Lemongrass is one of the most useful varieties of grass plants found in India. It is a citrus plant which gives a lemony flavour to many of our curries and cold drinks. Lemongrass can be bought fresh, frozen or in powder form. Apart from culinary benefits this grass is known for its therapeutic and other health benefits. Lemongrass oil too has a sweet, lemony smell. The oil and the leaves are used in medicine. This herb is used in many households to treat common cold, cough, fever and for muscular pains. Lemongrass is also known as fever grass owing to its anti-pyritic properties to reduce high fevers. It is grown in the backyards and in the kitchen gardens to make use of it in times of emergency.
- Lemongrass is useful in certain respiratory infections such as laryngitis and sore throat.
- Owing to its anti-pyritic properties it help reduce high fevers. The vapour is inhaled to increase the perspiration and eventually completely reducing the fever.
- Lemongrass is known for its powerful pain relieving properties. It is used for treating digestive tract spasms, stomach ache, abdominal pain, muscle pain, itchy joints etc. The remedy has been linked to body’s ability to repair damaged connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments and tendons and is recommended for this type of injuries.
- Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties inhibit the growth of bacteria and yeast.
- As an anti-oxidant it helps the liver and the pancreas to remove the toxins quickly.
- Lemongrass is anti-depressant and can relieve from nervous and stress related conditions. It helps in alleviating anxiety and depressive symptoms. It strengthens the nervous system and may also be useful for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
- The presence of Vitamin A in lemongrass makes it helpful for skin. It helps to brighten the skin and eyes and clears up oily skin thus improving acne. It is beneficial for all skin infections. It may also improve poor body odor by controlling excessive sweating.
- Consuming lemongrass can lower or normalise cholesterol levels.
- Lemongrass is useful in treating digestive issues including gastroenteritis and relieves constipation.
- Lemongrass fresh or dried is a source of many minerals such as potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper and magnesium. Potassium is an important component for cell body fluids and manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
- Research conducted by scientists found possible benefits of the citral in lemongrass on cancer. This compound may kill cancer cells with no negative effect on normal cells.
- To treat circulatory disorders it is recommended to rub a few drops of lemongrass oil on the affected areas of the skin. It is believed to work by improving blood flow.
- Lemongrass oil mixed with other essential oils like lavender or jasmine oil used in baths can revitalise the body and relieve the symptoms of jetlag, headache, anxiety and stress related exhaustion.
- Chop about a cup of leaves to a litre of water. Let it boil and strain. You can add it to your bath or use it as herbal compression for skin infections.
- Lemongrass oil is applied on the skin for headache, stomachache, abdominal and muscle pain.
- Lemongrass can be taken in the form of tea by boiling with water and sugar. It can even be added to normal tea to get good flavour.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna