel.

4. If desired, break lemon apart and scrape pulp from peels.

Lemon peels are removed from lemon water.

5. Remove pieces of peels from lemon water.

Hot lemon water with pulp, 2 cups.

6. Two cups hot lemon water – ready to drink!

  1. Wash lemon. Cut off the two ends. Poke the lemon with a fork a few times all around.
  2. Put lemon into a quart- or liter-size pot. Pour in water (it should be enough to cover lemon). Cover pot. Boil on medium heat. When water boils, reduce to very low heat to prevent excessive evaporation. Keep on low boil for an hour.
  3. Boil until lemon falls apart, about an hour. After an hour, test lemon by pressing down on it with a fork. If skin breaks easily, it is done; if it is still tough, continue boiling. When done, turn off heat.
  4. If the fiber is desired, break the lemon apart with a fork and scrape off the pulp with a spoon. It should come off easily.
  5. Remove skin peels from lemon water, keeping the pulp. It’s ready to drink.
  6. If it’s too hot, let cool for a few minutes. If possible, remove seeds, or pour lemon water into a cup and seeds will remain at bottom of pot.

Total boiling time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: Approximately 2 cups (473 ml) lemon water with pulp

It’s that simple! Drink two to three times a day. Drinking at night before going to sleep is a good time. The more you drink, the faster it will work.

Other Notes:
  • Keep the pot covered to prevent too much water from evaporating. When the flame is very low, I usually do not have to watch it and I come back to it in an hour. A larger lemon requires more water, as boiling time is longer. Try to yield 1 ¾ – 2 cups (473 ml) lemon water in the end. (In the past, I had the pot uncovered and it yielded only one cup. That also worked, but having more fluids is always good for colds and infections, and the hot water is very warming in winter.)
  • My friend says that drinking the pulp is personal preference – she has taken it with and without. I like to drink the pulp for the extra fiber and any other benefits from it. If you don’t want the pulp, you do not have to break open the lemon. She has another variation that she sometimes uses: she boils the lemon halfway through to make 1 cup lemon water and reuses the same lemon later in the day to make another cup. I like to keep it simple and get two cups all at once.

If many people around you are sick, you may become exposed again. The hot lemon drink remedy helps to kill infection, but it cannot prevent re-exposure, so, repeat therapy or drink it continuously throughout the season to prevent colds and re-infections. Lemons have many health benefits.

This home remedy for colds is very effective. My most recent success story occurred last week. My sister-in-law was beginning to feel the slight itching in the throat. I gave her two cups to drink. Within an hour, she said the soreness in her throat was gone (even if she still felt a little weak). I had never seen it work that quickly before (she must have a healthy immune system). The next morning, she felt even better after the second hot lemon drink. After the third drink (and some probiotics for good measure), she was back to normal. It took only one full day!

Be well and stay healthy. And have a Happy New Year, Everyone!

Many thanks to my friend from Haiti for this excellent hot lemon drink home remedy!

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