Known for its healing properties and distinctive taste, lemongrass is a wonderful herb to learn about. Many people are familiar with the use of lemongrass in Thai and Asian cooking for its robust flavor. Lemongrass tea is also a favorite of many for its sweet, citrusy flavor. Beyond culinary uses, the herb has a rich tradition of use in Ayurvedic medicine for its many healing properties. Lemongrass is a tall plant that boasts a thick cascade of fragrant leaves. Native to tropical areas, lemongrass grows easily in most US locations during the summer months. It thrives in well-draining soil and full sun. It also grows well during winter months in a container inside your home. Lemongrass is also known by the name citronella. It can be used dried, powdered, or fresh. It can also be made into an essential oil using the leaves and stalks of the plant. Below is a list of just a few of the ways that lemongrass can be used to support a healthy body and mind.
1- Help Control High Blood Pressure
Lemongrass is packed with vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamins A and C, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron and zinc. The potassium found in lemongrass is especially helpful in combating high blood pressure. Simply put, it works by naturally causing the body to produce more urine which helps to increase blood circulation and thereby reduce blood pressure. To add lemongrass to a healing routine, steep the herb dried or fresh in hot water to make a tea or purchase ready-made lemongrass tea bags. The herb can also be added to soups and other dishes to reap the blood pressure lowering effects.
2- Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Lemongrass is an excellent dietary addition for those combating high cholesterol. It contains a number of compounds and properties to help lower cholesterol naturally. Lemongrass contains terpenoid compounds, such as geraniol and citral, which work to naturally inhibit the production of cholesterol. It boasts additional anti-cholesterol properties that act to reduce the absorption of cholesterol within the intestines. An additional way lemongrass can reduce cholesterol is by oxidizing LDL cholesterol within the blood. In one study, participants taking 140 mg of lemongrass oil a day showed positive reductions in their overall cholesterol levels. Of course, always check with your doctor to see if adding this to your diet is a good idea.
3- Help Relieve Arthritis Pain
Lemongrass has long been regarded as an effective natural remedy to aid in decreasing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. In Ayurvedic medicine, the steam from lemongrass boiling in water is one method of using the herb to decrease arthritis pain. The heat from the steam allows the oil to penetrate deeply into the tissue thereby promoting effective pain relief. Lemongrass oil contains properties that help the body to rid itself of extra fluid in tissues which aids in decreasing inflammation. Unlike other essential oils, the compounds in lemongrass that provide anti-inflammation and pain relieving effects lack the harshness others may. This makes lemongrass a good choice for those with sensitivities to some over the counter painkillers or for those on blood thinning medications.
4- Help in Managing Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that impacts millions of Americans. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. Along with medication, dietary changes are often necessary to manage the disease. The addition of lemongrass within a healthy diet can help to fight the disease. Containing compounds that help regulate hormones and control blood sugar, lemongrass is known for having beneficial effects on Type 2 diabetes. Terpenoid compounds found in lemongrass (mentioned above) have been found to help with hormone resistance. An additional compound contained in lemongrass, called citral, can be effective in controlling blood sugar levels.
5- Support for Migraines
Migraines can be an exceptionally difficult condition to deal with. Pain and other symptoms can often leave a person unable to complete daily routines. Lemongrass is one of the best herbs recommended to help alleviate the symptoms of a migraine. The natural properties in lemongrass can be effective in helping to decrease the pain of migraines. Lemongrass also contains phytonutrients that can be helpful in relieving muscle spasms. Some ways to use lemongrass when a migraine hits include sipping a cup of warm lemongrass tea or massaging diluted lemongrass oil onto the temples.
The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.