Lemongrass is incredibly popular in cooking, particularly Asian cuisine. Considering how delicious it is, it isn’t difficult to see why. However, despite being celebrated for it’s delicious flavor, lemongrass has a great deal more to offer the world. Check out some of the surprising benefits of the plant that you probably didn’t know about.
1. Insect Repellent
Strangely enough, not all of the benefits of lemongrass are health or beauty based. The plant is full of essential oils which have an array of benefits. Geranoil, borneol and citronellol in particular repel bugs, and the latter is the primary active ingredient in citronella candles.
2. Cancer Prevention
Lemongrass contains several different flavonoids that work as antioxidants which can help to prevent certain types of cancer. According to research published in the August 2012 issue of the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, one particular flavonoid called luteolin has the ability to slow the growth and hasten the death of certain types of cancer cells.
In addition, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, the essential oils in lemongrass can slow the growth of cancer cells in liver cancer, breast cancers and leukaemia in particular.
3. Digestive Aid
Lemongrass tea has been known to assist with indigestion, abdominal pain, colds, intestinal cramps and diarrhoea. It can also help to reduce and prevent the formation of intestinal gas.
Lemongrass is fantastic for a cleanse as it contains properties that remove toxic substances and uric acid. This, along with the supposed increase in urination that it results in, is highly beneficial for the digestive organs.
5. Periods and Cramps
Lemongrass unfortunately can’t prevent painful periods, but it does help to do the next best thing. The essential oils contained in the plant acts as a mild muscle relaxant and is therefore beneficial when consumed and applied to the skin. Therefore, lemongrass tea can help to relieve muscle cramps, spasms and nausea. When rubbed into the skin it can have a warming effect, which can aid in sore muscles. Just remember that you should probably use a carrier oil to mix with the essential oil, as opposed to applying it directly to the skin by itself.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Lemongrass can effectively reduce blood pressure by stimulating blood circulation. In addition, consumption of lemongrass juice has been claimed to help reduce hypertension.
7. Helps With Inflammation
Lemongrass has been known to relieve a variety of inflammation and irritability problems associated with aches and pains. As such, it can help to relieve ailments such as toothache, muscle pain and joint pain.
8. Skin Health
Due to the aforementioned antioxidants contained in lemongrass, it helps to repair your skin. This, along with it being rich in Vitamin A, means that it will continue to look young and fresh for longer. Furthermore, it’s been reported that it can helped to reduce pimples and acne.
9. Body Odor
This claim hasn’t been 100% verified, but some believe that lemongrass is an effective combatant of body odor. This is most likely due to the sweet, pungent aroma of the plant that could conceivably be strong enough to eliminate, or at least mask, smelly armpits. So go right ahead and use a lemongrass based product for this purpose; just don’t expect much from rubbing a stalk straight into your pits.
10. Air Freshener
Due to the aforementioned sweet and strong smell of lemongrass, it makes for the perfect air freshener. As such, it’s immensely popular in both candles and oil (for oil burners). I personally recommend burning it in your bathroom to eliminate unwanted smells (especially if you have two cats, like I do) or finding a lemongrass scented air freshener for your car.