Lemongrass is most often steeped to make a tea or used as a seasoning. While it has been used as a folk remedy for stomach problems and as a sedative, it does not seem to have a direct impact on weight loss. If drinking lemongrass tea replaces another source of calories, however, it may help you in your weight-loss efforts. Talk to your doctor to discuss healthy methods for weight loss.
As the name implies, lemongrass has a tart, lemony flavor that not only makes a delicious tea but can also be used as an herb to add flavor to savory and sweet dishes. While you can enjoy lemongrass for its flavor, it's also used for medicinal purposes. In addition to digestion and sleep, lemongrass is also said to help calm nerves and may have anti-inflammatory properties. There's some evidence that lemongrass may kill cancer cells as well, but this potential benefit has only been studied in test tube experiments.
Lemongrass Tea and Weight Loss
When drinking it as a tea, lemongrass contributes very few calories to your overall intake. One tablespoon of lemongrass has 5 calories and 1 gram of carbohydrate. Drinking a cup of plain lemongrass tea before a meal may help you lose weight by filling you up so you eat less. Also, sipping on a cup of lemongrass tea during the day may help prevent you from eating out of boredom.
Adding Flavor Without Calories
Lemongrass enhances the flavor of food without adding too many calories and may help you reduce the amount of fat and sugar you use, saving you calories. Lightly pound the stalks of the herb to release the flavor and add it to the cavity of whole fish or chicken before roasting or grilling. You can also chop the leaves and add it to a salad or to your veggies while they steam. It adds flavor to stir-fries and soups too.
Some people have reported dizziness and drowsiness after consuming lemongrass. There are also concerns that it might increase your appetite and that drinking too much may damage the liver or lining of the stomach, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In addition, you should not drink lemongrass tea if you're pregnant. According to the cancer center, high doses of lemongrass have caused birth defects in rats.
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and sharing her love of food, nutrition and health with anyone who'll listen for almost 20 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and Working Mother.