Free Tea Tastings Daily!302 6th Ave @ Clement St.
Plants commonly called lemongrass (Cymbopogon spp.) have grasslike leaves with a strong, lemony fragrance. Native to Africa and Asia, the plants are used as culinary flavoring and in perfumes, but they also have medicinal properties. Traditionally consumed as an herbal tea, lemongrass has been recommended by practitioners of traditional medicine for many different ailments. Modern research suggests that it may have significant health benefits.
Lemongrass contains a number of volatile oils, including one called citral that's a mixture of several similar compounds. Information from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center indicates that citral acts as an antioxidant that can help protect your cells from damage by free radicals. These unstable molecules form during digestion or when you're exposed to toxins. Over time, they can damage your cells and raise your risk of chronic disorders, including atherosclerosis and heart disease. Research published in the March 2003 issue of "Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications" found that citral acts by activating an enzyme, glutathione S-transferase, that detoxifies free radicals and helps your body rid itself of them, but these laboratory results still need confirmation in trials with human subjects.
Rinse tea cup and teapot with hot water. Use about 2 teaspoons for every 500ml of water. Infuse in hot water at 90°c (194°F) to 95°c (203°F) for 2 to 4 minutes for the first and second brewing. Gradually increase steeping time and temperature for subsequent brewing.