Lemongrass scientifically known as Cymbopogon citratus is a tall and rough surface perennial grass with a strong lemon-like taste. Barbed wiregrass, fever grass, and silky head are other common names of lemongrass. The Health Benefits of Lemongrass is mainly due to the essential oil present in the leaves and roots. It is also used in preparation perfumes and cosmetic items.
This grass is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions. Besides medicinal properties, it is also valued as a culinary ingredient.
Health benefits of lemongrass
Lemongrass contains many bioactive compounds and essential oils and can be used directly as an extract form for normal daily problems related to health. Lemongrass can be easily grown in the garden or simply in a pot. Some of the major health benefits of lemongrass are as follows
Depression is one of the modern diseases which is not only growing very fast in today’s world but also is the major source of other diseases like heart-related diseases, hypertension, etc. Lemongrass leave extract contains many significant compounds that relax the mind ultimately results in the reduction of depression (1).
Bioactive compounds in the leaves and rhizomes help in reducing reactive oxygen species (ROSs). ROSs are the byproducts of cells especially peroxides and superoxides. ROSs causes abnormalities in the cells by altering the DNA and ultimately lead to many degenerative diseases especially cancer.
The essential oil of the lemongrass can be used as an antiseptic. This oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Astringents extracted from lemongrass are helpful in the reduction of oil as well as cleaning of the pores of the skin. Therefore the astringent nature in addition to the antibacterial and antifungal properties makes it a healthy cosmetic for skin with additional benefits.
Lemongrass has two major equally important essential oil alpha and beta citral. Studies showed that these two compounds are effective against a wide range of gram-positive as well as gram-negative bacteria which causes many diseases.
Lemongrass extract helps in inhibiting many fungal and disease-causing yeast growth. The oil extract when sprayed on store grain and other food items results in stopping the fungal growth, therefore, prevents rotting of grains and food items (2 & 3)
Drinking lemongrass tea helps in the reduction of depression and stress, therefore relaxes the body and induce sleep.
8. Central nervous related problems
Lemongrass extract has an anxiolytic property that is it helps in the reduction of anxiety therefore many folk medicines use it against central nervous system-related disease.
The essential bioactive components present in the lemongrass also helps in the reduction of weight. According to a finding by the Department of Nutritional Sciences, the University of Wisconsin, consumption of lemongrass not only helps in controlling and decreasing the cholesterol level but also helps in losing weight (4).
10. Reduce anxiety
Lemongrass has an anxiolytic property that is it helps in the reduction of anxiety. Decoction and infusion leaves have potential anxiolytic properties.
Studies (5) done on rats showed the antidiabetic nature of lemongrass. Its leaves contain essential oils. Oral consumption of leaf extract not only reduces the risk of diabetes but also reduces the rate of transformation of pre-diabetic to a diabetic. Therefore lemongrass can be directly consumed in order to keep diabetes under check.
12. Helps in the digestion
Lemongrass extract helps in reducing digestive disorders also helps to recover the stomach and increases its capacity for digestion. Drinking lemongrass tea, therefore, helps in recovering from the upset stomach
13. As an insect repellant
The essential oil of the lemongrass has a characteristic aromatic smell, therefore used to repel insects and moths (6).
14. As a mouth freshener
Rhizomes of lemongrass are used as a mouth freshener and also as toothpaste in countries like Colombia. The essential scented aromatic compounds present in the rhizomes of the grass are effective against bad breath and also keeps the mouth fresh (6).
15. Prevents from a cough and cold
Last but not the least, lemongrass extract helps in the reduction of a cough and cold due to its essential oils. Therefore, sipping a hot cup of extract not only soothes the body and gives relief from a cough and cold but also prevents further spread.
Side effects of Lemongrass
Lemongrass may cause allergies to some people but besides this lemongrass is an excellent source of home remedy for many common diseases.