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Lemongrass

Lemongrass
Lemongrass is also known as Bhutrin in Ayurveda. It is widely used in the food industry as a flavouring agent.
Lemongrass helps maintain blood cholesterol levels by lowering the bad cholesterol and manages blood pressure due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Drinking Lemongrass tea (kadha) twice a day helps in weight loss as it removes toxins from the body and improves metabolism.
Applying Lemongrass oil to the skin in combination with some carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil helps to get relief from pain and swelling due to its anti-inflammatory property. This remedy is also beneficial for dandruff when applied to the scalp due to its antifungal property.
Lemongrass oil should always be used in diluted form along with some carrier oil like almond oil, coconut oil or olive oil to avoid irritation and allergies[2].

What are the synonyms of Lemongrass?

Cymbopogon citratus, Bhutrin, Bhutik, Chatra, Hari chai, Agni ghass, Majigehulu, Purahalihulla, Oilcha, Lilacha, Lilicha, Karpurappilu, Chippagaddi, Nimmagaddi, Khawi, Gandhabena, Shambharapulla, Gandhabena, Shambharapula, Mirvacha, West Indian Lemongrass, Melissa grass, Hirvacha, Haona, Chae kashmiri, Jazar masalah[1].

What is the source of Lemongrass?

Plant Based

Benefits of Lemongrass

What are the benefits of Lemongrass for High cholesterol?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass helps in the management of high cholesterol. It decreases the level of bad cholesterol. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property. This decreases the risk of cholesterol related complications[3][7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
High cholesterol is due to an imbalance of Pachak Agni (digestive fire). Impaired digestion at the tissue level produces Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion). This causes accumulation of bad cholesterol and blockage in the blood vessels. Lemongrass helps to improve Agni (digestive fire) and reduce Ama. This is due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties, thus remove the accumulation of bad cholesterol and maintain normal cholesterol level
Drinking Lemongrass tea regularly helps manage cholesterol level.
Tips:
1. Lemongrass tea
2. Take 1 cup of hot water.
3. Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of fresh or dried powdered Lemongrass leaves.
4. Wait for 5-10 minutes and filter.
5. Take this once or twice a day to manage high cholesterol level.

What are the benefits of Lemongrass for Hypertension (high blood pressure)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass might be beneficial in the management of high blood pressure. It helps in increasing the nitric oxide level. This helps in relaxing the blood vessels. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property it also prevents the damage of blood vessels[3][10].

What are the benefits of Lemongrass for Flatulence (gas formation)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass might be beneficial in the management of stomach ache[3][11].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Lemongrass helps to reduce stomach ache like gas or flatulence. Flatulence or gas is caused due to an imbalance of Vata and Pitta dosha. Low Pitta dosha and aggravated Vata dosha results in low digestive fire, thus impairing digestion. Impaired digestion leads to gas formation or flatulence which cause stomach pain. Taking Lemongrass tea helps to improve digestive fire and prevent gas, thus gives relief in stomach ache due to gas.
Tips:
1. Lemongrass tea
a. Take 1 cup of hot water.
b. Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of fresh or dried powdered Lemongrass leaves.
c. Wait for 5-10 minutes and filter.
d. Take this once or twice a day to manage stomach ache.

What are the benefits of Lemongrass for Cough?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Lemongrass is an effective herb in managing cough and cold. Lemongrass controls cough, releases mucus, clears air passages, thus allowing the patient to breathe freely. This is due to its Kapha balancing property. Drink a cup of Lemongrass tea daily whenever you suffer from cough and cold.
Tips:
1. Lemongrass tea
a. Take 1 cup of hot water.
b. Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of fresh or dried powdered Lemongrass leaves.
c. Wait for 5-10 minutes and filter.
d. Take this once or twice a day to get relief from cough and cold.

What are the benefits of Lemongrass for Rheumatoid arthritis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass essential oil might be beneficial in the management of rheumatoid arthritis. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic property. It reduces the pain and inflammation of joints[3][11].

