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Friday, August 03, 2012 12:28 PM
Many of us associate the name Lemongrass with Asian cooking but are unaware that its essential oil has many valuable therapeutic uses.
Lemongrass is cultivated in the warm areas of Asia and china. The grass can grow up to half a metre tall and has rich green, ribbon-shaped leaves. It produces numerous bluish purple flowers. The essential oil is extracted from the grass by steam distillation. In addition to acting as a digestive tonic diuretic and antiseptic, the oil has pain-relieving properties. Citral is its major constituent.
The oil has a powerful lemony aroma and men especially are said to like its strong fresh scent.
In India where it has been used a s a very long time, Lemongrass is considerer a cooling herb. It is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat fevers and infections. It is regarded as a powerful wellbeing tonic and has the capacity to revive and revitalise a weary body. It has a toning effect on muscles, relieves pain, eliminates lactic acid and stimulates circulation. It is for this reason the oil is particularly good used in a sports massage blend.
The effect of Lemongrass oil on the mind is said to be purifying and stimulating. It is helpful for mental fatigue and loss of concentration.
Overall it should be used sparingly as it is fairly strong. On a caution note, it should be avoided in pregnancy and is not suitable for children who are eczema sufferers.
When unblended or undiluted the oil can irritate a sensitive skin. Interestingly though, as it is an astringent, it is said to regulate sebaceous secretions and is a skin antiseptic.
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