Lemongrass Extract

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Lemongrass

Cymbopogon citratus

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), a stalky plant with long, thin leaves, is one of the largely cultivated medicinal plants for its essential oils in parts of Asia, Africa and America. It has a fresh, lemony aroma and a citrus flavor. It is a common ingredient in soups, curries, laksa, and tomyam. One of the most popular ways to enjoy lemongrass is in tea.

Lemongrass contains 1-2% of essential oil on dry basis. One of the main constituents of the many different species of lemongrass (genus Cymbopogon) is citral. Lemongrass oil has been found to contain up to 75-85% citral. Lemongrass is also used as a folk remedy to promote sleep, relieve pain, boost immunity and also as bug repellent.
Citral (monoterpene) which is also found in lemon peels, is the substance that gives lemongrass its distinctive aroma and flavor. Compared to all other plants, lemongrass contains the highest amount of citral. Citral is known to be a mixture of stereoisomers, geranial (E-isomer) and neral (Z-isomer). Lemongrass also contains various phenolic compounds and flavonoids that possess anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive and anti-diabetic effects by scavenging free radicals that cause adverse effects in the body.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Anti-inflammatory and Relieve Pain

In vivo study on effect of lemongrass extract on inflammation and pain

SubjectALB/c mice (n=20)Male rats and mice (n=48)
Duration of the study3 days4 hours
Dosage200 mg/kg body weight35-140 mg/kg
Groups• Control group     • Treatment group• Negative control     • Positive control     • Test group
Parameters analysedMacrophages obtained to determine cytokine production• Paw oedema volume     • Analgesic capacity     • Histological analysis
Function  
• Lemongrass has anti-inflammatory action by cytokine inhibition.     • The polyphenols present in the extract showed a significant contribution for these activities.
Visible benefits  
• Lemongrass extract inhibited macrophages to produce IL-1β.     • Linalool oxide and epoxy-linalool oxide found in the extract possess anti-inflammatory activity.
Visible benefits  
• Lemongrass extract inhibited oedema by 70.8 and 82.3% in acute inflammatory models while 84% for positive control group     • The extract reduced peripheral pain by 57% and 83% for positive control group.

Antioxidant

In vivo study on antioxidant activity of lemongrass extract

SubjectRats (n=20)Male rats (n=30)
Duration of the study10 days60 days
Dosage100 mg/kg body weight100, 200 mg/kg body weight
Groups• Normal (no treatment)     • Control (paracetamol alone)     • Treatment group (Extract + paracetamol)• Normal     • Induced cardiotoxicity and untreated     • 100 mg/kg body weight     • 200 mg/kg body weight     • Vitamin E
Parameters analysedMalondialdehyde (MDA) -Serum vitamin C      • Catalase activity      • Cholesterol      • Phospholipids• Creatine kinase,lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT) and glutamate pyruvate transaminase(GPT)      • Oxidative stress markers like thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and hydroperoxide      • Enzymatic antioxidants like superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase(GPx) and glutathione-s-transferase (GST)      • Non-enzymatic antioxidants like reduced glutathione (GSH), vitamin E and vitamin C.
Function • LG extract could protect from drug-induced lipids peroxidation via its antioxidative effects.      • LG extract has several phenolic compounds such as isoscoparin, swertiajaponin, isoorientin, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid that exert cardioprotective effect.Visible benefits • Pre-treatment with lemongrass inhibited the elevation of serum levels of MDA and catalase.      • The depletion of vitamin C was also prevented.      • The extract prevented alteration to membrane lipids by preventing the increase in cholesterol/phospholipid ratio by paracetamol.Visible benefits • LG pretreatment decreased activity of cardiac markers in serum and increased the same in heart homogenate.      • LG decreased the toxic events of lipid peroxidation (TBARS) in both serum and heart tissue, by increasing the level of enzymatic antioxidants and non-enzymatic antioxidants.      • The LG extract at a dose of 200 mg/kg b.wt.is cardioprotective and antilipid peroxidative, which is comparable to vitamin E.

Lemongrass Extract Reduces Body Lipid and Glucose Level

In vivo study on lemongrass extract on lipid profile and glucose level

SubjectMale rats (n=18)
Duration of the study4 weeks
Dosage1.5 ml/10g BW daily
Groups• Non-diabetic control rats     • Non-treated diabetic rats (NTDR)      • Treated diabetic rats (TDR)
Parameters analysedTotal cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and glucose levels in blood
Function LG extract has both hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects.Visible benefits LG extract reduced BW, blood glucose, TG, TC and LDL levels of diabetic rats and the rats had higher HDL levels compared to the non-treated group.

Aids Digestion

In vivo study on lemongrass extract on digestion

SubjectMale mice (n=32)
Duration of the study1 hour
Dosage200 and 400 mg/kg BW
Groups• Negative control     • Positive control
• 200 mg/kg BW
• 400 mg/kg BW
Parameters analysedGastric damage lesion score
Function
LG extract can be used to reduce gastric damage and thus potentially be used to treat gastric ulcer, stomach cramping or upset.
Visible benefits
• LG pretreatment depicted a higher preventive index in ethanol-(88%) and aspirin-induced (76%) acute ulceration.    • The extract protects against aspirin-induced gastric ulcers may be due to enhanced synthesis of prostaglandins, thus improving the microcirculation.

Boosting Red Blood Cell Levels

In vivo study on lemongrass extract on red blood cells

Subject55 men and 50 women aged 18-35
Duration of the study30 days
DosageInfusion of 2, 4, or 8 g of lemongrass leaves once daily
Groups• 2g     • 4g • 8g
Parameters analysedHemoglobin (Hb) concentration, packed cell volume (PCV), red blood cell (RBC) count, mean cell Hb (MCH), mean cell volume (MCV), mean cell Hb concentration (MCHC), total white blood cell (WBC-total) and differentials, and platelets
Function It can boost red blood cell production likely due to the presence of some nutritional constituents and its antioxidants.Visible benefits The LG infusions increased PCV, Hb, and RBC in all subjects, particularly in the subchronic phase (30 days).