Bioactive natural constituents from lemongrass tea and erythropoiesis boosting effects: potential use in prevention and treatment of anemia

J Med Food. 2015 Jan;18(1):118-27. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.0184.


This study assessed the effects of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) tea on hematologic indices in human volunteers. One hundred five subjects (55 men and 50 women), aged 18 to 35 years, were randomly assigned to groups set to orally receive infusion prepared from 2, 4, or 8 g of C. citratus leaves once daily for 30 days. Assessment of hematologic indices (hemoglobin concentration [Hb], packed cell volume [PCV], red blood cell [RBC] count, mean cell Hb [MCH], mean cell volume [MCV], mean cell Hb concentration [MCHC], total white blood cell [WBC-total] and differentials, and platelets) were performed 1 day before (baseline), and at 10 (acute) and 30 days (subchronic phase) after the initiation of treatment. Results obtained on days 10 and 30 were compared with baseline values. Infusions prepared from C. citratus leaf powder, which tested positive for tannins, saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, macro- and micronutrients, significantly increased PCV, Hb, and RBC (P<.05) in all subjects, particularly in the subchronic phase of the study. MCH, MCV, and MCHC were not significantly different from baseline values in both the sexes. WBCs and differentials significantly decreased (P<.05) with the exception of neutrophils and lymphocytes, which significantly increased in some or all groups (P<.05), respectively. C. citratus leaf infusion appears to exert an erythropoiesis boosting effect, likely due to some nutritional constituents and its antioxidant and pharmacologic properties.

Keywords: Cymbopogon citratus stapf; anemia; erythropoiesis boosting effect.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia / blood*
  • Anemia / drug therapy
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cymbopogon / chemistry*
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Erythrocyte Indices
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Erythropoiesis / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Hematinics / pharmacology*
  • Hematinics / therapeutic use
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Leaves
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Hematinics
  • Hemoglobins
  • Plant Extracts