Composition of Lemongrass
In addition to its culinary usage, lemongrass offers a wide array of medicinal benefits and is in extensive demand due to its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties across Southeast Asia, as well as the African and American continents.
It is a source of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate and vitamin C. It also provides essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc and iron, which are required for the healthy functioning of the human body. It offers no harmful cholesterol or fats.
Lemongrass contains antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic compounds such as luteolin, glycosides, quercetin, kaempferol, elimicin, catecol, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid, all of which help in providing an impressive range of medicinal aids.
Health benefits of Lemongrass
Lemongrass is effective in curing the condition of water retention or edema. It has a cleansing effect on lymphatic congestion and helps to soothe the swelling.
Lemongrass is effective in treating various types of cancers without affecting the healthy normal cells of the body. Research conducted to prove the anti-cancerous activity of lemongrass has shown promising outcomes in the prevention of skin cancer. Studies have shown that a certain component, citral, which is present in lemongrass, helps in inhibiting the growth of hepatic cancer cells during the initial phases and prevents any further production of cancerous cells. Another study has provided supporting evidence regarding the anti-proliferative effect of citral in impeding the growth of human breast cancer cells and the induction of apoptosis.
Lemongrass is beneficial in the prevention of gastrointestinal disorders such as gastric ulcers, helps in stimulating the bowel function, and improves digestion. The anti-inflammatory properties of lemongrass are beneficial for treating constipation, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, nausea and stomach aches.
Lemongrass aids in calming the muscles and nerves which helps in inducing deep sleep. Research has shown that lemongrass has sedative and hypnotic properties which help in increasing the duration and quality of sleep.
Lemongrass is a nervine and has been proven to be a tonic for the nervous system. It stimulates the mind and helps in combating convulsions, nervousness, vertigo and various neuronal disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Lemongrass is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for its healing effects in treating coughs and colds. Along with other beneficial components, the vitamin C content present in it helps in providing relief from nasal blockages, flu and other respiratory disorders such as bronchial asthma.
Lemongrass helps in restoring the vital systems which are operational in the body, including digestion, respiration, excretion and nervous system.
Lemongrass is effective in relieving the pain and discomfort caused by rheumatism. It can be applied topically on both lumbago and sprains and helps in relieving neuralgia and other pain.
Citral is a powerful antioxidant and cancer-fighting agent that detoxifies and aids in brain function. The herb is also a sedative and this has a relaxing effect on the brain, which relieves stress and improves sleep patterns and insomnia.
Lemongrass has a diuretic effect on the body and is a wonderful addition to any detox diet. It cleanses the organs, such as the pancreas, bladder, kidneys, liver and digestive tract. It has the ability to expel toxins like cholesterol and uric acid from the body, while stimulating blood circulation and digestion.
History of Lemongrass
Lemongrass is widely used as a culinary herb in Asian cuisines and also as medicinal herb in India.East Indian lemon grass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), also called Cochin grass or Malabar grass (Malayalam: (inchippullu), is native to Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand, while West Indian lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) is native to South Asia and maritime Southeast Asia.