What are the benefits of Lemongrass for Diabetes mellitus (Type 1 & Type 2)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass might be beneficial in the management of diabetes. It reduces the level of elevated blood glucose levels. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the risk of developing diabetes related complications[3][8].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Diabetes also known as Madhumeha is due to an aggravation of Vata and impaired digestion. Impaired digestion leads to an accumulation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) in the pancreatic cells and impairs the function of insulin. Lemongrass helps to correct impaired digestion due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties. This reduces Ama and improves the function of insulin.
Lemongrass has Tikta (bitter) taste which also work to maintain normal blood sugar level.
Tips:
1. Lemongrass tea
a. Take 1 cup of hot water.
b. Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of fresh or dried powdered Lemongrass leaves.
c. Wait for 5-10 minutes and filter.
d. Take this once or twice a day to manage diabetes.

How effective is Lemongrass?

Insufficient evidence
Common cold symptoms, Convulsions, Cough, Diabetes mellitus (Type 1 & Type 2), Fever, Flatulence (gas formation), High cholesterol, Hypertension (high blood pressure), Rheumatoid arthritis, Vomiting

Precautions when using Lemongrass

Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough evidence is available on the use of Lemongrass during breastfeeding. So it is advisable to avoid or to consult your doctor before taking Lemongrass during breastfeeding[3].
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available, avoid taking Lemongrass during pregnancy as it may lead to bleeding and loss of pregnancy. It may also adversely affect the foetus. So, it is advised to avoid or to consult your doctor before taking Lemongrass during pregnancy[3][4].

Recommended Dosage of Lemongrass

  • Lemongrass Powder - ¼-½ teaspoon twice a day.
  • Lemongrass Capsule - 1-2 capsule twice a day.
  • Lemongrass Tea - 1 or 2 times a day.

How to use Lemongrass

1. Lemongrass stalk-for cooking
a. Peel away the dried outer layers of the Lemongrass stalk.
b. Cut the bottom root end and the top woody part of the stalks.
c. Use the 5-6 inch stalk left for cooking.

2. Lemongrass powder
a. Take 1 cup of hot water.
b. Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of fresh or dried powdered Lemongrass leaves.
c. Wait for 5-10 minutes and filter.
d. Take this once or twice a day.

3.Lemongrass Tea
a. Take 1 cup of boiled water
b. Put 1 tea bag of lemongrass
c. Allow to brew 2-3 minutes
d. Add natural sweetener like honey
e. Have it once or twice a day

Benefits of Lemongrass

What are the benefits of Lemongrass for Dandruff?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass oil might be beneficial in the management of dandruff. It has good antifungal property[3][7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Lemongrass oil has anti-dandruff property. It helps to clean without irritating the scalp. It is especially useful for controlling chronic dandruff which is due to excessive dryness on the scalp. Applying Lemongrass oil helps to remove dryness in the scalp and controls dandruff. This is due to its Snigdha (oily) property.
Tips:
1. Take 2-5 drops of Lemongrass oil or as per your requirement.
2. Mix with 1-2 teaspoon Coconut oil.
3. Apply on the scalp and massage well.
4. Repeat once a week to control dandruff.

What are the benefits of Lemongrass for Fungal infections of mouth (Thrush)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass essential oil might be beneficial in the management of yeast infection in the mouth (thrush). It has fungicidal activity. It results in the death of the fungus responsible for the infection and thus relieves from the symptoms of thrush[3][9].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Lemongrass oil is useful to control yeast infection in the mouth when applied on the affected area. This is because of its Ropan (healing) property which helps to accelerate the process of healing.
1. Take 2-5 drops of Lemongrass oil or as per your requirement.
2. Mix with 1-2 teaspoon Coconut oil.
3. Apply on the affected area to fungal infection in the mouth.

