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I am always scouting the internet for new and interesting “fertility recipes.” I found this one last summer, tailored it to my needs, and I absolutely love it. I think it tastes like a specialty lemon mocktail that I would sip on a fancy terrace on some European beach somewhere. It is made with a whole lemon and a huge chunk of ginger, and it is very strong. So strong in fact that my husband and brother make awful faces when they try it. My mother thought it was delicious, however. I think the drink tastes good if your body needs it!
In this blog post I’m going to give you the recipe for the fertility tonic and then I’m going to talk about why each of the ingredients is so good for fertility.
First, I have to give credit where credit is due. I found this drink while doing Gabriela Rosa’s free 14 Day Fertility Challenge. Most of what Gabriela does in this challenge, I had already done- clean eating, eliminated soy, dairy, gluten, etc., eliminated toxins, reduced exposure to chemicals harmful for fertility, etc. But this lemon drink was a totally new idea to me. She got the drink idea from Peter de Ruyter who originally developed it as a holistic cleanse for healing the liver and overall health. Gabriela’s recipe is here and Peter’s recipe is here.
Lemon-Ginger Fertility Tonic Overview
Okay, let’s get talking about the drink. Ideally you are drinking it three times a day spaced out, but I just drink it in the morning and the evening. You can drink it before or after eating, whatever feels better to you. In the morning I drink it with breakfast, and then I usually drink the second 30 minutes after dinner. Sometimes, however, I only think to make it in the afternoon, then I’ll just drink it then, and finish it in the evening. No big deal! Make sure to drink plenty of filtered water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support the gentle detoxification.
Sometimes I worry about the acid and my teeth! For this reason I invested in some stainless steel straws, so I could know they were non-toxic, and the lemon could skip past my teeth. I use these when drinking apple cider vinegar water also.
So, why is this lemon-ginger drink good for fertility?
The number one reason I drink this is because it helps make my body more alkaline- in a major way. This is important because – and I’m about to get graphic here- you NEED your vagina and cervix to be alkaline so the sperm are welcome. An acidic environment is not good for sperm. I’ll confess- I don’t drink this tonic every day, but I do just before and around ovulation. As I drink it, I imagine myself becoming healthy, and my, ahem, parts, becoming receptive and welcoming to my husband’s sperm.
The number two reason I drink this is because of its powerful health effects overall. Just the combination of a whole lemon and a huge piece of fresh ginger is enough to stop a cold in its track! Whenever I feel my immune system struggling I make this drink! I also love that it is supporting my liver. As I drink this I feel myself becoming more robustly healthy.
The number three reason is that when I mentioned this drink to my acupuncturist, and to my brother who is an acupuncturist, they both approved. They said that lemon aids in nutrition, meaning that it would stimulate my body to hold on to nutrients better. So when I drink the tonic I think about it helping me fully nourish my body.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t drink this?
You shouldn’t drink this if 1) It tastes terrible to you, or it makes you feel sick, 2) you are taking any prescription medications which the lemon peel pectin might interact with, or 3) you have a very, very sensitive stomach. The full lemon might just be too much for you.
Why each ingredient is good for you!
Lemon– Lemon is chock-full of Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant for fertility, and is thought to prevent age-related decline in ovarian function. Vitamin C is also associated with a shorter time until pregnancy. The lemon peel has pectin which helps emulsify the fats you add in and the lemon oils. Lemon peel also has additional antioxidants which are crucial for developing healthy eggs (these particular ones are oligomeric proanthocyanidins or OPCs). Supposedly some of the substances in the lemon peel also help remove harmful forms of estrogen from your body (like those from chemicals).
Ginger– Ginger is an incredible food that reduces inflammatory responses in the body (good for fertility) and encourages healthy, gentle, detoxification (good for fertility). It also helps in overall digestion, which increases your ability to nourish yourself. Further, it is believed to stimulate circulation of blood in the body- making sure plenty gets to your uterus and eggs!
Walnut Oil or other Fat- Getting enough essential fatty acids is absolutely crucial to fertility. Body fat cells produce estrogen which is essential for getting pregnant. Low body fat can lead to infertility problems such as anovulation. Ladies, babies are made from protein and fat! You need to consume healthy fats! I use Walnut Oil because it is good for endometriosis and provides me with Omega-3s. You can sub in whatever is most appropriate for you and your condition- flax oil, coconut butter (good for everyone), fish oil, or other healthy fat). Coconut butter tastes the best! :-). This is the kind of coconut butter (“manna”) I use!
Sunflower Lecithin– Lecithin (NOT soy lecithin) is naturally occurring in many foods, including eggs. In fact if there was an organic egg yolk lecithin I would totally use that instead of the sunflower! But all my research shows that sunflower lecithin is a helpful supplement for overall health. It has healing effects on the liver, nervous system, and kidney. The choline in lecithin is an essential nutrient that lowers the risk of neural tube defects and helps prevent homocysteine levels (which are associated with miscarriage) from becoming too high. Most women don’t get enough choline, so this is a good way to add it to your diet.
Vitamin E– Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxident that is thought to have a beneficial effect on egg quality. Some studies show it reduces free radical damage in ovarian follicles. A good multi-tocopherol Vitamin E is a good supplement to the fertility diet, and the body processes it best when taken with Vitamin C. Although the people who originally developed this recipe reccomend huge doses of Vitamin E, I have some concerns about large doses of Vitamin E over long periods of time. I advise you to talk to your doctor and do your own research to decide on your dosage. Out of an abundance of caution I am recommending (and I personally use) a very modest dosage of 100 IU.
Cinnamon– The cinnamon is optional as I think it changes the overall taste and sensation of the drink. The one really great thing about ceylon cinnamon is that it helps balance blood sugar levels- something very important for women with PCOS. Try your drink with and without the cinnamon and see what you think! Don’t put in more than the ½ tsp, as it can be harmful in large doses.
Filtered Water– I feel so much better making this from clean, filtered water that I know is free of fertility-harming toxins. Check out my blog post on why it is important to filter your tap water and how to pick the best one for your budget!
The Recipe (my version)
1 whole organic lemon
1 large knob of fresh ginger, peeled (I do about the size of my thumb, but you could do less)
2 tsp organic sunflower lecithin (NOT SOY LECITHIN!!!!)
1 capsule Vitamin E 100 IU Mixed Tocopherols
Optional: Add 1/2 tsp of organic ceylon cinnamon (especially good for those with PCOS)
Optional: Swap the lemon for a lime
Optional: Increase Vitamin E levels
Gently scrub the lemon to make sure it is clean- we use this natural scrubber with coconut bristles and love it. Put all the ingredients into your Nutribullet tall cup or other blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh strainer (we use one from this set). I use a spoon to help push it through, because I lack patience. Pour into two glass containers- one to drink now, and one that you can put a top on (like a pint size mason jar) and put in the fridge for later. Drink the second within 24 hours!
As a note- although you can substitute different oils, I think coconut butter tastes the best!
Are you already drinking lemon water every day? Are you going to try this whole-lemon drink? Leave a comment with what you thought of the taste!