Lemongrass, a native plant of Southeast Asia and Africa, has long been hailed by chefs for its succulent lemon-like aroma. This razor-bladed grass is especially prevalent in Thai cuisine. Aside from the joy it brings to the taste buds, lemongrass is a powerful cure-all. In Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines, it has been a staple ingredient in medicinal teas since ancient times.
The benefits of lemongrass, also known as cymbopogon, are vast and widely diverse. It has been found to have strong antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Furthermore, it is a researched sedative, and has been used to treat anxiety and insomnia. As a tea, lemongrass aids in detoxifying the body, especially the digestive system, bladder, liver, pancreas and kidneys. Ayurvedic writings mention lemongrass as a treatment for coughs and cold symptoms. It is brimming with antioxidants and vitamin C, providing a strong boost to the immune system and aiding in pain relief.
On the variety of medicinal uses of lemongrass, the text of the 1908 book Indian Plants and Drugs reads, “it is an excellent stomachic to children; of much use in typhoid fevers; given with black pepper it is useful in disordered menstruation and in the congestive and neuralgic forms of dysmenorrhoea. It is carminative and tonic to the intestinal mucous membrane, useful in vomiting and diarrhea.”
Adding to its plethora of restorative benefits, lemongrass has been found to treat a number of skin conditions. Due to the antibacterial nature of the infusion, drinking lemongrass tea on a regular basis has been shown in studies to prevent acne and pimples from forming. Additionally, there is even evidence that it may help battle cancer, thanks to the high concentration of a molecule called citral, which destroys cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Lemongrass is easy to grow and maintain, making it an excellent household plant. Judging by the wide array of remedies that this ancient grass provides, it has surely earned its place in the modern kitchen for both flavor and wellness. Drink up!
Have you tried lemongrass?
– The Alternative Daily