Lemongrass: An aromatic healer

Introduction

Ayurveda has bestow on humanity with the knowledge of herbs and mother nature for taking care of our body, mind and soul. Thus sharing this immense ancient treasure with a motto of enriching everyone all around, the twelfth herb in our series #SacredIndianHerbs is Lemongrass. A herb that is spreading its aroma by being part of numerous dishes and also capable in treating innumerable diseases.

Scientific name: Cymbopogon citratus
Hindi name: Gandhatrina
Common name: Fever grass

Lemongrass is a perennial plant of India which has made its way to south eastern Asia for its flavorful properties. The plant grows up to a height of 3 metres. It has thin, sharp and long leaves that grow in bunches. Lemongrass is a popular culinary herb in Thai and Chinese cuisines and can also be consumed in teas, soups and a variety of dishes. Although it adds a citrusy aroma and lemonade flavorful taste to the cuisines, it is also appreciated for its medicinal properties.

Lemongrass properties

Lemongrass is one of the most popular medicinal plant which is often used to treat diseases such as fever, stomach problems, infections, arthritis, menstrual problems, etc. You will surely gonna plant this wonderful herb in your house after knowing the following properties :

Febrifuge properties: Sweating during fever helps to release heat from our bodies. Lemongrass stimulates sweating which reduces the fever thus it is also known as ‘Jwarankusha’, extracted from two Sanskrit terms, ‘Jwar’ meaning fever and ‘Ankusha’ meaning breaker. Just like its name, the herb is used as antipyretic agent that is very effective on high fevers. This property of lemongrass is widely known and utilized in treating monsoon related illness such as viral fever, dengue, and malaria. For treating these diseases, add 5-10g of lemongrass, 7-10g giloy and 5g tulsi leaves to the boiling water. Make sure to cover the container and heat for sometime. Filter the decoction and consume it for effective results.

Nutritive properties: Lemongrass is a storehouse of essential nutrients such as vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C) and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus which are required for the healthy functioning of our body. So consume this herb as culinary, rich in vitamins and minerals for keeping yourself in good health.

Antimicrobial & antioxidant properties: Lemongrass fights bacteria and helps to cope up with cough, common cold and other flu symptoms. It also helps in preventing mucus and phlegm build-up and eradicates them wholly, helping the patient to breath easily. The antioxidants present in the herb are valued for strengthening the immunity, thus battle against infections.

Analgesic properties: Lemongrass is helpful in joint pain too. You can mix lemongrass oil in any ointment and apply the oil onto the affected site. Besides you can also make lemongrass tea and consume daily for effective results.

Antiemetic properties: Lemongrass is very effective when it comes to treating nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. An effective home remedy is - take lemongrass oil. Add 500mg edible camphor and 250 mg menthol to it. Consume half teaspoon (2.5g) of this decoction mixed with 1 ounce (30 ml) of lukewarm or normal water.

Lemongrass everyday usages

Lemongrass tea - a refreshing beverage: Lemongrass leaves add herbal values and enticing flavour to your tea which gives a sense of calm by restoring and revitalizing your body and mind. The lemongrass tea tones the digestive tract and promotes a healthy digestion. It is effective in balancing appetite and helps with gas and/or bloating discomfort by effectively killing the bacteria and parasites present in the digestive tract. It also aids in treating diarrhoea, constipation and other such issues. This herb also has a diuretic effect which removes toxins out of the body, thus cleanses the liver, pancreas and kidneys. For effective Lemongrass tea -take 5-10g of lemongrass leaves and add in the boiling water. Cover the container and heat it for sometime. Then filter and add honey to it. If you are a healthy diet chooser then you can also add a cup or two of lemongrass tea daily.

Lemongrass oil for skin & hair care: Since lemongrass has antiseptic, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, it makes an effective astringent which can be used in/with various skin products. It strengthens the skin tissues, keeps the skin smooth and well hydrated. It can cure skin issues such as eczema and acne. When a few drops of lemongrass oil is applied on hair mixed with mild shampoo, then it combats greasy hair leaving your hair shiny, fresh and germs free. The oil is very commonly utilised in manufacturing of deodorants and perfumes. Being natural, they do not irritate as compared to the chemical deodorants which might be harmful. Thus lemongrass oil is beneficial for your hair and skin and can be used daily.

Lemongrass aromatherapy: The aroma of lemongrass can help to relieve muscle pain. By applying the lemongrass oil in your hair and body, makes you feel relief from stress, anxiety and muscle pain. For regular use, you can add 5g of lemongrass oil in 100g of sesame oil. Shake the contents well and massage with it for attaining a healthy body, mind and soul.

Lemongrass as natural mosquito repellent: Mainly all herbs that we have discussed in our series #SacredIndianHerbs, helps to purify the environment and repel insects or mosquitoes. So is Lemongrass when planted in home gardens, it ward off insects such as whitefly, mosquitoes etc. The aerosol sprays and liquid vaporizers can be avoided especially in case of the children or people who are allergic to them.

Hence encourage your family and the society to use of these natural resources for attaining the surroundings comprising of positive energies and souls. Hope lemongrass plant would become your family member !

Dr_vinod_pr_upadhyay

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Dr. Vinod Pr Upadhyay

B.Sc, BAMS, ND (Naturopathy & Yoga), Phd, FES, FIAES | Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics and Pharmacologist | Ex Principal at Himalaya Ayurvedic Medical College | Former Sr. Lecturer at Govt. Ayu. College, Gurukul Kangri

Haridwar

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