What are the benefits of Lemongrass for Swelling?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass oil might be beneficial in the management of pain and swelling[3][8].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Lemongrass oil helps to reduce pain and swelling especially bone and joint pain when applied to the affected area. According to Ayurveda, the bones and joints are considered a site of Vata in the body. Pain in the joints is mainly due to Vata imbalance. A massage with Lemongrass oil mixed with coconut oil helps to reduce joint pain due to its Vata balancing property.
Tips:
1. Take 2-5 drops Lemongrass oil or as per your requirement.
2. Mix with 1-2 teaspoon of Sesame oil.
3. Apply on the affected area to get relief from pain and swelling.

What are the benefits of Lemongrass for Headache?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass oil might be beneficial in the management of headache[3][8].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Lemongrass helps to reduce a stress-induced headache when applied topically. Applying Lemongrass oil on forehead alleviate stress, fatigue and relaxes tense muscles which helps to reduce a headache. This is due to its Vata balancing property.
Tips:
1. Take 2-5 drops of Lemongrass oil or as per your requirement.
2. Mix with 1-2 teaspoon of Almond oil.
3. Apply on the affected area to manage headache.

How effective is Lemongrass?

Insufficient evidence
Dandruff, Fungal infections of mouth (Thrush), Headache, Swelling

Precautions when using Lemongrass

Allergy
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
It is advisable to dilute Lemongrass oil with any other oil like coconut/almond/olive oil before applying to the skin. This is due to its Ushna (hot) potency.

Recommended Dosage of Lemongrass

  • Lemongrass Powder - ¼-½ teaspoon as per your requirement.
  • Lemongrass Oil - 2-5 drops teaspoon a day or as per your requirement.

How to use Lemongrass

1. Lemongrass oil
A. Skin
a. Take 2-5 drops of Lemongrass oil or as per your requirement.
b. Mix with a few drops of Almond or Coconut oil.
c. Apply on the skin and massage for some time till the oil gets absorbed.

B. Achy feet
a. Add 2 drops of Lemongrass essential oil to a tub of hot water.
b. Add 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts.
c. Soak your feet in it for about 10-15 minutes to get relief from pain in the feet.

C. Hair
a. Take a few drops of Lemongrass oil and dilute with a few drops of Almond or Coconut oil.
b. Apply on the scalp and hair and massage for some time.
c. Leave it for at least one hour.
d. Rinse it off with shampoo and water.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Lemongrass good for?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass has a number of health benefits. It may give relief from stomach disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, fever, aches, infections, inflammation of joints, and swelling. Lemongrass is rich in antioxidants which help in protecting against bacterial infections and in maintaining optimum cholesterol levels, cellular and nervous health. It is effective in maintaining healthy skin and boosting the immune system. Lemongrass may also be useful in managing type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity, while also aiding in detoxification. It is extensively used in aromatherapy to help combat fatigue, anxiety, and body odor.

Q. How do I use fresh Lemongrass?

scientific
Modern Science View
Fresh Lemongrass can be used in cooking, especially Asian cuisine. It can be added in curries, soups, salads and meats. The woody stalks at the base of the plant are used for cooking instead of the leaves.
To use the Lemongrass stalks for cooking:
Peel away any dry and papery layers from the stalks and trim away the bottom end of the root as well the top woody part until you are left with about 5-6 inches of the stalk.
This is the only part used for cooking.
You can now chop or mince the Lemongrass to add to the dishes.
Fresh Lemongrass can also be used to make refreshing tea which has a number of health benefits.

Q. What part of Lemongrass do you eat?

scientific
Modern Science View
To consume Lemongrass, chop off the bottom root end and the top woody part of the stalk (or smash the top part to release the aromatic oils). After that, either use the whole stalk or chop or mince it before using it for cooking.

Q. Does Lemongrass tea contain caffeine?

scientific
Modern Science View
No, Lemongrass tea is completely herbal, it has no caffeine or tannins at all.

