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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 January 15, 2019

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

            Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

            Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

            Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

            Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

            The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

            There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

            How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

            According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

            Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

            Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

            The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

            Listen carefully:

            We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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            The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

            Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

            8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

            There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

            Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

            1. Pray Daily

            You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

            When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

            Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

            Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

            2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

            A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

            By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

            Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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            If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

            This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

            How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

            3. Smile Often

            Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

            Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

            Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

            The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

            4. Organize Your Working Desk

            A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

            When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

            Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

            Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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            5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

            I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

            Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

            What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

            6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

            God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

            I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

            I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

            7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

            You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

            How do you do that? This is my formula:

            First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

            If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

            If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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            If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

            Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

            8. Go Exercise

            Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

            The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

            You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

            12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

            The Bottom Line

            It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

            It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

            Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

            More Resources About Mindfulness

            Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

            Reference

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