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Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a plant that is commonly used in asian cuisine but which may provide therapeutic and medical benefits. Easily available from any ethnic store, health food store, online merchant or in the seasoning aisle of the supermarket, its anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, antioxidant and therapeutic properties make lemongrass a useful alternative or complementary remedy for a wide spectrum of common ailments.
Refreshing, citrus-scented lemongrass imparts unique flavor to recipes. Its coarse tufted stems and leaf buds are among the most sought after herbal parts used in an array of cuisines all over south and east asian regions. Botanically, the herb belongs to grass family of poaceae. Scientific name: cymbopogoncitratus. It is native to southern part of india and sri lanka. The herb is one of the popular ingredients employed in thailand, vietnam, malaysia, cambodia, and indonesia and as far as african and american continents for its culinary and medicinal uses.
Whether using the dried leaves steeped to make tea or the extracted essential oil, lemongrass produces considerable benefits. Lemongrass has long being used as a flavoring in asian style cooking. When added to recipes, the citrus-like flavor of the lemongrass herb powder or dried leaf adds a unique element to the meal. Though lemongrass is more widely known for its use as tea, it may be added to curries, beef, fish, poultry, seafood and soups.
Lemongrass is an aromatic storehouse of essential nutrients providing a wide array of health benefits. It is a source of essential vitamins such as vitamin a, b1 (thiamine), b2 (riboflavin), b3 (niacin) b5 (pantothenic acid), b6 (pyridoxine), folate and vitamin c. It also provides essentil minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc and iron, which are required for the healthy functioning of the human body. It offers no harmful cholesterol or fats.
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Health benefits
Lemongrass herb has numerous health benefiting essential oils, chemicals, minerals and vitamins that are known to have anti-oxidant and disease preventing properties.
The herb contains 99 calories per 100 g but contains no cholesterol.
The primary chemical component in lemongrass herb is citral or lemonal, an aldehyde responsible for its unique lemon odor. Citral also has strong anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.
In addition, its herb parts contain other constituents of the essential oils such as myrcene, citronellol, methyl heptenone, dipentene, geraniol, limonene, geranyl acetate, nerol, etc. These compounds are known to have counter-irritant, rubefacient, insecticidal, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties.
Its leaves and stems are very good in folic acid content (100 g leaves and stem provide about 75 ag or 19% of rda). Folates are important in cell division and dna synthesis. When given during the peri-conception period can help prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
Its herb parts are also rich in many invaluable essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin b5), pyridoxine (vitamin b-6) and thiamin (vitamin b-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
Furthermore, fresh herb contains small amounts of anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-c, and vitamin-a.
Lemon grass herb parts, whether fresh or dried, are rich sources of minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Some of lemongrass healthy benefist are are anti-cancer; where lemongrass contains several flavonoids that function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
In their antioxidant capacity, flavonoids prevent damage to cells that can lead to long-term diseases such as heart disease or arthritis.
One flavonoid in lemongrass called luteolin has the ability to slow the growth and hasten the death of certain types of cancer cells, according to research published in the august 2012 issue of the aeuropean journal of pharmaceutical sciences" luteolin also has such strong anti-inflammatory abilities that it may be able to treat some symptoms of multiple sclerosis, as well as lung infections or acute lung injury.
The essential oils in lemongrass add to these benefits, as they also slow the growth of cancer cells, especially in liver and breast cancers and leukemia, according to memorial sloan-kettering cancer center.

Fresh lemongrass stalks and leaf buds are available around the year in the local markets. In general, fresh leaves are harvested for use in cooking from the backyard garden. If you have to purchase from the herb stores, choose fresh lemongrass leaves and stem featuring fresh and lemon-like flavor with a hint of rose fragrance. Look carefully and avoid yellow discolored and spotted leaves.
Once at home, wash stems in clean cold water. Air-dry. Separate its leaves from the stem. Place lemongrass stems in zip pouch, and keep it separately inside the refrigerator since the herb tends to spread its flavor to other foods. This way, it stays fresh for up to 2-3 weeks.
The stems can also be frozen and keep well in this condition for several months. Dry and ground lemongrass powder (sereh powder) can also be available in the markets. Buy from organically grown and authentic vending sources. Dried herb should be kept in an airtight container and placed in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for several months.

