You’ve most likely heard of – even tasted – lemongrass tea but what about lemongrass juice? We all know that one of the biggest benefits of juicing is that it allows you to extract fresh, living nutrients from raw fruits and veggies but does this apply to hard, not-so-juicy plants like lemongrass?
Absolutely. You actually can juice fresh, raw lemongrass – even in a standard, centrifugal juicer. You won’t get that much juice, of course, but it’s still more than enough to add that lovely lemongrass taste to any juice recipe.
And it’s not just for the taste – lemongrass juice comes with a heap of health perks, too. Like what, you ask? Let’s find out!
The thick blades of lemongrass may resemble the reeds that grow by your local riverside, but the aroma and taste smell of tangy, fresh lemon – thus its name. It is a flavor often met with in Asian cookery, where the dried and powdered leaves are often used as delicious flavoring. Because the grass stems are stringy and tough you won’t want to eat them straight, but if you put this herb through a masticating juicer, you get a liquid bursting with health benefits.
If you don’t have a juicer, you can make yourself a cup of lemongrass juice by steeping or boiling the herb in water, then adding honey to taste. The heat may destroy some of the essential oils, but citral, the component of lemongrass that gives it its scent, remains intact. Why does this matter? You’ll see in a moment…
8 Amazing Lemongrass Juice Benefits
So why should you go through the trouble of finding fresh lemongrass and wringing it through your juicer? Here’s why…
And citral is something special. Recently scientists at the Ben Guriun University did a study of its anti-mutagen properties. The amount of citral found in just one gram of lemongrass was steeped into a tea and then added to samples of cancerous and healthy cells. The cancerous cells went into self-destruct mode, while the healthy cells remained untouched. How cool is that?
While more research needs to be done, it’s too hopeful a possibility to pass up on: in Israel today doctors recommend that their cancer patients drink up to eight glasses of the tea or juice on the days they go into chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Not surprising considering even a mildly concentrated infusion of this herb has been shown to induce apoptosis (cell-suicide) in certain cancer cells.
Calms the Nerves
The aromatic compounds in the essential oils of lemongrass have a soothing effect, which is why lemongrass has been used to promote relaxation and treat anxiety and insomnia.
It can even help speed up the repair and rejuvenation of damaged cells and tissues when used in regular aromatherapy sessions.
Lowers Diabetes Risk
The compounds in lemongrass help stimulate the pancreas to release more enzymes and control blood glucose levels better, considerably reducing the risk of diabetes. These compounds also heighten the ability of the tongue to recognize sweetness and other key flavors, making you more aware if you’re already overindulging in a certain taste or two.
Promotes the Production of Saliva
Speaking of the tongue, there are compounds in lemongrass-infused liquids that induce the production of saliva. Why’s that important? Saliva contains minerals and proteins that prevent the onset of tooth decay as well as keep the mouth and tongue moist for chewing and swallowing as well as preps your body for digestion.
Lemongrass also freshens the mouth and is still used traditionally in some Asian cultures as a herbal mouthwash and breath freshener.
Lemongrass, especially its knobby base, is packed with phytochemicals that help improve digestion and other functions of the gastrointestinal tract. Apart from calming upset stomachs and abdominal spasms, it can also stimulate receptors in the colon and intestines to work more efficiently when it comes to absorbing nutrients from food.
Promotes Gentle Detox
The antioxidants in lemongrass have a detoxifying effect to the vital organs by getting rid of free radicals and toxins that significantly lower their efficiency and even cause diseases in the long run. Remarkably, lemongrass tea is a diuretic and can help cleanse the kidneys as well as remove mineral buildup that can eventually develop into kidney stones.
Keeps Harmful Bacteria at Bay
Citral is the primary aromatic compound in lemongrass that gives this plant its distinct citrus-like smell. It also has potent anti-bacterial properties that effectively stave off the growth of streptococcus pyogenes, escherichia coli and other disease-causing microorganisms.
Speaking of anti-bacterial prowess, lemongrass stalks contain natural chemicals that also have anti-fungal properties. These natural chemicals are also found to inhibit the overproduction of the Candida fungi, which can cause thrush. Moreover, chewing on the inner stalks of lemongrass can also help ease sore and itchy throats.
Overall, lemongrass acts as poison on those microbes and fungi which at time invade our body, and is a powerful natural antiseptic.
Chockfull of Iron
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States, and its symptoms include fatigue, lethargy, and decreased mental efficiency. Lemongrass juice can help with this, since it contains a significant amount of the essential mineral iron that can help boost the body’s ability to synthesize hemoglobin.
And it’s not just iron. Lemongrass is bursting with vital nutrition – it’s also packing vitamins A, C, B-2, B-3, B-6 and folate as well as the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.
As for calories? One cup of lemongrass is only 68 calories.
3 Yummy Lemongrass Juice Recipes
Whether you’re juicing for anti-cancer benefits or for general health – lemongrass is a herb you’ll definitely want to wring through the juicer, with its strong anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties high abundance of anti-oxidants. It is also a potent de-toxifier that helps cleanse your kidney, liver, bladder and digestive track, and is even rich in minerals like potassium, iron, and magnesium.
So how should you whip it up? Here are some delicious lemongrass juice recipes (and a smoothie recipe)…
When you want to glow from within, this is the juice recipe to turn to. Hydrating and lycopene-filled watermelon serves as a sweet base for this yummy juice and spicy ginger and zesty lime give it a flavorful kick. And of course, the citrus-y lemongrass gives it a delicious digestive boost!
Sweet and Tart Juice
Here’s a very simple lemongrass juice recipe – it’s just 3 ingredients but they work so, very well together:
3 large lemongrass stalks
1 cup coconut water
The juice you get from this is wonderfully citrus-y but if you need a bit of sweetness, feel free to add a few grapes or half an apple to the recipe.
Banana Lemongrass Coconut Smoothie
Here’s a delicious lemongrass smoothie recipe courtesy of Passionately Raw for when you want something more filling:
- 2 ripe bananas
- 3-4 lemongrass stalks
- freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
- 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
- pinch turmeric
Honey or raw stevia is optional for sweetness, although with the bananas, you probably won’t need it 😉