If you’re among the 10–30% of adults who have difficulty falling or staying asleep, you may be looking for ways to get more rest (1Trusted Source).
Drinking an herbal tonic, like lemon-ginger tea, could be a soothing bedtime ritual to help put the day behind you.
Lemon-ginger tea is exactly what it sounds like: a gentle herbal infusion of fresh lemon and ginger — with a bit of sweetener like honey or agave nectar, if you so choose.
You might be wondering if lemon-ginger tea has any unique health benefits. While it may not make you sleepy, it might help you wind down and relax and provide other benefits.
This article examines 7 benefits of bedtime lemon-ginger tea and explains how to make it.
1. Soothes indigestion
If chronic indigestion or a heavy dinner keeps you up later than you would like, a cup of lemon-ginger tea may be a great tonic before you head for bed (2Trusted Source).
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a root long used in alternative and folk medicine for its ability to alleviate the delayed emptying of your stomach.
What’s more, lemon (Citrus limon) contains a plant compound called limonene that aids digestion by helping move food along your digestive tract — potentially easing the uncomfortable feeling of fullness (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
While the amount of limonene in a given cup of lemon-ginger tea will vary, you might find that the combination of lemon, ginger, and water in lemon-ginger tea calms indigestion.
2. May alleviate nausea
Ginger has long been touted for its ability to alleviate nausea, which many people experience during pregnancy or chemotherapy, among many other situations. According to research, consuming 1–1.5 grams of ginger per day may be enough to get an anti-nausea effect (2Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
One review article found that ginger prevented and reduced nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy in half of the studies assessed (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
While scientists haven’t pinpointed how ginger works to reduce nausea, they recognize gingerol as one of the primary plant compounds responsible for this effect (8Trusted Source).
However, results have been mixed. In another review of seven studies, three found that ginger had a positive effect on nausea, two showed mostly positive effects, while two others did not find that ginger had any effect on nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy (9Trusted Source).
Ginger appears to be most effective at helping stave off nausea related to pregnancy. However, it seems less effective at preventing vomiting (2Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
A lemon-ginger infusion is generally regarded as safe during pregnancy.
Still, to be on the safe side, speak with a healthcare professional if you’re interested in trying it and if you’re close to labor or have a history of clotting disorders or pregnancy loss
3. May reduce nasal congestion
The steam generated from your hot lemon-ginger infusion may help open up your nasal cavities — helping clear a stuffy nose. Drinking something warm also soothes a throat sore from mucus buildup (5Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
Although these effects are mostly anecdotal and supported by folk medicine, they may be useful to keep in mind during cold and flu season or if you experience seasonal allergies.
Lemon-ginger tea won’t cure you of any of these, but it may help loosen up congestion, allowing air to flow through your nose a little easier.
4. May relieve constipation
Constipation can result from several factors, including dehydration and a diet that’s low in fiber (16Trusted Source).
When constipation stems from dehydration, relaxing in the evening with a warm cup of lemon-ginger tea may help since water helps stool pass through your digestive tract more easily.
If you feel chronically constipated, be sure you’re drinking enough fluids throughout the day, too.
Speak with a healthcare professional if you have trouble having a bowel movement or have them less than three times a week.
5. May help fight inflammation
Gingerol, one of the plant compounds found in ginger, boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (8Trusted Source).
Chronic inflammation is linked to conditions like metabolic syndrome, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease (17Trusted Source).
However, studies show mixed results on whether ginger has anti-inflammatory effects in people (5Trusted Source).
Plus, it’s worth keeping in mind that there isn’t enough research currently to know just how much gingerol is needed to achieve these effects — and how much of it you would actually get from drinking a typical cup of lemon-ginger tea.
6. Keeps you hydrated
When you drink lemon-ginger tea, along with drinking fragrant ginger and lemon essence, you are, of course, drinking water — which means you’re hydrating your body.
This is important, because staying hydrated keeps vital organs, like your kidneys, gut, and heart, functioning properly.
How much water you need per day is affected by many factors, such as your medications, activities, and any health issues.
Most women will need at least 78 ounces (2.3 liters), while most men should get 112 ounces (3.3 liters) each day. How much you need will be unique to you and can vary from day to day
7. Provides a moment of mindfulness
Having comforting rituals, like a nightly cup of lemon-ginger tea, can have the added benefit of giving you a moment of quiet reflection. Think of it as an opportunity to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness practice is not just for relaxation — it can be a health booster, too.
One review study found that mindfulness may help you process negative emotions and live your day with more intention (20).
What’s more, when you allow lemon peel to steam under your nose in your cup of warm lemon-ginger tea, you diffuse lemon’s essential oils. That lemon oil vapor may be beneficial, though more research is needed.
One mouse study found that inhaling lemon oil vapor helped bring on relaxation