Cholesterol
Lemongrass possesses anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties that support healthy cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that the regular consumption of lemongrass has shown significant results in sustaining healthy levels of triglycerides and reducing the ldl cholesterol in the body.
This helps in preventing the accumulation of lipids in the blood vessels and promotes the unobstructed flow of blood in the arteries and prevents various cardiac disorders such as atherosclerosis.

Anti-colds and flu
Lemongrass has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help your body cope with coughs, fever and other cold and flu symptoms.
Plus, it is loaded with vitamin c that boosts your immune system to fight the infection.
You can use lemongrass oil to relieve pain in muscles and joints, as well as headaches resulting from a cold or the flu.
Plus, lemongrass can be effective in breaking down mucus and phlegm buildup, which can alleviate problems with breathing.
This is mainly beneficial when suffering from bronchitis or asthma.

Medicinal uses
To prepare; boil a few fresh strands of lemongrass, two or three cloves, a small piece of cinnamon stick, one teaspoon of turmeric powder in one cup of milk.
Strain and drink it when it cools down.
Drink this once a day for a few days.
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Detoxification
Lemongrass helps in cleansing and flushing harmful toxic wastes out of the body, as a result of its diuretic properties.
Detoxification helps in better regulation of various organs of the body, including the liver and kidney, while also helping to lower the levels of uric acid.
The diuretic effect of lemongrass helps in increasing the quantity and frequency of urination, which helps in maintaining digestive health, eliminating accrued fats, and assisting in maintaining a clean system.

Lemongrasscancer
Lemongrass is effective in treating various types of cancers without affecting the healthy normal cells of the body.
Research conducted to prove the anti-cancerous activity of lemongrass has shown promising outcomes in the prevention of skin cancer.
Studies have shown that a certain component, citral, which is present in lemongrass, helps in inhibiting the growth of hepatic cancer cells during the initial phases and prevents any further production of cancerous cells.
Another study has provided supporting evidence regarding the anti-proliferative effect of citral in impeding the growth of human breast cancer cells and the induction of apoptosis.

Staphylococcus aureus
Studies have shown that lemongrass essential oil has an anti-biofilm capacity and is beneficial against the infection caused by staphylococcus aureus.
Lemongrass contains phenols which possess the capability to spread quickly through the body tissues and cure biofilms located anywhere in the body.
Lemongrass disrupts the growth and communication of germs which helps in inhibiting the formation of biofilms.
The essential oil of lemongrass is useful for application both topically as well as internally in the diseases diagnosed with biofilms, such as lyme disease.

Stomach disorders
Studies have shown that lemongrass essential oil has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties which help in fighting the infections caused by various pathogens such as *helicobacter pylori and escherichia coli.
Lemongrass is beneficial in the prevention of gastrointestinal disorders such as gastric ulcers, helps in stimulating the bowel function, and improves digestion.
The anti-inflammatory properties of lemongrass are beneficial for treating constipation, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, nausea and stomach aches.
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Insomnia
Lemongrass aids in calming the muscles and nerves which helps in inducing deep sleep.
Research has shown that lemongrass tea has sedative and hypnotic properties which help in increasing the duration and quality of sleep.

Respiratory disorders
Lemongrass is widely used in ayurvedic medicine for its healing effects in treating coughs and colds.
Along with other beneficial components, the vitamin c content present in lemongrass helps in providing relief from nasal blockages, flu and other respiratory disorders such as bronchial asthma.

