Lemongrass is indigenous to India and other areas of the Asian continent like Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. It is a perennial plant with thin, long leaves, which has been commonly used in Asian cuisine.
Its name has been derived from the distinct lemony scent and taste, and its scientific names are Cymbopogon citratrus and cymbopagon flexuosus.
However, depending on the region, it has numerous other names, including citronella, citronella grass, Andropogon citratus, barbed wire grass, British Indian lemongrass, Ceylon citronella grass, citronnelle de Java, hierba Luisa, Hierba de Limón, Indian Melissa, Indian Verbena, Madagascar Lemongrass, silky heads, tanglad, te-de-limon, East Indian lemongrass, Guatemala lemongrass, Verveine Indienne and West Indian lemongrass.
This herb contains numerous health benefiting essential oils, chemicals, minerals and vitamins, and 100g of it contain 99 calories, and no cholesterol.
Its main chemical component is citral or lemonal, an aldehyde, which provides strong antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
It also contains various essential oils like myrcene, Citronellol, methyl heptanone, dipentene, geraniol, limonene, geranyl acetate, nerol, while the leaves and stems are abundant in folate, which plays a vital role in cell division and DNA synthesis.
It is a rich source of many invaluable essential vitamins like pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1).
Therefore, lemongrass has powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant and therapeutic properties, so it offers a plethora of health benefits:
1. Nutrient Rich
Lemongrass is a rich source of important nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, phosphorus, folate, magnesium, zinc, copper, calcium and manganese.
2. Relieves Constipation/Indigestion
Lemongrass destroys parasites and bacteria and treats indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal bloating, flatulence, stomach spasms, vomiting, and cramps.
It soothes the nervous system and relieves tension and stress.
4. Respiratory Balm
It is high in volatile oils, which have a beneficial effect on the respiratory tract, and treat conditions such as laryngitis and sore throats.
5. Relieves Pain
It contains potent analgesic compounds which relax the muscles, soothe muscle spasms, and relieve abdominal pain, headaches, joint pains, and digestive tract spasms.
6. Regulates Blood Pressure
It is rich in potassium and has diuretic properties that lower blood pressure and treat hypertension.
7. Repairs Tissues
It boosts blood circulation and thus repairs damaged connective tissue, due to trauma to cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.
The inhalation of lemongrass vapors boosts perspiration and lowers heat, treating the symptoms of colds, flu, and hay fever.
Lemongrass fights gastrointestinal infections, urinary tract infections, and wounds.
10. Gastritis or Heartburn
Lemongrass tea therapeutically treats heartburn, acid reflux, and gastritis.
Lemongrass limits cholesterol absorption from the intestines and the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol in the blood, thus preventing atherosclerosis.
Its diuretic properties eliminate toxins and uric acid and improve the function of the kidneys, bladder, and liver.
Lemongrass is abundant in iron, which is vital for the synthesis of hemoglobin.
Lemongrass tea cleanses the pancreas and lowers blood sugar levels.
Lemongrass purifies the body, nourishes and soothes the nervous system, and counters chemical imbalances which are the main reasons for insomnia.
16. Skin Care
Lemongrass is rich in vitamin A, which purifies the blood, boosts blood circulation, and improves skin health, treating acne, pimples, eczema, and psoriasis.
17. Weight loss
Lemongrass tea detoxifies the body and helps the process of weight loss.
18. Controls body odor
It controls excessive sweating and prevents bad body odor.
19. Anti Cancer
Citral, a compound in lemongrass, has been found to destroy cancer cells without having any effects of healthy cells.
The anti-oxidant, antiseptic, and diuretic effects of lemongrass make it an important ingredient of any detox diet, as it helps to cleanse and purify the liver, kidneys, bladder, pancreas, and increases blood circulation.
21. Fortifies Nervous System
The high amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, and folate, boost the function of the nervous system and improve memory, concentration, and the ability to process information.
Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties alleviate pain due to gout, arthritis, inflammation of the urinary tract, muscle pain, and toothache.
23. Women’s health
It relieves morning sickness, hot flushes, and menstrual pain.
24. Insect Repellent
Citronella oil is one of the most potent organic insect repellents.
You can purchase lemongrass tea in most grocery and healthy food stores, as well as online.
Yet, you can also prepare lemongrass tea at home.
You will need to buy lemongrass stalks at a grocery store, and follow these steps:
You should cut the lemongrass stalks into 1- to 2-inch pieces, and boil a cup of water in a saucepan.
Then, pour the boiling over the stalks, and leave them to steep for about 5 minutes. Next, strain the liquid from the stalks and pour it into a teacup. You can add ice cubes if you prefer your tea cold.
Lemongrass tea has a fresh, citrusy taste. Start with one cup of lemongrass tea per day, and you can gradually increase the dosage.
However, note that the use of lemongrass can sometimes cause side-effects like allergic reactions, and skin irritations.
Also, patients suffering from liver conditions or hypoglycemia should use it with caution, while pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid it.