Lemongrass protects the body from oxidative stress, keeps heart disease at bay

Lemongrass, scientifically known as Cymbopogon citratus, is a popular herb added to food and drink, mainly because of its uniquely fresh and citrusy flavor. In addition to being a flavor enhancer, this herb also offers many health benefits. A new study shows that the essential oil extracted from lemongrass can help keep the heart healthy, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In the study, a team of researchers at the University of Madras and Prist University in India looked at the therapeutic properties of lemongrass essential oil and evaluated its ability to protect cells from harmful agents.

To do this, the research team induced cytotoxicity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, which caused modified low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. When LDL cholesterol and reactive oxygen species build up in the arteries, it can damage the endothelium, resulting in atherosclerosis. It is a disease wherein plaque builds up inside the arteries. In addition, the researchers also assessed the electron-donating capability of lemongrass essential oil and compared it with L-ascorbic acid.

Based on the results of the study, lemongrass essential oil showed powerful antioxidant activity against modified LDL in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, exhibiting free radical scavenging activity and eliminating reactive oxygen species. In addition, its antioxidant activity was greater compared to the standard L-ascorbic acid. Lemongrass essential oil also exhibited cytoprotective properties against modified LDL in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In addition, the researchers found that it has anti-inflammatory properties as it inhibited the destruction of red blood cells.

From these findings, the researchers concluded that lemongrass essential oil may be used to protect against coronary artery diseases such as atherosclerosis because of its powerful antioxidant, cytoprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties. The findings of the study were published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness.

Lemongrass essential oil also lowers cholesterol levels

Chronic inflammation can result in a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, but this may be suppressed by lemongrass essential oil due to its anti-inflammatory properties, according to a study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. In the study, Indian researchers treated laboratory animals with lemongrass essential oil extract at doses of 5 micrograms (mcg) or 10 mcg. The results revealed that the lemongrass essential oil extract treatments substantially increased the activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase — both of which are potent antioxidants. In addition, both doses of lemongrass essential oil extracts reduced levels of molecules that promote inflammation. In particular, lemongrass essential oil reduced levels of malondialdehyde, a marker of oxidized lipids, in certain white blood cells linked to atherosclerosis.

In another study, researchers treated rats with a daily oral dose of 125 to 500 milligrams (mg) of lemongrass essential oil for 42 days. The results showed that the treatment reduced LDL or bad cholesterol levels while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol levels.

Lemongrass essential oil can also reduce cholesterol levels due to its terpenoids, according to another study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Terpenoid compounds in this herb, such as geraniol and citral, prevent the production of mevalonic acid, which is an intermediary in the production of cholesterol. These compounds may also be helpful not only for regulating cholesterol levels but also for managing diabetes and obesity, according to a Japanese study published in the journal PPAR Research.

If you want to try lemongrass essential oil for improving your cholesterol levels, you can take as high as 3.5 grams per kilogram (g/kg) body weight, which is considered nontoxic. You can also consume the herb by infusing its leaves, which contain 0.4 percent essential oil, in hot water to make lemongrass tea. (Related: Lemongrass tea boosts the production of red blood cells, making it a great natural treatment for anemia.)

Read more news stories and studies on the protective effects of lemongrass essential oil on the heart by going to EssentialOils.news.

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