Fever
Lemongrass is a febrifuge and is also known as the afever grassa, owing to its beneficial effects in lowering fevers.
The anti-pyretic and diaphoretic effect of lemongrass is extensively used in ayurvedic medicine for curing fevers by inducing sweating.

Infections
Lemongrass works as an antiseptic and is effective in treating infections such as ringworm, sores, athleteas foot, scabies, and urinary tract infections because of its *anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.
Studies have shown that lemongrass exerts healing effects on dermatological infections, such as yeast infections, by inhibiting the growth of pathogens.
Another study provided supporting evidence that demonstrated the efficacy of lemongrass over thyme, patchouli and cedar wood oil in the treatment of various diseases such as oral or vaginal candidias.
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Aches
Lemongrass helps in alleviating the pain and discomfort caused by headaches and migraines due to its analgesic properties.
The phytonutrients present in lemongrass improve the blood circulation and help in relieving spasms, muscle cramps, sprains, and back aches.
Lemongrass is valuable in treating sports wounds, including dislocations, internal injuries and bruises.

Anemia
Thanks to its high content in iron, which is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin (the protein in red cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body) lemongrass is helpful for various types of anemia, especially those resulting from iron deficiency.
A study was done to show that lemongrass contains citral, an anti-cancer property that could cause cancer cells to die, yet preserves the healthy tissues.
However, this does not mean that drinking lemongrass juice/tea alone will heal your cancer; it helps.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-septic
Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, lemongrass juice can be used as a valuable aid for treating arthritis, gout and inflammation of the urinary tract.
Thanks to its anti-septic properties, drinking lemongrass tea for a season helps to eliminate the bad micro-organism, detoxify and purify the blood, keeping bacterial, fungal or yeast infections in check.

Balsamic action
Due to its content in volatile oils, lemongrass has a beneficial, balsamic action on the respiratory tract.
So it can be used to relieve the symptoms associated with flu, cold and hay fever.
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Nervous system
Lemongrass is a nervine and has been proven to be an excellent tonic for the nervous system.
It stimulates the mind and helps in combating convulsions, nervousness, vertigo and various neuronal disorders such as alzheimeras and parkinsonas disease.
Lemongrass is used in therapeutic baths, which assist in calming the nerves and help in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and fatigue caused by stress.

Type-2 diabetes
Lemongrass has been proven beneficial in treating type-2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that the citral present in lemongrass helps to maintain optimum levels of insulin and improves the tolerance of glucose in the body.
The purifying and cleansing effect of lemongrass tea help to cleanse/detoxify the pancreas and improve its functions, thus lowering blood sugar level in diabetics.

Rheumatism
Lemongrass is effective in relieving the pain and discomfort caused by rheumatism.
It can be applied topically on both lumbago and sprains and helps in relieving neuralgia and other painful sufferings.

Detoxifying
The anti-oxidant, anti-septic and diuretic effect of lemongrass make it an important ingredient to be included in the diet when detoxifying.
It helps to cleanse and purify the liver, kidneys, bladder, pancreas and increases blood circulation.
The diuretic effect helps carry out the toxins from the process to be eliminated effectively.
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Digestive health
Lemongrass helps regulate intestinal function and motility due to its anti-microbial properties.
It helps to kill bad bacteria and parasites, repopulate the good bacteria in the colon, thus assisting to improve digestive-related problems like:
Indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal bloating, flatulence, stomach spasms, vomiting and cramps.

Gastritis or heartburn
A warm mug of lemongrass tea can be very soothing when having gastritis or acid indigestion.
Drinking the tea therapeutically will gradually reduce the recurrence of both gastritis and heartburn.

High blood pressure
The high potassium content promotes diuresis, thereby helping to lower and regulate blood pressure.
Regularly drinking lemongrass tea is encouraged.

High cholesterol
Lemongrass has an anti-cholesterol and anti-atherosclerosis action.
It helps reduce both the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine, as well as the oxidation of ldl-cholesterol in the blood, thus preventing one of the first steps in the *formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
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Insomnia
Insomnia happens due to internal chemical imbalance or nervous disorders.
The purifying activities and calming effect of lemongrass help improve sleep.

