The consumption of dietary herbs and supplements may be associated with several physiological consequences including, but not limited to disturbances of acid-base homeostasis, minerals and electrolytes wasting, gastrointestinal disturbances as well as hemodynamic changes. Plants food based nutritional studies are important for assessing the effect of plants on human health and wellbeing. The aim of this study was to assess the changes in acid-base status and electrolyte homeostasis following the consumption of lemongrass tea. The acute and sub-chronic effects of infusions prepared from 2, 4, and 8g lemongrass leaf powder on serum and urinary pH, and electrolytes levels were assessed in 105 subjects using an interventional study design. The results post-treatment were compared with baseline values.
Plasma pH decreased from baseline value of 7.37 ± 0.02 to 7.20 ± 0.03, and 7.30 ± 0.02 at days 10 and 30 respectively for participants treated with infusion prepared from 2g of lemongrass leaf powder. For those treated with infusion prepared from 4g of lemongrass leaf powder, plasma pH decreased from baseline value of 7.35 ± 0.02 to 7.22 ± 0.02 and 7.29 ± 0.02 at days 10 and 30 respectively.
Treatment with infusion prepared from 8g of lemongrass leaf powder caused a decrease in plasma pH from baseline value of 7.38 ± 0.02 to 7.15 ± 0.02 and 7.18 ± 0.02 at days 10 and 30 respectively. Corresponding changes in urinary pH were also observed. Furthermore, at days 10 and 30, plasma protein concentrations increased significantly (p < 0.05) in subjects treated with infusion prepared from 8g lemongrass leaf extract. There were also significant increases (p < 0.05) in urinary volume, urination frequency, and urinary electrolytes levels within the same period.
The consumption of lemongrass tea may be associated with changes in acid-base balance and electrolyte homeostasis due to its varied biological constituents and their activities.