Are you familiar with lemongrass? Some people, especially cooks and chefs, use it to add extra flavour to dishes. It also has a lot of health benefits, capable of relieving edema, rheumatism, infections, aches, fever, respiratory disorders, insomnia and stomach disorders. Furthermore, the antioxidant properties of the herb help protect against Staphylococcus aureus, an antibiotic-resistant virus. It also helps maintain optimum cholesterol levels, immune system, healthy skin, nervous system and cellular health. Furthermore, it can help treat cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Truly, there is more to lemongrass than meets the eye. If you want to learn all about it, give this article a read!
Lemongrass: The Aromatic Healer
Lemongrass, or Cymbopogon citratus, is an herb that belongs to the Poaceae grass family and used mainly for its unique lemon flavor and citrusy aroma. A tall, persistent grass native to the tropical regions of Asia and India, it’s a tufted and rough plant with linear leaves that grows in thick bunches. It stands about 3 meters in height and 1 meter wide.
As an addition to its culinary use, lemongrass may offer a lot of medicinal benefits. It is also in extensive demand across Southeast Asia, the Americas and Africa because of its anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties.
The Cymbopogon genus actually includes 55 grass species, two of which are referred to as lemongrass. These are the Cymbopogon citratus, which is preferred for culinary use, and the Cymbopogon flexuosus, which is used to manufacture fragrances due to its long shelf life and low myrcene content.
Nutritional Value of Lemongrass
Lemongrass possesses phenolic compounds, flavonoids and antioxidants like caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechol, elemicin, kaempferol, quercetin, glycosides and luteolin. All of these are beneficial in providing a very impressive range of medicinal support. The major component of lemongrass is citral (or lemonal), which has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties and provide a unique lemon-like taste.
Lemongrass is an aromatic powerhouse of essential nutrients. Studies show that the herb is a good source of important vitamins like vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin B3, vitamin B2, vitamin B1 and vitamin A. Furthermore, it also provides important minerals like iron, zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium. These are necessary for the healthy functioning of the body. There are also no harmful fats or cholesterol in lemongrass, so it’s really good for your overall health. The table below breaks down the herb’s contents even more.
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||0.49 grams||2%|
|Vitamin A||6 milligrams||<1%|
|Vitamin C||2.6 milligrams||4%|
Health Benefits of Lemongrass
Here are some of the most wonderful health benefits of lemongrass:
- Helps boost immunity. Lemongrass boosts many biological operations, including the nervous system, excretory system, respiratory system and digestive system. This ensures nutrients are better absorbed and helps strengthen the immune system.
- Helps prevent rheumatism. The herb is essential in relieving the discomfort and pain that comes with rheumatism. It may also be applied topically on both sprains and lumbago, and it also helps relieve neuralgia.
- Helps the nervous system. Lemongrass is nervine, which means it acts as a tonic for the nervous system. It actually helps stimulate the mind and helps fight various neural disorders, vertigo, nervousness, convulsions and more.
- Helps reduce aches. Lemongrass is essential in alleviating pain and discomfort caused by migraines and headaches because of its analgesic qualities. Furthermore, the phytonutrients in it help improve circulation and relieve backaches, sprains, muscle cramps and spasms.
- Helps prevent cancer. This is one of the best health benefits of lemongrass, and it does this without affecting the body’s healthy cells. Research is particular focused on the herb’s effects against skin cancer.
- Helps detoxify the body. Studies suggest that lemongrass has diuretic qualities that make it essential in cleaning and flushing out harmful toxic wastes in the body.
- Helps lower cholesterol. Studies show that regular consumption of lemongrass is beneficial in sustaining a healthy level of triglycerides and reducing LDL cholesterol levels in the body.