Fresh lemongrass is a popular herb used for cooking in Asia especially in Thai and Indonesian cooking. The part of the plant that is used is the stalk or stem. It obtains its name from the lemony and citrus fragrance.
Besides its use for cooking, lemon grass essential oil is known for its therapeutic and medicinal benefits. It is available in the form of dried powder, tea and essential oil. The oil is also used in herbal soaps, body lotion and deodorants.
Aroma therapists suggest the use of lemongrass essential oil to soothe and calm the nervous system as it acts as a natural anti depressant. It is useful when used to fight stress related conditions, lethargy and fatigue and also jet lag. When you heat the oil in a burner or vaporizer, not only will it soothes you, it also will drive insects away.
It also has astringent properties and this is one of the reasons the oil is used in certain skin care products. It has the potential to fight acne and greasy or oily skin by opening blocked pores. Massaging the oil on the skin may help clear cellulite. It also promotes healthy finger and toe nails.
Lemon grass oil has antiseptic and anti fungal properties. It is used as a remedy to treat athlete's foot and also other fungal infections such as toenail fungus and ringworm.
Lemon grass is also called the fever grass and has been traditionally used to treat fevers. The extract produces sedative and analgesic effects and has been used to treat headaches, laryngitis, muscle spasms and sore throats.
Drinking lemon grass tea produces a diuretic effect and helps produce more urine flow and prevent fluid retention. It also helps in reducing excessive perspiration. You can infuse a teaspoon of the powder in hot water or slice one stalk of fresh lemon grass and steep it.
In ayurvedic medicine, lemon grass is combined with pepper to provide relief from menstrual problems and nausea. The oil is used topically as a remedy to treat head lice and scabies.