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Lemongrass Herb - Lemongrass Tea - Lemongrass Essential Oil - Uses, Nutritional and Health Benefits

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Lemongrass Plant

Latin Name: Cymbopogon Citratus

About Lemongrass

In India lemongrass is known as "Gavathi Chaha" meaning grass tea. Among other names by which lemongrass is also known as are: citronella grass, fever grass, oil grass and barbed wiregrass.

The Cymbopogon genus consists of about 55 species of grasses.

2 species of lemongrass viz,

  • Cymbopogon citratus, also called West Indian lemongrass, and,
  • Cymbopogon flexuosus also called East Indian lemongrass, Cochin grass or Malabar grass are commonly grown.

C. citratus is more suitable for cooking though C.flexuosus can also be used.

Lemongrass oil is extracted from C.citratus and C.flexuosus.

Citronella oil is extracted from Cymbopogon nardus.

Lemongrass With Stalks

About The Lemongrass Plant

Lemongrass is a perennial plant with blue-green leaves that have a lemony scent and taste. The plant grows year-round in warm and humid climates. The plant needs full sun for at least 6 to 8 hours every day.

The plant grows to about 2-3 feet in height generally and does not produce seeds but is propagated by dividing portions of the existing roots and transplanting them. It needs plenty of water. In the wild, lemongrass is usually found growing on its own.

Frost kills it. However, in cooler weather, you can bring the container inside and put them outside when the weather goes warmer. In the meantime keep it near a window for it to get as much sunlight as possible.

The entire stalks are harvested and the cut is made below the white swollen base. The stalks can be dried and stored in an airtight container to last up to a year.

Lemongrass can be harvested when the plant is a foot high.

The leafy portion of the stalk can be used to prepare tea while the bottom portion can be used for flavouring food.

Nutrients In Lemongrass

Lemongrass contains at least 7 types of essential oils the most prominent among them being citral. Others are limonene, geraniol, borneol and citronellol.

It is cholesterol-free, low in sodium, rich in potassium.

An excellent source of iron and manganese, lemongrass is rich in folate, copper, magnesium, zinc and riboflavin.

Nutrients In Lemongrass

Lemongrass (citronella), fresh 

Nutritive value per 100 grams

 

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

 

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy

99 Kcal

5%

Carbohydrates

25.31 g

19%

Protein

1.82 g

3%

Total Fat

0.49 g

2%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Vitamins

 

Folates

75 mcg

19%

Niacin

1.101 mg

7%

Pyridoxine

0.080 mg

6%

Riboflavin

0.135 mg

10.50%

Thiamin

0.065 mg

5.50%

Vitamin A

6 mg

<1%

Vitamin C

2.6 mg

4%

Electrolytes

 

 

Sodium

6 mg

<1%

Potassium

723 mg

15%

Minerals

 

Calcium

65 mg

6.50%

Copper

0.266 mg

29%

Iron

8.17 mg

102%

Magnesium

60 mg

15%

Manganese

5.244 mg

228%

Selenium

0.7 mcg

1%

Zinc

2.23 mg

20%

Lemongrass Health Benefits

Lemongrass contains many flavonoids. It has anti-irritant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic and antitumoral properties.

It aids in alleviating gastrointestinal problems like gas, bloating, spasms, diarrhoea and also helps to control vomiting, fever, coughs and colds, headache and flu symptoms.

It is useful in infections of the respiratory tract like sore throat and laryngitis as well.

Lemongrass is useful in treating a variety of muscle and joint pains and sprain, even neuralgic pains are relieved by it.

Reduces stress and anxiety, removes exhaustion and fatigue and revitalizes the body.

It improves the blood circulation, and detoxifies and cleans the liver and kidneys, bladder and pancreas due to its antiseptic and diuretic effects.

It helps treat skin infections like acne, infected sores, ringworm and athlete's foot.

Lemongrass slows the growth of cancer cells especially those of the liver, breast and leukaemia.

