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“A few clinical studies have found that lemongrass lowers inflammatory responses during an infection and relieves its symptoms. This could be why traditional medicine often uses the herb in concoctions to treat a cold.”
You’ve probably sipped a cup of lemongrass tea at the beginning of a spa session or at the end of a Thai meal. Also known as citronella tea, this mild flavored, aromatic tea is traditionally used as a digestive agent. But its benefits go much further than just that. Here are a few that you might not have known of.
1. Aids Digestion
If you’ve been feeling constipated of late, try lemongrass tea. As we’d mentioned earlier, this tea is used to relieve digestive complications such as bloating, gas, belching, and improper bowel movements.[ref]Shah, Gagan, Richa Shri, Vivek Panchal, Narender Sharma, Bharpur Singh, and A. S. Mann. “Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Cymbopogon citratus, stapf (Lemon grass).” Journal of advanced pharmaceutical technology & research 2, no. 1 (2011): 3.[/ref]
2. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
You might not be able to completely reverse the effects of a bad diet, but lemongrass tea could be a helpful addition. Studies have shown that lemongrass can be extremely effective at maintaining healthy levels of triglycerides in your body, which in turn lowers the bad LDL cholesterol. Less LDL leads to less plaque build up in your arteries, allowing your blood to flow unrestricted. This directly reduces your chances of developing heart disease.[ref]Anibijuwon, I. I., I. D. Gbala, O. C. Ayanwale, and O. O. Ayanda. “ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF LEMON GRASS (TEA) AGAINST ORGANISMS OF CLINICAL ORIGIN.”[/ref]
3. Flushes Out Toxins
You don’t need complicated juice cleanses to detoxify your body, a simple cup of lemongrass tea does the job just as well. Lemongrass works as a diuretic, making you urinate more frequently and eliminating all the toxins accumulated in your body in the process. If you suffer from water retention, lemongrass can reduce symptoms like swollen feet and a bloated belly. Since water retention is ironically caused by drinking too little water, drinking lemongrass tea often can keep you hydrated. This stops your body from holding on to water and lets it pass through your system.[ref]Ekpenyong, Christopher E., Nyebuk E. Daniel, and Atim B. Antai. “Effect of lemongrass tea consumption on estimated glomerular filtration rate and creatinine clearance rate.” Journal of Renal Nutrition 25, no. 1 (2015): 57-66.[/ref]
4. Helps You Sleep Better
The stress of everyday hustle can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Traditional Brazilian medicine uses an infusion of lemongrass in water to calm down nerves and induce sleep. Like chamomile tea, you could drink a cup of lemongrass infused water before going to bed.[ref]Boukhatem, Mohamed Nadjib, Mohamed Amine Ferhat, Abdelkrim Kameli, Fairouz Saidi, and Hadjer Tchoketch Kebir. “Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs.” Libyan Journal of Medicine 9, no. 1 (2014): 25431.[/ref]
5. Combats Weight Gain
Fat-busting foods that don’t skimp on taste are always a godsend. If you’re trying to lose weight, then lemongrass tea might just be your new favorite thing. The fat-burning magic in lemongrass boils down to one compound it contains, citral. Citral prevents fat from accumulating and encourages your body to burn it for fuel. It also helps develop and maintain a healthy metabolism which can break down food more effectively. The best part is that lemongrass tea is most effective at reducing stubborn belly fat. Visceral fat can be hard to burn because it’s so deeply embedded. However, lemongrass tea can break it down and help you lose it for good.[ref]Modak, Tamonud, and Abhilash Mukhopadhaya. “Effects of citral, a naturally occurring antiadipogenic molecule, on an energy-intense diet model of obesity.” Indian journal of pharmacology 43, no. 3 (2011): 300.[/ref]
6. Relieves Pain
Traditional Brazilian medicine also uses lemongrass tea to relieve pain. In fact, its pain-relieving properties are often compared to that of aspirin. Sip on a cup of it to beat menstrual cramps, headaches, and backache. In addition to this, the anti-inflammatory properties of lemongrass tea might also help ease pain caused due to rheumatism and arthritis.[ref]Anibijuwon, I. I., I. D. Gbala, O. C. Ayanwale, and O. O. Ayanda. “ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF LEMON GRASS (TEA) AGAINST ORGANISMS OF CLINICAL ORIGIN.”[/ref]
7. Might Treat Respiratory Disorders
[ref]A few clinical studies have found that lemongrass lowers inflammatory responses during an infection and relieves its symptoms. This could be why traditional medicine often uses the herb in concoctions to treat a cold.[ref]Sforcin, J. M., J. T. Amaral, A. Fernandes Jr, J. P. B. Sousa, and J. K. Bastos. “Lemongrass effects on IL-1β and IL-6 production by macrophages.” Natural Product Research 23, no. 12 (2009): 1151-1159.[/ref][/pullquote]
It is believed that lemongrass tea can help clear out blocked nasal passages and relieve respiratory disorders. In addition to this, its antimicrobial properties might speed up your recovery time. And while there isn’t enough research to fully clarify this effect, you could try sipping on a cup of this tea and see if it works for you.[ref]Anibijuwon, I. I., I. D. Gbala, O. C. Ayanwale, and O. O. Ayanda. “ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF LEMON GRASS (TEA) AGAINST ORGANISMS OF CLINICAL ORIGIN.”[/ref]
8. Might Aid In The Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes
Citral, an active compound in lemongrass, is believed to be beneficial in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Studies indicate that it helps maintain optimum levels of insulin and improve the body’s glucose tolerance.[ref]Modak, Tamonud, and Abhilash Mukhopadhaya. “Effects of citral, a naturally occurring antiadipogenic molecule, on an energy-intense diet model of obesity.” Indian journal of pharmacology 43, no. 3 (2011): 300.[/ref]
9. Might Prevent Cancer
Lemongrass has antioxidative properties which combat free radicals before they can cause any cellular damage. They prevent cells from mutating and becoming cancerous. Lab studies found that when citral (the main active compound in lemongrass) comes into contact with cancerous cells, it kills them while leaving healthy cells intact. Thus, lemongrass tea can be an effective preventative and curative remedy for cancer.[ref]Philion, Cory, Dennis Ma, Ivan Ruvinov, Fadi Mansour, Christopher Pignanelli, Megan Noel, Ammar Saleem et al. “Cymbopogon citratus and Camellia sinensis extracts selectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells and reduce growth of lymphoma xenografts in vivo.” Oncotarget 8, no. 67 (2017): 110756.[/ref]
10. Is Nutritionally Rich
Lemongrass is packed with nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese copper, zinc, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate, and vitamin C. Although one tablespoon will give you a small proportion of these nutrients, consuming the tea regularly will definitely give you a decent dose of all these nutrients.[ref]Full Report (All Nutrients): 11972, Lemon grass (citronella), raw. United States Department Of Agriculture.[/ref]
Easy And Delicious Lemongrass Tea Recipe
Here’s how you can go about brewing your own cuppa of goodness. While this recipe makes use of fresh lemongrass stalks, you could substitute a tablespoon of lemongrass powder for each stalk.
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups chopped lemongrass stalks
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, honey, or agave syrup (optional)
- In a medium saucepan bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- Add the lemongrass stalks and boil for 4 minutes.
- Lower the heat and simmer for an additional 4 minutes.
- Strain this mixture and stir in the sweetener.
- Serve warm or chill in the fridge.