Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a type of Asian herbal plant which primarily used as a flavor enhancer in some local cuisines.
Additionally, the stalks of this plant are often processed into oil, extracts, as well as herbal tea.
Lemongrass tea, in particular, is not only tasty and unique but also offers a wide range of health benefits.
In this article, you can learn more about lemongrass tea benefits and the right way to brew this herbal tea.
A. What is Lemongrass Tea?
Native to Sri Lanka and India, lemongrass—also written as lemon grass—is a tropical grass plant with long leaves.
As the name suggests, lemongrass smells like lemon and has lemony flavor as well. The plant itself is often used in various Asian cuisines.
However, of all 55 lemongrass species available worldwide, only a few varieties are considered good for cookery. They particularly come from the East and West India.
Nowadays, lemongrass is not only cultivated in India or Sri Lanka but also many other countries outside the Asian continent.
In addition to enhancing the flavors of Asian culinary delights, lemongrass is usually brewed into herbal tea.
Many tea drinkers love the fresh lemony flavor of lemongrass with a slightly acidic taste.
Besides, a cup of lemongrass tea is loaded with numerous health and medicinal benefits, which can perfectly support your healthy lifestyle.
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B. Lemongrass Tea Health Benefits
If you are not familiar with this herbal tea, you are probably wondering what lemongrass tea good for is.
In general, lemongrass contains some natural anti-inflammatory substances, such as isoorientin, swertiajaponin, and chlorogenic acid.
These substances play an important role in resisting free radicals, which often lead to some types of chronic diseases.
Moreover, lemongrass tea benefits are much wider than that. It is believed that this herbal tea could reduce pain, prevent infection, as well as relieve stress and anxiety.
Further explanation regarding this matter is presented in the following list, which includes nine major benefits of lemongrass tea.
1. Relieves Stress and Anxiety
Sipping a cup of tea—regardless of the type—will make you feel more relaxed. The same case also applies to lemongrass tea.
A cup of lemongrass tea works better in relieving stress and anxiety than any other types of tea.
This is because lemongrass has a greater amount of anxiety-reducing properties. Some studies even suggest that smelling the aroma of lemongrass alone can lower your anxiety level.
2. Reduces Pain and Infection
A cup of lemongrass tea is useful for reducing pain and preventing infection.
The herbal tea works by blocking the source of pain and infection using its anti-inflammatory substances.
This case is proven by a study conducted in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
3. Boosts Immunity
Because it is loaded with vitamins and minerals, lemongrass tea becomes something you can count on to boost the immune system.
Healing properties of lemongrass are often included in the drugstore’s immune aids and cough drops.
4. Relieves the symptoms of PMS
Pains and cramps during the premenstrual and menstrual period are real, but they can be reduced by sipping warm lemongrass tea.
Women can use this herbal tea as a safe and natural painkiller that will lessen the severity of premenstrual syndromes.
5. Promotes Oral Health
In its origin countries, lemongrass stalks are often chewed raw to clean mouth and improve oral health.
Such capability still exists when they are turned into extracts or herbal tea.
As confirmed by a study in the Food Chemistry Journal, lemongrass tea contains special substances that are beneficial for dental health. It prevents cavities and bacterial growth in your mouth.
6. Aids Better Digestion
Lemongrass plays a role as a natural diuretic, meaning that it can aid digestion as well as reduce stomach pain and nausea.
This effect is proven by scientific research in the Journal of Young Pharmacists, which conclude the ability of lemongrass tea in dealing with gastric issues.
7. Helps You Lose Weight
In line with its beneficial effect on metabolism, drinking lemongrass tea can support your weight-loss program.
By replacing juice with this herbal tea, you can lower daily calories to lose weight more quickly.
8. Lowers Cholesterol Level
A study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology and Research points out that lemongrass extracts can regulate cholesterol amount at a low level.
Although this study used animals as a subject, the concept is the same as the human body.
Another study also supports that larger consumption of lemongrass tea might lead to a lower level of cholesterol.
9. Prevents the Risk of Heart Disease
The anti-inflammatory properties in lemongrass are also beneficial for your heart.
While keeping the heart healthy, the tea can protect you against heart diseases, including blood clot and heart attack.
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C. How to Make Lemongrass Tea
Lemongrass is sold in some different forms. Most supermarkets and food stores provide lemongrass extracts in tea bag package that makes it more practical to brew.
Meanwhile, herbalists and groceries often sell lemongrass stalks instead of extracts.
In this case, you need to follow a quick and easy lemongrass tea recipe to make the best cup of tea.
Use the following steps as a rough guide to get you started.
- First thing first, boil water in a kettle.
- While waiting for the water to boil, cut lemongrass stalks into pieces with the approximate length of 1-2 inches. Put them in a bowl.
- Once boiled, pour the water into a bowl of sliced lemongrass stalks.
- Steep them for 5 minutes at the very least.
- After 5 minutes of steeping, strain the stalk liquid by pouring it into a teapot.
- Now, you can enjoy a nice cup of lemongrass tea from the strained liquid in the teapot.
- If you prefer cold to hot tea, you can add some ice cubes to the cup and get a cold, fresh lemongrass tea in the result.
D. Lemongrass Tea Side Effects
Aside from its plentiful benefits, lemongrass tea has several side effects that should be brought to your attention.
It is important to mention that pregnant women and people with allergies cannot have lemongrass tea benefits since they should not consume this herbal tea.
For those who are allergic to lemongrass or other citronella plants, drinking lemongrass tea may lead to some allergic reactions.
These include skin rash, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing. This tea may also cause harmful effects for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding.
There is currently not enough medical evidence regarding the safety of drinking lemongrass tea during pregnancy, so it is always better to safe than sorry.