Lemongrass is a culinary herb which provides a strong flavour and is full of health benefits. Lemongrass has nutrition that is good for our body like calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamin A. Essential oil in lemongrass has the following components: menthol, cineole, camphor and linalool which help reduce intestinal motility. Studies showed that lemongrass essential oil, extract and tea help relieve symptoms of dyspepsia, colic pain, and stomachache. Also, borneol, fenchone and cineole in lemongrass increase the release of bile in aiding digestion.
Chemical compounds in essential oil of lemongrass like citral, citronellol, geraneol, cineole and myrcene can inhibit growth and kill some bacterias (i.e. E. coli, Shigella flexneri, Bacillus subtilis, and Samonella typhimurium) and fungi (i.e. Trichophyton mentagrophytes, T. rubrum, Epidermophyton floccosum and Microsporum gypseum). Research found that citral, a major component in lemongrass, exhibited action against Candida species which cause many common infection of the skin, oral cavity and esophagus, and vagina in human. In addition, its components were reported to have antiviral activity against Herpes simplex virus-1.
Traditional medicine uses lemongrass for:
- relieving cold symptoms, headache, cough, asthma, fever;
- treating flatulence, colic, intestinal gas, stomach ache and diarrhea;
- strengthening the digestive system;
- increase appetite;
- relieving joint pain, muscle ache, bruises and leg swelling (fluid retention)
- treating diseases related to urinating tract, calculous, bladder, irregular menstruation, hematuria;
- lowering high blood pressure; and
- treating gonorrhea.