As you might already know, lemongrass is a plant, of which the leaves and oil are used to make medicine. For the uninitiated, culinary lemongrass stalks are similar to grass, with long and thick green leaves with yellow-white stems. And just like the same suggests, lemongrass has a citrus flavour that resembles a lemon, however, without the acidity. Now, there are many lemongrass uses and benefits. It can be taken orally, inhaled as aromatherapy and even applied directly on skin. It is also used in food and beverages as a flavouring. In manufacturing, lemongrass is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics and deodorants. There's lots more to lemongrass that you need to know of. Let's start with lemongrass benefits.
Health Benefits of Lemongrass:
There are several lemongrass health benefits that will come to use if you wish to start using this ingredient to better your skin, hair and overall health.
1. It has Anti-inflammatory Effects:
One of the lemongrass plant benefits is that it contains quercetin (1), a flavonoid that is popular for carrying antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This flavonoid present in lemongrass helps reduce inflammation which in turn prevents heart disease.
2. It Aids in Easing Out Digestion:
Another one of the lemongrass benefits is that it can be used to treat digestive issues like bloating, indigestion and constipation. This is because lemongrass contains citral which helps stomach-related issues.
2. It is Antifungal:
Another one of lemongrass benefits for skin is that it is antifungal along with being anti-inflammatory. This means, when you apply lemongrass in the form of oil or cream on fungal infections and inflammatory skin conditions, it can help soothe the area and give you some relief.
4. It Helps Reduce Cholesterol:
One of the greatest benefits of lemongrass is that it may reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) in your body. Lemongrass oil contains terpenoid compounds like citral (2) and geraniol (3) that helps cholesterol levels stay low. These compounds inhibit the production of mevalonic acid, which is intermediary in the production of cholesterol in your body and the target of making cholesterol-lowering pharmaceutical drugs.
5. It Helps You Stay in Shape:
You must have heard a lot of celebrities talk about lemongrass tea. This is because the earthy concoction helps accelerate your metabolism and aids in managing weight. Of course, you need to pair consumption of lemongrass tea along with regular exercise and a protein-rich diet to see some great results. Nowadays, people are big on green coffee which has ingredients like lemongrass, lavender, etc., that can help you stay in shape. We suggest you try the Saffola Fittify Green Coffee - Lemongrass Lavender powder as it is an instant beverage mix that's made from pure green coffee extract. It is high in antioxidants and is made from unroasted coffee beans that also promotes wellness.
Nutritional Value of Lemongrass:
Below are the nutrients found in lemongrass along with the nutritional value for 100 g of the ingredient.
Carbohydrates - 25.3 g
Proteins - 1.82 g
Fats - 0.49 g
Energy - 99 kcal
Iron - 8.17 mg
Calcium - 65 mg
Sodium - 6 mg
Potassium - 723 mg
Phosphorus - 101 mg
Magnesium - 60 mg
Manganese - 5.22 mg
Copper - 0.266 mg
Zinc - 2.23 mg
Selenium - 0.7 µg
Vitamin A - 6 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - 0.065 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - 0.135 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - 1.1 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) - 0.05 mg
Vitamin B6 - 0.08 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate) - 75 µg
Vitamin C - 2.6 mg
Uses of lemongrass:
There are many lemongrass uses, some of which are jotted down for you.
- Lemongrass is used to prepare hair shampoos
- It is used in topical formulations for skin products like oils for skin massages
- It is used to product lemongrass oil which is then used to make antiseptic soaps
- Liquid spray formulations containing lemongrass oil are used as insect repellents
- As lemongrass as a unique aroma, it is used in the preparation of aromatic oils along with some other ingredients
- Lemongrass oil is used to relieve body pain, so it can be used during a bath in a tub of hot water.
- Lemongrass leaves are used in preparation of herbal teas, giving them a lemony flavor.
Side Effects of Lemongrass:
Lemongrass is considered as a safe ingredient for cooking. But if you consume it in excess amounts, it can cause some side effects like -
- Dry mouth
- Increased appetite
- Frequent urination
- Allergic reaction like itching and rashes
Precautions to Take With Lemongrass:
If you're pregnant, avoid using lemongrass in any form as it may start menstrual flow. An animal study found that lemongrass can also affect the embryo. Hence, it should be avoided by women who are pregnant and breastfeeding. Before taking lemongrass for any health conditions, do consult your healthcare provider about the possible side effects if any or precautions and limitations of the use of lemongrass.
All in all, lemongrass is quite a versatile ingredient that has been used to human's benefit for decades. Just make sure you're not allergic to this plant or its fragrance. Lemongrass is quite beneficial to health and can be consuming either orally or applied topically. All of which can work in your favour after you consult your doctor or use it in moderation.
What is the best way to cut lemongrass?
You can dissect the lemongrass stalk from the center and peel off the outer layer of it. Stick your thumbnail on the inner portion and feel where it's tender. The end of the lemongrass stalk is usually too hard, so cut it right off where the tender part ends.
Can lemongrass be eaten raw?
The whole lemongrass, including the stalk can be eaten. However, the stalk itself is quite tough and hard to chew. So you usually have to remove the hard part of the stalk before consuming raw lemongrass.
Is it safe to use lemongrass during pregnancy?
Like we mentioned earlier, pregnant and breastfeeding women must avoid lemongrass as it can start menstrual flow during pregnancy or affect the embryo.
Does lemongrass cause heartburn?
No, in fact, lemongrass can relieve heartburn, gas and cramps.
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