Uses Of Lemongrass

Lemongrass is used in cooking to add flavour to various dishes, to prepare lemongrass tea, to extract lemongrass essential oil for use in creams and lotions, perfumes and soaps, and as insect repellants apart from its use in alleviating many health conditions.

Citronella oil is especially used as a mosquito repellent in insect sprays and candles. Planting citronella plant helps to ward off the adult whiteflies which attack vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli etc.

Lemongrass oil is used to preserve ancient manuscripts written on palm leaves as it prevents the leaves from becoming brittle and also helps to keep them dry against moisture.

Lemongrass Tea

Lemongrass Tea

Making lemongrass tea at home is easy. You will need:

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped lemongrass
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
  • Agave nectar, honey or jaggery to taste. (You can use sugar instead if you so wish)

Method

Add the lemongrass, mint and jaggery to 5 cups water. Agave or honey can be added later if you plan to use either of them as a sweetener.

Bring to a boil and then simmer the water till it reduces to half.

Remove from heat, strain and serve hot. If you wish to serve it cold, chill it in the refrigerator or pour over ice cubes after cooling.

Benefits Of Lemongrass Tea

Not only is lemongrass tea refreshing, but it is also free of caffeine and can be enjoyed anytime, even before going to bed without fear of making efforts to fall asleep as happens with tea and coffee.

Lemongrass tea is useful in relieving chest congestion, coughs and colds. It helps to lower cholesterol and flush out toxins and correct digestive issues.

It is a useful aid to prevent acne and other skin problems if consumed regularly.

Do not drink the tea in excess as it increases body heat. It may also lower sugar levels so diabetics on sugar lower medicine should be careful.

Avoid during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is extracted from its leaves. It contains several chemical constituents like citral, myrcene, geranyl acetate, citronellal, nerol, geraniol, neral and limonene.

It has a lemony odour and is used as a flavouring in beverages, desserts etc.

Lemongrass essential oil helps to reduce pain and inflammation, both of the muscles and joints, headaches, toothache and general body pain. It lowers a fever as well.

It aids in fighting depression and lifts up the mood, relieves tension and anxiety. It controls acne and reduces cellulite.

Its antimicrobial properties help to cure and prevent infections of the stomach, urinary tract, respiratory system etc.

Antiseptic properties help it in healing wounds and injuries and prevents them from getting septic. It has astringent properties and therefore is helpful in controlling excessive blood loss.

By its diuretic property, it helps to remove toxins, keeps the kidneys and liver healthy and also lowers blood pressure.

It cures fungal infections.

It soothes and calms the mind, acts as a tonic for the nervous system as it strengthens the nerves.

In general, it tones up all the bodily systems thereby boosting immunity.

Lemongrass oil also acts as an effective insect repellent for mosquitoes while it kills ticks, termites and dust mites.

It blends well with basil, cedarwood, coriander, geranium, lavender, jasmine and tea tree oils.

Blended it can be used as a massage oil or can be used diluted in bath or diffused for aromatherapy use.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

References

  • http://www.drugs.com/npp/lemongrass.html
  • http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/lemongrass
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22449725
  • http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/383608/
  • http://www.jneuroinflammation.com/content/6/1/29
  • http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/flavonoids/
  • http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3644
  • http://healthers.org/lemongrass/
  • http://synapse.koreamed.org/Synapse/Data/PDFData/0184MB/mb-34-219.pdf
  • http://www.medicalhealthguide.com/herb/lemongrass.htm
  • http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/lemongrass.html
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/
  • http://www.dentalhypotheses.com/article.asp?issn=2155-8213;year=2013;volume=4;issue=4;spage=115;epage=117;aulast=Rajesvari
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21914547
  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X03002195
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12752733

How To Make Essential Oils

Lemongrass - Everything You Need to Know About Growing/Harvesting/Propagation

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 20, 2020:

Thank you, Sneha. Just read your article. Good and useful article.

Sneha Bhat from India on May 20, 2020:

Hello Rajan Singh Jolly Sir, very happy to read your article because,this evening I published my article on the topic " https://discover.hubpages.com/health/4-amazing-hea... ".

