Commonly known as Fever Grass, Lemongrass is a popular herb in the Asian countries since ancient times due to its ability to reduce fever. Scientifically, it is also known as ‘cymbopogon’ and referred to as citronella sometimes. It is used as a popular culinary herb in Thai and Chinese cuisines and is used to substitute lemon. When used for culinary purposes, lemongrass blends well with ginger, garlic, cilantro and other spices used in flavouring soups. In Asia, powdered lemongrass is used to add flavour to traditional dishes made using meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables, and to spice up pickles and marinades.
Ayurveda makes use of this ancient herb in treating weak digestion, poor concentration, poor circulation, varicose veins, fever, intestinal infections, and certain skin conditions. When powdered with black pepper, Lemongrass is used as an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for relieving menstrual cramps, nausea, irregular periods and infectious diseases. Ayurveda also uses lemongrass in dealing with headaches, weak immune system, and depression.
In Asian countries, lemongrass is used to reduce fever and normalize body temperature during hot weather. It is used in tea or in foot-baths for reducing fever and removing excess heat in the body. In Traditional Chinese medicine, lemongrass is used to treat headache, rheumatism, abdominal pain and cold. Brazilian folklore uses the herb as medicine to calm the mind, treat muscular spasm, cramp and fatigue.
Lemongrass is also used in managing lifestyle diseases like high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and also helps in cleansing the vital body organs like kidney, pancreas, liver, bladder, by elimination of toxic substances.
In Ayuvedic treatments, lemongrass is used to treat the following ailments:
Fever, cough and cold: The raw juice or decoction of the grass is given, as it induces copious perspiration and brings down temperature. It produces a feeling of coolness.
Menstrual disorders: An infusion of the grass, mixed with black pepper, is given during painful and difficult menstruation. Raw juice or decoction of the grass may be taken in such a condition.
Lemongrass essential oil is commonly used in Ayurvedic treatments. Oil is distilled from leaves and used for medicinal purposes.
Flatulence: Lemongrass and its oil are carminative, valuable in relieving flatulence. Three to six drops are given with sugar as an emulsion. The emulsion is prepared by mixing three to six drops of common lemon grass oil with sugar.
Digestive disorders: As lemongrass helps in strengthening functioning of stomach, it is used to treat indigestion. Lemongrass oil helps treat spasmodic affections of bowels, gastric irritability and cholera.
Joint pains: Lemongrass is used locally over rheumatic joints, lumbago and sprains. Lemongrass oil is mixed with twice the quantity of coconut oil and is used as a stimulating ointment for rheumatism, lumbago, neuralgia, and other painful conditions.
Ringworm: A paste of lemongrass leaves made with buttermilkcan be used as local application in treating ringworms.
Skin infections: Lemongrass essential oil is effective against micro-organisms like fungi, bacteria and other microbes. It is more potent than any antibiotic medicine in fighting staph infection. Apply 2 drops of lemongrass oil with 15 to 20 drops of coconut oil on cuts, wounds, acne, burns, sores and other skin infections and wounds heal in no time, due to the antiseptic properties of lemongrass oil.
Improves immunity, strengthens nervous system: Lemongrass essential oil has excellent nutrients and chemical components that benefit the whole system and augment the immune power, which makes the body naturally resistant against diseases. It serves as tonic to human body, strengthening the functioning of digestive system, nervous system, excretory system and respiratory system by stimulating the process of absorbing essential nutrients. Massaging the body with six drops of lemongrass oil and 3ml of olive oil helps in treating nervous disorders like vertigo, sluggishness, convulsions, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and nervousness.
Toxin elimination: Add two drops off lemongrass oil in warm bath water or in foot bath or massage to your body with sesame oil (3:2 ratio) to get rid of toxic substances in the body.
Combats cancer: Lemongrass oil has proven its anticancer activity through various studies, causing loss in tumour cell viability by activating the apoptopic process. Also, studies have shown the presence of a-limonene and geraniol in lemongrass which inhibits cancer cells in intestinal mucous membrane and liver.
Obesity and depression: Excess of kapha dosha causes fluid retention, excess deposits of fat and stagnation of water and other toxic substances in the body. Stress, tension and depression cause metabolic changes and contribute to obesity. Lemongrass essential oil reduces kapha dosha by decreasing appetite and removing excess water and fat deposits in the body by way of urine and sweat.
Lemongrass essential oil is excellent antidepressant oil which helps alleviate stress, fatigue, depression, anxiety and any negative feelings and emotional distress. It can be used in vaporizer, burner or diffuser to help drive away negative emotions, insomnia, emotional instability, loneliness, and lack of confidence too!! It also works as insect repellent and serve as a natural air freshener.
Lemongrass can also be grown in home gardens and used in times of emergencies, due to its amazing medicinal values.