I was sitting under a handmade woven thatched roof in Northern Thailand, ordering fresh vegetarian dinner, when I first received a pot of lemongrass tea. To say that it was epic would be an understatement. True, the scenery was unparalleled, with the mountains surrounding Sipsongpanna (the thousand rice paddies) and the Pai river spanning my vision, the delicious smell of curries and other spices wafting. It was my first introduction to the detoxifying and nourishing magic of lemongrass, something I have never forgotten.
Lemongrass grows like a grass. It has a thick stalk with fragrant, potent oils that assist the body with so many things. You would never guess by the taste of something so sweet and delicious that it could ward off cancer, relieve migraine headaches, ease muscle pains, calm convulsions, relieve infections such as athlete’s foot, and open the bronchial passageways so asthmatics can breathe, but it can. I am continually blown away by the magic of lemongrass, not only because of the taste, but also because of the sheer diversity of the healing properties contained in this nourishing stalk.
You can go to any Asian market and pick up a stalk. It's long and green with a yellow hue and it sort of reminds you of a hardened version of celery. Take it home and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. When ready to use, take the backside of a heavy chopping knife and whack it down near the root end several times to release the volatile oils. Then slice ½ inch to 1-inch segments and brew as a strong tea. You can also throw a few chunks into soup for a delicious addition.
Let the tea steep for about 10 minutes and sweeten with a bit of raw honey, if desired. The flavor is unparalleled and remains as one of my favorite teas of all times.
Traveling in Thailand and other Asian countries poses many challenges, such as attempting regular sleep. I often found myself feeling like a bit of an insomniac while jumping from bus to tuk-tuk, to car to boat and so on. Lemongrass tea stepped in and soothed my sleep-deprived mind and body. It lessened the body aches and allowed me to feel not only comfortable in my skin, but delicious in it. I was able to clear away head congestion and get my digestive system back to normal almost immediately – such was the speed and power of lemongrass tea.
As far as detoxification goes, lemongrass is one of your most faithful and able companions when choosing to assist the body in releasing toxins, heavy metals and congestive elements that have bogged you down and clogged you up. Lemongrass works as a diuretic to increase the flow of urine and support the kidneys and bladder in clearing out. This grass also balances the metabolism, helps balance blood insulin, assists the body in releasing uric acid deposits, supports the liver and can assist in lowering LDL cholesterol by helping your body expel it.
Cancer research has shown that drinking lemongrass tea fights free radicals, which prevent cancer, but there's more. Lemongrass has shown to slow the growth of breast cancer cells and the component citral, found in lemongrass, in essence, (according to research at Ben Gurion University in Israel) causes cancer cells to kill themselves, leaving healthy cells alone.
Joint pain and inflammation is eased by drinking this magical tea as are muscles relaxed by using lemongrass oil topically in a carrier oil such as coconut. By calming muscles and also nourishing the nervous system, sleep is supported and those suffering from insomnia or other sleep disturbances are able to find great relief.
Also called “fevergrass,” lemongrass is used by Native Americans to break a fever or support the health of one who is experiencing a fever, as it helps to move mucous and other toxins from the body, soothe the nerves, calm the mind, detox the organs and kill any microbes that might be infecting the body tissues. A great home remedy for colds and the common flu, lemongrass is a delicious companion for every stage of health and well-being. Here are a few other reasons to try it today:
- Soothes coughs
- Opens nasal passageways
- Induces sweating for easy detox
- Eases anemia due to extremely high iron content
- Provides great source of vitamin C and B-complex vitamins
- Support immune system
- Helps relieve yeast infections
- Acts as an antiseptic
- Relieves headaches
- Calms muscle spasms
- Eases vertigo
- Helps with Lyme disease
- Stimulates mind/mental activity
- Promotes blood circulation
- Acts as a type 2 diabetes supportive
- Balances skin ph
- Promotes thymus health
- Tones skin
- Balances weight/optimal body fat
- Relieves body odor
- Cleanses body of excess mucous
- Supports healthy gut bacteria
- Stops heartburn
- Relieves constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach upset
- Alleviates depression
- Increases confidence and self-love
- Protects pets – guards against fleas/ticks
I happily and readily brought the discovery of lemongrass tea home from my Asian travels. I still consider it one of my greatest finds. Whether I am brewing it up in my Asian-inspired soups or simply sipping hot tea on a winter morning, or iced lemongrass tea in the summer, I feel fantastic knowing my family and I are constantly reaping the benefits of this magical nourishing, detoxifying herb every time.
So if you haven't happened upon lemongrass yet, I highly recommend finding yourself a stalk of the legit grass and brewing yourself up a batch of strong tea today and unveiling the magic awaiting you. I promise you won't be disappointed and you just might discover your new favorite beverage for body and mind!
To your health!