13 Health Benefits of Lemongrass
by: Arlene Gentallan
Lemongrass is an aromatic plant which tastes like lemon. It's an all purpose grass used for it's culinary, medicinal, aromatic, cosmetic and ornamental properties. Here's a list of lemongrass' many benefits and uses:
1. Cancer Fighter & Antioxidant
In as study by Dudai, Weinstein, Krup M, et al, it was found out that "Citral", a component of the lemon-scented essential oils induces natural programmed cell death in several cancer cells.
Lemongrass is rich in antioxidant that helps the body counteract the harmful effects of free radicals we get from the environment and the foods we eat.
If you're having trouble sleeping, then lemongrass can work wonders for you. Just drink 1 cup lemongrass tea before sleeping to facilitate relaxation. Lemongrass has a sedative like effect on the body.
How to make lemongrass tea?
- 2 tablespoon dried or fresh lemongrass leaves or stalk
- 1 cup boiling water
- Cut fresh lemongrass into 1 inch length strips.
- You can also use dried leaves or stalk
- Put 2 tablespoon dried or fresh lemongrass leaves or stalk in a cup
- Pour boiling water into the cup
- Allow 5-10 minutes to pass
- Serve as it is or add sweetener
- Serve and enjoy!
Lemongrass' ability to educe relaxation is beneficial especially to those people under a lot of pressure and stress. Sip a cup of lemongrass tea to cool your nerves.
4. Aids Digestive Problems
If you'd have a large meal and felt bloated afterwards, you'll know how uneasy this is. To help your tummy with the digestion, drink 1 cup of lemongrass tea. It will also help reliever stomach spasm, stomachache, gas pain, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.
5. Pain Reliever and Anti-inflammatory
You can apply lemongrass oil topically on the affected area for a wide range of bodily pain such as headache, muscle pain, sprain, rheumatism, arthritis, dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps), and abdominal pain. It also has anti-inflammatory property.
According to research, lemongrass is comparative to aspirin in relieving migraine headache but without the side effects.
6. High Blood Pressure
Lemongrass is a natural remedy for high blood pressure. Drink a glass of lemongrass tea a day to help normalize your circulation.
7. Reduce cholesterol level
Lemongrass oil and tea can reduce your cholesterol level in the blood. In a study published in the medical journal Lipids in 1989, researchers from Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin, found that several participants had significant decrease in blood fats.
A glass of lemongrass tea aids the body in getting rid of toxins by acting as a natural diuretic. This help cleans the kidneys, bladder, liver, pancreas, and colon. Reducing excess fluid also helps those people with edema.
9. Antibacterial and Anti-fungal
According to a research, lemongrass works against streptococcus aureus. You can use lemongrass oil as a mouthwash for gingivitis, periodontal disease and bad breath.
It also works against fungal infection. Apply it topically to get rid of athlete's foot or ringworm. You can also add it to your bath water, shampoo, and perfume. You can soak your feet for about 10-15 minutes in a basin of warm water infused with a few drops of lemongrass oil.
10. Lowers Fever
John Heinerman, author of Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs & Spices, recommends taking in 1 cup lemongrass tea every 4 hours to lower fever.
11. Insect Repellent
Outdoor activities such as picnics and camping will be a lot better without those pesky bugs. Lemongrass works as an alternative natural toxic-free insect repellent. It keeps off disease causing insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, moths, and chiggers with it's strong citrus fragrant. Also, it's an excellent outdoor plant because it's beauty works hand in hand with it's insect repelling ability.
How to make an insect repellent using lemongrass?
- Spray bottle (8 ounce or 1 cup)
- 2 ounce carrier oil: hazel extract / alcohol / castor oil / coconut oil / vodka
- 30 drops Lemongrass essential oil
- 5 ounce Water (sterilized)
- Put 2 ounce hazel extract into the bottle. You can also use alternatives like alcohol, castor oil, coconut oil or vodka.
- Add 30 drops of lemongrass essential oil. You can increase the amount to make it stronger.
- Fill the spray bottle with 5 ounce sterilized water. You can sterilize water by keeping it boiling for at least 1 minute. You can also use distilled water.
- Make sure you leave extra space in the bottle so you won't have a hard time shaking and mixing the ingredients.
- Shake the bottle until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Spray or rub the preparation directly into your skin to protect yourself from insect bites.
- Re-apply as necessary every 2-3 hours. Don't forget to shake the bottle every time you use.
Important Reminder: Using citrus base oil like lemongrass can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight so make sure you avoid sun exposure. You may want to use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF15 or 30 for added protection.
Lemongrass is popular for it's lemon-like taste. It's a cheaper but healthy substitute to lemon. Add it up to your favorite dishes like soups and curry to obtain that refreshing aroma and taste.
The scent if lemongrass has a calming effect to our sense. It eases stress, calms the nerves, and relieves insomnia. Simply crush fresh lemongrass leaves and allow it's fragrance to sooth you.