Lemongrass is a tropical perennial plant that yields aromatic oil. Dried lemongrass leaves are used as a lemon flavor ingredient in herbal teas, prepared either by infusion or decoction of 2-3 leaves in 250 milliliters of water.
Lemongrass typically grows to a height of 1 to 1.5 meters reaching 3 meters at flowering. The plant grows in a wide range of climatic conditions and soils. For example, in the Philippines, it grows in almost any place where there is adequate sunlight and proper drainage.
An estimated 55 varieties of lemongrass exist worldwide, however, only those known as West Indian and East Indian are suitable for making soaps, cooking, lotions, perfumes, and production of essential oils.
Over 16 percent of U.S. children and one-third of American adults are obese. In the United Kingdom, obesity is also a common problem which is estimated to affect around 25 percent of adults and around 20 percent of children aged 10 to 11.
Individuals who are obese or overweight are more likely to have strokes, heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and depression.
Lemongrass is a natural diuretic (a substance which increases the production of urine), and if you drink enough of this remarkable tea, you are likely to drop several pounds.
Lemongrass reduces the incidence of thrush, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Scientists established that an oral rinse which was administered 3 times per day was more effective than gentian violet (a dye which has antifungal, antibacterial, and anthelmintic properties).
Thrush is a common infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast. Symptoms of oral thrush include:
- difficulty swallowing;
- white patches in the mouth which can be wiped off;
- angular cheilitis (cracks at the corners of the mouth);
- soreness and redness on the inside of the mouth;
- an unpleasant taste in the mouth which can be salty or bitter;
- a burning sensation on the tongue.
Circumstances which encourage the overgrowth of Candida albicans include:
- some cancers and their treatment;
- hormonal changes;
- immune suppression;
- medical conditions like Human immunodeficiency virus infection and diabetes;
- drugs side effects, particularly steroids and antibiotics.
Inflammation is a process in which white blood cells (also called leukocytes) can protect against foreign substances and infection. But, if the inflammatory process goes on for too long, it can lead to certain diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke or heart disease.
A tea made from dried lemongrass reduces nitric oxide (a signaling molecule which has an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammation) levels, according to a 2010 study which was issued in the “Journal of Medicinal Food.”
This herb is a great source of vitamin C, a vitamin that has an essential role in collagen synthesis.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is defined as waking up too early, an inability to go to sleep, or feeling unrested after sleep for at least 3 nights per week for at least 90 days.
There are also other symptoms of insomnia. Therefore, you may:
- find it difficult to concentrate during the day as you are tired;
- feel irritable during the day;
- wake up a few times during the night;
- even though you are tired, you find it hard to nap during the day;
- wake up early and can’t go back to sleep;
- lie awake at night.
Many cases of insomnia are caused by the following:
- the use of certain types of medication;
- jet lag;
- eating too much food (and especially greasy food) late in the evening;
- physical discomfort;
- alcohol intoxication;
- caffeine (found in energy drinks, some sodas, coffee, chocolate, and green tea) intake prior to going to bed;
- cigarette smoking;
- the use of recreational drugs;
- stressful life situations, like – concerns about school, work, family, or health, losing a job, the death of someone close, or divorce;
- working different shifts.
Components of this herb might have a sedative effect, according to the Sloan-Kettering research institution.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure refers to how hard the blood is pushing against the walls of the artery through which it flows. It is the main cause of stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease.
Risk factors for hypertension include:
- excessive alcohol consumption;
- being overweight;
- lack of exercise (sedentarism);
- poor diet, especially a regular diet rich in French fries, cookies, cakes, burritos, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizzas, mayonnaise, or margarine.
Important note – hypertension often causes no symptoms or immediate problems.
According to a 2014 study done at the Departamento de Bioquímica Clínica e Inmunología, Talca, Chile, lemongrass tea is a traditional remedy for high blood pressure.
After heart disease, cancer is the 2nd most common cause of death. World Health Organization estimates that in the next 20 years, the number of new cancer cases will increase by approximately 70 percent worldwide.
Here are some of the common symptoms you should ask your healthcare professional to check out:
- a cough or hoarseness which lasts for more than 21 days;
- coughing up blood;
- a sore which doesn’t heal;
- blood in urine;
- changes on your skin or to an existing mole;
- a lump anywhere on your body;
- blood mixed through bowel motion;
- unexplained, significant weight loss;
- a change in bowel habit which lasts for more than one and a half month.
According to a 2014 study, via a mechanism known as programmed cell death, lemongrass was responsible for stimulating the cancer cells to commit suicide.
There’s no certain way to prevent cancer, however, healthcare professionals have identified a few methods of reducing your cancer risk, including:
- schedule cancer screening exams;
- stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoking;
- if you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, drink in moderation; it is best to avoid alcohol completely;
- maintain a healthy weight;
- physical exercise – aim for at least half an hour of any type of physical activity most days of the week;
- choose a diet rich in fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables;
- avoid excessive sun exposure.
Note – only the leaves of the lemongrass plant are used to make the tea.
- 2 dried leaves of lemongrass;
- 3-inch strip orange peel;
- 1-inch piece cinnamon bark;
- 1 1/ 2 tsp honey (sugar or another sweetener);
- 1 tsp ginger root, grated.
Bring your cupful of water to a bubbling boil. Bring the heat down to low, add in all the ingredients, and let everything steep for 15m. Strain into a cup and drink.
Though the lemongrass tea is quite healthy and has no adverse effects, drinking it in excess (over two cups a day) may lead to some side effects.
Moreover, individuals who are prone to food allergy may experience itchy skin rash after drinking the tea. Also, the tea may be able to start menstrual flow, hence, it is best to avoid it if you are pregnant since it might cause a miscarriage.