Tanglad or lemon grass is a commercially-viable plant that is cultivated mainly for the fragrance that it produces. It can be easily found in most Asian countries, and is widely cultivated in tropical areas. By nature, tanglad is a permanent or perennial plant, and the benefits of which are not restricted to its fragrance. The utility of tanglad basically lies in its leaves, where all the benefits are derived. What can be seen of this plant are mainly its leaves, which allows easy access to the main part that is needed in order to enjoy tanglad's health benefits. It constitutes most of what appears of this plant above ground, as the leaves grow up to one meter in length, and are flat in shape.

    Beneficial Elements

  1. The essential oil from lemongrass contains myrcene, geranyl acetate, limonene and other elements that are considered to be beneficial. Lemongrass also contains beta carotene, an antioxidant which has been found to be useful in healthy cell and tissue growth in the body. The citral and citronellas components of lemongrass have been found to be effective in aroma therapy treatment. 
Lemongrass is also reported to have analgesic properties, which help reduce pain from inflammation of muscles, joints, tendons and other parts of the body, according to the National Library of Medicine. It has been used to treat pain caused by viral infections such as colds and influenza, as well as oral maladies found in the gums and teeth. Lemongrass has been used for many years in some Asian cultures for reducing fevers resulting from viral infections and inflammation. It is said to be an effective diuretic that helps increase urination to aid in digestion and maintains healthy blood pressure and kidney function. 

The culinary applications of lemongrass fight acidity and spiciness, as well as add a pleasing taste and aroma to foods and teas.
The use of this plant in the treatment of general malaise is becoming more common. Lemongrass has been used as a sedative in Asian medicine for many years because of its apparent calming effect. More recently, it has been applied in various treatments for symptoms of depression and fatigue. 

1) The Lemon grass is a good cleanser that helps to detoxify the Liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract.
2) It cuts down uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats and other toxins in the body while stimulating digestion, blood circulation, and lactation; it also alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis.

3) It is said that lemongrass also helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples and acts as a muscle and tissue toner.

4) Also, it can reduce blood pressure. Just make a concoction by boiling some lemon grass leaves, let it cool for a while and drink the liquid.

5) A recent study by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the department of Science and technology ( DOST ) claims that every 100g of edible tanglad when boiled can contain up to 24.205 micrograms of beta-carotene the anti-oxidant that scientists believe can help prevent cancer.

 Another DOST study shows that lemon grass oil has the potential as a tropical eye medication against keratomycosis, an inflammation of cornea often associated with burning or blurring of vision.

(From Manolito Montala's Article)

More Health Benefits of Lemon Grass:

  • It contains an antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • It helps to detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract.
  • Helps boost the immune system
  • Helps reduce uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats
  • It helps alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis.
  • Helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples
  • It helps tone the muscle and tissues.
    • Helps in menstrual troubles
    • Helps reduce blood pressure and improve blood circulation
    • Helps reduce cellulite
    • Act as sedative for the central nervous system.
    • May help prevent color cancer.
    • Helps in reducing fevers
    • Help in flatulence and colic
    • Relieves arthritic pain and rheumatism

Some more Health benefits:

A mild sedative with antidepressant, anti-microbial, antiseptic, antioxidant and insecticidal properties. Lemon grass tea or lemon grass juice is taken to relieve fever. Lemon grass used in cooking will relieve flatulence. Adding lemon grass into food not only enhances digestion but also stimulates the immune system to fight infectious diseases. Lemon grass may be brewed as a tea and taken to increase appetite and relieve cold. Likewise, lemon grass may be added into soups and taken to relieve flatulence and to increase blood circulation.

Lemon Grass prompt cancer cells to commit suicide

Fresh lemon grass fields in Israel become Mecca for cancer patients

A drink with as little as one gram of lemon grass contains enough citral to prompt cancer cells to commit suicide in the test tube.

Israeli researchers find way to make cancer cells self-destruct – Ben Gurion University

