Lemongrass also known as Cymbopogon citratus comes under the herb/ plant category whose oil and leaves are used for medicinal purpose. It is mostly found in India and regions of Asia and looks like tall grass. They grow in thick bunches. The most common reference to lemongrass we hear in our daily life will be as a flavoring as lemongrass tea or its use in making curries especially Thai(Asian). It can be used directly/orally or can be used as an oil as it contains vitamin A in aromatherapy in spas or for making cosmetics, soaps, deodorants, perfumes etc as it has a very soothing and calming smell. The oil extracted from the plant has medicinal uses also and can be used as an astringent in cuts and nicks as its kill’s germs. It also treats cold, cough, abdominal and muscle pain, high blood pressure, digestive issues, fever etc. Its fragrance is lemony or citral. Its daily intake boasts of health benefits. USDA National Nutrient Database shows that lemongrass contains vitamins and essential minerals which help in healthy upkeep of our body. It doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol.
Lemongrass has many health benefits. Mentioned below are some of them.
- Weight loss
Lemongrass boosts metabolism by burning calories by helping in faster digestion process. It is low in fat, sodium and cholesterol and is extremely low in calories. It also helps in preventing bone loss as it has good source of manganese. The presence of polyphenols in lemongrass enhances the process of oxidation of fatty acids and increases energy. It maintains cholesterol level and aids in detoxification of the body it also helps in anxiety and fatigue problems. It promotes use of stored energy and doesn’t let fat accumulate in abdominal region.
- Menstrual pain
Especially for women, lemongrass is very beneficial as it reduces menstrual pain because of its soothing nature. It also stops hot flashes in women. It helps in regulating the menstrual flow and due to its antioxidant properties it stimulates the uterus. As lemongrass is a healer with pains and aches, it relieves cramping and headaches in periods. Its oil is used to massage during menstrual pain as it relaxes the muscles due to it calming effect and reduces pain such as headaches, body/joint aches and cramping associated with menstrual cycle.
- Pain Relief
Lemongrass has an anti inflammatory effect which reduces sensitivity, headaches and muscle and joint pain. The presence of Citronellol, a compound found in Citratus oil a type of lemongrass, eases pain by reducing sensitivity. It has an anti-inflammatory effect which eases pain. Intestinal and stomach cramps are drastically reduced with a lemongrass diet.
- Boosts Immune system
It helps in boosting the production of red blood cells which helps in production of hemoglobin. Consuming lemongrass everyday in our diet reduces bloating. It prevents infection and protects our body from viral attacks. Having tea made of lemongrass at breakfast and after dinner helps to digest food due to the presence of citrus. Bloating, indigestion and constipation are also said to be treated with lemongrass inclusion in our daily diet. Lemongrass has a cooling and soothing effect in our body that helps in the digestive function.
- Prevention of diseases
Lemongrass helps in lowering cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart diseases and strokes. It has an antibacterial and anti fungal property which helps in treatment of cough, cold and flu. The presence of Vitamin C boosts our immunity. The Potassium in lemongrass lowers blood pressure and stimulates blood circulation. It limits the absorption of cholesterol in our body, thereby purifying the liver. It helps in treating depression. Edema (water retention in the body) is also avoided by consumption of lemongrass. It helps in treating insect borne diseases such as malaria, dengue etc as it’s a natural insect repellent.
Lemongrass can be consumed in food in the form of lemongrass tea and soups. It can also be added to gravies/curries to get a savory/lemony flavor and also in desserts, puddings, cakes etc.
Besides, the above mentioned 5 benefits, lemongrass is also used to relieve anxiety and also helps in maintaining oral health. It helps in removing dandruff from the scalp. It protects our body from free radicals. It helps in maintaining a healthy skin, nervous system and immune system and helps in preventing rheumatism.
Lemongrass is mostly considered safe for oral and medicinal use and aromatherapy. But there are some doubts of its use in pregnancy as it may start periods and lead to miscarriage. It is also said to be avoided for breastfeeding moms.