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  • Lemongrass and Its Therapeutic Benefits in Ayurveda

    Lemongrass And Its Therapeutic Benefits In Ayurveda

    The Ayurveda Experience March 26, 2024

    If you've ever been enchanted by the refreshing scent coming through a Thai kitchen or felt the invigorating zest of a lemongrass-infused tea, then you already know the magic this humble herb holds. From refreshing teas to marinades, lemongrass adds a burst of flavor and a touch of exotic flair to dishes around the globe. But did you know its appeal goes beyond the kitchen? This humble herb flaunts a rich history and a wealth of health benefits that make it a staple in gardens, medicine cabinets, and skincare routines alike. While lemongrass might be a familiar ingredient in many cuisines, its potential reaches far beyond. In Ayurveda, a science that goes back hundreds and thousands of years, lemongrass is revered for its potent healing abilities, offering a myriad of benefits for both the body and mind. Join us as we talk about the fascinating world of lemongrass in Ayurveda, exploring its rich history, traditional uses, and modern applications! Happy reading to you! 

    Names of lemongrass:

    In English – Lemongrass  

    In HindiSharaban, Gandhatrin  

    In Sanskrit - Bhustrna (भूस्तृण )  

    In Latin - Cymbopogon citratus  

    Lemongrass in Ayurveda

    Lemongrass as described in ancient Ayurvedic scriptures (Shloka verse):

    To provide some context, Ayurveda has a branch based mostly on plants named Dravya Guna and the books are known as nighantu. Nighantu contains information about the synonyms, properties, and uses of various plants.  

    Bhustruna (भूस्तृण) has several references in the Nighantu as shown below –  

    मालातृणो गुह्यबीजो बधिरध्वनिबोधनः । छत्रातिछत्रको भूतिः सुगन्धः पुंस्त्वनाशनः ।। १२४८ ॥

    भूस्तृणो गोछलः शृङ्गो रोहणो गोमयप्रियः । भूस्तृणः कटुकस्तिक्तः तीच्णोष्णो रोचनो लघुः ।। १२४६ ॥

    विदाही दोपनो रूक्षो चक्षुष्यो वक्त्शोधनः । अवृष्यो बहुविट्कः स्यात् रक्तपित्तप्रदूषणः ।। १२५० ॥

    कृमिकासवमिश्लेष्मश्वासद द्रु विनाशनः  । 

    Kaidev Nighantu (Aushadi vargha, shloka number 1248, 1246, 1250.) 

    शुद्धबीजं तु भूतीकं सुगन्धं जम्बुकप्रियम् । भूतृणं तु भवेच्छत्रा मालातृणकमित्यपि ।।१६९।।

    भूतृणं कटुकं तिक्तं तीच्णोष्णं रेचनं लघु । विदाहि दीपनं रूचमनेत्र्यं मुखशोधनम् ॥१७०||

    अवृष्यं बहुविट्कञ्च पित्तरक्तप्रदूषणम् ॥ १७१ ।।

    Bhavprakash Nighantu (Guduchiyadi vargha, shloka number 171) 

    भूस्तृणो रोहिषो भूतिर्भूतिकोऽथ कुटुम्बकः । मालातृणश्च प्रलम्बच्छत्रोऽतिच्छत्रकस्तथा ।। ४३ ।।

    Dhanvantari Nighantu (Karveeradi vargha, shloka number 43 and 44)  

    भूस्तृणो लघुरुष्णश्च रूक्षः श्लेष्मामयापहः। अस्य प्रयोगः सहसा हन्ति जन्तून् समुद्धतान् ॥ ४४ ॥

    How does Ayurveda describe appearance of lemongrass?

    Lemongrass, a captivating member of the Poaceae family stands out quite effortlessly. This is primarily because of its lemon-like aroma floating through the air. Thus, also giving it the name “lemongrass”. They usually grow in clumps with a pale yellow and green stalk, reaching heights of up to 2 meters and extending up to 1.5 meters in width. The leaves are adorned with an arching shape edge. The Sanskrit name “Bhustrna” (bhus+trna) suggests its mastery in covering the ground with its tendency to flourish in captivating bunches.  

    Ayurvedic properties of lemongrass

    Rasa (Taste) – Lemongrass has katu (pungent) as well as tikta (bitter) taste. Lemongrass has a distinct flavor owing to these tastes. 

    Guna (Quality) – It possesses laghu (light) and ruksha (dry) qualities helping in balancing the doshas.  

    Virya (Potency) – Lemongrass exhibits tikshna (sharp) and ushna (hot) virya, adding warmth and sharpness to its overall properties. 

    Dosha – Kapha, vatahara (helps in reducing the Kapha and Vata dosha) 

    Karma (Specific action) - Agnideepaka (promotes digestion and assimilation process)  

    It is also beneficial for the eyes, mukha shodhaka (helps in cleansing the mouth), mutra janaka (diuretic), krimi, kasa, vamana, jwara (help in getting rid of worms, cough, vomiting and fever respectively), sweda janaka (promotes sweating) and ruchi kara (boosts the appetite). 

    What are the main actions of lemongrass as herb?

    Beyond its culinary appeal, lemongrass has been used for centuries to promote health and well-being, offering a natural solution to a variety of ailments, aiding a versatile range of disorders with various potential health advantages. 

