As its name implies, lemongrass is a grass-like shrub that puts off a heavenly fresh, lemony scent.
Although it grows native throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of many parts of Asia and the Indian subcontinent, it has been widely domesticated to grow in summer herb gardens. It can even be grown in a container indoors, providing you give it the right amount of light and humidity.
Why is this good news, you might ask? Because it’s a powerhouse herb that comes packed with multiple benefits to our health!
Honestly, this lemony-sweet-flavored grass does so many things for us and our bodies that there is really almost too much to list.
That being said, there are thousands of lists online that delve into the myriad wonders of this herb. For the purpose of keeping it short and simple, we’ve narrowed down the list to some of the most important ways in which this herb can help you on a daily basis.
Here are 7 uses of lemongrass to better your health.
1. Cancer prevention
As it turns out, this herb really does help prevent cancer growth in a very concrete way- and in one that’s backed by science. This is because lemongrass, as well as other lemon-scented herbs like verbena and Melissa (a.k.a lemon balm), contain a compound called citral which is what gives these plants their lemony smell.
Fortunately, it does more than flavor foods and ward off mosquitos. Scientists discovered that as little as one gram of citral (the same amount you would get from a cup of lemongrass tea) can trigger apoptosis (programmed cell death) in certain types of cancer. Or, at least it does in a test tube.
Essentially, as little as one cup of tea can cause cancer cells to “commit suicide”, and so is worth drinking on a fairly regular basis.
2. Immunity booster
Lemongrass comes loaded with vitamin C and packed with antibacterial and antifungal properties. As such, consuming it can help your body fight off free radicals and invasive bacteria to keep you healthy on a regular basis.
3. Uplift the mood
All plants contain something known as terpenes, and all terpenes do different things and interact with each other and our bodies in different ways. Lemongrass, in addition to citral, contains geraniol, citronellal, nerol, limonene, geranyl acetate, citral, and myrcene.
Thankfully, some of these terpenes have been shown to have a significant effect in reducing anxiety in people and is a favorite among aromatherapists. It’s so effective, in fact, that it competes on a level with Imipramine.
4. Balance cholesterol levels
A study published in 2007 concluded that lemongrass oil is also incredibly effective at lowering bad cholesterol and maintaining good cholesterol. According to Healthline, this makes it an effective and traditional medicine for managing heart disease.
5. Make your skin glow
In addition to citral, which is also antimicrobial, the limonene found in lemongrass is both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Couple this with the astringent properties found in the herb and you have the perfect weapon in your skincare arsenal.
Using a simple toner made with lemongrass will make your skin glow and keep your face clean and healthy.
6. Keep your bowels healthy and pain-free
According to Healthline,
“A cup of lemongrass tea is a go-to alternative remedy for upset stomach, stomach cramping, and other digestive problems.”
One 2012 study even found it can help in the prevention of gastric ulcers.
7. Ease a fever
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Finally, we have reached the use that helped this humble grass get its start in herbal medicine- breaking a fever. As a matter of fact, in the Caribbean lemongrass is commonly known as Fever grass.
While this is the plant’s most widely-used application, it bears repeating- it’s incredibly effective, both for children and adults.
Knowing all of this, do you really need more reasons to invite this lovely plant into your life?
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