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Author Zoran Trifunovic
Zoran Trifunovic Writer
Updated on Jul 10th, 2024
Fact checked by Valentina Meneghini

What Is Lemongrass Tea Good For? Health Benefits You Need to Know!

Image of lemongrass tea with a tropical background

Lemongrass is a tall, perennial grass with a unique citrus aroma. Scientifically known as Cymbopogon, there are over 140 species across Asia, Africa, and Australia. The edible lemongrass you are most likely familiar with, however, is found in southern India and tropical Asia.

Also known as “fever grass” or “citronella grass,” this herb is a staple in Asian cuisine and an ingredient in traditional medicine dating back centuries. To this day, many people believe the lemongrass plant has medicinal properties. For instance, lemongrass tea is believed to help with digestion, reduce anxiety, and even boost immunity. 

However, while these nutritional benefits are widely touted, there aren't conclusive scientific studies to fully back them up. With the help of our on-staff nutritionist, we'll explore what lemongrass tea is good for and why it might be a delightful addition to your daily routine.

What Is Lemongrass Tea Good For?

Lemongrass tea has a unique and refreshing flavor profile that combines citrusy, slightly minty, and herbal notes. It is often described as having a lemony aroma with a hint of mint, making it both invigorating and soothing.

Although it is a delicious beverage, many people drink lemongrass tea for its potential health benefits¹. Lemongrass tea contains small amounts of vitamin B, as well as essential minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium². It is also rich in antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid and isoorientin, which help combat oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases³.

These nutritional components (and others I didn’t mention here) contribute to its potential health benefits, including immune support, anti-inflammatory effects, and overall wellness, among others.

Here are some of the most well-known health benefits attributed to lemongrass tea:

1. Antioxidant & Antimicrobial Properties

Lemongrass contains several compounds with antimicrobial properties, including Citral and Neral . These compounds make lemongrass tea effective against a variety of bacteria and fungi.  An image showing a young woman drinking lemongrass tea and indicating its antimicrobial properties.

There is also some scientific evidence that shows lemongrass essential oil exhibits strong antimicrobial activity. For example, a study found that lemongrass oil was effective against multiple strains of bacteria, including those resistant to conventional antibiotics. Another study highlighted the effectiveness of lemongrass oil in inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi, making it a valuable natural remedy for infections.

Therefore, lemongrass tea may help:

  • Combat bacteria that cause oral infections and cavities

  • Fight bacterial infections

  • Prevent fungal infections

As for its antioxidant properties, lemongrass tea has been shown to have strong free radical scavenging activity. It is also rich in phenolic compounds, which are known for their antioxidant properties. 

In a study of several teas thought to have antioxidant properties, lemongrass tea came in fourth, after dandelion, rosehip, and chamomile.

2. Better Skin and Hair Health

Thanks to its antioxidants and vitamins, lemongrass tea may help improve the health of your skin and hair. However, most of the studies available on this topic use lemongrass oil applied topically, so it’s not clear if tea ingestion will make much of a difference.

For instance, there's research that shows lemongrass oil can have anti-dandruff properties and that it can help calm down scalp irritation (due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties)¹⁰. In various combinations with other plant-based oils, it can also help fight hair loss since it strengthens hair follicles¹¹ Infographic displaying potential benefits of lemongrass oil

Lemongrass has powerful astringent and antiseptic properties, making lemongrass oil effective for treating some inflammatory skin conditions¹². When used correctly (never apply essential oil directly on the skin), it may help in reducing the appearance of pores, control oil production, and prevent acne.

Lemongrass tea, on the other hand, has a diuretic effect, which may help eliminate waste and reduce puffiness¹³. However, you must use it carefully to avoid falling into the other extreme – dehydration.

3. Anxiety Relief

A mug of warm lemongrass tea is a calming option, perfect for evenings or warming up on a cold day. Its aroma has a soothing effect, which can help with anxiety¹⁴.

Pull quote from our certified nutritionist

4. Infection Prevention & Analgesic

Drinking lemongrass tea may help prevent bacterial infections in the digestive tract¹⁵. This includes those caused by E. coli, which can lead to food poisoning and urinary tract infections. An image showing a young woman drinking tea in the countryside and an enlarged image of the digestive system.

Additionally, lemongrass contains compounds that have been shown to possess strong antibacterial effects. These compounds can inhibit the growth of bacteria responsible for infections, including those causing urinary tract infections and skin infections.

5. Improves Sleep

Many people swear by the calming effects of lemongrass tea, especially if you sip it warm or hot. 

Besides its delicious taste and flavors, the tea also contains compounds that relax the muscles and reduce tension. Some studies also show that lemongrass tea can help regulate sleep cycles, leading to improved sleep over longer periods¹⁶. However, most of these studies are only on mice.

This is attributed to the release of serotonin, a hormone that improves mood and happiness, and the sedative effects of the lemongrass plant leaves. Plus, if you are restless, it can have a calming effect on the nerves, so try to include it in your before-bed routine.

6. Relieves PMS Symptoms

Since lemongrass tea has diuretic properties, it can help reduce water retention and bloating, which are common symptoms of PMS. Also, due to its natural sedative and analgesic properties, it may help alleviate mild menstrual cramps and pain¹⁷ An image of 2 young women, one feeling a menstrual relief with the other still being in pain.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it may help reduce inflammation and discomfort associated with PMS. However, it’s important to keep in mind that we only have anecdotal evidence. So, even though it may have an initial soothing effect, the end results vary depending on the person.

