Lemongrass Benefits and Side Effects - Pros and Cons

Lemongrass Benefits, Disadvantages, and Uses

No wonder how many wonders can nature do to you. How many mysteries can a plant have in order to get the best of you? Lemon Grass Plant is one such gift of nature that has been used since ancient times. Now, much of the modern world has been able to get the most out of it. Because earlier lemongrass was commonly used as a spice in foods and as a medicine that you merely heard of.

Are there only benefits of lemongrass that you should know about? What if there are things that were hidden from you about this 2-meter-long grass? Are there any so-called disadvantages of lemongrass? What’s more to the table? You’ll be able to know here when you unlock the mysteries further.

What is Lemon Grass?

Lemongrass is an aromatic, perennial, and tall tropical plant that has leaves that can grow up to 2 m. Its stems are stiff at the base and leaves are spread more extensively as they grow. Lemongrass is what you can grow in your garden, and the right way to spot it is by identifying the shape and color of its leaves. Its leaves are smooth and hairless, which are a little white on the upper surface while greener beneath.

Scientific and Common Names of Lemongrass

The Lemongrass plant is known as Cymbopogon Citratus scientifically and belongs to the family Poaceae Barnhart and the genus Cymbopogon. It is also known as West Indian Lemongrass. There are about 120 species in total that grow across the South East Asian regions alone.

Some other names of Lemongrass: are Fever Grass, Barbed Wire Grass, and Silky heads.

And if you happen to see so many lemongrass plants across Sri Lanka and Malaysia, don’t be surprised to see how people make good use of it. This grass may look like it’s a wild plant, but this plant blooms mainly in tropical regions and has not been noted to grow in wild areas. From culinary uses to cosmetic products, lemongrass is now widely used and introduced to the African and American regions as well. Lemongrass has another distinctive feature that is; it grows 365 days a year.

What are the Medicinal uses of Lemongrass?

This shrub has been used in different practices for centuries due to its tremendous properties. The world of sciences could not remain unaware of its healing properties. To have you know, Lemongrass is a slightly bitter, highly aromatic, and cooling herb that increases perspiration and relieves spasms.

The lemongrass essential oil is obtained from the plant, which is also an effective antifungal and antibacterial agent. This lemongrass oil contains about 70% citral and citronella, both of which are markedly sedatives.

Lemon Gras in different forms is used to treat respiratory infections, sinusitis, bladder infections, high cholesterol, and varicose veins.

What are the herbal uses of lemongrass?

The lemongrass extracts are also used to treat digestive problems as a relaxant for the stomach and bad gut.

When consumed in the form of tea or syrup, lemongrass juice can also help you relieve cramping, stomach pains, and flatulence. You can use lemongrass extracts to treat fever in kids and reduce the effects of fever.

The external application of oil extracted from lemongrass is also helpful for you if you suffer from Arthritic joints, Athlete's foot, ringworm, lice, and scabies.

Due to its high potency, it is also an excellent remedy for stomach and liver diseases, including rheumatism.

Advantages of Lemongrass

Edible Uses of Lemongrass

  • You can use it in a range of ways; as an edible, an Agroforestry aid, or as a cosmetic product besides a medicine.
  • People in South-East Asian regions eat the young shoot of lemongrass as a vegetable with rice.
  • The bottom part of these leafy shoots has a delicious lemon-like aroma often used as a flavoring additive in soups, curries, and sauces.
  • If you love fish curries or other non-vegetarian dishes, you might as well try lemongrass as a spice this time. Many cooks use lemongrass as a spice in sauces based on such foods. Some of the commonly known dishes in Southeast Asia are 'Sambal Goreng' and 'Sambal Petis.'
  • You can also put lemongrass leaves to impart lemony flavor in other dishes or a simple pan of boiled rice, just remove it after the flavor is absorbed.
  • Lemongrass Tea is most popularly used in almost every country that is now aware of the benefits of lemongrass.
  • Now lemongrass plant is being used as a flavoring agent in many food processing industries, including soft drinks and various foods.
Also See: The Magical health benefits of Vitamin C

Agroforestry Uses

  • Not just for your health and fitness, the Lemongrass plant is magical for the land's health as well. Lemongrass acts as an excellent soil conditioner for worn-out land.
  • This plant produces many organic materials that rot faster and attract soil-friendly and soil-enriching creatures and worms.
  • Many farmers grow and cultivate lemongrass to reap its benefits on their lands.
  • An array of lemongrass plantations acts as a barrier for weeds and insects that are a protector for your healthy crops or plants.
  • The lemongrass is also useful for soil improvement and erosion control as it has the capability to hold the soil deeper with its roots.

