Lemongrass is a popular herb that is used in various culinary and medicinal applications. It is a tropical plant that belongs to the grass family and is commonly grown in India, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The plant has long, thin leaves that are gray-green in color and a lemony scent, hence the name “lemongrass.” It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of ailments and is also valued for its culinary uses.
Lemongrass has a variety of health benefits, including its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. In this article, we will explore the uses, benefits, side effects, and preparation of lemongrass tea, with a special emphasis on its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
Uses of Lemongrass
Lemongrass has a variety of uses, both culinary and medicinal. In cooking, it is commonly used to add flavor to dishes, particularly in Asian cuisine. It is also used in beverages, such as tea, and in desserts.
In traditional medicine, lemongrass has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, fever, pain, and infections. It is also used as a natural insect repellent and deodorizer.
Benefits of Lemongrass
Lemongrass has a variety of health benefits, including its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
1. As an Anti-Microbial
Lemongrass has strong anti-microbial properties, which means it can help to fight off harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It contains compounds such as citral, limonene, and geraniol, which have been shown to have powerful anti-microbial effects.
Studies have found that lemongrass oil can be effective against a range of bacteria, including E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella typhimurium. It has also been found to have anti-fungal properties, which can help to treat fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Lemongrass also has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Studies have found that lemongrass can help to reduce inflammation in the body by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines. This can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve overall health.
3. Acts as an Anti-Oxidant
Lemongrass also has strong antioxidant properties, which means it can help to protect the body from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body and can lead to cellular damage and a variety of health problems.
Studies have found that lemongrass contains a variety of antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic compounds. These antioxidants can help to neutralize free radicals and protect the body from oxidative stress.
4. Potential weight loss Agent
Detox teas like lemongrass tea are popular for their ability to speed up the metabolism and aid in weight loss. Nonetheless, the evidence linking lemongrass and weight loss is mostly anecdotal rather than scientific. Even though lemongrass is a diuretic, consuming a large quantity of it can help you shed excess water weight.
It has been suggested that substituting herbal green tea like lemongrass for sugary sodas and juices can aid in weight loss. While lemongrass tea has many health benefits, drinking it on a regular basis is not advised. The possibility of adverse effects increases if you do this. You can improve your body’s response to lemongrass tea by alternating it with water or other sugar-free beverages.
5. A diuretic effect is possible.
For those interested in alternative medicine, lemongrass is commonly used as a diuretic. Increased urination due to taking a diuretic helps the body get rid of excess water and salt. If you have cardiovascular disease, liver failure, or edema, your doctor may recommend diuretics.
6. Decreased risk of cancer
It has been hypothesized that the citral in lemongrass has strong anticancer properties against certain cancer cell lines. Lemongrass has several anti-cancer components. This can be accomplished by directly killing cancer cells or by bolstering your immune system so your body can better fight off cancer on its own.
Aside from standard treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, lemongrass tea is sometimes used as an adjunctive therapy. Its use is strictly restricted to when prescribed by a specialist in oncology.
7. Helps to lower systolic blood pressure
A group of 72 male volunteers was split into two groups and given either lemongrass tea or healthy green tea to drink in an observational study conducted in 2012. The systolic blood pressure of those who drank the lemongrass tea decreased slightly, while the diastolic pressure increased slightly. Their heart rates were also noticeably reduced.
These results are promising for people with systolic hypertension, but researchers advise caution for men with heart conditions when using lemongrass. If your heart rate suddenly drops or your diastolic pressure suddenly rises, this can help you avoid those potentially fatal side effects.
8. It may encourage good digestion.
Tea made from lemongrass is often used as a complementary treatment for gastrointestinal issues like nausea and vomiting. A study was published on rodents in 2012 suggesting that lemongrass may be useful in the treatment of gastric ulcers.
The essential oil extracted from lemongrass leaves was found to reduce stomach lining damage caused by aspirin and alcohol. Aspirin use on a regular basis is a leading cause of stomach ulcers.
9. Aid in cholesterol regulation.
If your cholesterol levels are too high, you may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. The use of lemongrass oil extract in an effort to reduce cholesterol levels in animals was documented in a study. The amount taken had an effect on how much cholesterol was reduced.
Daily dosing with up to 100 milligrams of lemongrass essential oil has been shown to be safe in multiple studies in mice. To determine if lemongrass tea, like lemongrass oil, can be beneficial, more study is required.
10. it relieves premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Tea made from lemongrass is a popular natural treatment for PMS symptoms like cramping, bloating, and hot flashes. Although there is a lack of studies examining the effects of lemongrass on the premenstrual syndrome, it may be helpful due to its ability to calm an upset stomach and decrease inflammation. Various studies report that lemongrass oil can be used to help cool the body.
Insufficient data exists to recommend a standard dosage of lemongrass tea for any condition. See a medical professional or a licensed natural health care provider for dosage instructions.
Start with just one cup per day to reduce the likelihood of unpleasant side effects. If you can handle it, go ahead and have another. If any negative reactions occur, you should stop drinking the tea or reduce your intake.