But your article is bundle of detailed information about lemongrass.. Thank you for enriching my knowledge about this plant.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 30, 2020:

You are absolutely right, Miebakagh.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on March 29, 2020:

Hey Rajah, it can be apply in various ways to boost health. So I employ the herb with any other alkaline vegetable and fruit to relief constipation. The lemon grass is very medicinal.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 28, 2020:

Glad to know you know about this herb, Miebakagh. Thanks for stopping by.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on March 27, 2020:

Hey Rajah, the lemon grass is naturally appeal to me for a delicious refreshing drink. My dad farm the herb, so I go it free. Thanks for sharing.

Doris on April 28, 2015:

Is lemon grass harmful to pets

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 05, 2014:

I hope the information is useful to you. Thanks for stopping by Dianna.

Dianna Mendez on May 04, 2014:

I almost bought lemongrass the other day; now, I will have to return and purchase the tea. Thank you for the information on how it helps the body.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 03, 2014:

Good to see you have a plant growing in your yard and use lemongrass regularly in cooking. Thanks for stopping by, Kalai.

Kalaichelvi Panchalingam from PETALING JAYA on April 30, 2014:

I do love the fragrance of lemongrass. Over here in Malaysia we use it a lot in our cooking. apart from the aroma, it also helps tenderise meat dishes. Just love this plant. I have one in my yard!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 28, 2014:

@Audrey, thanks for all the appreciation my dear friend. I hope you are keeping well. Thanks for your visit and the sharing and pinning. Have a very nice day!

@Thelma, it is so good to have you visit this hub of mine. That lemongrass plant sure must be making sleeping easier with those mosquitoes not being around. Thanks and have a very good day!

Thelma Alberts from Germany on April 28, 2014:

I love the smell of lemongrass in my soup. I have planted some of lemongrass under my bedroom window because I know that it´s mosquito repellent. Thanks for sharing the health benefits of this plant. Have a nice day!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on April 26, 2014:

Thank you dear rajan for all of this great information on lemongrass. I will try the tea. I've learned a great deal by reading this awesome post. Sharing and pinning to my board. Blessings to you ~ Audrey

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 26, 2014:

Chitrangada, glad this hub presented you with some unknown information. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Flourish, thanks for the compliments and it feels good to have worked hard on providing info that is new. Appreciate your stopping by and leaving encouraging comments.

Heidi, of course lemon grass makes the green tea taste better and surely is more beneficial to health as well. Thanks for the visit and votes.

jtrader, thanks for the information. I believe it must help you to take it so often. Thanks for visiting my hub.

jtrader on April 25, 2014:

I have this tea every now and again. As you pointed out it is quite rich in magnesium.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on April 24, 2014:

I drink a "green" tea blend that includes lemongrass. I think it tastes better than other green blends and I like all the health benefits it provides. Voted up and useful!

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 24, 2014:

I especially like the idea of lemongrass essential oil. I, too, always learn something new and different from your hubs that I don't get anywhere else.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 24, 2014:

Very elaborate hub on Lemongrass! I came to know a lot about the various uses of Lemongrass and its health benefits.

Very nice and informative hub! Thanks!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 24, 2014:

Thanks, Devika. I hope you are able to use some of this information.

Thanks, Lady Guinevere.

Thanks, Dora. Maybe this information will come in handy.

Thanks for the kind words, Bill.

Genna, thanks for appreciating. I am glad these hubs provide something new for the reader.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on April 23, 2014:

I love your hubs, rajan, and learn something new and wonderful each time I read them. Thank you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 23, 2014:

It is always interesting reading one of your articles, Rajan. You give us a treasure chest of information and it is always helpful. Well done.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 23, 2014:

Your first lemon grass picture looks like the one in my yard. I did not know that it had anti-inflammtory properties. Thanks for all the research you present for our education. Voted up!

Debra Allen from West By God on April 23, 2014:

Great facts and help.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 23, 2014:

Great introduction to Lemon grass so useful and most informative. I enjoy reading about such helpful information.

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