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Jamaican Fever Grass (Lemon Grass)
What's This New Rave About?
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Fever Grass Plant
I few weeks ago, I got the following message on WhatsApp from a friend (below), claiming the effectiveness of fever grass (called Lemon grass in other parts of the world) on the coronavirus.
In a matter of hours, I noticed that, not only did I get the same message in two of my WhatsApp groups, I got three orders on my Etsy store in a matter of hours for fever grass!
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Here is the message...
Well, I'm not one that runs with the first report, especially with social media, so I did my due diligence.
Oh, by the way, my neighbour, Ms Pat, also mentioned that her sister in the USA was told to stock up on some of this plant from Jamaica just in case!
I went to the CNN's website (Cnn.com) and did a search for the story, but to no avail. Absolutely no mention.
I also checked on Google.com and incidentally, the only information I found was the same message that is been shared on social media.
So essentially, I was not able to verify the source nor speak to the authenticity of this story or claim.
What I do know though is that fever grass is more than a regular herb tea here, and it has significant health benefits!
For some of us, it is a staple for breakfast, so much so that you'll likely find a plant, along with Jamaican peppermint, in the backyard of most rural homes.
But what exactly is it?
What is Fever Grass/ Lemon Grass?
And What Is It Used For?
As I indicated earlier, Fever Grass also called Lemon Grass or Citronella, is a sort of tall grass that grows wild in Jamaica that has a captivating distinctive citrusy flavour and aroma!
It is called fever grass in Jamaica primarily because it is used to treat colds and fevers, but historically, it is also used to promote sleep, boost immunity and relieve pain, including menstrual cramps and PMS.
As a natural diuretic, it is also used locally by persons who want to lose weight and purge the blood.
Nowadays, it is used widely as flavouring and aroma in dishes as well for fragrances in perfumes.
It is also increasingly used as a fragrance in massage oils as well as insect repellents. My friend Tanya developed a wildly popular product, a mosquito repellant, made from fever grass that was a hit during the dengue epidemic.
In aromatherapy it is used to freshen the air, reduce stress, and uplift mood.
And that's just a 'taste of it', fever grass products are increasing rapidly, just take a peek at Amazon
, apparently, many in the world are just getting around to learn about this amazing tropical plant.
The main way we use it here is as a tea.
Other Health Benefits Of Jamaican Fever Grass
In addition to the above, the following are some of the most notable benefits of fever grass, courtesy of HealthLine.com
- Powerful antioxidant properties
Confirmed by in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
- Distinct microbial properties
As published by the National Institutes of Health
- Anti-inflammatory properties
According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, there are two key compounds in lemongrass, citral and geranial, that are responsible for its strong anti-inflammatory properties. This might be helpful for persons with asthma and other respiratory conditions.
- May reduce the risk of Cancers
The same institution above found that there are are also several components in lemon grass that fights cancers.
- It promotes healthy digestion
And a study on rodents, the National Institutes of Health showed that fever grass may also be effective against gastric ulcers.
- It may reduce bad cholesterol.
The Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research found that fever grass oil extract actually helped to lower cholesterol in animals!
- And now, although not confirmed, there is increasing talks that it aids in the treatment of the Covid19 coronavirus symptoms.
And there is more....
- The popular health website, WedMD also has an extensive list of health benefits of Jamaican fever grass.
You can get the details here:https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-719/lemongrass
So there you go!
The effectiveness of fever grass on the coronavirus might not yet be scientifically substantiated (we didn't find that), but the health benefits otherwise are well documented.
At the least of it, it has a most captivating fresh aroma and makes a refreshing and delicious tea :-)
How To Make Fever Grass Tea
In Jamaica, we simply place a few leaves or stem/ stalk in boiling water, allow to steep for 3-5 minutes, then remove and sweeten with your favourite sweetener.
When I use it in the mornings, I sometimes add ginger to give it an even more zesty flavour!
How do you plan to use fever grass? Let me know in the comments section below.
Other Helpful Pages Related To Jamaican Fever Grass
References for Jamaican Fever Grass
- "10 Reasons to Drink Lemon Grass Tea", Healthline.com/, https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/lemongrass-tea#antimicrobial
- "LemonGrass", WebMD.com, https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-719/lemongrass
- "Free Radical Scavengers and Antioxidants from Lemongrass", ACS Publications, https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf0479766
- "Lemon Grass", MedicineNet, https://www.medicinenet.com/lemongrass/supplements-vitamins.htm
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About The Author
A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.
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