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Amazing Benefits Of Lemongrass (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Amazing Benefits Of Lemongrass (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Lemongrass is a versatile and interesting perennial grass like plant. It can be used as a condiment, as an ornamental plant, a tea or essential oil. The benefits of lemongrass are abundant and as its name suggests it has a citrus taste and fragrance, which is also sweet. It is cultivated and used extensively in Asian cuisine and it is indigenous to India and Sri Lanka, as well as other parts of the Asian continent including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

As well as being a plant for consumption to flavor and enhance the taste of food, lemongrass has traditionally been used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. Its properties have been investigated extensively and studies suggest that including lemongrass in a balanced diet can contribute to overall health and well being. Here are 8 benefits of lemongrass you will want to know:

1. Lemongrass can improve your mood

Lemongrass has been found to have an antidepressant and uplifting effect on mood. Its aroma whether from essential oil or tea can help to release serotonin in the brain which elevates mood. Research on mice has shown that Cymbopogon citratus (the botanical name for lemongrass) can be calming and relieve anxiety.

2. Lemongrass can treat colds

As a decongestant, lemongrass can be used to clear a blocked nose and stuffy chest. Whether as an inhalant, as a balm to be rubbed on the chest, in a tea or cooked in food, lemongrass can break up phlegm and mucus to make breathing easier. It also contains a high level of Vitamin C, which can help to build immunity.

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3. Lemongrass is a super cleanser!

Used topically or internally, lemongrass is a very effective cleanser. It is commonly found in many skin and body products, as its Vitamin A content can refresh and clean oily skin. It is also a very effective deodorant and its lemon scent is refreshing and purifying. It has diuretic properties too, so when consumed as a tea or drink it helps to cleanse and purify the liver, kidneys, bladder and pancreas.

4. A diet that includes lemongrass regulates cholesterol and blood pressure

Lemongrass contains compounds called terpenoids, which inhibit the production of melavonic acid, a contributing pathway to the production of cholesterol. Lowering cholesterol in the body prevents the development of plaques in the arteries and veins leading to blockages that may cause stroke and heart attack. Lemongrass also contains potassium, which can increase the efficiency of blood circulation and stabilize blood pressure.

5. The brain and mind will benefit from lemongrass consumption

Lemongrass acts as a relaxant. It can treat insomnia and can increase concentration and memory retention. The citronella content in lemongrass can have a calming effect. It also contains magnesium, phosphorous, and folate, all of which have a stabilizing effect on the nervous system.

6. Muscles and joints can be relieved of inflammation and pain with lemongrass

Perhaps one of the lesser known benefits of lemongrass is that it is useful to treat pain and provide relief from aching and swelling of muscles and joints. Lemongrass contains myrcene, which has analgesic and anti inflammatory properties. It can reduce the soreness and tenderness associated with such conditions as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, toothache and inflammation of the urinary tract.

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7. Lemongrass is antibacterial

Lemongrass essential oil is something that should be included in any first aid kit or picnic basket because it works well as an insect repellent and antiseptic. It stops the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungus, parasites and yeast and at the same time preserves the necessary beneficial bacteria.

It can be used to clean an open wound or graze and will also assist the healing of gastrointestinal or urinary tract infections when consumed. It also repels small insects like mosquitoes, flies, fleas and ants and can be used atmospherically by way of a spray or releasing the aroma of a candle or oil in a burner.

8. Lemongrass makes the digestive system healthy

Lemongrass helps indigestion and constipation as well as being able to treat urinary problems. It cleanses and soothes the bowel and urinary tract and promotes general well being in the digestive system. Dr Claude Butler says;

“Lemongrass regulates intestinal function and motility, by destroying bad bacteria and parasites, repopulating the good bacteria in the colon… (It is) effective in curing indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal bloating, flatulence, stomach spasms, vomiting and cramps.”

Here are 5 recipes with lemongrass to try now:

Chilli and Lemongrass Chicken

chicken

    Photo credit: taste.com

    Seafood Laksa

    seafood laksa

      Photo credit: kitchensanctuary.com

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      Lemongrass Iced Tea

      shutterstock_81198445

        Stuffed Lemongrass

        stuffed

          Photo credit: gourmet.com

          How to make Citronella Oil

          Citronella-Oil

            Featured photo credit: Singkham via shutterstock.com

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            Diane Koopman

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            Last Updated on July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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