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The healing power of lemongrass

  1. Lemongrass is best known in Europe from Thai cuisine, but it is also an herb with medicinal properties. Lemongrass is a tropical plant that originates from Asia. He is now spread all over the tropics. Because it is widely used on the island of Bintan in Indonesia and is used as an insect repellent, it is believed to originate there. However, there are multiple varieties of lemongrass and, in addition, the islanders of Indonesia have traveled to and from the Asian continent for a long time. The plant may therefore just as well have been taken with travelers and turned into a different variety over time.


  1. Naming lemongrass Lemongrass as a traditional medicine Traditional use in Curacao Further traditional uses Ingredients and medicinal effects The healing power of lemongrass oil Lemongrass, good for the stomach and intestines Lemongrass against cancer

Naming lemongrass

  1. The Latin name of lemongrass is Cymbopogon citratus. In Dutch we do not know many alternative names for this plant, but in Suriname there are even more names due to the multitude of languages: strungrasi, kawari erepari, lungasi, sutungaasi, amanda, asonuma, sereh, sithalghas, sami and sour grass. Sereh is a name that many Indos among us will recognize; it is the Javanese name for lemongrass. Lamungras is the most commonly used name on Curacao, but it is also called fever grass, malohi and malogia.

Lemongrass as a traditional medicine

  1. Lemongrass is a decorative shrub in the tropical garden. That is why it is often planted in the tropics. In Suriname, a lemon grass tea is a well-known remedy for flu, colds, cough, fever and bronchitis. In Suriname people like to add sugar to this tea, but sugar is a drug and should not be taken; rather use stevia leaves. Lemongrass tea can optionally be mixed with lime leaf, makamaka, ginger, cloves and pitanga or monkimonkikersi leaves. The juice of a bitter orange apple can be added to this tea. Lemongrass tea is also seen in Suriname as a medicine for stomach pain and palpitations.

Traditional use on Curacao

  1. Lemongrass is also used in Curacao for fever, flu and colds. It is recommended to drink the tea warm; only then will the germs sweat out properly. A special way to sweat out the flu is to whip up an egg yolk, brown sugar and nutmeg and top this mixture with hot lemon grass tea. You can also drink plain lemon grass tea. That refreshes the whole body. The root can be sucked to refresh the breath.

Further traditional uses

  1. In Java it is an old custom to treat a child with itching by washing it with cooled water boiled with lemongrass, tamarind leaves, anise leaf and guava. This herbal bath is also used by adults for pustules, itching or scratches. After a bath, washing with this herbal water, the skin is preferably rubbed with coconut oil. Another traditional use is with gonorreu. In Suriname some will advise herbalists to treat gonorreu with lemongrass, ant wood and red cotton or redi katun. This makes you urinate out all substances that do not belong in the body.

Ingredients and medicinal effects

  1. Lemongrass contains terpenes, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes and esters. The essential oil of lemongrass includes citral α, citral β, nerol geraniol, citronellal, terpinolene, geranyl acetate, myrecene and terpinol methyl heptenone. It also contains the flavonoids Isoorientin, isoscoparin, swertiajaponin, chlorogenic acid, coffee acid, luteolin, isoorientine 2'-O-rhamnoside, quercetin, kaempferol and apiginine. These substances provide the following properties: anti-amoebic, antibacterial, anti-diarrhea, anti-threadworm, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties have been studied by scientists with positive results. Various other effects such as antimalarial, antimutagens, antimycobacterial, and neurological activities have also been investigated. Lemongrass appears to be a plant rich in antioxidants. Plus, according to science, it can fight hypoglycemia. All of these studies have hopeful results for the future and confirm their wide applicability in traditional medicine. Moreover, it was already researched in 1986 that lemongrass has no adverse effects on the body; it is a safe medicinal herb.

The healing power of lemongrass oil

  1. Lemongrass oil is an essential oil or essential oil with medicinal properties. For example, it counteracts the heliobacter pylori bacteria, a bacteria that can lead to all kinds of stomach problems. In 2012, a study was conducted into which essential oil best fights the pathogenic bacteria staphylococcus aureus. Grapefruit, lime, bergamot and lemongrass oils were compared. All essential oils prevented the development of a bacterial colony with Staphylococcus aureus, but lemongrass oil was the most effective in terms of antibacterial activity.

Lemongrass, good for stomach and intestines

  1. Lemongrass is a medicine for irritable bowel syndrome. It ensures that the leukocytes or white blood cells go to the infected area in the intestines in greater numbers, according to a Japanese study from 2010. A Brazilian study from 2009 showed that lemongrass stimulates the action of the macrophages. Macrophages are substances that play a very important role in our immune system. The researchers concluded that this is where the anti-inflammatory effects of lemongrass come from.

Lemongrass against cancer

  1. There is a story on the internet of a lemongrass farmer from Israel who was amazed at the fact that hordes of cancer patients came to his shop to stock up on lemongrass. It turned out that the doctors had told them to make a lemongrass-based hot drink to ward off cancer. It seems very likely that Israeli doctors have discovered a cancer remedy without mentioning it. A 2009 Indian scientific study confirms that lemongrass triggers cancer cells to self-cancel. In 2006, an Israeli study was conducted into the effect of citral, which is found in, among other things, lemongrass, lemon balm and verbena or verbena. It turned out that citral has a cancer-fighting effect. A Japanese study from 2003 had already shown that when citral was applied to the skin it prevents skin cancer.

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