Besides being a delicious addition to Asian cuisines, the Lemongrass herb has been used for centuries to heal a plethora of health issues.
Researchers have concluded that lemongrass can help fight against free radicals, reducing inflammation in the body, which in return will help relieve a variety of issues like pain and heart-related issues.
Botanical Name and Family of Lemongrass
Lemongrass is scientifically known as Cymbopogon. It belongs to the Poaceae or Grass family and has often been referred to as Cymbopogon, British Indian lemongrass, Citronella, Cochin lemongrass and fever grass.
What Is Lemongrass?
Lemongrass refers to different species of grasses belonging to the Cymbopogon genus. It is a tall grass that is native to tropical countries such as India, Sri Lanka and other countries in Southeast Asia. It is a thick and tufted plant with linear leaves that grows in thick bunches, emerging from a strong base and standing about three inches high.
Lemongrass has a mild citrus-like flavor that makes this a popular plant in Asian cuisine. It is most commonly enjoyed in teas and it has been used for its medicinal properties in Ayurveda.
This herb is utilized for its distinct lemony and citrusy smell to reduce anxiety in aromatherapy. Lemongrass is also used as a folk remedy to promote sleep, relieve pain and boost immunity.
Active Ingredients Found in Lemongrass
Lemongrass contains a volatile oil that is made up of constituents such as myrcene, citronellal, neral and geranial.
Health Benefits of Lemongrass
Ayurveda recommends the use of lemongrass to relieve a cough and cold. It has also been used to treat digestive problems, fever, pain in the joints and muscles, headache, vomiting and exhaustion.
Lemongrass is also used to help heal the following ailments:
- Prevents infections
- Relieves anxiety
- Boosts oral health
- Lowers cholesterol
- Reduces bloating
- Relieves stomach ache
- Prevents cancer
- Detoxifies the body
- Treats insomnia
- Promotes weight loss
- Reduces fevers
- Protects the nervous system
- Treats edema
It may be consumed internally or applied to the affected area for its pain-relieving action. Research has found lemongrass to possess antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity.
How to Use Lemongrass
Fresh or dried lemongrass can be used to prepare soups and curries. It is added to beef, poultry, fish and seafood to give a unique flavor. Lemongrass is also used in teas and tinctures and as an essential oil for aromatherapy.
Side Effects of Lemongrass
Even though lemongrass offers multiple health benefits, researchers have not yet conducted enough large-scale studies to prove these benefits.
Lemongrass is generally safe for use, but some people have been reported to suffer from lung disorders after inhaling it. Due to its ability to induce menstrual flow, lemongrass must not be used by pregnant women.
Since research still needs to be conducted regarding the efficiency and side effects of lemongrass, it is recommended to have a conversation with your doctor or herbal practitioner before adding this herb into your diet.
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