Lemongrass is a popular ingredient in the culinary dishes of Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. It gives an earthy and fresh flavor to teas, stews, soups and more. Not only that, its essential oil carries unique benefits, which you can read more about below.
All About Lemongrass
Cymbopogon, or lemongrass, is a perennial plant belonging to the Poaceae grass family. It is native to India, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Guatemala and Cambodia, since these countries are tropical and subtropical and their soil is slightly sandy.
The lemongrass herb grows upright in large clumps, maturing to approximately three (3) feet in height. Its leaves are bright green and have a sharp edge. It actually looks like lawn grass, only larger.
There are many varieties of lemongrass commercially grown in different parts of the world. For example, the C. Citratus, or the West-Indian lemongrass, is an important culinary herb, while the C. Flexuous is mostly used in the perfume industry.
Historical Use of Lemongrass
Conventionally, the parts and oils of lemongrass have been used to treat digestive disturbances, behavioral problems, circulatory issues, immune system problems, infections, headaches and as a sedative for the nervous system. Some cultures call it the ‘fever grass’ due to its adverse effect on reducing fevers. This power is even more effective when combined with black pepper.
How is Lemongrass Oil Extracted?
Lemongrass oil is actually extracted from the partly dried leaves through a process called steam distillation. The oil is yellow and has a very fresh and citrusy aroma, similar to fresh grass.
Nutritional Value of Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass has amazing therapeutic and nutritional profile, offering:
– Vitamin C
– Vitamins B6, B3, B2 and B1
– Pantothenic acid
Health Benefits of Lemongrass Oil
Here are some of the most amazing health benefits of lemongrass oil:
Gets rid of infections. This is one of the best health benefits of lemongrass.
Stimulates urination. The oil increases the frequency of urination frequency, which gets rid of the fats in the body.
Removes flatulence. The lemongrass oil helps remove gas from the intestines and stops any further formation of gases. It also provides a safe downward passage for excess gas.
Astringent. The astringent power of the lemongrass oil helps stop blood flow by contracting the blood vessels. Furthermore, lemongrass oil can promote the contraction of gums, skin, muscles and hair follicles.
Heals wound faster. Lemongrass oil’s antiseptic properties can be used internally or externally to help heal wounds faster.
Helps lower fever. The antipyretic properties of the lemongrass oil help bring down the fever.
Prevents microbial growth. The antimicrobial properties inhibit bacterial and microbial growth in the body. This helps prevent bacterial infections in the stomach, colon, wounds, urinary tract, organ system and even the respiratory system.
Antidepressant. As research states, lemongrass oil helps boost self-esteem, hope, mental strength and confidence, lifting spirits and helping fight depression. Since it is an antidepressant, lemongrass oil may systematically be administered to patients who are undergoing rehabilitation for acute depression.
Pain reliever. Lemongrass oil is beneficial in relieving pain in the muscles and joints, even easing headaches and toothaches.
Although there are many health benefits of lemongrass oil, it is still important that you moderate consumption, as excessive use of anything can have unpleasant side effects. Always consult with a doctor to discuss possible allergic reactions first. Once you know it’s safe to use, feel free to enjoy all of the benefits lemongrass offers!