Q. How do I cut Lemongrass?

scientific
Modern Science View
Firstly, peel away any dry and papery layers from the stalks and cut away the bottom end of the root as well the top woody part until you are left with about 5-6 inches of the stalk. This is the only part that can be consumed.

Q. Is Lemongrass easy to grow?

scientific
Modern Science View
Lemongrass is a tropical plant that thrives in full sun, even in hot Southern locations. It requires rich, well-drained soil and adding composted manure to the soil improves its fertility and enhance its ability to hold water.
Tips to grow Lemongrass:
1. Provide a steady supply of moisture for best growth and do not let the roots dry out.
2. If you’re adding several Lemongrass plants to planting beds, space plants 24 inches apart.
3. In colder regions, plant Lemongrass indoors and keep in a bright spot while keeping the soil barely moist.

Q. Is Citronella grass the same as Lemon grass?

scientific
Modern Science View
Both, Citronella (Cymbopogon Nardus) and Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus) are cousins in nature. They look similar and grow the same way. They are also processed in the same manner to obtain essential oils. But, Citronella is not for consumption while Lemongrass can be consumed or used as a herbal tea. To distinguish between them, remember that Citronella has pseudostems (false stems) that are reddish in colour while Lemongrass stalks are green.

Q. How long will Lemongrass keep in fridge?

scientific
Modern Science View
To store fresh Lemongrass in the refrigerator:
1. First wrap the Lemongrass in a damp paper towel.
2. Then place it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
3. If it is properly stored, fresh Lemongrass will stay for about 10-14 days in the refrigerator.

To freeze fresh Lemongrass:
1. Wash, trim and chop the Lemongrass.
2. Allow to dry thoroughly.
3. Once completely dry, place it in freezer bags or freeze in ice cube trays with a small amount of water, then transfer to freezer bags.
4. Keep the freezer bags or trays containing Lemongrass in the freezer at -20℃.
5. Lemongrass can be stored in the freezer for as long as 4-6 months.

Q. How do you use Lemongrass to marinate?

scientific
Modern Science View
To make a basic Lemongrass marinade:
1. Grind 3 stalks of Lemongrass (chopped bottom, white part only), 2 garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon chili sauce (optional) until it turns into a fine paste.
2. Combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 table spoons sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons soya oil (or olive oil) with the paste.
3. Let the marinade sit for about 1-2 minutes.
4. Coat the meat (½-1 kg) properly with the marinade.
5. Let it sit overnight or for 4-5 hours before cooking.
6. You can also save the marinade by freezing it and storing in the freezer until needed.

Q. Can you eat raw Lemongrass?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Lemongrass can be consumed raw but before consuming it raw, peel off the outer layer of dried leaves from the stalk. Cut the dry top of the stalk as well before rinsing off the bottom bulb. You can eat the whole Lemongrass, including the stalk. However, the stalk is tough and hard to chew. For this reason, you may want to remove the stalk before consuming the raw Lemongrass.

Q. How to make Lemongrass powder?

scientific
Modern Science View
1. Dry the leaves of Lemongrass.
2. Then, grind the leaves.
3. You can use this powder to sprinkle over food or tea.

Q. Does Lemongrass treat insomnia?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Lemongrass may be useful in managing insomnia. Lemongrass acts on the central nervous system and has sedative and anxiolytic (reducing anxiety) effects which might help sleeping disorders[5][6].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Lemongrass helps to manage insomnia and give sound sleep. According to Ayurveda, an aggravated Vata dosha makes the nervous system sensitive which leads to Anidra (insomnia). Lemongrass tea calms an aggravated Vata and helps to sleep.

Q. Does Lemongrass cause miscarriage?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available, Lemongrass may lead to uterine bleeding and loss of pregnancy. So, it is advised to avoid or to consult your doctor before taking Lemongrass during pregnancy[3][4].

