At least seven different essential oils found in various types of lemongrass are responsible for flavoring food and infusing aroma into perfumes. The most abundant oil, called citral, contributes the strongest lemon scent, while another oil, limonene, has a weaker aroma but is still important in cosmetics. Several oils in lemongrass repel insects, including geraniol, borneol and citronellol, which is the active ingredient in citronella candles. Some of the essential oils in lemongrass kill bacteria and many have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Lemongrass contains several flavonoids that function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. In their antioxidant capacity, flavonoids prevent damage to cells that can lead to long-term diseases such as heart disease or arthritis.
One flavonoid in lemongrass called luteolin has the ability to slow the growth and hasten the death of certain types of cancer cells. Luteolin also has such strong anti-inflammatory abilities. that it may be able to treat some symptoms of multiple sclerosis, as well as lung infections or acute lung injury.
The essential oils in lemongrass add to these benefits, as they also slow the growth of cancer cells, especially in liver and breast cancers and leukemia, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Anemia: Thanks to its high content in iron, which is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin (the protein in red cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body) lemongrass is helpful for various types of anemia, especially those resulting from iron deficiency.
Anti-cancer: At first, Benny Zabidov, an Israeli agriculturalist who grows greenhouses full of lush spices on a pastoral farm in Kfar Yedidya in the Sharon region, couldn’t understand why so many cancer patients from around the country were showing up on his doorstep asking for fresh lemon grass. They had been told to drink eight glasses of hot water with fresh lemon grass with as little as one gram of lemon grass contains enough citral to prompt the cancer cells to commit suicide in the test tube. Israeli researchers find way to make cancer cells self-destruct – At Ben Gurion University of the Negev Department of Microbiology and Immunology at BGU.
Discovered last year that the lemon aroma in herbs like lemon grass kills cancer cells in vitro. While the citral killed the cancerous cells, the normal cells remained unharmed.
Anti-inflammatory and anti-septic: Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, lemongrass juice can be used as a valuable aid for treating arthritis, gout and inflammation of the urinary tract.
Bacterial or fungal infection: Thanks to its anti-septic properties, drinking lemongrass tea for a season helps to eliminate the bad micro-organism, detoxify and purify the blood, keeping bacterial, fungal or yeast infections in check.
Balsamic action: Due to its content in volatile oils, lemongrass has a beneficial, balsamic action on the respiratory tract. So it can be used to relieve the symptoms associated with flu, cold and hay fever.
Detoxifying: The anti-oxidant, anti-septic and diuretic effect of lemongrass make it an important ingredient to be included in the diet when detoxifying. It helps to cleanse and purify the liver, kidneys, bladder, pancreas and increases blood circulation. The diuretic effect helps carry out the toxins from
Diabetes: The purifying and cleansing effect of lemongrass tea help to cleanse/detoxify the pancreas and improve its functions, thus lowering blood sugar level in diabetics.
Digestive health: Lemongrass helps regulate intestinal function and motility due to its anti-microbial properties. It helps to kill bad bacteria and parasites, repopulate the good bacteria in the colon, thus assisting to improve digestive-related problems like: indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal bloating, flatulence, stomach spasms, vomiting and cramps.
Gastritis or Heartburn: A warm mug of lemongrass tea can be very soothing when having gastritis or acid indigestion. Drinking the tea therapeutically will gradually reduce the recurrence of both gastritis and heartburn
High blood pressure: The high potassium content promotes diuresis, thereby helping to lower and regulate blood pressure. Regularly drinking lemongrass tea is encouraged.
High cholesterol: Lemongrass has an anti-cholesterol and anti-atherosclerosis action. It helps reduce both the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine, as well as the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol in the blood, thus preventing one of the first steps in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
Insomnia: Insomnia happens due to internal chemical imbalance or nervous disorders. The purifying activities and calming effect of lemongrass help improve sleep.
Nervous system: Magnesium, phosphorous and folate are important nutrients needed for healthy functioning of the nervous system. They help improve concentration, memory and the brain’s ability to process information.
Purifying action: Perhaps the most characteristic action of lemongrass is its purifying effect on the whole body, since it helps eliminate toxins from the body by enhancing the cleansing of the colon.
Skin health: When blood is purified, circulation is improved, skin health will follow suit. Regularly drinking lemongrass tea helps to improve acne problem, eczema and psoriasis.
Weight loss: Drinking lemongrass tea helps to melt fats in a detoxifying manner. The diuretic effect helps carry out the wastes in high volume, effectively and quickly, resulting in weight loss.
It also helps the body eliminate toxic substances including cleansing of the kidney, pancreas, liver and bladder.
It is packed with so much goodness that it can help improve so many chronic conditions. Nutrition-wise, it is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and manganese, vitamin B-6, riboflavin and niacin
From the leaves and stems, citronella oil is obtained for making insect repellent, soap, perfumery and flavorings.