Lemongrass is an aromatic herb that grows up to 4 feet tall. It has long, narrow leaves and a woody stem. The plant is also known as citronella grass because it smells similar to the oil derived from the citronella plant. The fresh or dried leaves of the lemongrass plant are used in cooking. When fresh lemongrass is not available, it can be substituted with dried. Fresh lemongrass is also available frozen, usually chopped or sliced in bottles or bags at Asian markets. Lemongrass is most commonly brewed into tea. The drink is known for its many possible health benefits, including immune system support. In this article, we look at potential lemongrass tea benefits and side effects, as well as preparations and recipes for making this healthy beverage.
Benefits Of Lemongrass Tea
Drinking lemongrass tea may help deliver these potential health benefits:
Lemongrass has anti-inflammatory properties, which may aid in soothing chronic inflammation (6). This may help prevent several diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Lemongrass has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help prevent chronic inflammation and damage from oxidative stress. Chronic inflammation is linked to several cancers, including prostate cancer (9).
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
Lemongrass is popularly used in some parts of the world to treat stomach aches and gastric ulcers. Some preliminary research has found that lemongrass extract may actually have a protective effect on the lining of the stomach (5).
Immune System Support
Compounds called terpenes found in lemongrass may possess antimicrobial properties that may support immune health (2). Lemongrass tea might help protect against the pathogens that cause upper respiratory tract infections or other illnesses.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Some animal studies suggest that trans-anethole, found in lemongrass, may be able to influence carbohydrate metabolism in a way that could help lower blood sugar levels among people with diabetes (11).
Lowers Blood Pressure
Lemongrass contains magnesium, which helps relax the muscles and arteries that supply blood to your body (7).
Natural Sleep Aid
Drinking lemongrass tea may help promote restful sleep. Lemongrass contains magnesium, which can produce feelings of calm and relaxation. This may help you drift off to sleep more quickly after drinking the tea (4).
Lemongrass contains anethole, which has been found to reduce hydrogen peroxide induced collagen metabolism alterations and apoptosis in human skin fibroblasts. This may be useful in treating oxidative stress-related skin diseases (1).
Anethole, found in lemongrass, may also promote weight loss. This compound has been shown in mice to encourage the activation of brown adipocytes and induction of browning in white adipose tissue (12). Brown adipose tissue is a special type of body fat that burns energy to produce heat when you are cold.
Lemongrass contains linalool, an organic compound that may help reduce stress. It may also possess calming properties that can provide you with a general sense of wellness.
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Side Effects Of Lemongrass Tea
Drinking too much lemongrass tea may cause you to experience nausea. If you notice this, reduce your intake to the amount that is recommended on product labels or by your doctor.
Potential Drug Interactions
Lemongrass may interact with certain medications. If you are currently taking any medications or have a medical condition, speak to your doctor before you begin drinking lemongrass tea.
How To Prepare Lemongrass Tea
When preparing this beverage for yourself, be sure to use fresh leaves and water that have been brought to a rolling boil. Steep the leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes, remove them from the liquid using a fine strainer, and enjoy.
For stress relief, try drinking lemongrass tea along with practicing other stress-relief techniques such as meditation or yoga.
How To Buy The Best Lemongrass
Herbs and herbal teas aren’t well-regulated, although some pre-packaged herbal teas must follow the U. S. Food and Drug Administration’s labeling laws. To make sure you get a high-quality, pure product, only buy herbal tea from a reputable manufacturer you trust.
You can find loose lemongrass tea leaves (as well as other organic herbal teas such as rooibos or chamomile) in the tea section of some health food stores, online retailers and natural grocers. Some larger grocery chains also carry them in their international goods sections.
Choose Loose Lemongrass
Lemongrass leaves that are found in loose form maintain their flavor better than tea bags.
Choose Good Quality
Because there are no set guidelines for herb production, you’re essentially on your own when choosing a lemongrass tea brand. Look for tea that appears to be fragrant and fresh, with no signs of moisture or discoloration. You can also look up information about the company online.
Consider Your Options
Many lemongrass tea brands are available, so consider your price range, taste preferences and whatever other factors are important to you.
Consider The Source
To avoid contamination or other issues, look for lemongrass teas that are USDA-certified organic or have other certifications indicating their quality. Look for a company with a good track record of producing high-quality products.
Consider Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are informative and provide insight into the quality of an herbal tea brand. They can also help you find options that other customers may have found particularly beneficial or didn’t enjoy as much, which helps you determine what to purchase.
As with any herb or herbal tea, supplemental or extract form, you should practice caution when using lemongrass. To ensure that you can experience all of the potential benefits offered by this herb, only use it in moderation and avoid consuming more than the recommended serving size.
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What If You Don’t Like Drinking Lemongrass?
If you don’t like the taste of lemongrass tea, there are other ways to get it into your diet. To enjoy this herb more, add it to soups and stews. You can also use its leaves in a variety of dishes such as stir-fries or ground beef or poultry, or grind them and add them to marinades.
Oil of lemongrass is another way to experience the benefits of this herb. Available in most health food stores, it can be used on its own as a fragrance or applied topically to the skin.
The Bottom Line
Lemongrass tea is available in many different forms, including loose leaf tea, concentrated extracts and herbal supplements.
This herb may offer health benefits when used properly in either supplemental or drink form, but it also has the potential to cause side effects when consumed in excessive amounts.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Anethole prevents hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis and collagen metabolism alterations in human skin fibroblasts (2014, link. springer.com)
- Antimicrobial Activity of Some Essential Oils—Present Status and Future Perspectives (2017, mdpi.com)
- Effect of Lemongrass and Green tea on blood pressure and heart rate (2011, researcgate.net)
- How Magnesium Can Help You Sleep (2021, sleepfoundation.org)
- Investigation of the Mechanisms Underlying the Gastroprotective Effect of Cymbopogon Citratus Essential Oil (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Lemongrass (2020, mskcc.org)
- Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy (2015, mdpi.com)
- Preventive Effects of Catechins on Cardiovascular Disease (2016, mdpi.com)
- Prostate cancer and inflammation: the evidence (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Cymbopogon citratus, stapf (Lemon grass) (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Trans-anethole, a terpenoid ameliorates hyperglycemia by regulating key enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Trans-anethole ameliorates obesity via induction of browning in white adipocytes and activation of brown adipocytes (2018, sciencedirect.com)