Lemongrass, fever grass, citronella grass or cymbopogon citratus, there is so much to love about this culinary plant with its delicate lemony scent. However, in addition to making a delectable addition to Thai dishes and soups, lemongrass has plenty of medicinal benefits as well. Lemongrass is plentiful in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—such as vitamins A and C, folic acid, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus—as well as boasting antibacterial and antifungal abilities as well. Enjoy the following surprising health benefits of lemongrass:
- Anti-anxiety herb
There’s a good reason why lemongrass oils, lemongrass scented teas, and bath products infused with lemongrass are often recommended by alternative practitioners to banish stress and boost mood. It should be no surprise that this herb has plenty to offer if you want to unwind after a stressful day. To enjoy the soothing qualities of lemongrass, light a scented candle, put a few drops of lemongrass oil in your bath, or brew a steamy cup of lemongrass tea and let your anxiety literally melt away.
- Helps manage type 2 diabetes
It seems the calming benefits of lemongrass also extend to your blood sugar. For diabetic patients this herb offers a natural way to help keep blood sugar levels in healthy bounds. A lab study published positive findings in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, after administering lemongrass to test rats daily for a 42 day duration, and found that triglyceride levels and fasting glucose levels were both significantly lower.
- Fights parasites and infection
You say lemongrass, I say fighter of infection. In fact, lemongrass has been recommended for centuries to ward off several digestive parasites, as well as bacterial and fungal infections of the skin and respiratory tract. That’s why you’ll still find lemongrass as a main ingredient in many cosmetics and personal hygiene products, including facial toners, wrinkle creams, pore-minimizing lotions, oil removers, and antiseptic facial tonics.
- Soothes arthritis pain
Naturopaths often prescribe lemongrass oil combined with equal parts carrier oil and smoothed over inflamed joints to reduce gout and rheumatoid arthritis pain.
- Natural detoxifier
Lemongrass isn’t a main ingredient in Vietnamese and Thai cooking just for it’s tangy lemon flavor. Sure, it tastes delicious, but chefs of centuries past also employed lemongrass in meals for it’s digestive perks. Lemongrass teas and tonics are often sipped to treat stomach parasites, nausea and vomiting, stomach ache, bloating, indigestion, and stomach cramping.
- Powerful cancer fighter
Lemongrass has a potent cancer fighting ally up it’s sleeve and it goes by the name citral. This chemical compound delivers a pleasing lemon flavor as well as a boatload of antioxidants. If you weren’t already aware, antioxidants are our body’s free radical fighting soldiers, and free radicals, if left to run rampant, can lead to the development of several types of cancer. Citral in particular is a potent breast cancer cell killer, according to research published by the medical journal, Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology.