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.
Health Benefits of Lemongrass
Lemongrass contains antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic compounds such as luteolin, glycosides, quercetin, kaempferol, elimicin, catecol, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid, all of which help in providing an impressive range of medicinal aids. The main component of lemongrass is lemonal or citral, which has anti-fungal and antimicrobial qualities, while also providing a distinct lemony smell. Some of the most well known health benefits of lemongrass include:
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.
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.
Cancer: 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.
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 ‘fever grass’, 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, Athlete’s Foot, scabies, and urinary tract infections because of its antimicrobial 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.
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.
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 Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s 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.
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.
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.
Skin Care: 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.
Dear sister Alel,
For your heart health, please make a tea of tanglad, add kalamansi/lemon, molasses,guava jam to sweeten, eat boiled banana and yams/kamote, soft boiled eggs, fish, pickled veggies and avoid sugar. Take deep belly breaths, nose breathing and avoid stress.