Nervous system
Magnesium, phosphorous and folate are important nutrients needed for healthy functioning of the nervous system.
They help improve concentration, memory and the brainas ability to process information.
Perhaps the most characteristic action of lemongrass is its purifying effect on the whole body, since it helps eliminate toxins from the body by enhancing the cleansing of the colon.

Weight loss
Drinking lemongrass tea helps to melt fats in a detoxifying manner.
The diuretic effect helps carry out the wastes in high volume, effectively and quickly, resulting in weight loss.

Immune system
An agent which tones up and boosts health is a tonic.
Lemongrass oil is a tonic in a very clear sense.
It tones all the systems functioning in the body, such as respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system and excretory system and facilitates absorption of nutrients into the body, thus providing strength and boosting the immune system.
Lemongrass helps in restoring the vital systems which are operational in the body, including digestion, respiration, excretion and nervous system.
This assists in better absorption of nutrients and strengthens the immune defense mechanism of the body.
Lemongrass extracts have a beneficial effect on the inflammatory actions of cytokines, which are the signaling molecules through which the cells communicate and respond in the body.
Studies have shown that lemongrass exerts anti-inflammatory action and its constituents such as citral may be the cause behind its inhibitory effects on cytokine production.
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Skin care
When blood is purified, circulation is improved, skin health will follow suit.
Regularly drinking lemongrass tea helps to improve acne problem, eczema and psoriasis.
Lemongrass has been treasured as a skin tonic and makes an effective cleanser for oily or acne-prone skin, due to its astringent and antiseptic qualities.
It helps in strengthening the skin tissues and toning up the pores while also sterilizing them.
Care should be taken while using lemongrass products, as the undiluted application might lead to dermal irritation in some cases.

Cellular health
Lemongrass possesses antioxidant qualities and help in protecting the body cells from the oxygen-derived free radicals.
It also helps in the cleansing of blood and strengthens the spleen to discard the tarnished red blood cells.
It supports the function of the thymus glands which helps to produce white blood cells.
Lemongrass helps in stimulating regeneration of cells.
The folate and potassium content in the stem and leaves of lemongrass aids in dna synthesis and promotes cell division.

Edema
Lemongrass is effective in curing the condition of water retention or edema.
It has a cleansing effect on lymphatic congestion and helps to soothe the swelling.

Aromatherapy
Lemongrass consists of the beneficial ingredients of essential oils such as nerol, citronellol, myrcene, dipentene, geraniol and methyl heptenone which possess anti-fungal, insecticidal and antiseptic properties.
Lemongrass oil is extensively used in aromatherapy, due to its therapeutic effects, which help in revitalizing and refreshing the body.
The cooling effect of lemongrass oil is beneficial for the body during hot weather and promotes the revival of both the mind and soul.
Lemongrass oil possesses natural astringent and toning qualities which help in stimulating blood circulation and tones up the dermal tissues.
It also helps in tightening, uplifting and firming lethargic or sagging skin.
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Obesity
Lemongrass contains citral, which has been proven to be effective in combating obesity.
It prevents the accumulation of abdominal fat and promotes the use of stored energy, which helps in preventing diet-induced weight gain.
It aids in healthy metabolism and enhances the oxidation of fatty acids in the body.

Body odor
Lemongrass is used in the manufacturing of deodorants due to its cleansing and antibacterial properties which help to combat unpleasant body odor and prevent fungal and bacterial infections.
It can also be added to foot baths to for sanitizing sore and odorous feet.

Insect repellant
Lemongrass is used as a natural insect repellant and helps in preventing the occurrence of insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and lyme disease.
Studies have provided supporting evidence regarding the anti-malarial and anti-protozoan properties of lemongrass, which makes lemongrass oil an effective ingredient in mosquito repellants.

