From rendang and curries to ayam masak serai, lemongrass is ubiquitous in Malaysian cooking. It just makes everything taste magically delicious.
A close cousin of the citronella, lemongrass is a beloved Malaysian herb prized for its relaxing properties, lemony taste, and citrusy aroma. It famously keeps pesky mosquitoes at bay, especially when used as an essential oil.
Besides being used in dishes, lemongrass can also be boiled or steeped in some hot water to make a refreshing cup of lemongrass drink (or tea). Let’s take a look at the top 12 health benefits in your delicious mug of teh serai.
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1. Great immunity booster
Lemongrass drinks are high in antioxidants that give your immune system a much-needed boost. It also helps to reduce water retention and remove toxins from your body. That’s why it’s such a great go-to detox drink!
2. Good for digestion
Citral is a natural component in lemongrass that is largely responsible for its antimicrobial qualities. It helps to soothe the stomach and aid digestion. In addition, it also helps to reduce bloating, indigestion, and constipation problems. So, have a cup of lemongrass drink after dinner every day if you want to enhance and improve your digestive system.
3. Soothes stomach disorders
Of course, it’s not just digestion problems that can give you a tummy ache. Due to its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, lemongrass is found to be effective against Helicobacter pylori and Escherichia coli bacteria infections. It’s also a wonderful and soothing remedy for gastric ulcers, diarrhoea, nausea, and general stomach ache.
4. Increases metabolism
Lemongrass drinks are effective in accelerating digestion, and faster digestion means more calories being burnt. Besides, the polyphenols in lemongrass enhance the oxidation of fatty acids in the body, which helps burn fat even more. That’s great news for people looking for a naturally slimming tea!
5. Lowers LDL cholesterol levels
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Scientifically speaking, lemongrass also has anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties. It means that it helps to maintain a healthy level of triglycerides (fatty acids) and reduces bad LDL cholesterol in our bloodstream.
6. Regulates high blood pressure
Lemongrass is rich in potassium, which stimulates regular blood circulation and effectively lowers blood pressure. Regularly drinking lemongrass drinks also limits the absorption of lipids and cholesterol into the bloodstream through the intestines.
7. Treats insomnia
Thanks to its sedative and hypnotic properties, lemongrass tea naturally calms your nerves and muscles into a more relaxed state. This way, you can sleep deeper and more peacefully at night for a longer period of time.
8. Reduces fever
Lemongrass has antipyretic and diaphoretic effects, which mean that it is a natural medication that reduces fever. Thus, it is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine practices to cure fevers by including sweating and lowering body temperature.
9. Alleviates colds and the flu
If you’ve got the sniffles, a hot cup of lemongrass drink will help to ease nasal congestion and subsequently help you breathe better. Its antibacterial effects also mean that it can be used to treat the common cold, cough, and the flu.
10. Prevents iron deficiency
Owing to the abundance of iron and folates in its make-up, lemongrass drinks are powerful remedies for anaemic patients. It helps to keep haemoglobin levels at a healthy level and prevents other diseases related to iron deficiency.
11. Relieves menstrual pain
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A great way to reduce the pain and discomfort during menstruation is by drinking warm lemongrass drinks. It provides quick and instant relief for cramps, numbness, nausea, fatigue, and hot flashes during the menstrual cycle.
12. Promotes healthy skin and strong hair
Lemongrass is a rich source of vitamins A and C. They are essential for maintaining blemish-free skin and a healthy head of hair. In addition to that, its antioxidant properties help to clear up oily breakouts and acne-prone skin. Lemongrass also has significant results on reducing pimples and eczema on the face, head, and scalp.
BONUS: Lemongrass tea is also beneficial for pregnant soon-to-be Mummies too!
Lastly, the scent of lemongrass helps with improving the appetite and digestive system of pregnant women. Besides, it is effective for alleviating headaches, migraines, headaches, and dispelling wind during pregnancy.
Some great news for expecting Mummies — We’ve extracted and condensed all of the lemongrass goodness and deliciousness into our easy and convenient Herbal Ginger Tea + Lemongrass drink! It’s the perfect everyday drink for pregnant Mummies and Mummies in confinement.
However, do take note that you shouldn’t drink more than 2 cups of lemongrass drinks when you’re pregnant and expecting. Too much lemongrass may overstimulate your womb and affect the healthy development of your baby.