Lemongrass is a perennial plant known for its thin, long leaves and many names, depending on region. This plant encompasses the appearance of a grass while bearing the scent of a lemon.
Acclimated to hot temperature, lemongrass is a plant native to India and other tropical countries in Asia. Coming from these places, it earned the local monikers, gavati chahapati and tanglad. But it also has English names, too, like fever grass, citronella grass, and barbed wire.
For the sake of uniformity, however, this herb is called, Cymbopogon citratus, which is used in the scientific community.
Uses of Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a common culinary herb in Asian dishes, either used as raw, dried, or in powdered form.
In India, lemongrass makes for a usual ingredient in soups and curries which adds a unique flavor to these dishes. Otherwise, they make use of the plant for medicinal purposes which treat common ailments.
People in other regions of the world such as in Togo in Africa or Mexico in South America, however, make a brew out of this herb as a drinkable tea.
Nutritional Values of Lemongrass
This herbaceous plant is more than just sought after its taste as an added seasoning to certain dishes. It, too, is chock full of essential nutrients that makes it part of a healthy diet.
Specifically, it contains vitamins A, B complex, and C in addition to a slew of needed minerals calcium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, potassium, and magnesium.
Rich in healthful benefits that are neither considered a vitamin nor a mineral, lemongrass is also a host to good antioxidants, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds.
All of these nutrients work together to keep our bodies strong and in tip-top shape.
Like many plants, lemongrass possesses no harmful fats which makes its daily consumption more safe than worrisome.
Health Benefits of Lemongrass
Here are some of the benefits of consuming lemongrass:
Lemongrass contains both anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-hypercholesterolemia properties. As such, this herb is a boon against bad cholesterol and its role in the development against serious diseases such as atherosclerosis.
As a diuretic, consumption of lemongrass detoxifies the body off of its unwanted toxins as passed through the urine. This includes other toxins such as excess uric acid which leads to the development of gout.
Lemongrass contains a chemical called citral which is believed to give this herb its anti-cancer property.
In one study which involves hepatic cancer, the introduction of citral was discovered to inhibit the growth of the cancerous cells and even shows capability of preventing its proliferation. What makes the finding more amazing is that the result occurred all while during the initial phase of the study.
This is further corroborated by a separate study involving breast cancer cells.
When colonies of bacteria invaded a human host, infections occur and is often manifested by the occurrence of biofilm which aggravates the infection. Lemongrass oil is specifically beneficial towards patients who suffer from biofilm-manifested disease like Lyme disease.
For optimum benefits, the herbal extract can be consumed as an oral solution or be applied as a topical liquid on the skin. This enables the oil to work from within and outside of the body.
Lemongrass essence addresses man’s common stomach problems. When consumed, the oil aids in digestion, act as a laxative, avoids gastric ulcers, and soothe common stomach aches. Apparently, this benefit comes from the herb extract’s anti-inflammatory property.
When you already hit the sack and counting sheep seems like an endless task, insomnia might be kicking in which makes you awake when you should not. An intake of lemongrass tea before sleep helps calm the muscles and the nerves which consequently induces sleep.
The belief is rather unsurprising given the research findings which claim that lemongrass tea has both sedative and hypnotic properties. As such, when consumed, it induces restful sleep.
Popularly used in India in Ayurvedic medicine, lemongrass is extensively used as a common treatment against coughs and colds. This healing benefit comes in part from the plant’s vitamin C content along with other equally beneficial compounds which provide relief in common symptoms of respiratory ailment.
People might be wondering how lemon grass earned the moniker, fever grass. As it appears, the name comes from the plant’s specific usage against fever as both an anti-pyretic and diaphoretic treatment.
As an antipyretic, lemon grass lowers the body’s elevated temperature as complemented by the sweat that the body releases due to its being a diaphoretic.
Lemongrass treats common cases of contagion such as Athlete’s foot, scabies, ringworm, sores, and urinary tract infection (UTI).
Containing some pain-killing properties which alleviates all kinds of pain, lemon grass treats common pain-related conditions such as headaches and migraines.
For muscle pains, the phytonutrients present in the lemon grass promotes good blood circulation which soothes muscle cramps, spasms, back aches, and sprains.
It may not be the most potent analgesic. But lemon grass is nonetheless a valuable treatment in the athletics especially for sportsmen who suffer from injuries, bruises, and dislocations.
Medical science found other uses for the calming benefits of lemon grass to the nervous system, apart from sleep. This includes being a treatment against cases of convulsions, vertigo, nervousness, and more serious neuronal disorders, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Ingesting lemon grass helps reduce the body’s resistance to insulin thanks to the plant’s citral content. As a result, the cell is more able to utilize the sugar in the blood for energy and thereby cause the glucose level to plummet.
Lemongrass is an effective skin tonic especially against oily or acne-susceptible skin. The astringent property of this herb helps the skin’s pores minimized in size. On the other hand, the antiseptic property of lemon grass prevents any possible cases of infection on the skin.
Lemon grass has enough antioxidants that benefits the body. Not only do they combat the oxygen-derived free radicals that are present in the bloodstream, they also cleanse the blood. Moreover, they also enhance the spleen to rid the body off of tarnished red blood cells.
On the other hand, the potassium and folate content of lemon grass aid in the DNA synthesis and proliferation of the cells.
Clogged lymph nodes causes our bodies to pool some water. Consequently, this results to swelling. Lemon grass possesses a kind of cleansing effect which clears the pathway of the lymphatic system thereby preventing any water-filled swelling.
Lemongrass, when used in aromatherapy, refreshens the mind and the body.
Regular consumption of lemongrass helps stave off obesity. As it appears, the citral in this herb acts against obesity by preventing the accumulation of abdominal fats and promote the utilization of the body’s stored energy.
This potent combination adds significant boon against diet-induced weight gain.
Lemongrass contains potent antibacterial properties which make for a contributive element in the fight against odor-causing bacterial and fungal infections. It does not come as a surprise, therefore, to find this herb becoming an essential part of deodorant products.
Beating not just the pesky bugs but also the diseases that may come with them. This herb makes for an effective preventative way against disease-carrying insects like mosquitoes and flies.
This belief is even solidified by a study finding which relates the plant’s anti-malarial and anti-protozoan properties with its being an insect repellent.
Loved for its unique taste and aroma in addition to its needed nutrients, many culture have incorporated the use of lemon grass as part of traditional cooking.
For drinkers who prefer a unique blend with their usual beverage, the addition of lemongrass gives teas and soup-based recipes a quaint twist.
For the sweet tooth, lemongrass is becoming a usual ingredient in many confectionaries and candies.
Other Benefits of Lemongrass
The use of lemongrass does not just involve the health, it is also practical in other matters as well.
Added fragrance to commercial products
Cosmetic products and soaps are often the kind of commodity that sells based on their scent. Giving certain products a touch of lemongrass smell, it becomes an active ingredient in many commercial products.
Lure for honey bees
Contrary to its intended purpose as an insect repellant, lemongrass offers an effective way of attracting honey bees for commercial purposes.
Preservative of specific manuscript
Palm leaf manuscripts retain certain significance which makes its preservation an important aspect of history. As sensitive this kind of writings these are, it takes the hydrophobic properties of lemongrass oil to maintain their quality and prevent them from rotting.
The herb’s extract does its purpose on two ways: provide the leaves with its needed moisture and prevent humidity from causing any loss to the printed texts.
For pet products
Our furry pets are commonly susceptible to infestations such as lice and ticks. Harboring the same insect-repellant properties which make this herb’s oil a dread to mosquitoes, it repels unwanted insects on our pet’s fur and skin.