Lemongrass tea has been used in Oriental cultures for centuries, both for the taste and the medicinal benefits. Although not related to the lemon at all, lemongrass does have sweet, citrus-y smell, which is why it was given its name. This herb is full of nutrients: vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium, folate, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and some B vitamins. Because of this nutrition profile, lemongrass has many health benefits, just some of which will be discussed below.
1. Lemongrass Tea Regulates Blood Sugar
This is especially for those that are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Lemongrass tea contains a compound called citral, which has been shown to regulate insulin production and glucose tolerance in the body.
2. Fights Cancer
This same citral is also believed to help fight cancer, by attacking cancerous cells but leaving healthy ones intact. Because citral is also an anti-inflammatory, it discourages cancer cell growth and can even stimulate apoptosis (spontaneous cancer cell death). Because it is rich in so many nutrients and antioxidants, lemongrass tea also helps in the prevention of cancer by eliminating free radicals from the body.
Lemongrass tea works as a natural detox by flushing toxins out of the body. By removing waste and byproducts in a timely fashion, lemongrass tea helps protect and promote the healthy function of your liver, kidneys, and bladder.
4. Cardiovascular Benefits
Lemongrass tea can lower bad cholesterol levels in the body, while also lowering high blood pressure. Both of these benefits are crucial to reducing stress on the heart and your arteries, thus reducing your risk for heart disease, stroke, or heart attack.
5. Reduces Cold and Flu Symptoms
This herb has long been used to treat and break fevers. In addition, when used as a tea, it can help reduce respiratory inflammation. This will help treat sore throats, congestion, coughs, and more. Thanks to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, lemongrass tea also helps to actually reduce the duration of your cold or flu. A cup of hot lemongrass tea with some local honey will also do wonders for reducing allergy symptoms.
6. Fights Infection
In addition to having antimicrobial properties, lemongrass tea also has anti-fungal properties. This makes the tea an effective natural remedy for infections such as ringworm, scabies, urinary tract infections, and candida. It can also be used to prevent infection in minor cuts and abrasions.
7. Reduces Inflammation
As briefly mentioned, the anti-inflammatory properties of lemongrass tea can help reduce respiratory irritation, but it can also reduce inflammation throughout the body. This is good news for those that suffer from arthritis and gout, as joint inflammation is often the leading cause of pain and discomfort.
8. Natural Sleep Aid
Drinking a cup of lemongrass tea can help relax both your muscles and your mind, allowing you to drift off to a restful, relaxing sleep. If you’re feeling overly stressed or anxious, you can also enjoy a cup of lemongrass tea to calm your nerves and help your mind relax.
9. Relieves Menstrual Pain
Related to its ability to reduce inflammation and discomfort throughout the body, lemongrass tea is also an effective remedy for menstrual discomfort. It may help reduce pain from cramps and can help regulate hot flashes.
10. Increases Metabolism
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study in 2013 that showed how the caffeine and the polyphenols found in lemongrass tea can help boost your metabolism, thus helping you to lose weight.
Clearly, lemongrass tea offers some pretty impressive health benefits. It’s easy to find in most health food stores, and is easy to incorporate into your day. Try swapping out your morning coffee for a nice mug of lemongrass tea for a healthy, refreshing, relaxing start to the day.
How to Make Lemongrass Tea
The leaves (fresh or dried) are the part used to make tea. Dried leaves should be broken into pieces and fresh ones washed and cut into 1-2 inch lengths. If you don’t have the plant at home, you can purchase the dried herb at a health food store.
Steep one or two leaves in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, or boil in a teapot for 5-10 minutes. You can serve the drink hot or cold, and add honey or a natural sweetener to amplify the flavor.
To make your iced tea, double the amount you’d use to make a cup of hot tea and steep until it has a strong aroma or until the water gets dark. Pour the hot tea over ice to create your cold lemongrass tea. Alternatively, place the cup in the refrigerator.