Benefits Of Lemongrass For Weight Loss

What is lemongrass?

Lemongrass is a tropical herb that comes from the lemongrass plant and is native to many Asian countries, such as India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, etc. but is now grown in other parts of the world too. The lower portion of the lemongrass plant (stalk) is used in various Asian cuisines; the leaf is used in herbal tea, salads, and soups; and the lemongrass essential oil is a great stress buster, helping to combat anxiety and depression when used in aromatherapy.

Lemongrass has a stingy, citrus flavour (different to sourness) and has many health benefits, including having an effect on weight loss, which will be discussed further in this article. 

Benefits of lemongrass for weight loss

The term ‘weight loss’ is used everywhere. In a 2018 July report from the CDC,1 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that in the year 2013–2016, 49.1% of U.S. adults tried to lose weight in the last 12 months, including 56.4% of women and 41.7% of men tried to lose weight.

Lemongrass contains polyphenolic compounds2 such as flavonoids, tannins, etc., and citral, which is also responsible for its lemon aroma and flavour. Drinking lemongrass tea every day can help in increasing your metabolic rate. Polyphenolic compounds, especially flavonoids and phenolic acids, inhibit α-glucosidase and α-amylase, which are the key enzymes responsible for the digestion of dietary carbohydrates to glucose. Phenolic compounds available in beverages, vegetables, galenical pears, and berries, may facilitate fitness thereby decreasing the risk of metabolic syndrome.3

We often hear about the term ‘metabolism’ concerning weight loss. Metabolism is the chemical change4 that takes place in a cell or an organism, building energy and keeping the organism moving. Metabolism helps eliminate toxic substances from the body, the higher the metabolism, the higher the calorie count of an individual to maintain body weight.5

Other health benefits of lemongrass

Antimicrobial properties - lemongrass oil has shown therapeutic efficacy against the bacterial activity of Streptococcus mutans in causing oral infections.6

Anti-fungal properties - lemongrass oil inhibits the growth of fungi cells which secrets mycotoxins during the storage of grains and other food products. Also, the oil inactivates disease-causing yeast cells by inhibiting their growth.

Aids in digestion - lemongrass tea does wonders when taken during stomach cramps, bloating, etc. A study on rodents by the National Institute of Health shows that lemongrass tea aids in digestion and helps heal gastric ulcers by reducing the damage to the stomach lining caused by certain medications like aspirin and ethanol.7

Combat stress and anxiety - lemongrass tea is considered a healthy beverage and it helps in rejuvenating from stress. Its anti-anxiety effect relaxes the body and mind.

Aids Obesity and Cardiovascular disease - it helps in treating obesity and reduces high blood pressure levels thereby preventing cardiovascular disease.

Anti-hepatotoxic activity - the tall thin lemongrass leaf extracts have anti-hepatotoxic action against cisplatin-induced hepatic toxicity in rats. It is used in managing hepatopathies and as a therapeutic adjuvant in cisplatin toxicity.

Aroma benefits - the smell of lemongrass acts as an insect repellent and as a vaporiser,  while lemongrass oil relieves headaches, joint aches, menstrual cramps, etc.

Side effects and other concerns

Although there are many pros of lemongrass, be it as herbal tea or lemongrass essential oil, there are a few cons as well.

The side effects are

  • Lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased urination
  • Allergic reactions – itching and rashes9
  • Other concerns- lemongrass should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In case of any allergy or skin reactions, or taking any medication, it is advisable to consult a doctor. However, there are no possible causes of drug interaction with this herb


Lemongrass is available as an essential oil, and is widely used in traditional medicine. It is a good and safe option when it comes to weight loss. Along with this herbal item, regular exercise and healthy food habits can speed up your weight loss journey. Lemongrass is also anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory.  It is advisable to look for any side effects after using lemongrass products. Speak toyour doctor if you are concerned with side effects. 


  1. Products - data briefs - number 313 - july 2018 [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from:
  2. Kiani HS, Ali A, Zahra S, Hassan ZU, Kubra KT, Azam M, et al. Phytochemical composition and pharmacological potential of lemongrass (Cymbopogon) and impact on gut microbiota. AppliedChem [Internet]. 2022 Dec [cited 2023 Jan 13];2(4):229–46. Available from:
  3. Lin D, Xiao M, Zhao J, Li Z, Xing B, Li X, et al. An overview of plant phenolic compounds and their importance in human nutrition and management of type 2 diabetes. Molecules [Internet]. 2016 Oct 15 [cited 2023 Jan 13];21(10):1374. Available from:
  4. Https://www. Cancer. Gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/metabolism [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from:
  5. Does metabolism matter in weight loss? [Internet]. Harvard Health. 2015 [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from:
  6. Chaudhari LKD, Jawale BA, Sharma S, Sharma H, Kumar CDM, Kulkarni PA. Antimicrobial activity of commercially available essential oils against Streptococcus mutans. J Contemp Dent Pract. 2012 Jan 1;13(1):71–4.
  7. Fernandes C, De Souza H, De Oliveria G, Costa J, Kerntopf M, Campos A. Investigation of the mechanisms underlying the gastroprotective effect of cymbopogon citratus essential oil. J Young Pharm [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2023 Jan 13];4(1):28–32. Available from:
  8. Fooddata central [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 13]. Available from:
  9. Khan NT. Therapeutic benefits of lemongrass and tea tree. Annals of Civil and Environmental Engineering [Internet]. 2020 May 29 [cited 2023 Jan 13];4(1):027–9. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Bhashwati Deb Barma

Bachelor of Physiotherapy,M.S., Ramaiah Medical College, India

Bhashwati is a Physiotherapist with a firm grasp of Paediatric physiotherapy and is currently working with special children in the community.

She has 6 years of experience working in hospitals and non-profit organizations set up. As a writer by passion, she is putting up her practical and academic knowledge into her articles.

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