The oldest known text about lemongrass and use of its impressive oil was discovered in the Philippines during the 17th century. For 2000 years, it has been used in Indian medicine. Lemongrass was introduced in the USA in 1917 and its first commercial cultivation was reported in Florida, USA.
Lemongrass is a tropical herb that grows long, thin bladed grass in bush with scallion-like base. The leaves can grow more than a meter high and is characterized by silica thorns aligned on the leaf edges. It has a strong lemony scent. It belongs to the grass family called Poaceae and its scientific name is cymbopogon which is derived from the Greek words “Kymbe” meaning boat and “pogon” meaning beard to describe the flower spike arrangement.
Lemongrass is a storehouse of nutritional benefits. It is a good source of vitamin A, C and some traces of B- vitamin. It also contains a good amount of calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, zinc and folate.
Lemongrass has superior anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties. Its most active component called citral has a strong antimicrobial qualities and a behavioral influence in insects. It also works as a sedative and can treat candida. It is an effective cleanser that helps detoxify the liver, kidney, pancreas, bladder and the digestive tract. It can alleviate gastroenteritis and indigestion. It is capable of reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol level, removing excess fat, including toxins in your body while stimulating digestions, lactation and blood circulation. Lemongrass is highly effective as a diuretic when taken as tea and especially helpful when used during detoxification program.
Other amazing healing abilities of this super grass include treating of stomachache, convulsion, vomiting, cough, joint pains, fever, common cold, even exhaustion. Mix it with pepper, it becomes a home therapy for nausea and menstrual problems. Use it as an aromatherapy and it relieves you of muscle pain.
Its industrial use as essential oil covers household products, beverages, and personal care products. The essential oil in lemongrass contains 67% aldehydes which give the best known fragrance in the perfume industry. Not bad for a lowly grass.
When consumed in food amount, lemongrass is relatively safe for most individual, even when taken for medicinal purpose in a limited time. As a special precaution for pregnant women, avoid taking lemongrass in any form as it can trigger menstrual flow that might cause miscarriage. Nursing mothers should do likewise to be safe.
Lemongrass fun fact: When sprayed at dogs, it can neutralize their excessive barking.
Eat well. Stay fit.
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