Skip to main content

Bliss Life

be bold. be brave. be remembered.

Lemongrass Made Cancer Cells Commit Suicide: Who Knew...

May 20, 2013 09:31PM

Lemon Grass

Native to India and used as an herb in Asian cooking, its common names include lemon grass, lemongrass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, citronella grass, fever grass or Hierba Luisa. In the Philippines, it is known as tanglad. It is added to soups and stews, boiled to make tea and one of its species is the source of citronella oil used as insect repellent. During the last few years, lemongrass received a lot of attention from the media when an agriculturist in Israel was swamped with cancer patients asking for lemongrass.

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…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. -Israel21C

But whether or not lemongrass can indeed cure cancer, it is a fact that it is a great addition to many Indian and Asian dishes. Below is a guide on how to prepare lemongrass for cooking.