Health & Wellness

What is Lemon Grass? Lemongrass Benefits and Side Effects

Looking for lemongrass benefits and side effects? They are green, tiny, humble-looking plants with incredible healing power. Yes! We have a shortage of words to describe the benefits of medicinal plants. Lemongrass is one of the members of the vast medicinal herbal kingdom, and it’s a herb with immense benefits for humankind. In a word, lemongrass is a powerful herb that can do wonders to cure cancer and other health issues.

This lemon-flavored grass-type herb is also used to add extra flavor to different dishes, especially Thai dishes. But few people have knowledge about its uses, its healing power, and how to eat. Therefore we are trying to discuss lemongrass benefits and side effects.

What is Lemon Grass?

What is Lemon Grass

Cymbopogon Citralus, commonly known as lemongrass, is a plant native to South East Asia and later on introduced to many regions. It grows naturally in the tropical climate. It is a tall, perennial grass-type plant with slender curly leaves.

The leaves have a specific aroma, and there are almost 45 varieties available in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. India produces a large amount of lemongrass, and the central areas of cultivation are the Western Ghats Mountain and foothills of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

Only the soft part at the bottom, which is a tightly wrapped bulb, is edible. The fibrous inner stem-like part can be added to salad or soup after chopping finely.

Nature of Growing

Lemongrass is a common type of perennial grass that comes under the genus Cymbopogon. They are tropical plants, and they merely survive in cold weather.

It’s a tall grass-like plant, soft stalk, and bulb. The stem and bulb have a fresh lemony smell that can grow up to 10 feet in suitable weather. In a favorable habitat, this plant grows during summer, and mostly they like moist weather.

Each stalk has several layers, which usually build upwards around the base. The top layer is rigid and green. Each shoot wrapped the other at the core. The inner white parts of the stalks are used for cooking.

Nutrition Facts of Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a powerful herb, and it has a plethora of fundamental elements which are favorable for healing different health issues. Scientific analysis has proved that it can prevent cancer also.

  • Calories— 99 (per 100gm)
  • Carbohydrates— 25-31gm
  • Protein— 1-82gm
  • Fat— .49gm
  • Cholesterol— 0gm

Vitamins

  • Foliates— 19%
  • Niacin— 7%
  • Thiamine—
  • Vitamin A—
  • Vitamin C— 4%
  • Riboflavin— 10.5%

Minerals

  • Calcium— 65mg
  • Copper— 266mg
  • Iron— 8.17gm
  • Magnesium— 60mg

Electrolytes

  • Sodium— 6mg
  • Potassium— 732 mg

Lemongrass Benefits and Side Effects

Lemongrass Benefits and Side Effects

Lemongrass, also known as barbed wire grass, is widely used for its medicinal properties in different ways. It also has usefulness in making delicious cuisines tastier.

Apart from all these uses, it is used as an insect repellent as it has a strong fragrance. Now coming to its health benefits, we can say that it is a good home remedy to cure many health-related issues.

But the most crucial fact about lemongrass is that it can prevent cancer if appropriately consumed. Let us check the lemongrass benefits and side effects.

1. Lemon Grass Prevent Cancer

Lemongrass or fever grass is an herb with essential oil, and it has unbelievable anti-cancer properties. Various researches have diagnosed polysaccharides in lemongrass, which are anti-cancerous, and can actively kill Lung prostate, and cervical cancer cells. Source: NCBI

Scientists have purified the polysaccharides from the extract of lemongrass leaves and formed three fractions. Among which one is unbound, and the other two are acidic polysaccharides.

These two acidic polysaccharides act as an anti-cancer agent and induced apoptosis, a method of programmed death of the cancerous cell. Apoptosis helps maintain the cell balance, and it is necessary to keep our system’s immunity.

Besides, the acidic polysaccharides activate a gene that can end the malignant tumor from further growth.

Lemongrass also contains citral, an essential oil with a strong fragrance, and it can be separated and collected by distillation. This citral has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.

Essential oils like citral performed several bioactivities when coming in contact with the human cell. Due to this effect, as antimicrobial agents, they are widely utilized to treat various health disorders and diseases.

In recent studies, scientists are investigating their anti-cancerous potential, and more researches are focusing on its reaction to the human cell.

2. Helps in Digestion

Lemongrass can aid in proper digestion. It is helpful to get rid of stomach disorders, constipation, bloating, etc. The fiber content in lemongrass is high, which is known as prebiotic fiber, and it helps to feed the good bacteria in the colon.

Moreover, the essential oil citral kills the harmful bacterias that cause gastroenteritis. Lemongrass also protects the inner lining of the stomach wall against chemical damage.

3. Natural Detoxification with Lemongrass

Cleansing and flushing waste material from our bodies is necessary. The kidney and stomach are the two organs that play a vital role in cleaning waste products inside the body.

Daily lemongrass detox tea could be beneficial as it helps the organs perform their tusk smoothly and effortlessly. Being slightly diuretic, lemongrass aids in toxin removal and boost up the system to work more accurately. Lemongrass detox tea also increases the frequency of urination and the quantity of urine.

How to Make Lemongrass and Ginger Tea

This is one of the ideal drinks for summer as well as it acts as a tasty detox beverage.

 Ingredients

• Hot Water—1 Litter.

• Black Teabag—2 to 3.

• Lemon—1

• Lemongrass—2 stalks (only White portion).

• Ginger—peeled and sliced

• 1 cup of sugar.

• 2 cups of ice.

• Normal water—2 cups

Method

• Add the black tea bags into the hot water. Keep it for cooling.

