Lemongrass Scientific Name: Cymbopogon Citrus (ตะไคร้ Takhịr̂)
Lemongrass is an amazing herb related to the grass family Poaceae. It possesses a distinctive lemon flavour coupled with a citrusy aroma. A stall, perennial grass that is native to Thailand and also grown in India, Indonesia and other tropical regions in Asia. It is a reedy, tufted plant that grows freely in thick bunches with a strong, bulbous base and reed like, pointed leaves that can grow to 1 meter in height.
Lemongrass has extensive culinary use, especially in Thai, Indian and Indonesian cuisine and a wide range of medicinal benefits due to it’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties.
Lemongrass is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic compounds including luteolin, glycosides, quercetin, kaempferol, elemicin, catechol, chlorogenic and caffeic acid providing a range of medicinal properties. The list of health benefits from Lemongrass is extensive:-
Lowers Cholesterol – anti-hyperlipidemic/hypercholesterolimec properties
Detoxifies – cleanses and flushes toxic wastes
Anticancer potential – showing promising outcomes
Antibiotic Properties against Staphylococcus aureus
Stomach Disorders – anti-microbial & anti-bacterial properties
Treats Insomnia – calms and induces sleep
Prevents Anaemia – helps maintain haemoglobin levels
Respiratory Disorders – treatment for cough and cold
Reduces Fever – anti-pyretic & diaphoretic effects
Treats Infections – works as an antiseptic
Reduces Aches – a tonic for the nervous system
Type-2 Diabetes – beneficial in treating type-2
Relieves Pain & Inflammation – can be used for rheumatism & lumbago
Boosts Immunity – helps in restoring vital systems
Skin Care – excellent as a skin tonic & effective cleaner
Cellular Health – antioxidant qualities for cleaning blood
Treats Edema – cleansing effect on lymphatic congestion
Aromatherapy – used extensively for therapeutic effects
Obesity – contains Citral which combats obesity
Body Odour – used in deodorants and foot baths
Insect Repellent – it’s a natural insect repellent
Good for breast feeding – has galactagogic properties
Good during menstruation – soothing cramps & discomfort
Reduces Varicosity – soothes and helps swelling
Helps in preventing Dementia & Alzheimer – ongoing studies
Helps HIV Infected Patients – emerging study boosting CD4 counts
How to take Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is available as an essential Oil. Whilst it can be taken orally, it is highly concentrated, therefore it is best to consult first with a healthcare provider. Lemongrass oil can be used directly on the skin to treat acne or to relieve pain.
The Effectiveness of Lemongrass
Lemongrass has been effectively used in both Traditional and Folk medicine for more than 2,000 years. Generations have appreciated and benefited from the therapeutic remedies. Whilst there are many thousand scholastic papers written and published, all are generally positive, but none have proved results from clinical trials. Whilst many Universities support studies it is sad to note that natural remedies do not receive the support or Governments and their relevant authorities.
Whilst lemongrass is widely used in Asian cooking, it is mostly to provide flavouring and unless very young and tender is not particularly pleasant to eat. The best was to enjoy the benefits is through Lemongrass tea. This can be bought commercially of you can just take 2 stems of lemongrass (stems and leaves), crush the stems and cut to extract more flavour and boil gently for about 3 minutes. Cover if you can as this will retain the essential oils. Lemongrass tea is very refreshing as a cold drink, add honey if you want it sweetened, and enjoy many of the health benefits.
If you suffer with gout, make tea with lemongrass and pandan leaves, drink twice a day and you will be amazed at the results. You can also add ginger for additional benefits.
Kim Waddoup enjoyed a lifetime in the tourism business and is an active ‘Silver-Ager” living in Thailand. He writes for his age group with high varied articles covering subjects relevant to retirees living in, or visiting Thailand.
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