Thursday, February 12, 2009

Discover this wondrous herb…

Whenever you mention lemon grass, most people will connect it to Thai food such as tom yum soup. But do you know that lemon grass have immune-boosting and disease-fighting power?

Above left: the leaves
Above centre: the stem
Above right: cut into pieces and boil in water

Lemon grass is a perennial, aromatic tall grass with a light lemon scent used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Since ancient times in Chinese medicine, lemon grass has been used for the following conditions:

  • Helps detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract.
  • Helps boost the immune system.
  • Helps reduce uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats and other toxins in the body.
  • Helps alleviate indigestion and gastroenteritis.
  • Helps reduce menstrual problems.
  • Helps reduce blood pressure and improve blood circulation.
  • Helps reduce cellulite.
  • Act as sedative for the central nervous system.
  • Help prevent color cancer and stomach problems.
  • Help reduce fever, headache, fight flu and cold (which is why tom yum soup is so good at relieving cold & flu symptoms).
  • Relieves arthritic pain and rheumatism.

Herbalists believe that lemongrass helps to improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples and acts as a muscle and tissue toner. Lemon grass is also used as an insect and mosquito repellent.

Doctors in Israel advise their cancer patients to drink fresh lemon grass drink on the days that they go for radiation or chemotherapy treatments. Ben Gurion University of the Negev researchers made a discovery that the lemon aroma in herbs like lemon grass kills cancer cells in vitro, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. In a fascinating article published in the Health section of Israel21c, it states that the study found the citral in lemon grass causes cancer cells to commit suicide.

Just boil some water and some lemon grass leaves, let it cool for a while and drink the liquid. It tastes like drinking plain water just that it has the aroma of lemon grass. You may sweeten your health drink with honey, should you so require, or a dash of fresh lemon juice may also enhance the taste.

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