What Is Lemongrass?

Lemongrass has many names, such as Andropogon citrarus, Capim-Cidrao and British Indian Lemongrass. The leaves and oils of lemongrass can be made into medication and human being have been benefiting from lemongrass for so many years. So what is lemongrass? How it benefits us? Are there any side effects? Answers are here.

What Is Lemongrass?

Lemongrass is a tropical grass that looks similar to green spring onions but slightly bigger. The stalks are stiffer than green onions and a little gray. Lemongrass smells like subtle sweet lemon before being cut, and has a slightly stronger lemony smell after being cut. This tropical grass tastes much like a very light sweet lemon without the acidic properties of a real lemon.

Grown and found all over the world, lemongrass can be purchased in supermarkets, farmer’s
markets, and health food stores. Lemongrass can be purchased in natural form, in teas, and in oil form but should not be consumed in its natural state.

While there are many lemongrass health benefits, certain people may want to be careful because there are also several potential side effects of lemongrass.

Lemongrass Health Benefits

Since we have known "what is lemongrass", now let's find out the health benefits of lemongrass. Besides, the phytonutrients, chemicals protecting plants from bugs, fungi, germs and other threats, in lemongrass cannot be destroyed when heated or cooked. Here are some of the main lemongrass benefits:

  • Lesson or cease digestive tract spasms.
  • Work as a natural painkiller, especially in soothing headaches, stomachaches, achy joints, as well as stomach and muscle pains.
  • Help with cold- and flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, cough, fever, exhaustion.
  • Kill germs, not only internally but also externally(as a mild astringent) for the skin and your house (as an antibacterial and yeast growth preventer).
  • May help with menstrual flow.
  • Provide a great deal of vitamin A, vitamin C & vitamin B9 (or otherwise known as Folate or Folic Acid) and small amount of other B vitamins.
  • Offer minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
  • Help those with anemia because of its high iron content.
  • One study shows it is likely that a lemongrass property, citral, could possibly kill certain cancer cells while preserving a person’s healthy tissues.
  • Believed to detoxify and purify the liver.
  • Help detoxify the pancreas which can lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.
  • Believed to eliminate toxins from the blood which helps circulation. Better circulation leads to better skin health and better complexion.
  • Help soothe heartburn when used in tea form.
  • Lower high blood pressure because of its high potassium content.
  • Lemongrass has a natural calming effect and can help those suffering insomnia.
  • May help improve concentration and memory.
  • Can potentially help in weight loss by melting toxic fats and eliminating them from the body.

Other Benefits of Lemongrass

Lemongrass is not only used for its vast array of health benefits, it is also used in many other ways as following:

  • Oil from leaves and stems for making insect repellent.
  • Oil used for soap, perfumes, and flavorings.
  • Lemongrass can also be crushed and used as an odor eliminator for areas such as trash containers, diaper pails, and lockers.

Side Effects of Lemongrass

With so many potential benefits, health or otherwise, it would be hard to believe that there are also side effects of lemongrass. As with anything else, lemongrass must be used in moderation.

  • There has been at least one fatal toxic poisoning case that a child swallowed an oil-based lemongrass insect repellent. Besides, some have reported lung problems after they inhaled lemongrass.
  • What is lemongrass to pregnant women? Lemongrass is considered unsafe for pregnant women because the herb has the potential to bring on menstrual flow which may increase the risk of miscarriage.
  • Rarely but lemongrass has the potential to cause allergic symptoms, including hives or other rash, chest pain, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, whether they are from lemongrass consumption or not, seek emergency care immediately.
  • As with any herbal supplement, if you are currently taking medications, please speak to your doctor or pharmacist about any potential risks. Although there are no known side effects between lemongrass and any prescription medication, talking to your health provider is always best.