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Heart disease – an umbrella term for any condition affecting the heart – has been the leading cause of death globally for twenty years, according to the latest data published by the World Health Organisation. Cancer, which is the second leading cause, was responsible for an estimated ten million deaths last year. You can modify your risk of developing these chronic killers to varying degrees.
Following a healthy diet offers a buffer against heart disease and cancer.
There is no single item that is up to the job but evidence suggests drinking lemongrass tea can help to mitigate the risk.
Take heart disease first.
The heart-healthy benefits of drinking lemongrass tea derive from the plant’s ability to fend off two key precursors to heart disease – high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
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In an observational study, 72 male volunteers were given either lemongrass tea or green tea to drink.
Those who drank the lemongrass tea experienced a moderate drop in systolic blood pressure and a mild increase in diastolic blood pressure. They also had a significantly lower heart rate.
Systolic and diastolic blood pressure are the two numbers used to record high blood pressure.
Lemongrass has also been shown to reduce high cholesterol – a fatty substance that can clog up your arteries.
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A study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research showed that lemongrass oil extract helped to lower cholesterol in animals.
The reduction in cholesterol was dependent on the dose.
What’s more, research on mice confirmed the long-term safety of up to 100mg lemongrass essential oil daily.
More research is needed to see if lemongrass tea has the same effects as lemongrass oil, however.
The citral in lemongrass is also thought to have potent anticancer abilities against some cancer cell lines, research suggests.
In fact, several components of lemongrass are thought to help fight cancer.
This occurs either by causing cell death directly or boosting your immune system so that your body is better able to fight-off cancer on its own.
Strengthening the link, lemongrass tea is sometimes used as an adjuvant therapy during chemotherapy and radiation.
It is important to maintain a healthy weight because obesity is a risk factor for heart disease and cancer.
A body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 39.9 generally means you’re obese.
“The best way to treat obesity is to eat a healthy reduced-calorie diet and exercise regularly,” advises the NHS.
It adds: “If lifestyle changes alone do not help you lose weight, a medicine called orlistat may be recommended.”
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