Few people know that its other popular name is citronella – the common scent you usually find in candles, perfumes and soaps.Citronella is known for its calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress. It is also considered as a mild insect repellant. But more than scent, tanglad or lemon grass provides a lot of health benefits. Studies have shown that the lemon grass has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Mixed with pepper, it’s a home therapy for menstrual troubles and nausea. Drank as tea, it is an effective diuretic. When it comes to pets, citronella is used to neutralize excessive barking of dogs. Since dogs hate citronella, it is sprayed to dogs to prevent them from barking or just to lessen the behavior.The Lemon grass is a good cleanser that helps to detoxify the Liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract. It cuts down uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats and other toxins in the body while stimulating digestion, blood circulation, and lactation; it also alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis. It is said that lemongrass also helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples and acts as a muscle and tissue toner. Also, it can reduce blood pressure. Just make a concoction by boiling some lemon grass leaves, let it cool for a while and drink the liquid.Lemon grass, also known as Sweet Rush and sometimes called Fever Grass in the Caribbean, can be used as a remedy for ague, fevers, and colds.Lemon grass oil has the potential as a tropical eye medication against keratomycosis, an inflammation of cornea often associated with burning or blurring of vision. It is also used to help with urination and water retention. Lemongrass oil is used as a massage to relieve stiff muscles.
Lemongrass has been found to help in recovery of the common cold and flu, reducing fevers, cramps, flatulence and arthritic pain as well as aid digestion especially in children. It has been used in Chinese medicine for a very long time. Citral is the main element in lemongrass, which gives it its fresh lemon scent and repels insects. Researchers in Israel at Ben Gurion University have found that daily intake of 1,000mg of citral represses cancer cells and helps battle depression.
· Diarrhea: Boil 10 leaves in 2 glasses of water for 10 minutes; add a tablespoon of sugar and one small piece of crushed ginger.
· For adults: 1 cup, 3 times daily and after each loose bowel movement.
· Children: (Babies) 1 tablespoon 3 times daily and after each loose bowel movement; 2-6 years, 1/4 cup 3 times daily and after each loose bowel movement; 7-12 years, 1/2 cup three times daily and after each loose bowel movement.
· Suob: One of the 10 herbal ingredients in the decoction/bath in the post-partum ritual of suob. (See: Suob)
· Hot decoction of roots for toothaches. Roots also used as a diuretic.
· A stomachic for children.
· The oil, mixed with equal amounts of coconut oil, is used as a liniment for back pains, rheumatic complains, neuralgia, sprains and other painful afflictions.
· Decoction of leaves used as stomachic, diuretic, and refrigerant.
• In Cuban folk medicine, used to lower blood pressure and as anti-inflammatory.
• In Brazil, used as sedative, for gastrointestinal maladies, and as febrifuge.
• In Malaya, used as a potion after childbirth.
• In various folk medicinal use: oil used for cough, cold, hemoptysis, rheumatism, back pain, bladder problems
· Culinary: Commonly used as a stuffing ingredient in pig spit-roasting to improve the flavor and decrease the grease-taste.
· Also used to flavor wines, sauces and spices.
· The roots have a ginger-like flavor and used as a condiment and adding fragrance to gogo hair-washes.
• Volatile oil, called Lemon grass oil, consists mainly of citral and used in perfume and toilet soap manufacture.
• In India, cultivated around houses to repel snakes.
Recent uses and preparations:
Stomach discomfort, toothache, sprain, vomiting and ringworm
Liniment: Boil equal amounts of chopped leaves and roots with freshly made coconut oil. Also use as insect repellant.
Infusion: Mix four ounces of the grass to one pint of boiling water.
To keep away mosquitos, plant it around your house or place crushed leaves on your window sills.
Before taking Lemongrass, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding