Lemongrass Plant Benefits: Why Your Garden Needs Lemongrass! – Easy To Grow Bulbs
What is Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a versatile herb with a wonderfully refreshing, lemony flavor and scent with a host of medically beneficial properties. Easy to grow, and both tasty and healthful to add to your diet, as well as natural mosquito repellant, lemongrass benefits add healthful spice to your summer and beyond!
Lemongrass is a tropical plant native to South and Southeast Asia, growing up to 3-8 feet tall, with a soft fountain of fragrant foliage. With a tangy lemony scent and flavor, lemongrass is widely used in Indian, Thai and Vietnamese cooking as well as medicine. The botanical name for the variety with the best flavor and most health benefits is Cymbopogon citratus. Though usually described as a lemony flavor, the taste has a dash of extra sweetness and a complete absence of bitter flavor along with the enchanting lemon scent.
Health Benefits of Lemongrass
The health benefits of lemongrass begin with a rich source of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C and folate, along with a host of important minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Lemongrass is also a significant source of antioxidants, flavonoids and anti-fungal and antimicrobial compounds. Lemongrass is credited with an impressive array of health benefits both proven and anecdotal.
Lemongrass Tea Aides Digestion, Stomach Disorders and Detox
Many studies have confirmed that lemongrass, typically consumed as lemongrass tea, is highly effective in combatting various stomach infections, prevents ulcers, stimulates digestion and elimination and is beneficial for treating nausea, stomach aches and constipation. Lemongrass also has diuretic properties, that help to flush toxins from the system, thereby aiding regulation of internal organs, and maintaining digestive health.
Lemongrass Tea Aides Weight Loss
It is believed that drinking a cup of lemongrass tea prior to each meal helps to regulate digestion and improve metabolism, enabling your body to make better use of the nutrition you consume. It also improves the break down and oxidation of fatty acids.
Lemongrass For Insomnia and Nervous System
Lemongrass aides in calming the muscles and the mind for better, deeper sleep. Also a proven tonic for combating nervousness, vertigo and possibly aiding the fight against disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. While far more research must be done to prove the efficacy of lemongrass for these serious diseases, the known stress reducing properties are a huge benefit to anyone combatting such a health crisis, with no down side to the use.
Lemongrass Benefits for Skin and Hair
Lemongrass brightens skin and clears the complexion, is naturally antibacterial and promotes strong and healthy hair growth while balancing oil production, while leaving a pleasing, stress alleviating lemony scent in its wake.
Lemongrass Fights Cancer
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, you have been inundated with a zillion and four articles, click bait headlines and well-wishers sharing their stories of amazing treatments and cures like this one:
When a customer shared this article with me, I thought it was really cool! I spent some time delving deeper, reading a lot on the subject, inevitably coming to the conclusion that, like many cancer treatments, there is insufficient research done to draw a firm conclusion. A couple years later, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. The oncologist considered the tumor a poor candidate for surgery based upon its size, location and ragged margins. We began weeks of tests, medication and rounds of preparation for the initial surgery, that was delayed by several months due to a complication. But we also began pounding lemongrass tea! I got her several small plants and dried lemongrass to use as the plants grew in size. We both drank lemongrass tea several times each day.
You see that rather flamboyant description of the effects of the lemongrass tea on the cancer cells. Rather than saying it killed the cancer, or that it caused cancer apoptosis, it described it as causing the cancer cells to commit suicide. I had my Mom picture the cancer cells killing themselves as she drank the tea.
I know you are wondering what happened with the cancer right? And I suppose it is pretty amazing that I can report that every way in which the tumor was especially dangerous was so improved that the oncologist actually exclaimed "Is this the same tumor? We are going to surgery - I can save this breast!" And I am thrilled to report that Mom came through the surgery, recovery and follow up radiation beautifully. But I think the greatest benefit we derived from the lemongrass tea that no one else notices is this - we had a way to fight back. Nothing makes you feel so completely helpless as having a loved one diagnosed with a terrible disease. Small as it may seem, we both felt empowered - we were going to slay the dragon using a weapon that could not hurt her. It was a flavorful addition to our lives that could only help. This was something we could do, instead of just feeling like victims. The worst case scenario was that it would taste good, and feel like we were fighting back with no actual health benefits, but also with no risks.
I cannot swear that lemongrass tea is effective at fighting cancer. More medical studies are needed. But I can swear that drinking lemongrass tea helped my Mom and me to combat her cancer and to stay strong through the long fight.
Lemongrass Benefits For Cold and Flu
Lemongrass plant benefits are well documented to help you recover from a cold or the flu. It is highly effective at bringing a fever down, fighting infections and easing aches and pains. It also relieves coughs and congestion.
Lemongrass is documented to be highly effective at treating a host of health issues including boosting your immune system, lowering cholesterol, treating asthma, rheumatism, type-2 diabetes, edema and more.
Lemongrass - A Natural Mosquito Repellant
Lemongrass with its clear, lemony scent is very closely related to citronella, the plant whose essential oils are widely used for mosquito repelling candles and sprays. Simply growing the plant in your garden will cause mosquitos to avoid the plant, and an effective insect spray can be made at home using the lemongrass with a few essential oils.
Lemongrass is also a delicious addition to soups, stews, stir frys, salads, curries, vegetables, rice, marinades and beverages. Lemongrass may be used fresh, dried, frozen or as distilled to an essential oil.
This is the recipe my Mom and I used for the lemongrass tea - utterly refreshing and delicious, too!
- 1 quart water
- 1 large stalk of lemongrass
- 2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
- honey to taste
Carefully wash the lemongrass stalk and cut off the root section and the dry tops and the tough, outer leaves of the stalk. Fold these over and bruise them, then add to the quart of water along with the chopped ginger. Bruise the remaining lemongrass stalk and mince fine. Add to the water, and set to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the stove. Pour through a strainer and discard remaining plant matter. Add honey to taste. Serve hot or iced for a refreshing beverage! Add a splash of lemon or garnish.
Lemongrass is a highly fragrant, flavorful addition to your garden. Easy to grow, with a refreshing flavor and scent. A tasty and healthful addition to your cooking, a natural insect repellant and it is good for your skin and hair. You need to be growing lemongrass in your garden! Are you ready to start? Check back for more posts about lemongrass and how to use it. 'Til then...
- Tags: Species Spotlight
- Kathleen McCarthy