Lemongrass adds vibrant flavor to dishes, but its health potential goes far beyond taste.
Science confirms this aromatic grass owes its therapeutic effects to its robust lineup of phytochemicals - the disease-fighting plant-based compounds.
Why is lemongrass so healthy?
Lemongrass has a long history of use in traditional wellness systems like Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine.
Modern science now backs up many of these applications.
Numerous studies attribute lemongrass’ therapeutic effects to its naturally occurring beneficial plant compounds.
Mainly the antioxidant phenolics and anti-inflammatory/antimicrobial volatile oils explained above.
Some of the critical research-backed ways these phytochemicals make lemongrass a health hero include:
Robust antioxidant activity: The phenolic acids and flavonoids in lemongrass neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and lead to disease.
This helps fight inflammation at the source.
Natural antimicrobial effects: The volatile citral, nerol, and geraniol oils aid the body’s ability to combat harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi without toxicity.
Anticancer properties: Studies demonstrate apoptosis or programmed cell death in several cancer cell lines when introduced to certain lemongrass phytochemicals, though more research is needed.
So, by protecting cells, fighting pathogens, exhibiting anticancer abilities, and more, lemongrass's phytonutrients deliver outstanding support for whole-body wellness!
The science says this grass is genuinely therapeutic.
Specifically, research shows lemongrass contains exceptional levels of these phytochemical classes:
Multiple antioxidant phenolics neutralize damaging free radicals before they can harm healthy cells.
Some key phenolics in lemongrass are:
Chlorogenic acid: This polyphenol may support healthy blood pressure and blood sugar at normal levels.
Isoorientin and swertiajaponin: These flavonoids exhibit anti-inflammatory abilities and protect against liver injury in studies.
Centelloside: This triterpenoid compound earned gotu kola its name as the “fountain of youth” herb.
It protects brain cells and encourages neural connectivity.
The citrusy volatile oils in lemongrass provide its signature aroma, along with the following noted benefits:
Citral: This antimicrobial oil may prevent foodborne illness and is a natural preservative.
Nerol: Studies show this fragrant oil supports healthy digestion and soothes nervous system imbalances.
Geraniol: Like other lemongrass oils, geraniol demonstrates antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities.
So, while slicing lemongrass for your next culinary creation, remember that those stalks pack a significant healthy punch from mighty phytochemicals!
Science confirms that the true powers of lemongrass go far beyond flavor.