Although lemongrass may be used largely in cosmetic and aromatherapy purposes, the lemon scented leaves of this Asian, African, and Australian grown plant is often made into oil and used for medicinal purposes. For instance, WebMd.com claims lemongrass is rich in an impressive array of flavonoids, phenolic compounds (i.e., quercetin, luteolin, and glycosides), and antioxidants that are helpful for treating everything from digestive ailments to achy joints and from fatigue to high blood pressure. And there’s more! Lemongrass can be used as a culinary herb to soothe stomach ache and vomiting and also as a potent essential oil to relieve headaches and muscle pains.
Dried, fresh, or made into oil, lemongrass boasts the following beneficial medicinal benefits:
1. Detoxification benefits
Lemongrass tea has long been recommended by alternative health practitioners due to its detoxifying and diuretic purposes, especially when it comes to aiding the efficiency of the kidneys, liver, bladder, and pancreas. For instance, drinking lemongrass tea has been linked to eliminating bodily toxins via increased urination, which can help soothe chronic inflammation, decrease levels of bad cholesterol and uric acid, and increased circulation.
2. Increases glucose tolerance
For patients with type-2 diabetes, lemongrass taken in tea form has been linked to increased glucose tolerance and maintaining safe insulin levels due to its detoxifying effects on the pancreas, which may help lower overall blood sugar levels.
3. Promotes healthy digestion
In addition to it’s powerful cleansing abilities, lemongrass is also considered an antiseptic herb, which means it can do it’s part to ward off nasty bacteria and parasites within the digestive tract while increasing the growth of beneficial bacteria. Lemongrass is often used to treat an array of digestive upsets (i.e., heartburn, bloat, gas, cramps, constipation, nausea and diarrhea).
4. Decreases water retention
There’s a reason why any menstruating women sip lemongrass tea—it decrease water retention, mood swings, nausea, and painful abdominal cramps! In fact, freshly brewed lemongrass tea can also help cleanse the lymphatic system, thus decreasing excess fluids collecting in the swollen tissues of edema patients.
5. Relieves joint pain
Lemongrass tea also provides natural pain relief due to its anti-inflammatory properties (suppression of the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme, which leads to inflammation). For this reason, many natural practitioners recommend applying lemongrass oil directly to aches and sprains in order to relieve symptoms of neuralgia, arthritis pain, muscle and joint pain, gout, and osteoarthritis pain.
6. Mood stabilizer
Lemongrass has long been touted as a calming tonic for the nervous system when it comes to decreasing stress, anxiety, nervousness while boosting mood. This is why many natural products used to treat mental fatigue, anxiety, and depression feature lemongrass oil. Researchers speculate that lemongrass is rich in natural antidepressants because it triggers the production of the brain chemical, serotonin, which controls mood and promotes sleep.
7. Glowing, younger looking skin
In addition to warding off nasties in the digestive system, lemongrass can also help ward off bacteria and fungal infections on the surface of the skin due to its powerful antioxidant, antifungal, and antiseptic benefits. And bonus, adding lemongrass to your daily beauty regimen can help reduce pores, excess oils, premature fine lines and wrinkles, and improve overall skin elasticity.
Lemongrass, like many natural herbs, has also been linked to cancer prevention. In fact, researcher published by the Journal of Fundamentals of Clinical Pharmacology claim that lemongrass contains a specific type of citral, or a component that kills breast cancer cells. Lemongrass is also rich in antioxidants that aid the elimination of cancer-causing free radicals from the body.
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