Lifestyle ailments have taken precedence in the recent times. We are constantly looking at alternative therapies and cures to combat the ever raising stress related metabolic disorders. Among the latest herbs and grasses, Lemon Grass plays an important role with our overall well-being.
Lemongrass is just a name and has no connection with lemons except that it has a strong lemon-like aroma and taste.
As with all grasses, lemongrass is very fibrous and cannot be eaten as it is. You can juice it using a masticating juicer, or make tea out of it. It has tremendous health benefits that are especially helpful when consumed during a juice fast/feast or when on a detox program as it helps rebalance the intestinal flora.
Nutritional Value of Lemongrass
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 essential minerals 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:
1. Reduces Bad Cholesterol
Lemongrass possesses anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties that support healthy cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that the regular consumption of lemongrass gave significant results in sustaining healthy levels of triglycerides and reducing the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the body.
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.
3. Effective Cancer Fighter
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. Another study has provided supporting evidence regarding the anti-proliferative effect of citral in impeding the growth of human breast cancer cells and induction of apoptosis.
4. Fights 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, diarrhoea, nausea and stomach aches.
5. Helps Deal With Insomnia
Lemongrass aids in calming the muscles and nerves which help 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.
6. Treats 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.
7. Cures 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 sweat.
8. Battles Infections
Lemongrass works as an antiseptic and is effective in treating infections such as ringworm, sores, Athlete’s Foot, scabies, and urinary tract infections with 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.
9. Reduces 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.
10. Strengthens Nervous System
Lemongrass is 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.
11. Treats 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.
12. Relieves from 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.
13. 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.
14. Combats 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.
15. Reduces Body Odour
Lemongrass is used in the manufacturing of deodorants due to its cleansing and antibacterial properties which help to combat unpleasant body odour and prevent fungal and bacterial infections. It can also be added to foot baths for sanitizing sore and odorous feet.
Apart from all the health benefits that lemon grass has to offer, it is delicate and beautifully blends into the making of some classic desserts such as crème brule and the luscious lemongrass ice-cream too!
So, go ahead and derive the best of health with lemon grass today!