Unlocking the Power of Lemongrass: 4 Amazing Health Benefits
Lemongrass might just be the zest thing you've been missing in your life! From its tangy aroma and citrus-y taste to a list of impressive health benefits, this herb is truly an unsung hero for health. Keep reading to discover four ways it can benefit your body.
Lemongrass Quick Facts
While lemongrass is famously known for its appearance in salads and soups - Ramen, anyone? - it’s actually used for many other reasons as well.
Here are some fun facts about this fragrant, flavorful plant:
What’s in a name? Lemongrass is also known as citronella grass, Malabar grass, silky heads, or barbed wire grass (which sounds a lot cooler, in our opinion).
Shoo, fly. Citronella oil, used in candles or sprays to ward off itch-inducing pests, is actually derived from the leaves and stems of lemongrass plants.
Sweet like honey. In beekeeping, lemongrass oil mimics a pheromone emitted by honeybee glands to attract bees to a hive or a swarm.
A healing herb. The infection-fighting properties of lemongrass, as well as other nutrients, have long been hailed as a natural aid in holistic and modern medicine. Scroll down to learn more about these benefits below!
Benefits of Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a rich source of many naturally-occurring antioxidants, including: phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids 1. These compounds can help fight inflammation and free radical damage associated with many health conditions, including heart disease, some forms of cancer, and arthritis.
The essential oils in lemongrass have antimicrobial properties, which means it can help fight off harmful bacteria. Researchers came to the conclusion that lemongrass can be effective against several strains of pathogenic bacteria, including Staph, E. coli, and Salmonella.2,3 Additionally. lemongrass essential oils may be able to stop the growth of harmful fungi and viruses.4
People have been drinking lemongrass tea for centuries to settle an upset stomach and alleviate cramping. Recent studies supported the theories that lemongrass may offer some protection for the gastrointestinal tract and that it can help with stomach ulcers.5
Lemongrass has a calming effect on the mind and body, making it a popular natural remedy for stress. Several studies have shown that the smell of lemongrass - which is quite delightful - can improve mood and cognition, while also reducing symptoms of anxiety. 6,7
Incorporating Lemongrass into Your Diet
It's easy - and tasty! - to add lemongrass to your diet. Look for fresh or dried lemongrass in most traditional supermarkets. Or, you could even make a stop at a specialty Asian market.
Lemongrass is usually found in the produce section, sold in long stalks that resemble green onions. The dried version can be found where other dried herbs and spices are located.
Often used in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, lemongrass can brighten up broths, soups, sauces, and curries. It can be diced, sliced, or grated - and tastes amazing with other flavors like ginger, garlic, Thai basil, and coconut. Check out our recipe for Lemongrass Ginger Bone Broth Ramen (pictured above) if you’re in the mood for a wellness-forward weekday dinner!
Another great way to enjoy lemongrass is by sipping on a cup of lemongrass tea. To make your own: simply add dried lemongrass to boiling water to steep it, then strain and add other ingredients like sugar (or agave) and lime.
Final Thoughts about Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a versatile herb, bringing depth of flavor to your favorite dishes and providing surprising health benefits at the same time. Whether you’re seeking out a punchy new ingredient or looking to optimize your health, lemongrass is a MUST-have.
Bone Broths Containing Lemongrass
Skip the shopping trip!
Sipping Kettle & Fire’s Lemongrass Ginger Bone Broth can give you the beautiful benefits of lemongrass AND bone broth in one mug. Plus, with a tasty base of 100% grass-fed/finished beef bones, immune-boosting ingredients like ginger, and organic herbs & spices…this brew is sure to brighten your day.
1. Gaba J, Bhardwaj G, Sharma A. Lemongrass. In: Nayik GA, Gull A, eds. Antioxidants in Vegetables and Nuts - Properties and Health Benefits. Springer; 2020:75-103. doi:10.1007/978-981-15-7470-2_4
2. Naik MI, Fomda BA, Jaykumar E, Bhat JA. Antibacterial activity of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) oil against some selected pathogenic bacterias. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2010;3(7):535-538. doi:10.1016/S1995-7645(10)60129-0
3. Moore‐Neibel K, Gerber C, Patel J, Friedman M, Ravishankar S. Antimicrobial activity of lemongrass oil against Salmonella enterica on organic leafy greens. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2012;112(3):485-492. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2672.2011.05222.x
4. Mukarram M, Choudhary S, Khan MA, et al. Lemongrass Essential Oil Components with Antimicrobial and Anticancer Activities. Antioxidants. 2022;11(1):20. doi:10.3390/antiox11010020
5. Sagradas J, Costa G, Figueirinha A, et al. Gastroprotective effect of Cymbopogon citratus infusion on acute ethanol-induced gastric lesions in rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2015;173:134-138. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2015.07.001
6. Sriraksa N, Kaewwongse M, Phachonpai W, Hawiset T. Effects of Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) Essential Oil Inhalation on Cognitive Performance and Mood in Healthy Women. Published online October 29, 2018:80-88.
7. Goes TC, Ursulino FRC, Almeida-Souza TH, Alves PB, Teixeira-Silva F. Effect of Lemongrass Aroma on Experimental Anxiety in Humans. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2015;21(12):766-773. doi:10.1089/acm.2015.0099