How to Make Tea with Lemongrass:
Add 1 cup of boiling water to 1-3 teaspoons of lemongrass, either fresh or dried.
Allow at least five minutes of steeping time.
Make sure the tea is strained.
You can drink this lemongrass tea either hot or iced.
Lemongrass tea, both in loose form and in tea bags, is widely available at health food stores and on the internet. There are many nurseries that sell herbs where you can buy fresh lemongrass to grow at home. To avoid consuming synthetic pesticides, it is best to purchase organic lemongrass.
The herbal and tea industry is poorly regulated, though some herbal teas sold in the United States must comply with FDA labeling laws because they are sold in pre-packaged form. Only buy good quality pure herbal tea from a trusted manufacturer to ensure a high-quality, chemical-free product.
Those who dislike drinking lemongrass tea may find it more palatable in other forms. Throw a couple of stalks into your chicken noodle soup for a delicious flavor boost. It’s great for seasoning baked chicken or fish. Lemongrass can be consumed raw; however, it is best minced finely due to its stringy consistency.
Side Effects of Lemongrass Tea
Lemongrass tea is generally considered safe when consumed in moderate amounts. However, consuming large amounts of lemongrass tea may cause side effects in some people. The most common side effects of lemongrass tea include:
- Stomach Upset
Consuming large amounts of lemongrass tea may cause stomach upset in some people. This may include symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is because lemongrass contains citral, a compound that can irritate the lining of the stomach in high doses.
- Allergic Reactions
Some people may be allergic to lemongrass and may experience symptoms such as hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing. This is more likely to occur in people who are allergic to other plants in the grass family, such as timothy grass or ryegrass.
- Interaction with Medications
Lemongrass tea may interact with certain medications, including drugs that are metabolized by the liver. This is because lemongrass contains compounds that can affect the liver’s ability to metabolize drugs. If you are taking any medications, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before consuming lemongrass tea.
Side Effects of Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass oil is a highly concentrated form of lemongrass and should be used with caution. While lemongrass oil is generally considered safe when used as directed, it can cause side effects in some people. The most common side effects of lemongrass oil include:
- Skin Irritation
Applying lemongrass oil directly to the skin can cause irritation in some people. This may include symptoms such as redness, itching, and burning. It is important to dilute lemongrass oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, before applying it to the skin.
- Allergic Reactions
Lemongrass oil has the potential to trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals, causing them to experience symptoms such as swelling, hives, and problems to breath. Those who are allergic to other plants in the grass family, such as timothy grass or ryegrass, have a greater risk of developing this condition than those who do not.
- Interaction with Medications
Lemongrass oil may interact with certain medications, including drugs that are metabolized by the liver. This is because lemongrass oil contains compounds that can affect the liver’s ability to metabolize drugs.
How to Minimize the Risk of Side Effects
To minimize the risk of side effects when consuming lemongrass tea or using lemongrass oil, it is important to use it in moderation and follow the directions carefully. Here are some tips to help you minimize the risk of side effects:
- Start with a small amount
If you are new to lemongrass, start with a small amount and gradually increase the dose over time. This will allow your body to adjust to the effects of lemongrass and minimize the risk of side effects. For example, if you are consuming lemongrass tea, start with a small cup and gradually increase the amount over time.
- Talk to your healthcare provider
If you are taking any medications or have a medical condition, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before consuming lemongrass tea or using lemongrass oil. Lemongrass can interact with certain medications and may not be safe for people with certain medical conditions.
- Choose high-quality products
When choosing lemongrass products, make sure to choose high-quality products from a reputable source. This will help ensure that the product is free from contaminants and is of high quality.
- Dilute lemongrass oil
If you are using lemongrass oil, it is important to dilute it with carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil. This will help minimize the risk of skin irritation and other side effects.
- Use lemongrass oil topically only
Lemongrass oil is not safe for internal use and should only be used topically. Do not ingest lemongrass oil or apply it to the skin in its undiluted form.
- Do not use lemongrass during pregnancy
Lemongrass should be avoided during pregnancy as it may stimulate menstrual flow and can be harmful to the fetus.
- Avoid lemongrass if allergic to other plants in the grass family
If you are allergic to other plants in the grass family, such as timothy grass or ryegrass, you may also be allergic to lemongrass. It is important to avoid lemongrass if you have a known allergy to these plants.
- Avoid consuming large amounts of lemongrass
Consuming large amounts of lemongrass tea may cause stomach upset and other side effects. To minimize the risk of side effects, consume lemongrass tea in moderation and do not consume large amounts.
Lemongrass is generally safe for most people when used in moderation. To minimize the risk of side effects, it is important to start with a small amount, talk to your healthcare provider if you have a medical condition or are taking medications, choose high-quality products, dilute lemongrass oil, avoid lemongrass during pregnancy, avoid lemongrass if allergic to other plants in the grass family, and avoid consuming large amounts of lemongrass.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only, and no medical advice should be inferred from it. Before changing your diet or adding supplements, please talk to your doctor.
The author’s views are his or her own. The facts and opinions in the article have been taken from various articles and commentaries available in the online media and Eastside Writers does not take any responsibility or obligation for them.
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