Health Benefits of Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), a native of India, is widely used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking. Lemon grass is a perennial, which means once you plant it, the grass comes back year after year. Depending on the area you live in the plant will go dormant in the winter. In harsh climates the plant will need to be potted and wintered indoors. This aromatic herb is used in Caribbean and many types of Asian cooking and has become very popular in the United States. Most of the commercial crops for the United States are grown in California and Florida. Lemon grass is also used for medicinal purposes.
Other Names (from theepicentre.com)
Italian: erba di limone
Spanish: hierba de limon
Indian: bhustrina, sera
Indonesian: sere, sereh
Lao: bai mak nao
Lemon grass is available in ethnic markets such as Asian and Mexican. Select fresh looking stalks that don’t look dry or brittle. Store fresh lemon grass in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed plastic bag for up to 3 weeks. You can also freeze it for about 6 months without any flavor loss.
In addition to fresh, lemon grass may be purchased dried or powdered. The dried product has to be soaked in hot water and reconstituted before use. The powdered variety is useful in teas and curries but it’s not a good substitute for the fresh product. For best results in recipes use the fresh herb.
Medicinal And Other Uses
This grass is rich in a substance called citral, the active ingredient in lemon peel. This substance is said to aid in digestion as well as relieve spasms, muscle cramps, rheumatism and headaches.
Lemon grass is also used commercially as the lemon scent in many products including soaps, perfumes and candles. A related plant, (Cymbopogon nardus) is the ingredient in citronella candles sold to ward off mosquitoes and other insects.
Health Benefits of Lemon Grass
Lemon grass is a perennial plant that is native to India and Nepal; it has a light, lemony scent and flavor, with a hint of ginger. Lemon grass is one of the wondrous herbs; it is very useful as medicinal plant and a delicious food flavoring. Few knows that the other name of Lemon grass is citronella, a popular scent in perfume, candles and soaps. Citronella is known for its calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress. It is also popular as a mild insect repellant.
In a study that was conducted it has shown that every 100g of edible lemon grass, when boiled can contain up to 24.205 micrograms of beta-carotene the powerful anti-oxidant that scientist believe can help prevent cancer. In another study it has shown that lemon grass oil has the potential as topical eye medication against keratomycosis, an inflammation of cornea often associated with burning or blurring of vision. Researchers note that lemongrass oil’s antioxidant qualities and ability to inhibit the enzyme that promotes the growth of cancer cells are promising.
Health Benefits of Lemon Grass:
It contains an antibacterial and antifungal properties
It helps to detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract.
Helps boost the immune system
Helps reduce uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats
It helps alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis.
Helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples
It helps tone the muscle and tissues.
Helps in menstrual troubles
Helps reduce blood pressure and improve blood circulation
Helps reduce cellulite
Act as sedative for the central nervous system.
May help prevent color cancer.
Helps in reducing fevers
Help in flatulence and colic
Relieves arthritic pain and rheumatism
Lemon grass for Cooking: The leaves and base of lemon grass are used as a food flavoring especially in Southeast Asian dishes. The long thin grey-green leaves are tough and fibrous, the outside leaves and the tips are usually chopped very finely or discarded from the dish before it is served.
How to Use Essential Oil: Apply 2 drops of concentrated lemongrass oil per ounce of organic unrefined almond oil, olive oil or any of you favorite oil. You can use the mixture to your skin as massage oil, lotion and moisturizer. As a relaxing scent add 1 – 2 drops in a cloth and inhale to relax your senses.
How to make Lemon grass Herbal Tea:
Fresh Leaves: Pour 2 cups of water to ¼ cup lemon grass leaves, then boil and simmer for 3minutes. Let is cool and drink.
Dried Leaves: Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried lemon grass leaves. Steep for 5-10 minutes before drinking.