Herb Education
Lemongrass Benefits – History, Health & How To Use It

Lemongrass Benefits – History, Health & How To Use It

Herbal tea was created and used throughout history to aid ailments of all sorts! From relieving digestion pains, chronic illness, rashes & burns and more, herbs, roots, seeds, fruits, and barks have been praised for their healing abilities.

Due to these incredible & unique attributes each herb holds, Komunity Kombucha and Fresh Steeps are teaming up to provide in depth biopsies of individual herbs, roots, seeds, fruits and more!

In this article, we will discuss the lemongrass! We will dive deep into lemongrass benefits, history, & how to use it for yourself!

Lemongrass History

Lemongrass, or Cymbopogon citratus, is an aromatic, tropical, long, slender grass found in Africa, South America, Australia, Oceania & Asia. Lemongrass can grow up to 6 feet tall!

lemongrass-soap
Wonderful Lemongrass Soap!

Traditionally this herb was used in cuisine, medicine, & cosmetics. Cuisine is probably the largest consumer of lemongrass. In Thailand lemongrass, or takrai in Thai, is used in curries, marinades, & soups. In Peru, Brazil & India, lemongrass decoction is a popular beverage served hot or iced.

The essential oil has even been used as a food preservative due to its antimicrobial properties! On top of that, its aromatic properties are prized in perfumes, soaps, moisturizers, candles, & mosquito & insect repellent!

While all of these are incredible & very powerful, let’s dive into the health benefits of the lemongrass plant.

Lemongrass Health Benefits

Lemongrass has many historic medicinal uses. Across cultures, we have seen it be used for digestive issues, fevers, menstrual disorders, joint pain, inflammation, & nervous system struggles. We have seen this done in places like Brazil, India, Indonesia, Cuba, the Philippines & more!

Let’s jump into the health benefits most researched & common!

  • Antimicrobial, Antiviral & Antifungal Properties: Lemongrass oil has been subjected to Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Bacillus cereus (B. cereus), Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis), Escherichia coli (E. coli), & Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae). It resulted in being successful in limiting the organisms’ growth & spreading ability (3, 4).
  • Highly Bioavailable Antioxidants: Lemongrass contains antioxidants such as Vitamin C & flavonoids. An in vitro study of oxidative stress on the body and liver from hydrogen peroxide was done. When lemongrass was consumed, the intake was associated with a lower production of liver enzymes that typically respond to hydrogen peroxide damage. This was seen again in a rat study done that showed lemongrass increased a detoxification enzyme’s production from the liver (2).

Lovely Lemongrass Leaves

  • Reduces Digestive Disorders: Common challenges with the gut can result in stomach aches, cramping, & other challenges. A study with lemongrass showed that in rats with stomach ulcers, the lemongrass actually aided the pain & protected against further ulcers (5).
  • Natural Anxiolytic: Lemongrass contains this compound known in short as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). This compound acts in the brain as a “destresser” by inhibiting the brain’s activity pathways for stress (6, 7).
  • Boosts Brain Function: Lemongrass contains zinc, magnesium, & folates, all of which are necessary for proper brain function. These are all associated with improved memory, cognition & processing! On top of that, due to the GABA being more relaxed allows for clearer thinking.
  • Regulates Blood Pressure: A study with 72 men found that when drinking lemongrass with green tea a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure and mild decrease in diastolic blood pressure were seen (8). A lower heart rate was recognized too! These results however do need to be researched further.
  • Boosts Metabolism: Due to the hypoglycemic & hyperlipidemic properties of lemongrass, the metabolism was increased in mice lowering their cholesterol & weight! Higher doses led to greater results too (2, 9).
  • May Relieve Menstruation Pains: Bloating, cramps & hot flashes, lemongrass tea is a great option to aid these all! The stomach soothing & anti-inflammatory properties all have shown great results in doing so. Unfortunately this is only based on claims rather than research. A study was done to show the cooling effects of lemongrass that showed positive results for hot flashes (10).

How To Use Lemongrass In Your Life

First, a note: Before attempting to cure yourself with any herb or medicine, please consult a licensed physician! Do the research for yourself too. You will always be your best advocate, we are here to simply provide information and help guide!

lemongrass-tea
Yummy Lemongrass Tea!

If you are inspired, you may be asking yourself, “How can I get these lemongrass benefits for myself?!?” Good thing is there are many tried & true methods!

This herb is best ingested, but can also be used for aromatherapy!

For ingestion, try infusing with tea (Fresh Steep’s clear favorite method)! Take 1 or 2 teaspoons per cup, steep for 8 to 12 minutes, and enjoy 3 times a day! You can also add it to many dishes for a citrusy pop!

You can also find or make your own essential oil! This is best used then for aromatherapy.

Overall, lemongrass is an incredible plant that has been used for thousands of years. From cuisine to medicine, this diverse plant hosts many benefits. If you learned something from this post, comment one of your favorite lemongrass benefits & share with a friend!

References:

1. Pursell, J. J. The Herbal Apothecary: 100 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them. Timber Press, 2016.

2. American Botanical Counsel

3. Antimicrobial Properties

4. Antibacterial Properties

5. Gastroprotective Effect

6. Anxiety & GABA

7. GABA & Lemongrass

8. Effects on Blood Pressure

9. Metabolism Effects

10. Therapeutic Uses

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