I know what you’re thinking… Seriously? Lime water? I literally just got used to the idea of drinking warm lemon water, now you’re telling me lime water? What is this?
The thing is, both are great for you. But with all things Ayurveda, some things are better for different people during different times of life, and during different seasons.
For example, a kid before puberty (kapha time of life), especially during the spring season (kapha time of year), we would probably do better with lemon water.
But those of us between puberty and haven’t quite hit menopause/retirement age (pitta time of life) and especially during the summer (pitta time of year), lime water may be just what the doctor ordered.
How to know when to use what?!
Let me explain.
Lemons & Limes in Ayurveda
I have described in previous posts the three effects we note regarding taste (rasa), effect on the body (virya) and post-digestive effect (vipaka). Each food is a bit different.
Sour virya is best for increasing digestive power. This is why both lemons and limes are so great overall for digestion.
While lemons and limes both have a sour rasa and a sour virya, lemons have a warming vipaka and limes have a cooling vipaka.
This is what makes lime water preferable to lemon water when trying to balance out pitta. Our bodies can use all the help they can get to keep cool during the summer heat!
9 Reasons You Should Start Your Day by Drinking Warm Lime Water
1) Warm water increases peristalsis 
Basically this helps to get your digestive system moving for the day and helps to stimulate elimination. Which we should be doing every. single. day. (No, it is not healthy to skip days.)
2) Limes (and lemons) are anti-inflammatory , 
This is helpful to reduce inflammation in the GI tract and in the deeper tissues.
3) Lime helps to increase the flow of bile, which helps in our digestion of fats
When bile is flowing, the congestion of the liver and gall bladder is minimized. This is also said to help to keep the blood cool, which again helps against inflammation.
4) Lime can help to balance tikshna agni – or teenage-boy-raging-appetite
Agni is the digestive fire. Tikshna agni is when this digestive fire burns too hot. It can be accompanied by cravings for sweets and inflammation. I experience this often, and to balance this sort of appetite I drink a mix of coconut water with a dash of lime in between meals to help to lower cravings and ‘cool’ the digestive fire.
5) Lime juice adds a burst of brightness to wake you up in the morning
Since beginning this practice of lime juice first thing, I have found that I sometimes just forget to have coffee until a few hours after I wake.
6) It is summer!
During summer we can use all the help we can get to help to balance the heat we experience. Lime’s cooling effect helps to do just this, while keeping our digestive power strong. [If you haven’t noticed, EVERYTHING is Ayurveda relates back to digestive strength]
7) You are likely to have lime on hand if you live in the southwest!
Or Thailand. Or anywhere where spicy dishes are the staple. It seems tradition determined that lime accompanies spicy. Amazing, since Ayurveda specifies to use lime in dishes with extra spice to complement the taste.
8) The citrate in lime may help to prevent kidney stones by preventing crystals from forming or growing
9) Warm water is great for moving lymph-- ie, improves immune function
Warm water acts as a vasodilator which opens the blood vessels and stimulates movement in the GI tract. Since the water goes to your GI tract, it is especially useful for dilating, cleansing and hydrating the GALT – or the gut associate lymphoid tissue. Most infections make their way into the body via this route. It is known that if the GALT is dysfunction or impaired due to inflammation, the body is more susceptible to infection
The great thing about Ayurveda is that unless we’re talking about strong herbs and treatments, diet and lifestyle can be watched with an experimental eye.
Just take note on how you’re feeling. If you feel great, keep doing what you’re doing!
If you don’t feel so great, and perhaps notice some imbalanced emotions, slow digestion etc, use the basics of Ayurveda to help find balance once again. Any questions? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org -- I'd love to hear from you!
Look – gall bladder, liver, GI tract, kidneys! Lime helps your body to run more efficiently. And we all could all use a bit of help.