Lemongrass is one powerful natural ally to have on your side and can be used for more health and culinary benefits that you’d even believe. Scientifically known as Cymbopogon Citratus, lemongrass earned its common name for its light citrus smell. Lemongrass has notoriety for many uses including teas, as a culinary spice, and as a powerful herbal remedy for fevers, bacterial infections, treating headaches, and even helping with anxiety.
Wondrous Natural Compound
Lemongrass is thought to have originated in Africa, where Cymbopogon Citratus is known to have grown natively for centuries but has become wildly popular in modern Western markets in recent decades. Indian cultures have long recognized the healing powers of lemongrass, and Ayurvedic practitioners have relied on its herbal potency throughout their cultural history. If you haven’t heard of lemongrass tea, or lemongrass essential oil before, then you may have noticed that many Thai restaurants fancy to include it in their dishes. It’s often included with other such spices as cardamon, Thai chillis, and cilantro. Lemongrass products are available at most local health food stores, and even some grocery stores.
Recommended Lemongrass Tea
The Many Benefits of Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a powerful medicinal herb that’s been used to treat a variety of health issues throughout human history. Modern science has recently helped explain why lemongrass has been used as an herbal medicine for so long. It’s high in natural antioxidant compounds and loaded with other natural goodies such as luteolin, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, and kaempferol. Similar to citric acid, lemongrass’s citral is able to provide powerful antifungal and antimicrobial action (R). Below you’ll find some discussion of several of the more noteworthy health benefits of lemongrass.
Research has shown that lemongrass essential oil can be used as an effective natural way to help lower anxiety. One study found that of 40 people offered lemongrass essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and plain water, those that were exposed to the lemongrass showed lower levels of anxiety (R). Another study conducted on mice found that lemongrass seemed to help anxiety through its action on your brains GABAergic pathways—those responsible for slowing down your brain—and effected specific levels of neurotransmitters (R). More human research is needed but these initial findings help characterize many long-held beliefs of lemongrass as helping to calm the mind.
Antibacterial & Antifungal
Lemongrass was among several essential oil extracts that were investigated by one group of researchers for their antibacterial and antifungal traits. Researchers tested compounds against 22 different bacteria and fungal types and, of the 10 different essential oil extracts that were exposed to the pathogens, Lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint, and orange oils were the only ones to show the ability to destroy the infectious compounds (R).
It’s worth noting that this study found that nearly all of the tested essential oils demonstrated some level of ability to fight these deadly infectious compounds, just not necessarily all of them. Another noteworthy study found that a 2% lemongrass gel solution was effective in treating serious gum infections (R). This all natural approach might help avoid many expensive and burdensome workarounds to antibiotic-resistant gum infections (like removing teeth!)
Lemongrass teas, decoctions, and aromatherapies have been used throughout traditional medicinal practices across the world as an effective, natural means of treating fevers. In one study, researchers found that both Eucalyptus and Lemongrass were able to exhibit the same anti-pyretic (fever reducing) effect as lysine treatments (R). Many lemongrass essential oil products are sold as Eucalyptus/Lemongrass mixtures and the research from this study certainly helps to better understand just why that may be. This research suggests that lemongrass teas and lemongrass + eucalyptus essential oil therapies may be effective natural treatments for fever.
Types of Lemongrass Products
Much of the research conducted on the health benefits of lemongrass is done by using a concentrated essential oil form. This was likely done for ease of exposure and as a more measured approach. Herbal teas are also a popular choice for enjoying lemongrass. These teas can be made just like any other herbal tea, though adding a couple drops of honey can really sweeten things up a bit—and feels great on sore throats.
Another great place to buy any herbal products, not just lemongrass teas and essential oils, is Mountain Rose Herbs. They have a wide selection of just about any herb you can imagine, and usually, have an organic variety available.
Many people focus on nutrition-based healthcare alone—check out our article on the best protein powder for more on that—and often overlook these types of peripheral approaches. Modern healthcare can be tough to manage, and there are dangers lurking everywhere. Products such as lemongrass tea and essential oils can help lend a much-needed hand in covering as many defensive fronts as possible!
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