While growing up, I was used to taking herbs i.e. ‘agboo’ whenever my mum suspected malaria. She always prepared the concoction using a big metal pot to boil the herb some of its constituent I remembered included lemon grass, barks from avocado tree, bark from dogoyaro, unripe pawpaw e.t.c. however the constituent that enabled me drink the mixture was lemon grass! Its fragrance is so nice, moreover the prospect of doing a steam inhalation under a thick blanket close to the hot pot was enticing enough due to the presence of lemon grass! Presently, my Aunt is so crazy about it and takes it as tea every morning… Also called fever grass, this thin, long perennial plant with somewhat sharp tips and unique green colour, looks like elephant grass, tastes like lemon only milder and sweeter and indigenous to most Asian and African countries where it is consumed as lemon tea because of its flavor, aroma and potency. It gives the home a lemonish fragrance if planted alongside the flowers in your garden.
However, you would be surprised to know that aside its beauty, fragrance and anti malaria qualities the lemon grass has some unique anti- bacteria, parasitic and fungal attributes that accentuates its medical value and potency in the world of orthodox medicine.
A single leaf of lemon grass contains:
- Vitamins A and C, folate, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and manganese. It also has minute traces of B vitamins
- Substances that are thought to relieve pain, reduce fever, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow.
- Antioxidant properties, as a result, it is used as an, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antipyretic, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, galactogogue, insecticidal, sedative, and anti-cancer agent.
- Liquid: as liquid it is taken in form of Tea, it is either boiled alone or in conjunction with other herbs for the treatment of digestive tract spasms, stomachache,high blood pressure convulsions and malaria. Most especially when processed in tea bags it is known as malaria tea.
- GEL: Sometimes its oil is extracted and applied directly to the skin for headache stomachache, abdominal pain, and muscular pain
Fresh and dried lemongrass, its essential oils and supplements are readily available in the market. So, for every house hold, instead of panicking over little health discomforts, lemongrass is one of the perfect herb used in home remedies for various health issues.
Written By: Perpetua IBEZIM