Lemongrass tea has long since been a staple of traditional eastern medicine; thanks to its anti-oxidant properties and a wide variety of other health benefits. However, modern research now seems to suggest that there may be more to this seemingly innocuous tea than originally thought.
It seems far-fetched. After all, lemongrass tea is more commonly known for its fragrant smell, which creates not only a refreshing herbal tea, but also a flavouring for many Asian dishes. Indeed, it’s also important to remember that the research conducted so far has been very tentative and that there have certainly been no official medical recommendations advocating the use of lemongrass tea to cure cancer.
However, the research that has taken place so far has yielded some interesting results.
The principle piece of research conducted into the effects of lemongrass benefits on cancer cells was undertaken in 2005, by a medical team at Ben Gurion University (Israel). Led by Dr Rivka Ofir, the research team discovered that a substance in lemon grass, called citral, created a ‘suicide’ effect in cancer cells; essentially inspiring them to eliminate themselves.
Citral, which is also the substance that gives lemongrass its distinctive lemony taste, was found to eradicate cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Their conclusion from the research was that lemongrass, and indeed, any other herbs containing citral may be useful as a preventative against certain types of cancer.
In addition to this exciting research, a study was also carried out on rats, which found that citral prevented the formation of retinoic acid from retinol. In simple terms, this is a chemical reaction that occurs when tumours form on the skin. Other tentative studies have also been made into the effectiveness of lemongrass to combat a variety of cancers, including colon cancer, cancer of the liver and lung cancer.
Before you rush out to buy plenty of lemongrass tea, it’s important to remember that research is still very much in its formative stages. Some of the claims have caused controversy in the medical world. So far, tests have only been carried out on laboratory animals, not on humans, so the effectiveness of lemongrass is still to be medically proven.
However, lemongrass poses no health threat to humans and drinking it will certainly do you no harm, only good. In addition to the possibility that lemongrass can help to combat cancer, it also offers a wealth of other health benefits, including:
There is not enough research to support the claim that lemongrass can cure cancer, and as a result, it’s not recommended to rely on lemongrass tea alone for treatment. However, as part of a controlled medical treatment plan, lemongrass can offer a range of benefits to your health, and can certainly ease other symptoms within the body. After the research undertaken at Ben Gurion University, many Israeli people now drink lemongrass tea to combat cancer and have reported remarkable improvements in their health, so there’s certainly nothing to lose by giving it a go.
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