Lemongrass Herb, Lemongrass Tea, Lemongrass Essential Oil - Uses, Nutritional And Health Benefits

Lemongrass Plant

Source

About Lemongrass

Latin Name : Cymbopogon Citratus

In India lemongrass is known as "Gavathi Chaha" meaning grass tea. Among other names by which lemongrass is also known as are : citronella grass, fever grass, oil grass and barbed wire grass.

The Cymbopogon genus consists of about 55 species of grasses.

2 species of lemongrass viz,

  • Cymbopogon citratus, also called West Indian lemongrass, and,
  • Cymbopogon flexuosus also called East Indian lemongrass, Cochin grass or Malabar grass are commonly grown.

C. citratus is more suitable for cooking though C.flexuosus can also be used.

Lemongrass oil is extracted from C.citratus and C.flexuosus.

Citronella oil is extracted from Cymbopogon nardus.


About The Lemongrass Plant

Lemongrass is a perennial plant with blue green leaves that have a lemony scent and taste. The plant grows year round in warm and humid climates. The plant needs full sun for at least 6 to 8 hours every day.

The plant grows to about 2-3 feet in height generally and does not produce seeds but is propagated by dividing portions of the existing roots and transplanting them. It needs plenty of water. In the wild, lemongrass is usually found growing on its own.

Frost kills it. However in cooler weather you can bring the container inside and put them outside when the weather goes warmer. In the meantime keep it near a window for it to get as much sunlight as possible.

The entire stalks are harvested and the cut is made below the white swollen base. The stalks can be dried and stored in an airtight container to last up to a year.

Lemongrass can be harvested when the plant is a foot high.

The leafy portion of the stalk can be used to prepare tea while the bottom portion can be used for flavoring food.


Nutrients In Lemongrass

Lemongrass contains at least 7 types of essential oils the most prominent among them being citral. Others are limonene, geraniol, borneol and citronellol.

It is cholesterol free, low in sodium, rich in potassium.

An excellent source of iron and manganese, lemongrass is rich in folate, copper, magnesium, zinc and riboflavin.

Nutrients In Lemongrass

 
Lemongrass (citronella), fresh
 
 
Nutritive value per 100 grams
 
 
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
 
Principle
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
Energy
99 Kcal
5%
Carbohydrates
25.31 g
19%
Protein
1.82 g
3%
Total Fat
0.49 g
2%
Cholesterol
0 mg
0%
Vitamins
 
 
Folates
75 mcg
19%
Niacin
1.101 mg
7%
Pyridoxine
0.080 mg
6%
Riboflavin
0.135 mg
10.50%
Thiamin
0.065 mg
5.50%
Vitamin A
6 mg
<1%
Vitamin C
2.6 mg
4%
Electrolytes
 
 
Sodium
6 mg
<1%
Potassium
723 mg
15%
Minerals
 
 
Calcium
65 mg
6.50%
Copper
0.266 mg
29%
Iron
8.17 mg
102%
Magnesium
60 mg
15%
Manganese
5.244 mg
228%
Selenium
0.7 mcg
1%
Zinc
2.23 mg
20%

Lemongrass Health Benefits

Lemongrass contains many flavonoids. It has anttiirritant, antioxidant, anti inflammatory, antipyretic, anti spasmodic, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic and antitumoral properties.

It aids in alleviating gastrointestinal problems like gas, bloating, spasms, diarrhea and also helps to control vomiting, fever, coughs and colds, headache and flu symptoms.

It is useful in infections of the respiratory tract like sore throat and laryngitis as well.

Lemongrass is useful in treating a variety of muscle and joint pains and sprain, even neuralgic pains are relieved by it.

Reduces stress and anxiety, removes exhaustion and fatigue and revitalizes the body.

It improves the blood circulation, and detoxifies and cleans the liver and kidneys, bladder and pancreas due to its antiseptic and diuretic effects.

It helps treat skin infections like acne, infected sores, ringworm and athlete's foot.

Lemongrass slows the growth of cancer cells especially those of the liver, breast and leukemia.


Uses Of Lemongrass

Lemongrass is used in cooking to add flavor to various dishes, to prepare lemongrass tea, to extract lemongrass essential oil for use in creams and lotions, perfumes and soaps, and as insect repellants apart from its use in alleviating many health conditions.

Citronella oil is especially used as a mosquito repellent in insect sprays and candles. Planting citronella plant helps to ward off the adult white flies which attack vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli etc.

Lemongrass oil is used to preserve ancient manuscripts written on palm leaves as it prevents the leaves from becoming brittle and also helps to keep them dry against moisture.


Lemongrass Tea

Lemongrass Tea

Making lemongrass tea at home is easy. You will need:

1/2 cup finely chopped lemongrass

1/2 cup chopped mint leaves

Agave nectar, honey or jaggery to taste. (You can use sugar instead if you so wish)

Method

Add the lemongrass, mint and jaggery to 5 cups water. Agave or honey can be added later if you plan to use either of them as a sweetener.

Bring to a boil and then simmer the water till it reduces to half.

Remove from heat, strain and serve hot. If you wish to serve it cold, chill it in the refrigerator or pour over ice cubes after cooling.


Benefits Of Lemongrass Tea

Not only is lemongrass tea refreshing, it is free of caffeine and can be enjoyed anytime, even before going to bed without fear of making efforts to fall asleep as happens with tea and coffee.

