Why You Should Drink Lemongrass Tea
Lemongrass tea is an herbal tea made from the same plant that is used to produce lemongrass oil, culinary herbs, and citronella candles. This plant has long been a staple of Asian cuisine—particularly Thai food. It's used as a culinary herb to add flavor to dishes and as an herbal remedy for a host of ailments.
Lemongrass tea boasts a unique lemony flavor without the tart bite. Discover more about lemongrass tea including its health benefits, side effects, and how to brew it properly.
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What Is Lemongrass Tea?
Lemongrass tea is made from the dried leaves or stalks of the lemongrass plant known by the botanical name Cymbopogom. The lemongrass plant grows in warmer temperatures and is native to South Asia. Today, the plant is frequently cultivated for use in tea and essential oils in Southeast Asia including Indonesia and the Philippines.
The lemongrass plant is also commonly known as tanglad, barbed wire grass, citronella grass, and silky heads. The plant has many different species including citronella grass, but the species used for tea is largely Cymbopogon citratus. The tea is naturally caffeine-free and can be enjoyed all day without adverse side effects for sleep. Thanks to its acidity, the tea leaves can be added in place of lemon juice to Butterfly Pea Flower Tea to turn the tea from a rich blue to a vibrant purple. It's also commonly added as a flavoring to black tea.
Lemongrass tea features a slightly lemony taste without the astringent or tangy notes of classic lemons. It is mildly sweet and features a crisp, brisk finish. Lemongrass tea is light yellow when brewed and boasts hints of lemon in its aroma.
Health Benefits of Lemongrass Tea
1. May Streamline Digestion
Lemongrass tea has long been a staple of Indian and traditional Asian medicine. It is frequently prescribed as a digestive aid since it works as a natural diuretic. Lemongrass tea may help lessen the symptoms of gastric upset including nausea and stomach pain. Lemongrass also boast antifungal and antibacterial properties that may help prevent infection that can harm digestion thanks to the presence of polyphenols and antioxidants.
A study published in the Journal of Young Pharmacists examined the effects of lemongrass tea on digestion. Researchers found that lemongrass tea leaves have protective effects against gastric ulcers and stomach issues caused by aspirin and absolute ethanol. The study was performed on mice and more research is needed to provide conclusive evidence of lemongrass tea protective benefits in humans (1). Anti-inflammatory properties may also help soothe stomach aches by decreasing inflammation.
2. Weight Loss Aid
Lemongrass tea benefits may also help you lose weight faster. Lemongrass tea may help you lose weight faster by boosting metabolism and replacing calorie-laden sugary drinks. Medical research on lemongrass tea is still ongoing and has had mixed results. However, by replacing sugary drinks such as soda and juice with lemongrass tea, you can cut back on calories and reach your weight loss goals faster.
Lemongrass has also historically been used as a diuretic. Drinking lemongrass tea helps rid your body of excess wastes and can help speed up metabolism. Drinking the tea alone won't result in massive weight loss. Instead, add a detox lemongrass tea to a healthy diet and workout plan.
3. It's Packed With Antioxidants
Lemongrass tea is an herbal tea that is chock full of antioxidants. These antioxidants help eliminate free radicals that can cause serious health issues. Free radicals cause oxidative stress in the body, which essentially causes cells and natural processes to break down. Free radicals have been linked to certain types of cancers as well as premature aging.
The antioxidant properties of these tea leaves may also help prevent the growth of certain cancer cells. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center states that lab tests have shown lemongrass to inhibit the growth of cancers. It's important to note that these lab tests have been conducted on animals and not humans. Most researchers attribute these potential health benefits to the citral, geranial, and cholorogenic acid present in lemongrass stalks and leaves.
4. May Lower Blood Pressure
Lemongrass tea may lower blood pressure by reducing inflammation and inducing relaxation. Studies are still ongoing, but existing research gives reason to believe lemongrass tea may be beneficial for people with high blood pressure.
A study published in medical Forum Monthly examined the effects of lemongrass tea on high blood pressure in mice. The study gave 72 human participants either green tea or lemongrass tea, which they were to drink daily. At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that the individuals who drank lemongrass tea experienced a moderate decrease in blood pressure. They also showed significantly reduced heart rate and increased relaxation (2).
5. May Protect Heart Health
One of the leading killers of Americans is heart disease. Lemongrass tea helps protect heart health and prevent serious heart disease such as heart attack and blood clot. Lemongrass tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation in blood vessels and arteries. This allows blood cells to travel more easily and lowers the risk of platelet buildup that causes blood clots.
An animal study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research examined the impacts of lemongrass essential oil on markers of heart health in mice. Researchers found that intake of lemongrass resulted in lower overall cholesterol levels. High LDL cholesterol has long been a marker of heart disease. By reducing cholesterol, lemongrass tea may boost heart health and stave off serious illness (3).
6. Boosts Immune Health
Lemongrass helps boost the immune system since it's packed with vitamins and minerals that help fend off the common cold and flu. Lemongrass tea contains high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A, both of which help boost immunity. Lemongrass is such a popular immune health aid, it can be found in the health section of many natural food stores. It's also frequently found in cough drops and other immune aids in regular grocery stores and health food stores.
Brew up a cup of hot tea using lemongrass to help soothe a sore throat. The anti-inflammatory properties of lemongrass help to decrease inflammation and soothe irritation in the lining of the throat.
Side Effects of Lemongrass Tea
Lemongrass tea is safe when consumed in small amounts. Drinking too much lemongrass tea can have negative side effects for stomach health and may cause other serious conditions. Avoid these side effects by consuming small amounts of lemongrass tea. Here are a few other things to keep in mind when drinking this herbal tea.
Lemongrass tea may cause allergies for people who are allergic to lemongrass plants. Don't drink this tea if you are allergic to lemongrass or citronella. Stop use immediately if you experience symptoms including throat swelling, difficulty breathing, and skin rash.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not consume lemongrass tea. There is not enough evidence to show it's safe for pregnancy. Always talk to your doctor before using herbal products during pregnancy or when nursing.
How to Make Lemongrass Tea
Lemongrass tea can be consumed as a hot tea or an iced tea. Either way, the tea should be brewed using boiling water. For iced tea, simply let the mixture cool to room temperature before serving with ice or storing in the refrigerator.
Always use spring or filtered water when brewing tea to bring out the best flavors. Start with high quality lemongrass tea leaves or stalks. You can use both dried or fresh lemongrass for maximum flavor or opt for tea bags for convenient use.
Simple Lemongrass Tea Recipe
- 8-10 ounces of water
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dried lemongrass leaves
- Sweetener (OPTIONAL)
- Lime Garnish (OPTIONAL)
1. Boil water in a pan on the stove top or use a temperature controlled teapot to heat the water to 212 F.
2. Add the lemongrass leaves to a tea strainer and place in a tea cup.
3. Pour the boiling water into the tea cup and steep for 5 to 8 minutes.
4. Remove the tea strainer. Add sweeteners such as honey or brown sugar and garnish with a lime if desired.
Lemongrass tea is a refreshing beverage that can be consumed hot or cold. It boasts a range of health benefits from potential reduction in blood pressure to increased immune health. It's also popular in aromatherapy and a cup of lemongrass tea may help for detoxification and improving relaxation. Drinking lemongrass tea is not only healthy; it's also tasty. The slight lemon flavor paired with mild sweetness makes this herbal tea a true delight. Pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy this vibrant herbal tea.
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