Did you know that the lemon grass or serai or heong mau (in Cantonese) that some people find as nuisance as they tend to grow like lalang have many health benefits? It is anti-cancerous and anti-bacterial and can treat a range of ailments. Recently I have been receiving emails from friends on how effective lemon grass is in killing cancer cells. My relatives have started to make lemon grass drinks and yesterday, I followed suit and made a pot of lemon grass concoction.
Here’s some interesting facts on lemon grass:
Citronella is known for its calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress. It is also considered as a mild insect repellant. But more than scent, tanglad or lemon grass provides a lot of health benefits. Studies have shown that the lemon grass has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Mixed with pepper, it’s a home therapy for menstrual troubles and nausea. Drank as tea, it is an effective diuretic. When it comes to pets, citronella is used to neutralize excessive barking of dogs. Since dogs hate citronella, it is sprayed to dogs to prevent them from barking or just to lessen the behavior.
The Lemon grass is a good cleanser that helps to detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract. It cuts down uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats and other toxins in the body while stimulating digestion, blood circulation, and lactation; it also alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis. It is said that lemongrass also helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples and acts as a muscle and tissue toner. Also, it can reduce blood pressure. Just make a concoction by boiling some lemon grass leaves, let it cool for a while and drink the liquid.
The leaves and base of this tender perennial are used as a food flavoring, particularly in fish and poultry dishes, and its essential oils are used medicinally. Its distinctive flavor balances hot chillies and contributes to the elaborate, multi-layered flavors of many dishes in South East Asian cuisine.
As the long, thin, grey-green leaves are tough and fibrous, the outside leaves and the tips are usually chopped very finely or discarded from the dish before it is served. The base is often ground. Citral, an essential oil also found in lemon peel, is the constituent responsible for its taste and aroma.
Lemon grass, also known as Sweet Rush and sometimes called Fever Grass in the Caribbean, can be used as a remedy for ague, fevers, and colds.
Filipino ingenuity has produced a commercial beverage made from lemon grass. A concentrate composed of lemon grass juice and muscovado sugar bottled in attractive design.
A recent study by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the department of Science and technology ( DOST ) claims that every 100g of edible tanglad when boiled can contain up to 24.205 micrograms of beta-carotene the anti-oxidant that scientists believe can help prevent cancer. Another DOST study shows that lemon grass oil has the potential as a tropical eye medication against keratomycosis, an inflammation of cornea often associated with burning or blurring of vision.
The lemon grass drink that my mil made yesterday. All she did was boiled a pot of water. When it’s boiling, she put in the lemon grass and let it steep in the hot water for about half an hour. You can drink it hot but it tastes better and really refreshing when chilled. My 2 older gals who love cold drinks have no problem drinking chilled lemon grass drink. Even Baby C drinks it and according to the article, lemon grass can detoxify the kidney and bladder, which is good for her. It can even help to stimulate lactation so, it’s good for moi too since Baby C is still breastfed.