The Benefits: If you’re a fan of herbal teas, thai or vietnamese cuisine, then you probably have a good taste for lemongrass already. It’s mild citrus notes are uplifting, featuring a hint of lemon, only less sour and much sweeter. A stalk of lemongrass consists of a pink base, a few tough green husks, and a white core, which is used in cooking. In India, they drink the tea almost religiously, and use its benefits for medicinal purposes. The perennial plant is an Ayurvedic favourite, most praised for being:
- A gentle and pleasant digestive aid
- Cleansing and packed with antioxidants
- A regulator of blood pressure and cholesterol in the body
- A metabolic boost
- Good for hair, skin and the immune system
- A relief for menstrual cramps and hot flushes
- Containing a wide variety of essential nutrients including: iron, folate, potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, manganese, calcium, copper and niacin.
Growing lemongrass indoors:
If you’re interested in growing your very own edible lemongrass, you will need:
- Fresh lemon grass stalks (found in supermarkets or garden centres)
- A small vase
- A handful or two of vermiculite
- A few handfuls of compost
- A small plant pot
Mark Abott-Compton from YouTube channel ‘Learn How To Garden’ takes us through the steps in this detailed tutorial:
Tea in 3 ways:
- Chop the grass and place in a small pot of water over the stove, bring to boiling point and then let steep for 10-15 mins.
- Brew lemongrass pieces in a pot and brew as usual. Steeping is the most important part of making lemongrass tea, as the longer you steep it the more of the plant’s nutrients leach into the water.
- Choose an organic lemongrass tea from a reputable brand, free from caffeine and tannins.
The Essential Oil:
As a stress reducer
Lemongrass essential oil has an uplifting effect on mood, yet a sedative effect on the body. This makes it practically perfect for improving a depressive state whilst still having the ability to calm, relieve anxiety, reduce stress and improve sleep quality. Add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to a carrier oil or plain body lotion, and massage into the body. Alternatively, diffuse for pure aromatherapy bliss.
For pain relief
Rub diluted lemongrass oil on areas experiencing muscle stiffness or fatigue. This can be a great remedy for back aches, menstrual cramps, or general muscular spasms. If you’re experiencing a tension headache, massage the diluted oil into your temples and inhale deeply.
Natural bug repelent
Due to the high content of geraniol and citral, lemongrass naturally repels bugs like mosquitos, ants and fleas. Great for camping trips or scantily-clad summer nights. Here’s how you can make your own homemade bug-repelling spray: source: organicaromas.com
You will need:
- A 12oz bottle of Witch Hazel
- 15 drops of lemongrass oil
- 10 drops of citronella essential oil
- 5 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops of tea tree oil
- 1 funnel
- 1 empty spray container
- 1 jar for mixing
Method: Pour the witch hazel into the mixing jar, along with the essential oils. Once they are mixed well, you can use your funnel to pour them into the spray bottle. Remember to shake the mixture up a little before each use to ensure it doesn’t separate.
Lemongrass oil contains limonene and citral, which has been shown to stifle the growth of fungus and bacteria. When wanting an added defence against catching athletes foot, ringworm, or other types of fungal infections, use it in a foot scrub and lotion as part of your self-care ritual. If you regularly receive pedicures, bring your own scrubs and lotions for them to use instead of the salon brands.
For a foot scrub: Combine 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil with epsom salt and enough coconut oil to completely saturate the salt. Mix well and add more oil, or combine with a few drops of an additional oil if preferred. Store in a clean, empty mason jar or plastic container and make sure it doesn’t get too warm.
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