Diuretic
Lemongrass oil increases urination, both in frequency and in quantity.
This may sound not that important but it can be very beneficial for health.
When a person urinates, fats are lost from the body, because 4% of the volume of urine is composed of fats.
Obviously, the more you urinate, the more you lose fat.
Urination also promotes digestion and inhibits the formation of excess gas.
It removes excess water from the body and reduces swelling.
Its most important contribution is that it removes toxins from the body, not to mention its ability to reduce blood pressure.
That is the reason that most pharmaceutical medications for lowering blood pressure induce frequent urination.
Urination also helps clean out the kidneys.
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Febrifuge
Lemongrass oil helps bring down fevers by battling the infections from which the fever is caused, as well as by increasing perspiration, which induces sweating out of toxins.
Lemongrass oil has good fungicidal properties and may be used to cure fungal infections, both external and internal.

Galactogogue
Galactogogue is a substance or an agent that increases the formation of milk in the breasts.
It also enhances the quality of that same milk.
This property is very helpful for lactating mothers and the babies who need that vital source of food.
Lemongrass oil is a galactogogue.
Apart from increasing milk production, it also helps babies in another way.
Babies are prone to infections, so the anti-microbial and antibacterial properties of lemongrass oil are also absorbed in the milk and thus indirectly help the baby avoid such infections.

Insecticidal
Lemongrass is quite popular as an insect repellant due to its insecticidal properties.
It kills insects and also keeps them away, but there isnat enough research to know exactly which insects it affects, so there is no promise on cockroaches!

Nervine
Lemongrass essential oil acts as a tonic for the nerves and the nervous system in general.
It helps cure many nervous disorders such as shaking hands or limbs, nervousness, vertigo, alzheimeras disease, parkinsonas disease and convulsions, sluggishness, and lack of reflexes.
It strengthens the nerves throughout the body and stimulates them.
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Culinary usage
Apart from folk medicines, lemongrass is commonly used in asian cuisines, especially those of vietnam, thailand, and malaysia.
It is used for adding flavor to beverages such as teas, curries and soups, and also finds extensive use in the preparation of pudding, meat products, candies and baked goods.

Analgesic
Things that are considered an analgesic reduce pain and inflammation.
Lemongrass essential oil helps relieve pain in muscles and joints, as well as toothaches and headaches resulting from viral infections like cough, cold, influenza, fever, and various poxes.
It also helps cure general body pain resulting from strenuous activities and athletics.

Antidepressant
Lemongrass oil boosts self esteem, confidence, hope and mental strength, and it uplifts spirits and fights depression.
This can be very helpful to drive away depression due to failures in their career, personal life, insecurity, loneliness, stagnation, death in the family and many other reasons.
This also relieves anxiety.
As an antidepressant, lemongrass can be systematically administered to patients of acute depression who are undergoing rehabilitation after acute shock.
Basically, take it with your tea and relax.

Antiseptic
The antiseptic properties of lemongrass oil make it a good application for external and internal wounds as well as an ingredient of antiseptic lotions and creams.
The antiseptic properties of this oil do not let the external and internal cuts and wounds become septic.
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Anti-microbial and antibacterial
Lemongrass has anti-microbial properties which makes it an inhibitor of microbial and bacterial growth in the body, both internally and externally.
It is also known to be effective in inhibiting bacterial infections in the colon, stomach, urinary tracts, wounds, respiratory system, and other organ systems.
While also helping to cure diseases resulting from bacterial or microbial infections such as typhoid, food poisoning, skin diseases, body odor, and malaria (caused due to protozoon).

Anti-pyretic
An anti-pyretic is an agent that brings down very high fevers.
This is quite similar to a febrifuge but it is effective on very high fevers as well.
This oil can bring down a fever when it is beginning to reach dangerous levels.
This property of lemongrass, which comes from its essential oils, is widely known and utilized.
It is often served in tea for this very purpose.


Notice
The information and reference guides on this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications