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. Extracts of lemongrass have anti-microbial properties, helping prevent or slow the growth of bacteria and fungi. A study published in the January 2012 issue of "Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice" found that an oil extract from lemongrass inhibited growth of streptococcus bacteria in the laboratory, while research in the March 2009 issue of "Phytomedicine" studied the effectiveness of a lemongrass infusion in human subjects with human immunodeficiency virus who had an oral fungal infection called thrush.
Several laboratory studies confirmed that lemongrass components could prevent growth of cancer cells. For example, a study in the October 2009 issue of "Fundamentals of Clinical Pharmacology" found that citral from lemongrass slowed the growth of breast cancer cells in the laboratory and also caused them to undergo a process called apoptosis, which causes cell death.
Lemongrass tea is generally considered safe and without side effects, although you should avoid it if you're pregnant. It might also interact with some medicines, including chemotherapy drugs.