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What Are the Health Benefits of Lemon Grass?

by
author image Johnalee Johnston
Based near America's "Gateway to the West," Li St. Michael has been writing professionally since 2005. Her culturally minded articles have appeared on various websites. St. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in writing from Drury University and is set to receive a Masters degree in international relations in 2011.
What Are the Health Benefits of Lemon Grass?
Fresh cut lemongrass on a table. Photo Credit utah778/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Also known as “fever grass,” the tall and zesty blades of lemon grass were utilized as cholera and fever remedies in the traditional Ayurvedic medical treatments of India, the perennial’s homeland. Since this time, lemon grass has become one of the ten best selling oils in the world, according to Discovery Health. Its fresh and enjoyable scent is commonly used by culinary artists, while aromatherapists and alternative medical practitioners employ its many health benefits. As rare cases of hypersensitivity have occurred, consult your doctor before self-administering lemon grass treatments.

Antiseptic Properties

When used as a treatment for staph infections, the potent antiseptic properties of lemon grass have been found by researchers to be more effective than penicillin and streptomycin, according to a study in the Brazilian medical journal, "Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz." Lemon grass also battles various types of skin infections and infected sores when used as a wash or compress. A lemon grass treatment for ringworm requires soaking feet for 20 minutes in a foot bath comprised of three drops of lemon grass oil and two or three quarts of warm water.

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Lemon Grass Nutrition

Lemon grass delivers nutritional benefits, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. A 1-cup serving of lemon grass contains more than 10 percent of your recommended daily intake of iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and folate. The most concentrated mineral in lemon grass is manganese, with 175 percent of the recommended intake. Manganese is an essential nutrient and may be used as treatment for osteoporosis, anemia and pre-menstrual syndrome, according to MedlinePlus.com.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

A study published in "Food and Chemical Toxicology" in 2010 found lemon grass extracts to be an effective treatment for inflammation. The powerful antioxidants in lemon grass decreased oxidative stress in mitochondrial membranes, researchers claim. Similar research published in the 2010 issue of "Microcirculation" found lemon grass to be a therapeutic treatment for inflammatory bowel disease due to its ability of inhibiting excessive production of leukocytes, a type of white blood cell, from reaching inflamed intestines.

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References

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