At first, Benny Zabidov, an Israeli agriculturalist who grows greenhouses full of lush spices on a pastoral farm in Kfar Yedidya in the Sharon region, couldn’t understand why so many cancer patients from around the country were showing up on his doorstep asking for fresh lemon grass. It turned out that their doctors had sent them.
‘They had been told to drink eight glasses of hot water with fresh lemon grass steeped in it on the days that they went for their radiation and chemotherapy treatments ,’ Zabidov told ISRAEL21c. ‘And this is the place you go to in Israel for fresh lemon grass.’
It all began when researchers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev discovered last year that the lemon aroma in herbs like lemon grass kills cancer cells in vitro, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
The research team was led by Dr. Rivka Ofir and Prof. Yakov Weinstein incumbent of the Albert Katz Chair in Cell-Differentiatio n and Malignant Diseases, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at BGU. Citral is the key component that gives the lemony aroma and taste in several herbal plants such as lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), Melissa (Melissa officinalis) and verbena (Verbena officinalis.)
According to Ofir, the study found that Citral causes cancer cells to ‘commit suicide: using apoptosis, a mechanism called programmed cell death.’ A drink with as little as one gram of lemon grass contains enough Citral to prompt the cancer cells to commit suicide in the test tube. The BGU investigators checked the influence of the Citral on cancerous cells by adding them to both cancerous cells and normal cells that were grown in a petri dish. The quantity added in the concentrate was equivalent to the amount contained in a cup of regular tea using one gram of lemon herbs in hot water. While the Citral killed the cancerous cells, the normal cells remained unharmed. The findings were published in the scientific journal *Planta Medica* , which highlights research on alternative and herbal remedies. Shortly afterwards, the discovery was featured in the popular Israeli press.
Why does it work? Nobody knows for certain, but the BGU scientists have a theory.
In each cell in our body, there is a genetic program which causes programmed cell death. When something goes wrong, the cells divide with no control and become cancer cells. In normal cells, when the cell discovers that the control system is not operating correctly for example, when it recognizes that a cell contains faulty genetic material following cell division – it triggers cell death, ‘ explains Weinstein. ‘This research may explain the medical benefit of these herbs.’ The success of their research led them to the conclusion that herbs containing Citral may be consumed as a preventative measure against certain cancerous cells.
As they learned of the BGU findings in the press, many physicians in Israel began to believe that while the research certainly needs to be explored further. In the meantime it would be advisable for their patients, who were looking for any possible tool to fight their condition, to try to harness the cancer-destroying properties of Citral.
That’s why Zabidov’s farm – the only major grower of fresh lemon grass in Israel – has become a pilgrimage destination for these patients. Luckily, they found themselves in sympathetic hands. Zabidov greets visitors with a large kettle of aromatic lemon grass tea, a plate of cookies, and a supportive attitude.
‘My father died of cancer, and my wife’s sister died young because of cancer,’ said Zabidov. ‘So I understand what they are dealing with. And I may not know anything about medicine, but I’m a good listener. And so they tell me about their expensive painful treatments and what they’ve been through. I would never tell them to stop being treated, but it’s great that they are exploring alternatives and drinking the lemon grass tea as well.’
Zabidov knew from a young age that agriculture was his calling. At age 14, he enrolled in the Kfar Hayarok Agricultural high school. After his army service, he joined an idealistic group, which headed south, in the Arava desert region, to found a new moshav (agricultural settlement) called Tsofar. ‘We were very successful; we raised fruits and vegetables, and,’ he notes with a smile, ‘We raised some very nice children.’
On a trip to Europe in the mid-80s, he began to become interested in herbs. Israel, at the time, was nothing like the trend-conscious cuisine-oriented country it is today, and the only spices being grown commercially were basics like parsley, dill, and coriander. Wandering in the Paris market, looking at the variety of herbs and spices, Zabidov realized that there was a great export potential in this niche. He brought samples back home with him, ‘which was technically illegal,’ he says with a guilty smile, to see how they would grow in his desert greenhouses. Soon, he was growing basil, oregano, tarragon, chives, sage, marjoram and melissa, and mint just to name a few. His business began to outgrow his desert facilities, and so he decided to move north, settling in the moshav of Kfar Yedidya, an hour and a half north of Tel Aviv. He is now selling ‘several hundred kilos’ of lemon grass per week, and has signed with a distributor to package and put it in health food stores. Zabidov has taken it upon himself to learn more about the properties of Citral, and help his customers learn more, and has invited medical experts to his farm to give lectures about how the Citral works and why.
He also felt a responsibility to know what to tell his customers about its use. ‘When I realized what was happening, I picked up the phone and called Dr. Weinstein at Ben-Gurion University, because these people were asking me exactly the best way to consume the Citral. He said to put the loose grass in hot water, and drink about eight glasses each day.’ Zabidov is pleased by the findings, not simply because it means business for his farm, but because it might influence his own health. Even before the news of its benefits was demonstrated, he and his family had been drinking lemon grass in hot water for years, ‘just because it tastes good.’
Simon Sim
PS. Received the above from one of our student, Yen. Sharing with all our students. Edited and re-paragraphed for your consumption.
I am going to drink lemon grass water every day. In my condo, there is a bush of lemon grass. But if this work, definitely, the Bitter Weeds and the Dragon Crossing River should also work.
A bitter leaf a day keeps Cancer away.

Be it ever so humble, there is no grass like a lemon grass. A very useful medicinal plant and a tasty food flavoring.