• Take 2 cups of water in a pot and add ginger and lemongrass. Boil it until the liquid is reduced to half. Stir it to mix well.

• Add this mixture with the cold tea and add lemon juice and ice cubes.

• Your iced lemongrass detox drink is ready.

4. Lemongrass for Skin

Lemongrass plays an active role in fighting free radicals so that it can alleviate different skin-related issues. It works great to prevent premature aging.

Also, it cures various skin infections due to anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. It is also a natural astringent and prevents acne and pimple.

Anti-Acne Face Mask with Lemon Grass

• One teaspoon of colloidal oatmeal

• One teaspoon of honey.

• One drop of lemongrass oil.

• Mix and apply on the face.

The antioxidants of lemongrass protect the cells from free radical damage.

5. Give Relief in Pain

Lemongrass is a herb with natural medical qualities, and giving comfort from joint and muscle pain is one of the essential uses. We are all aware of the pain killers’ side effects nowadays.

But if we use herbal medicine or essential oil for massage, it will create no adverse effects. It is helpful to ward off the discomfort due to rheumatism when applied locally.

In addition, it is a natural anti-inflammatory in nature. So using lemongrass oil directly on aches and muscle sprain give instant relief.

• Take 4-5 drops of lemongrass oil on a cotton ball.

• One teaspoon of carrier oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil.

• Mix them and gently massage them into the affected area.

• You can get relief by inhaling it also.

Also Read: 10 Super Foods That Cures Arthritis and Joint Pain

6. Useful as a Deodorant

Now you can say goodbye to body odor with lemongrass. It has essential oil called citral. This oil has a strong lemony smell, and it works as an effective deodorant to reduce body odor.

The essential oil, known as citral, is responsible for this, and lemongrass oil is also used for aromatherapy to relieve stress and headache.

• Take Shea butter –2 tbsp.

• Coconut oil— 2 tbsp.

• Bee wax— 2 tbsp.

• Starch—2 tbsp.

• Fifty drops of lemongrass.

Add Shea butter, coconut oil, bee wax, and melt it entirely on heat. Stir the starch with it and mix well until it becomes opaque. Keep in an airtight tin and use it as a deodorant.

7. Boost up Immunity

A strong immunity system is vital to living a healthy life. Lemongrass increases the body’s defense power, so it can lower the chance of getting flu and cold often.

It contains a high amount of vitamin C and other antioxidants, which our body needs for a robust immune system. Also, the beneficial effects of cytokines— a protein that regulates immunity of our body act as an anti-inflammatory agent to get rid of the common cold and flu.

How to Use

• Take 2 or 3 fresh lemongrass stalks.

• Take three cloves, two cinnamon sticks, and one tbsp of turmeric powder.

• Boil all the ingredients into one cup of milk.

• Cool and strain.

• Drink it once daily.

8. Helps To Sleep Better

The other lemongrass benefits help to sleep better. Those who are suffering from insomnia may try lemongrass Tea before bedtime. It has magnesium, which plays a vital role in making anyone fall asleep.

Individuals who lack magnesium always face sleeping disorders. Besides, the anti-depressant component present in lemongrass helps to reduce stress and anxiety and thus indirectly aids in sound sleep.

How to Use

1): Hot lemongrass tea before bedtime is an excellent beverage to get a good sleep.

2): Green curry Paste with Lemongrass: – Green curry paste made from lemongrass bulbs is a unique mixture to add to different dishes. It is easy to make and can be stored for a couple of days in the fridge. Let us check how you can make this.

 Ingredients

• You need three lemongrass stems, few green chilies, two large onions, i/2 inches ginger, 1/2 inches turmeric, two garlic cloves.

• At first, chopped the soft and tender part of the lemongrass stem. Keep the leaves to use on salad or soup. Cut the garlic cloves, turmeric, onion, and ginger.

• Put all the ingredients in a mixer to grind into a green paste.

• Keep in an airtight box to use later.

How to Make Lemongrass Tea

How to Make Lemongrass Tea

Citral is the primary ingredient of lemongrass, and it smells lemony. It is also very active in eradicating malignant cells with damaging the other unaffected cell.

So to utilize these beneficial properties in favor of our health, we can consume lemongrass tea daily. It is the easiest way that we prevent life-threatening diseases like cancer.

 Ingredients

  • ½ cup of lemongrass.
  • 4 to 5 cups of water.
  • Jaggary.
  • Tea leaves.
  • Mint leaves.

Method

• Take water in a heavy-bottomed pan.

• Boil it in medium flame.

• Add mint leaves, jaggery, and lemongrass into it.

• Boil for some time in low flame until the water is reduced to half.

• Now add one teaspoon of tea leaves and turn the flame off. Let the mixture steep for one or two minutes, and then strain the tea.

• Take it hot.

Lemon Grass Side Effects

  • Leaves may irritate the skin and cause rashes
  • Allergic reactions
  • Can increase your heart
  • Can cause breathing problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive Urination
  • Appetite increased

 Few Words about Lemongrass

• Before using lemongrass oil, always go for a patch test.

• Never use it on the eyes, nose, or any other part directly on the skin.

• Keep away from the children.

• Always use minimum quantity. It may cause a burning sensation on skin and hair if applied in large amounts.

• Never swallow it.

• Always make it dilute with other carrier oil before use.

 Therefore, in conclusion, we can say that moderate use of this medicinal herb can do wonders. So you can use the lemongrass benefits to enhance the fragrance of life.

We hope after going through the above lemongrass benefits and side effects will surely help you. So don’t delay to take the benefits of it.

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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