    Promotes digestion (Agni deepaka): Often, lemongrass is used to ease digestive problems, especially enhancing gastrointestinal health. Lemongrass tea should be consumed, to reduce bloating thereby boosting digestion. 

    Read more: Six Easy Ayurvedic Tips For Healthy Digestion

    Anti-inflammatory: It can be used to decrease inflammation, in cases of wound, injury, or trauma, by consuming lemongrass capsules with water. Lemongrass essential oil when diluted with a carrier oil can be applied on the affected part, to reduce inflammation.   

    Cleansing of mouth (Mukha shodhaka): In order to maintain oral hygiene efficiently, one can use lemongrass. One can chew lemongrass stalk, to clean the oral cavity.  

    Diuretic (Mutra janaka): Because of the diuretic effect of lemongrass, it leads to higher urine production. This property is beneficial in removing the toxins (ama) from the body, ultimately preventing diseases. Diuretic action can be promoted by consuming lemongrass tea.  

    Antimicrobial: Lemongrass has a multitude of uses. It has proven to be effective in fighting against a wide array of microbes. Lemongrass capsules or essential oil can be administered in cases of infection.   

    Respiratory health: Lemongrass can effectively treat colds and cough (kasa). It can also be used to manage breathing disorders, by inhaling vapors.  

    Parts used:

    • The leaves can be steam-distilled to extract oil. They are full of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, folate, and C. 
    • Lemongrass stalk can also be used while making lemongrass tea and soup.

    Lemongrass medicinal uses:

    Lemongrass is a reservoir of crucial nutrients and offers a plethora of health benefits that can be applied for medical use. Lemongrass is rich in minerals along with potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. 

    Insomnia – Lemongrass contributes to the relaxation of nerves and muscles, and it additionally promotes sleep. Lemongrass tea has a sedative impact facilitating an extended and deep sleep1.

    Read more: The Secret Of Sound Sleep: Types And Techniques For Optimal Rest

    Detoxification –– Lemongrass helps in elimination of harmful toxins from the body leveraging its diuretic properties. Additionally, lemongrass can be useful when it comes to preventing elevated blood uric acid levels in the body2.This procedure helps with the regulation of diverse organs along with the liver and kidney. The diuretic movement of lemongrass tea cleanses the internal system by increasing the amount and frequency of urine1.  

    Stomach disorders – Including lemongrass in the diet can be useful for the maintenance of gut microflora and digestive functions. ​​Lemongrass oil also possesses antibacterial and anti-microbial attributes.2,3 These properties allow in combating infectious diseases caused due to lethal pathogens. It plays an important position in keeping off gastrointestinal troubles. Constipation, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and other stomach-related problems can be dealt with, thanks to the benefits of lemongrass tea.4  

    Aromatherapy – In aromatherapy, lemongrass essential oil is added into a diffuser or hot water, following which its vapors are inhaled. This helps in providing a calming and relaxing sensation and also shields against bacteria, flu, or colds.  

    Lemongrass for aromatherapy

    How does lemongrass affect your dosha?

    • Vata portrays the qualities of dryness, coldness and roughness. It also acts as a catalyst. Imbalances like insomnia, anxiety, and digestion issues are usually associated with Vata. To help pacify Vata, lemongrass serves as an excellent remedy. Lemongrass has a relaxing and calming effect which can be beneficial for individuals looking to balance Vata dosha.
    • Pitta dosha renders features of fire and water. It is a common reason for issues like inflammation, acidity, and irritability. While lemongrass is generally considered to have a cooling effect, it can increase Pitta when consumed in excess. If an individual is suffering from elevated Pitta, they must consume lemongrass in moderation.
    • Lemongrass has an inherent warm and dry nature which helps in balancing Kapha dosha by reducing excess moisture and promoting circulation. Intake of herbal tea can aid in balancing Kapha dosha by fostering a sense of lightness and vitality. 

    Contraindications, side effects & precautions

    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women – One of the agents which stimulates menstrual flow is Lemongrass. Therefore, it is contraindicated in the case of breast-feeding women. Hence, it is advised to take caution while consuming this herb.
    • Allergic reaction – Individuals who are allergic to lemongrass should avoid its consumption.
    • Apart from this, lemongrass should not be given to children and old aged individuals, without advice or under supervision of a health professional.
      There are no specific precautions one must take while consuming lemongrass apart from excess consumption which might imbalance the doshas and have adverse effects.
    • ​​Lemongrass can also cause Pitta rakta vitiation, if taken in excess. 

    Who can benefit from lemongrass consumption?

    • Individuals managing stress and anxiety.
    • Individuals with digestive disorders.
    • Individuals with insomnia. 
    • Individuals keen on aromatherapy.

    Consumption guidelines: How to consume at home?

    • Lemongrass tea: The easiest way to use lemongrass can be to make tea. Add a slice of ginger and 1 teaspoon of honey to warm water and lemongrass to enhance the flavor and voila! Your lemon grass tea is ready.
    • Lemongrass soup recipe: Lemongrass soup is also very popular. All you need is lemongrass, onion and a plant of ginger.


    • Cut the lemongrass stems into small pieces and cook the onions and ginger in the oil when softened and add them to your sliced lemongrass stems.
    • Cook for a few minutes, then add water and bring to a simmer. 
    • Season to taste, such as salt and pepper. 
    • ​​Prepare the soup and enjoy
    Lemongrass essential oil can be used in cooking. A small amount can deliver meals with an explosion of taste. 



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