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What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)?

Lemongrass, Cymbopogon flexuosus

What is Lemon Grass?

Lemongrass is a tall perennial grass used in cooking and herbal medicine. It has very fresh, lemony aroma with a citrus flavor. This herb can be used internally and externally. Means it can be taken orally, directly applied on the skin or inhaled as aromatherapy.

Lemongrass is from Poaceae grass family. Its leaves are glaucous, linear, parallel-veined which are 90cm in length and 2-3 cm in width. The stem of it is hollow yellow-light green in color and is 4-10 cm in length, 1-3 cm in diameter. The rhizomes of it are dark brown by color with fibrous roots which are 10mm in length, 0.2 -0.7 mm in thickness. This herb is native of Sri Lanka and South India also grows in many countries around the world.

Scientific Classification

  • Botanical Name - Cymbopogon citratus
  • Family - Poaceae
  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Genus - Cymbopogon
  • Species - Cymbopogon citratus (DC. ex Nees) Stapf - lemon grass

What are the Synonyms?

  • Andropogon citratus DC.
  • Andropogon citriodorum Desf.
  • Andropogon roxburghii Nees.

What are the Other Names?

  • Common names: Lemon Grass, Barbed Wire Grass, Silky Heads, Citronella Grass
  • Sanskrit / Ayurvedic: Rohisham, Jambira truna, Atigandha, Badhira, Bhutrinah, Jambiratrinah
  • English: Lemon grass
  • Punjabi: Gandhatrun, Sharbaan
  • Telugu: Nimmagaddi, Vasana gaddi
  • Tamil: Karpurappillu, Vasanappillu

Indications

  • Catarrh, Congestion, Cough, and Cold
  • Indigestion, gas and abdominal pain
  • Flu, Fever, and Swelling
  • Painful periods
  • Headache and sleeplessness
  • High blood pressure
  • Colic
  • Arthritic inflammation
  • Joint pain
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Low breast milk production
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Ringworm, Fungus, Candida, Yeast, and Scabies
  • Lower back pain
  • Cholesterol
  • Bladder disorders
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rheumatism
  • Tendons
  • Circulatory problems
  • Insomnia
  • Sprains

Medicinal Properties

  • Anti-allergic
  • Antibacterial
  • Abortifacient
  • Analgesic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Carminative
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-cancerous
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Diaphoretic
  • Expectorant
  • Digestive
  • Diuretic
  • Sedative
  • Antioxidant
  • Tonic
  • Detoxifier
  • Teratogenic

Ayurvedic Properties

  • Rasa (taste on the tongue): Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), Amal (Sour)
  • Guna (Pharmacological Action): Laghu (Light), Tikshna (Sharp / Penetrating), Ruksha (Dry)
  • Virya (Action): Sheeta (Cooling)
  • Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Katu (Pungent)
  • Dosha: Reduces Vata, Pitta, and Kapha but increases Vata when taken in excess
  • Srota (Channel): Digestive, Respiratory, Female reproductive, Urinary, and Sweat

Ayurvedic Actions of the Lemon Grass

  • Amapachana: Toxin digester
  • Deepana: Promotes appetite but do not aid in digesting undigested food
  • Cakshushya: Good for eyes
  • Mukhasodhana: Purification of mouth
  • Rechana: Purgation
  • Ruchikarak: Improves taste
  • Stanyajana: Promotes the secretion of milk
  • Shitaprasamana: Pacifies cold
  • Kaphahara: Pacifies Kapha Dosha
  • Pittahara: Pacifies Pitta Dosha
  • Vishaghna: Poison-destroying
  • Vamihara: Subsides vomiting
  • Jwaraghna: Alleviates fever

Therapeutic Uses of Lemon Grass

  • Shvas (Asthma)
  • Bhuta Badha (Mental diseases)
  • Burning sensation
  • Dadru (Ringworm)
  • Kasa (Cough, Bronchitis)
  • Krimi (Worms)
  • Kushtha (Skin diseases)
  • Udara (Abdominal disorders)
  • Arochaka (loss of appetite, taste, or anorexia)
  • Santap (Heat)
  • Vami (Vomiting)

How to Use in Different Diseases?

  • Lemon tea is useful for flatulence, digestive disorders, and cramping pain.
  • Lemongrass oil is helpful in gout, arthritis, and sprains.
  • The Lemon paste is beneficial for ringworms.
  • The herb is used to treat fever, intestinal worm, leprosy, upset stomach, cough, cold, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.
  • It acts as a sedative.
  • The leaves powder is useful in diarrhea. The powder is taken one to two teaspoonful twice a day with water.
  • The whole plant is also beneficial for skin conditions like acne, pores etc.
  • It is also useful for nervous disorders.
  • Expectorant and diaphoretic properties present in Lemongrass makes it effective in reducing fever by sweating. It is also helpful in malarial fever.
  • Helpful in menstruation and gives relief in pain.
  • Lemongrass oil is used for external use to ease the pain in-sprain, gout, joints pain, rheumatoid, and myalgia.

Health Benefits of Lemon Grass

Antibacterial properties

Lemongrass is an herbal remedy which has antibacterial property. This property of the herb adds function to fight against:-

  • Skin infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood infections
  • Serious intestinal infections

Anti-fungal property

The anti-fungal property present in it makes it beneficial in treating the fungal infection like yeast-ringworm.

Anti-inflammatory property

The herb contains citral, an anti-inflammatory compound. This property of the herb helps in the chronic inflammation which is because of arthritis or any other joints problem and cardiovascular disease.

Antioxidant property

This property of the herb helps the body to fight off free radicals that damage the cells.

Prevents gastric ulcers or relieve nausea

Lemon Grass is the herbal remedy which is very helpful in managing and treating all the problems related to digestion. The oil of lemon grass prevents the gastric ulcers and stomach pain. Lemongrass in tea is used as a supplement for nausea.

Stomach disorder

Lemon Grass is loaded with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which helps in fighting against stomach disorder and the infections. It also protects our body from - gastrointestinal disorders like gastric ulcers, improves digestion, and stimulates the bowel function. Constipation, diarrhea, stomach ache, nausea etc are treated with this herb.

Reduces Cholesterol

The anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties of the lemongrass helps in maintaining the appropriate and healthy levels of cholesterol. Controls and manages the accumulation of lipids in the blood vessels, causing blockage or obstruction to the free-flowing blood in the arteries.

Regulates blood sugar

Helps in maintaining and managing the healthy level of insulin in the body.

Act as a pain reliever

Use of Lemongrass eases the pain and reduces the inflammation. It has its positive response in easing the arthritis pain.

Relieves headache and migraine

Lemongrass works as an aspirin due to eugenol compound present in it. It also helps to balance and regulates mood, sleep, appetite, and cognitive functions.

Dose

  • Tea - 1- 2 cup daily with added 2-4 gm of its powder
  • Oil - Massage twice daily
  • Powder - 3 to 6 gm.

Preparations

Tea, Oil, Powder

Contraindication

Lemongrass is an herb which is safe to be used but in excess quantity can develop side effects. So always to be taken under the guidance of a physician.

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased urination
  • Diabetes or low blood sugar
  • In the respiratory condition, such as asthma
  • Liver disease
  • Chemotherapy
  • Pregnant
  • Lactating Mothers

Knowledge Base

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