My mother, on one of her visits to my home, was carrying tea leaves and home grown lemongrass. Yes, you read it right. She is finicky about her tea; she needs her special brand of tea, loads of ginger that actually burns your throat and lemongrass. That is when I decided to plant this lemony smelling herb at home, so the next time she wouldn’t need to carry the herb all the way from Ahmadabad.
While we use this aromatic herb in Thai cooking or have lemongrass tea, not many of us know that this herb is actually a medicinal plant that has been used in Ayurveda since centuries.
Lemongrass contains antioxidants, flavonoids, lemonal or citral which has anti-fungal and anti-microbial qualities. It also gives the tangy lemon like flavour to the herb. Additionally, it contains vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, B6 and folate.
Let’s learn the numerous benefits of lemongrass:
- detoxifies the body; helps in cleansing and flushing harmful toxic wastes out of the body
- improves digestion and bowel movement, and treats nausea, stomach aches
- controls cholesterol
- treats insomnia
- cures fever
- boosts nervous system and immunity
- prevents rheumatism
- treats edema
- treats cancers
- heals infections
- relieves menstrual pain
How to use lemongrass?
Cut the herb in small pieces and add it to your masala chai or herbal tea. I make herbal tea with lemongrass and ginger.
I had once made a lemongrass cooler with green tea infused with the medicinal leaves and honey. It was quite a success.
I mix lemongrass essential oil in potpourri and place them in the closets. It gives a refreshing lemony smell whenever I open the closets. However, this essential oil is also used in :
- aromatherapy for treating cold, cough, flu and stuffed nose
- massaging the joints in rheumatoid arthritis
- treating anxiety and depression
- treating skin conditions as acne, eczema
- insect or mosquito repellant
This plant if gets adequate water and sunlight grows and spreads like wild grass. I have a feeling that since I have potted it, I am seeing fewer mosquitoes in my home.
Note: Lemongrass oil or herbal tea can lead to allergic reactions in some people. Also, pregnant and lactating women should consult their doctor before using this herb for therapeutic use.