Lemongrass is typically used as an addition to Thai food or as a citrusy addition to a homemade household cleaner. Few people are familiar with the fact that lemongrass serves as a “potential cancer treatment.” Although it is a preliminary piece of research, the findings are indeed outstanding.
Study Shows Lemongrass Extract Kills Cancer Cells
At a university in India, researcher Kavisa Ghosh did a study to learn how lemongrass extract interacted with two cell lines commonly used in cancer research: HeLa and ME-180, which are both cervical cancer cells. The tests involved using lemongrass oil and citral emulsion, a compound found in lemongrass.
In the study, both substances reduced the proliferation of the cells, while increasing intracellular ROS (oxidative stress) on the cancer cells and inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.
As concluded by the authors of the study, “All the results suggest lemongrass oil and citral emulsion could be considered as potent candidates for anticancer agents.” Specifically, lemongrass and its constituents have been proven to slow or stop:
- Ovarian cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Liver cancer
- Sarcoma (bone/soft tissue cancer)
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- Skin cancer
Although these results are hopeful, it is important to understand that they have been obtained through the use of cells in animal or lab models. No cancer patients have undergone the trials to see if these effects translate to human body!
What are the proven benefits of lemongrass?
Lemongrass is well-known for its antifungal, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.
- Antifungal: It is effective against Malassezia spp and fungi like tropicalis and Aspergillus niger.
- Anti-parasitic: In lab studies, lemongrass essential oil proved as an anti-parasitic agent against the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite.
- Antiviral: According to a study done in rats in 2014, lemongrass oil and citral protected the animals against the norovirus.
- Anti-inflammatory: Researchers at an Algerian university found that lemongrass essential oil was effective in reducing skin inflammation in mice.
- Anti-anxiety: Some studies have found that inhaling of lemongrass oil helps to quell anxious reactions to stimuli and improve the recovery time.
- Antimicrobial: A study in India discovered that a solution of 2% lemongrass essential oil in gel form was effective in preventing further infection in patients with periodontal disease.
How to Use Lemongrass?
There are 2 ways to reap the benefits of lemongrass: lemongrass tea and lemongrass essential oil.
Lemongrass tea can be found in many major retailers and online. The taste resembles lemon, but it is less strong. It is a tasty herbal tea which goes great with a bit of honey. Many people use it to improve their disease-fighting defenses and healthy digestion.
To use lemongrass to improve sleep or calm anxiety, you can try out lemongrass essential oil. Use a few drops in a diffuser to breathe in the aromatic power of the oil, or dilute it and use topically to kill off bacteria.