7. May Reduce Cancer Risk

Some studies show that lemongrass extract may enhance treatments for colorectal cancer and mitigate some of the adverse effects of chemotherapy¹⁸. However, no such studies have been done on lemongrass tea, so there’s no way of knowing for sure.

Still, if we consider the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of lemongrass tea, there may be some truth to its alleged reduced cancer benefits.

Adverse Reactions & Risks to Consider

An image of a pregnant woman consulting with a doctor in his office.

There is no scientific evidence to show that lemongrass tea may have any risks or adverse effects when consumed in moderation. However, some don’t recommend it for pregnant people. So, if you are pregnant, it’s best to exercise caution and ask your healthcare provider’s opinion.

How to Make Lemongrass Tea

You can make this delicious tea from scratch if you have access to high-quality lemongrass stalks or leaves. Since the act of making has a therapeutic effect, I recommend that anyone give it a try. It’s not hard, and you can adjust the flavor to fit your taste.

Side note: While you can use dry leaves, if you want the best flavor, use fresh, firm, and vibrant green lemongrass stalks and leaves.

Here’s what you’ll need to make the tea:

  • 5 stalks of lemongrass (stalks and leaves)

  • 6 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon sliced ginger (optional)

  • Honey or sugar to taste

  • Lemon or lime wedges for garnish (optional)

Rinse the lemongrass stalks and leaves to remove dirt or dust. Also, remove any dry or tough outer layers from the stalks. You only need the tender, pale-yellow base and the green upper part. An image of a smiling man drinking tea made from fresh lemongrass and a dissatisfied woman drinking tea made from dried lemongrass.

Extra tip: To boost the flavor, bruise the stalks and chop them into smaller pieces (also great to fit them in the pot), and twist the leaves. 

Once the water reaches a boil, add the chopped lemongrass stalks, twisted leaves, and sliced ginger (if using) to the pot. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour the tea through a strainer, discarding the lemongrass pieces and ginger slices. Pour the tea into a teacup and sweeten it to taste with honey or sugar. You can also serve it unsweetened since lemongrass tea is naturally mild and slightly sweet on its own.

Optionally, add a splash of lemon juice and garnish with lemon or lime wedges. Stir gently to combine the ingredients and to make sure the flavors are well-distributed.

Different Variations of Lemongrass Tea

If you’re looking for a bit of variety in your life, lemongrass tea may be the answer. This versatile beverage can be consumed hot, cold, bubbly, or with a bit of spice. 

An image containing different versions of lemongrass tea in a grid

Here’s how:

  • Iced: After straining the tea, allow it to cool, then refrigerate it. Pour it over ice and garnish with lemon slices or fresh mint leaves.

  • Bubbly: Halve the amount of water for steeping, then add sparkling water to the cold tea for a bubbly beverage.

  • Golden Tea: Sprinkle turmeric or cinnamon on the tea for a beautiful golden tone and additional antioxidants.

  • Green Tea: Add a spoonful of green tea leaves or a tea bag to the tea after taking it off the heat. Let them steep together for extra health benefits.

Due to its rich vitamin and mineral content, lemongrass tea is a welcome addition to a healthy diet. It pairs well with Asian cuisine (since it’s also part of some dishes), seafood, spicy food, ginger-based dishes, and more. 

Plus, since it has diuretic properties and helps improve digestion, many people like to add it to their weight loss diet. If you’re considering a weight-loss diet, we have a list of tried-and-tested weight-loss meal delivery services as well.

FAQ

What are the health benefits of lemongrass tea?

Lemongrass tea is believed to offer several health benefits, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It may help reduce cancer risk, improve digestion, relieve pain, boost immunity, and promote relaxation and sleep.

How do you make lemongrass tea at home?

Lemongrass tea is easy to make at home, with both fresh and dry leaves. It takes less than 15 minutes to have a steaming and flavorful pot of delicious tea, so don’t hesitate to make your own!

Are there any side effects of drinking lemongrass tea?

When consumed in moderation, lemongrass tea is generally safe. There are no known side effects, but some recommend caution for pregnant people.

Does lemongrass tea help with weight loss?

Since it has diuretic properties, lemongrass tea may help in weight loss by reducing bloating and excess water retention. You can also combine it with green tea and get the combined benefits of both teas.

Can lemongrass tea help reduce anxiety?

Yes. The calming effect of sipping hot tea, combined with the specific properties of lemongrass, may help alleviate stress and promote relaxation.

Is lemongrass tea effective in managing digestive issues?

Lemongrass has some antimicrobial and analgesic properties, so drinking lemongrass tea may help alleviate some digestive issues. Based on anecdotal evidence, it may help reduce bloating, stomach cramps, and more.

References

    1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8773226/

      2https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168573/nutrients

        3https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037887411300247X

          4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/

            5https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/citral

              6https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Neral

                7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5527151/

                  8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8878996/

                    9https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-healthiest-herbal-tea/

                      10https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26566122/

                        11https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8837976/

                          12https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5801909/

                            13https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9598547/

                              14https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26366471/

                                15https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7783362/

                                  16https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20237771/

                                    17https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328577744_Effects_of_Lemongrass_Cymbopogon_citratus_Essential_Oil_Inhalation_on_Cognitive_Performance_and_Mood_in_Healthy_Women

                                      18https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6918039/

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                                      We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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