Lemongrass
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Lemongrass LEMONGRASS  
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Lemon Peel  |  Lesser Celandine

Botanical:  Cymbopogon citratus
Family:   Gramineae (grass) - Poaceae (haygrass)
Other common names:  Oil Grass, Fever Grass, Lemon Grass, Citronella, Capim, Fever Tea, Herbe Citron, Patchuli Falso, Capim Santo

Lemongrass is a mild sedative.  Try it for your insomnia, or when you are under stress, or even if you need help to calm a nervous or upset stomach.  The herb is also said to relieve headaches, lower intermittent fevers and reduce mucus in the lungs.  Lemongrass also acts as an effective antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

History:
Lemongrass is a perennial and intensely fragrant herb, native to Asia, and widely cultivated as a commercial crop throughout the tropics and subtropics of the world.  The plants grow well in sandy soils in warm, humid climates in full sun with adequate drainage. The narrow foliage of Lemongrass ranges from blue-green to gold, and the flowers are white, cream or green. It ranges in height from about three to five feet and is a bitter, aromatic grass with leaves used in herbal medicines and herbal teas.  Lemongrass is also highly valued commercially as a common food flavoring and ingredient in baked goods, confections, cosmetics, perfumes, creams and soaps, and the oil is used in hair oils and herbal baths.  The herb's lemony flavor is widely used in Asian (particularly Thai, Lao, Sri Lankan, Khmer and Vietnamese) and Caribbean cuisines.  Lemongrass is used in traditional Brazilian medicine as an analgesic and sedative, a use that is copied around the world.  Some of the constituents of Lemongrass include essential oils (including terpineol, myrcene, citral (its most active ingredient), citronellol, geraniol and limonene, among others), alpha-pinene, beta-sitosterol, coumarin, tannin and ursolic acid.  The large amounts of citral and geraniol in Lemongrass are lemon-scented and rose-scented respectively.  Lemongrass also includes nutritious bioflavonoids (rutin, quercetin), protein, silicon, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.

Beneficial Uses:
Lemongrass is widely used as an herbal analgesic, an agent that reduces the sensation of pain, and has been effective in relieving painful headaches.  Its essential oil, myrcene, is the constituent that produces this effect and confirms the longtime Brazilian use of the herb for pain.  The herb is also believed to relieve spasms, muscle cramps and rheumatism.

As a mild sedative, Lemongrass's myrcene is an effective relaxant that acts as a central nervous system depressant and helps people under stress and hypertension.  It is also used to relieve insomnia, again confirming the Brazilians' longtime use of the herb for sedation.

Lemongrass is an aromatic and cooling herb that is used to increase perspiration and reduce fevers, and help treat minor, feverish illnesses.  Furthermore, it also acts as a diuretic and helps promote urination and relieves retained water.

Lemongrass is considered a bitter and said to help and soothe the gastrointestinal tract and ease indigestion, flatulence and stomach discomforts, as well as calm a nervous stomach.  This grass is rich in a substance called citral, the active ingredient that is also in lemon peel, and this substance is said to relieve digestive disturbances and intestinal irritations.

As an effective antifungal and antimicrobial, Lemongrass is believed to dispel bacterial infections and has been used to treat internal parasites.  The herb has shown strong antibacterial activity against several human pathogens, and a study in 1988, found increased activity against E. coli   and Staphylococcus aureus.  Used externally, the herb is an effective treatment for lice, ringworm, athlete's foot and scabies, due to its larvicidal properties, and it is also an insect repellent.

Lemongrass is used to treat colds, sore throats and flu (especially with headaches and fevers) and is reputed to reduce and slow the discharge of mucus in respiratory conditions, due in part to its astringent properties. 

Lemongrass is a tonic and supplement that is believed to be of great benefit to the skin and nails and is often used by herbalists to help clear skin blemishes and maintain balanced skin tone.

Lemongrass may possess anti-mutagenic properties.  Recent studies have demonstrated that myrcene has been found to reduce toxic and mutagenic effects, and since many mutations cause cancer, mutagens are typically also carcinogens.   According to 2006 research from Israel’s Ben Gurion University, Lemongrass’s rich aromatic citral content has caused cancer cell apoptosis (cell suicide) in vitro, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.  Citral, a component in the essential oil, is said to work by activating enzymes required for cancer cell death. Extracts from this species were also found to have free radical scavenger and antioxidant activity.

Rich in geraniol and citral, Lemongrass may contribute to lowering serum cholesterol.  It may work by interfering with an enzyme reaction and inhibiting the formation of cholesterol from simpler fats.

Contraindications:
Currently, there are no known contraindications or warnings with the use of Lemongrass Herbal Supplement, but if you have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease, consult your doctor before using.  There have been some reports of allergy to Lemongrass, and if there is any indication of breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest, chest pain, skin rash or itchy skin, discontinue use.

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Lemon Peel  |  Lesser Celandine
 
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