Top 20 reasons why you should use Lemongrass - the advantages of Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a very popular plant that can be used for medical and therapeutic purposes. It is indigenous in Asia, where it is commonly used in the cuisine as well. It has a citrus-like flavour when added to meals, but it is usually used for making tea from its leaves. It is good to know though, that even if there are more than 50 varieties of lemongrass on the world, only a few of these are suitable for consumption and/or medical use.
The main chemical components in lemongrass are: citral/citronella oil (50%) and geraniol (45%), plus some flavonoids and triterpenes. Citral is the responsible component for the lemon-like scent and flavour, and this chemical is responsible for most of the advantages that this plant can offer.
Advantages of lemongrass
1. Anti-inflammatory and anti-septic – lemongrass has a positive effect on infections (like a urinary tract infection).
2. Antifungal properties – it fights micro-organisms while detoxifying and purifying the blood, the kidneys, the liver, the bladder and the pancreas as well.
3. Helps in weight loss – due to its detoxifying properties, lemongrass also helps cleansing the waste and toxic substances out of the body, therefore it is also useful for quicker weight loss.
4. Anti-microbial - helps to cure constipation, diarrhoea and intestinal bloating.
5. Heartburn – it helps to ease heartburn and indigestion if you drink 1dl of lemongrass tea before taking a nap.
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6. High in potassium - improves blood circulation and lowers blood pressure, meanwhile fighting high cholesterol as well.
7. Fights diabetes - improves the functions of the pancreas, therefore it is able to lower blood sugar levels.
8. Sore throat - cures sore throat and laryngitis, while also helping with some respiratory problems (inhaling the vapour).
9. Reduces high fever – thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, lemongrass helps fighting fever as well.
10. Spasms - lemongrass helps easing muscle spasms and joint problems.
11. Effective pain relief – apart from the upper qualities, this plant helps to fight headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting, etc.
12. Antidepressant properties – lemongrass is beneficial for nervous-system and stress-related problems, also helps with insomnia.
13. Rich in Vitamin A – helps with pimples and acne, fights oily skin and also lessens skin infections.
14. Helps anaemia – as it is rich in iron, it helps in the synthesis of haemoglobin and helps fight iron-deficiency.
15. Lots of nutrients - apart from the upper mentioned, important nutrients, it also contains Vitamin B and C, magnesium, copper, calcium and phosphorus.
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16. Body odour – lemongrass is able to help to control body odour.
17. Fights cancer - some researches even showed that it might help fight cancer, as citral contributes to the death of cancer cells, while it does not affect normal, healthy cells.
18. Great for menopause - helps to reduce the symptoms of menopause for women by regulating hot flashes and mood changes.
19. Helps with addictions - lemongrass is even able to help to ease the withdrawal symptoms of drug and alcohol addicts.
20. Pheromonal qualities - lemongrass is a great insect repellent.
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A little downside
Although lemongrass is a very important plant with tons of benefits it is also necessary for me to mention that it has to be consumed in moderation only and it is the best to consult with your doctor before starting to use it for the first time.
Additionally, it is not advised to use lemongrass during pregnancy, as inhaling its vapour might have an effect on the menstrual cycle as well and it might trigger its flow, so it might also cause miscarriage. Also, very little is known about lemongrass’ effects on children and breastfeeding women, so it is not advised to use this plant at that time either.
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How to use it?
- You can make use of lemongrass by buying dry leaves at a store (ethnic stores, health food stores or online merchants offer this product, as well as some supermarkets on their seasonings aisle), and boil 10g of the leaves in 3 dl of water for 10 minutes. Then strain it, add some sugar and drink 1dl every hour.
- Buy fresh, raw lemongrass and cook delicious meals with it - great recipes available here.
- Also, you can buy lemongrass oil and flavour any food with it, or boil some water and use the oil to create a lemon-scented vapour.
- Put 2 drops of lemongrass oil into your bath for an aromatherapy heaven. This bath will help you relax and unwind.
Selecting and storing lemongrass
If you can, select dry lemongrass leaves carefully before buying them. Try to look out for discoloured (yellowish) and spotted leaves, as these might do more harm than good.
Once bought and opened, make sure you pack the dry leaves in an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dark and dry place, as moist environment will cause the leaves to rot. Otherwise, if you can store it properly, it will keep fresh for several months.
If you have any leftovers from the fresh, raw lemongrass after cooking, make sure you pack it well, as the herb tends to spread its flavour to other foods quickly.
That's all for now!
I hope you have found my article useful about the lemongrass. It is indeed an amazing and versatile plant with its many advantages.
I have to admit that in my life I have eaten some dishes that contained lemongrass, but never dared to use it on my own to make anything yet. So in case you have any recipes that you love and it is made with lemongrass, please don't hesitate to share it with us!
Thank you, and happy cooking! Enjoy!
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Have you ever cooked anything with lemongrass?
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© Copyright 2014, Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy (zsobig)
How to prepare lemongrass for cooking?
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