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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

            Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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            Last Updated on September 16, 2019

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

            We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

            The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

            Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

            1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

            Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

            For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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            • (1) Research
            • (2) Deciding the topic
            • (3) Creating the outline
            • (4) Drafting the content
            • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
            • (6) Revision
            • (7) etc.

            Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

            2. Change Your Environment

            Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

            One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

            3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

            Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

            Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

            My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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            Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

            4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

            If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

            Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

            I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

            5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

            I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

            Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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            As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

            6. Get a Buddy

            Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

            I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

            7. Tell Others About Your Goals

            This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

            For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

            8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

            What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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            9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

            If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

            Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

            10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

            Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

            Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

            11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

            At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

            Reality check:

            I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

            More About Procrastination

            Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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