Q. Does Lemongrass cause heartburn?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Generally, Lemongrass does not cause heartburn but consuming in excess amount can cause gastric problems because of its Ushna (hot) nature.

Q. What are the benefits of Lemongrass tea?

scientific
Modern Science View
Drinking Lemongrass tea has various health benefits. It improves digestion and reduces stomach pains. It also has pain relieving, antiseptic properties and helps in managing cold and cough. It is a natural diuretic which helps in increasing urine production and removes toxins from the body. Thus, it helps maintain overall health[9][10].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Lemongrass tea helps to manage indigestion and anorexia due to its Deepana (appetizer) and Pachana (digestion) properties. It also prevents formation of gas.
Lemongrass tea also helps to manage cold which occurs due to an aggravated Kapha dosha. Apart from this, it also improves the production of urine and helps to clear bowels due to its Kapha balancing, Mutral (diuretic) and Rechana (laxative) properties. This leads to removal of toxins from the body.

Q. Is Lemongrass tea good for weight loss and how can I make it?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Lemongrass tea is beneficial for weight loss. It cleanses toxins from the body and improves the metabolism. This suppresses the appetite and results in weight loss[7][8].
Tips:
1. Cut stalks of Lemongrass into pieces of 1-2 inch.
2. Then, boil a glass of water.
3. Pour the stalks of Lemongrass to the boiling water.
4. Leave the stalks in the water for about 5 minutes.
5. Strain the liquid.
6. Drink this liquid once or twice a day.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Weight increases due to weak digestion which leads to the accumulation of excessive fat. Lemongrass tea is good for weight loss due to its Deepana (appetizer) and Pachana (digestion) properties. It helps to digest excess fat properly and improves the metabolism.

Q. Does Lemongrass have a role in dental caries?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Lemongrass oil has a role in dental caries. It has antibacterial activity that inhibits the growth of oral pathogens. It prevents the bacterial biofilm formation on the teeth. It has anti-inflammatory property and prevents the inflammation of gums[9].

Q. Is Lemongrass good for the skin?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Lemongrass oil is good for the skin. It helps to reduce inflammation and accelerate the healing process. This is due to its Ropan (healing) property.

Q. Can you apply Lemongrass oil directly to skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
No, it is advisable to dilute Lemongrass oil with any other oil like coconut/almond/olive oil before applying to the skin.

References

  1. Balkrishnan A.Bhutrin.Ayurved Jadi Buti Rehsya. Danik Bhaskar.2017.
  2. Manvitha K, Bidya B.Review on pharmacological activity of Cymbopogon citratus.International Journal of Herbal Medicine 2014;1(6):5-7.
  3. WebMD.Lemongrass: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].
  4. Ekpenyong CE, Akpan EE, Daniel NE.Phytochemical constituents, therapeutic applications and toxicological profile of Cymbopogon citratus Stapf (DC) leaf extract.Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry.2014;3(1):133-141.
  5. Guzman-Gutierrez SL, Balperas JL, Aguilar A et al.Sedative activity of some plants used in Mexico to treat insomnia.Rev Latinoam Quim.2009;37(3):243-251.
  6. Ekpenyong CE, Daniel NE, Antai AB.Effect of Lemongrass tea consumption on estimated glomerular filtration rate and creatinine clearance rate.J Ren Nutr.2015;2(9):704-713.
  7. Cox A.Essential Oil: 75 Amazing Essential Oil Recipes for Weight Loss, Natural Healing, Aromatherapy and Home Cleaning.Amazing publisher.2017.
  8. Ranade SS, Thiagarajan P.Lemon grass.Int. J. Pharm. Sci Rev Res.2015;35(2):162-167.
  9. Liversidge C.Homegrown Tea: An Illustrated Guide to Planting, Harvesting, and Blending Teas and Tisanes.St. Martin’s press.2014.
  10. Nambiar VS, Matela H.Potential Functions of Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus) in Health and Disease.IJPBA.2012;3(5):1035-1043.
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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