Cosmetic Uses

  • An essential oil obtained from the lemongrass plant is used in the perfumery, scenting soaps, hair oils, cosmetics, and as an insect repellent.
  • Don't be surprised if you read lemongrass extracts on the cover of a mosquito repellent.
  • The essential lemongrass oil consists mainly of citral (Citronella) and is a relevant base content in the perfume manufacturing industry for the production of 'ALPHA'- and 'BETA'-ionones, which in low concentrations contain the odor of violets.
  • The lemongrass essential oil is also used in the synthesis of vitamin A.
  • This essential oil obtained from the leaves is an effective fungicide in treating pathogenic fungi on the cultivated plant Jatropha curcas
  • The fresh leaves, crushed in water, are used as a hair wash and toilet water.

Lemongrass Disadvantages (Side effects)

  • Even though lemongrass has multiple benefits and uses, there are always some risks and side effects of lemongrass to be careful of. Excessive use and overconsumption of lemongrass or lemongrass essential oil results in some mishaps. Here are some of the disadvantages of lemongrass use.
  • If you have planted a lemongrass plant in your garden, mind keeping your kids away from it. Its leaves can cause skin irritation and rashes that can be permanent if not treated or taken care of timely.
  • The effects of lemongrass can be allergic to you and can up your heart rate and breathing problems upon direct contact.
  • Other disadvantages of lemongrass consumption include Drowsiness, increased Appetite, Dry mouth, Excessive Urination, and triggering Menstrual flow.
  • According to a study from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, you are at risk of kidney dysfunction if you intake lemongrass tea excessively.
  • If you are pregnant, you need to avoid consuming lemongrass in any form as the intake would cause congenital disabilities or even miscarriage. Lemongrass side effects are also associated with breastfeeding directly.
  • One of the most severe disadvantages of lemongrass intake is for Cancer patients undergoing Chemotherapy. The ingredients in lemongrass disturb the effects of chemotherapeutic agents.

What to do to Avoid the Risks and Side Effects of Lemongrass

Consult your medical or healthcare expert in case you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Experiencing Menstrual Disorders
  • Excreting excessive urine
  • Excited Heart Rate
  • Have Low Potassium Levels

Lemongrass Uses and Precautions-The solution

The use of lemongrass certainly depends on your health, age, and other medical conditions. From direct application to consumption in different forms, you are advised not to take lemongrass in a higher dosage. Limit your dosage as per the directions of your medical expert or pharmacist.

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Lemongrass Benefits and Side Effects - Pros and Cons

Frequently Asked Questions

What are benefits of lemongrass?

Lemongrass benefits you in many different ways. This plant contains antioxidants, antifungal, and antimicrobial agents that help your internal functions stay in full flow. Lemongrass plant is also an excellent insect-repellent due to its strong aroma. This plant is also helpful for Agroforestry purposes.

Why is lemongrass called lemongrass?

Lemongrass has a strong lemon-like aroma and is also used as an additive ingredient in culinary to add a lemony flavor in many dishes. This plant is used widely in South-East Asian countries as a spice replacing lemon. Due to its lemon-like features, lemongrass tea, and juice is also served to obtain the benefits as that of a lemon.

What is the side effect of lemon grass?

The side effect of lemon grass includes itchiness, skin irritation, and rashes. However, the over-application of its extracts, such as lemongrass essential oil, and cosmetic products may also lead to severe effects. If you consume lemongrass tea or juice excessively, it may affect you during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menstruation severely — consumption of lemongrass during chemotherapy risks in the hampering the effects of chemotherapeutic agents.

Can you drink lemongrass tea every day?

You can take lemongrass tea every day in a limited quantity. Make sure you are not undergoing any cancer treatment or kidney disease. The excessive consumption of lemongrass tea may increase your urinary excretion. Also, you need to consult your health specialist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. In the case of menstruation, you need to take precautionary steps to avoid any risks.

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