Lemongrass tea is useful in relieving chest congestion, coughs and colds. It helps to lower cholesterol and flush out toxins and correct digestive issues.

It is a useful aid to prevent acne and other skin problems if consumed regularly.

Do not drink the tea in excess as it increases body heat. It may also lower sugar levels so diabetics on sugar lower medicine should be careful.

Avoid during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.


Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is extracted from its leaves. It contains several chemical constituents like citral, myrcene, geranyl acetate, citronellal, nerol, geraniol, neral and limonene.

It has a lemony odor and is used as a flavoring in beverages, desserts etc.

Lemongrass essential oil helps to reduce pain and inflammation, both of the muscles and joints, headaches, toothache and general body pain. It lowers fever as well.

It aids in fighting depression and lifts up the mood, relieves tension and anxiety. It controls acne and reduces cellulite.

Its antimicrobial properties help to cure and prevent infections of the stomach, urinary tract, respiratory system etc.

Antiseptic properties help it in healing wounds and injuries and prevents them from getting septic. It has astringent properties and therefore is helpful in controlling excessive blood loss.

By its diuretic property it helps to remove toxins, keeps the kidneys and liver healthy and also lowers blood pressure.

It cures fungal infections.

It soothes and calms the mind, acts as a tonic for the nervous system as it strengthens the nerves.

In general it tones up all the bodily systems thereby boosting immunity.

Lemongrass oil also acts as an effective insect repellent for mosquitoes while it kills ticks, termites and dust mites.

It blends well with basil, cedarwood, coriander, geranium, lavender, jasmine and tea tree oils.

Blended it can be used as a massage oil, or can be used diluted in bath or diffused for aromatherapy use.


Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

References

  • http://www.drugs.com/npp/lemongrass.html
  • http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/lemongrass
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22449725
  • http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/383608/
  • http://www.jneuroinflammation.com/content/6/1/29
  • http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/flavonoids/
  • http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3644
  • http://healthers.org/lemongrass/
  • http://synapse.koreamed.org/Synapse/Data/PDFData/0184MB/mb-34-219.pdf
  • http://www.medicalhealthguide.com/herb/lemongrass.htm
  • http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/lemongrass.html
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/
  • http://www.dentalhypotheses.com/article.asp?issn=2155-8213;year=2013;volume=4;issue=4;spage=115;epage=117;aulast=Rajesvari
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21914547
  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X03002195
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12752733

How To Make Essential Oils

How To Make Lemongrass Avocado Soap

© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly

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Comments 19 comments

DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Great introduction to Lemon grass so useful and most informative. I enjoy reading about such helpful information.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

Great facts and help.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Your first lemon grass picture looks like the one in my yard. I did not know that it had anti-inflammtory properties. Thanks for all the research you present for our education. Voted up!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

It is always interesting reading one of your articles, Rajan. You give us a treasure chest of information and it is always helpful. Well done.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I love your hubs, rajan, and learn something new and wonderful each time I read them. Thank you.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks, Devika. I hope you are able to use some of this information.

Thanks, Lady Guinevere.

Thanks, Dora. Maybe this information will come in handy.

Thanks for the kind words, Bill.

Genna, thanks for appreciating. I am glad these hubs provide something new for the reader.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

Very elaborate hub on Lemongrass! I came to know a lot about the various uses of Lemongrass and its health benefits.

Very nice and informative hub! Thanks!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

I especially like the idea of lemongrass essential oil. I, too, always learn something new and different from your hubs that I don't get anywhere else.


heidithorne profile image

heidithorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

I drink a "green" tea blend that includes lemongrass. I think it tastes better than other green blends and I like all the health benefits it provides. Voted up and useful!


jtrader profile image

jtrader 2 years ago

I have this tea every now and again. As you pointed out it is quite rich in magnesium.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Chitrangada, glad this hub presented you with some unknown information. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Flourish, thanks for the compliments and it feels good to have worked hard on providing info that is new. Appreciate your stopping by and leaving encouraging comments.

Heidi, of course lemon grass makes the green tea taste better and surely is more beneficial to health as well. Thanks for the visit and votes.

jtrader, thanks for the information. I believe it must help you to take it so often. Thanks for visiting my hub.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Thank you dear rajan for all of this great information on lemongrass. I will try the tea. I've learned a great deal by reading this awesome post. Sharing and pinning to my board. Blessings to you ~ Audrey


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

I love the smell of lemongrass in my soup. I have planted some of lemongrass under my bedroom window because I know that it´s mosquito repellent. Thanks for sharing the health benefits of this plant. Have a nice day!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@Audrey, thanks for all the appreciation my dear friend. I hope you are keeping well. Thanks for your visit and the sharing and pinning. Have a very nice day!

@Thelma, it is so good to have you visit this hub of mine. That lemongrass plant sure must be making sleeping easier with those mosquitoes not being around. Thanks and have a very good day!


Vvitta profile image

Vvitta 2 years ago from Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

I do love the fragrance of lemongrass. Over here in Malaysia we use it a lot in our cooking. apart from the aroma, it also helps tenderise meat dishes. Just love this plant. I have one in my yard!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Good to see you have a plant growing in your yard and use lemongrass regularly in cooking. Thanks for stopping by, Kalai.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I almost bought lemongrass the other day; now, I will have to return and purchase the tea. Thank you for the information on how it helps the body.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

I hope the information is useful to you. Thanks for stopping by Dianna.


Doris 19 months ago

Is lemon grass harmful to pets

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