Therapeutic importance of Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemon grass)

Cymbopogon Citratus is well-recognized medicinal plant among all others, commonly acknowledged as lemongrass, used as a traditional substitute medicine for the cure of numerous diseases.

Consequently, a global population of around 3.5 to 4 billion depends upon therapeutic plants as they help to treat various complications like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and hyperlipidemia. According to World Health Organization (WHO) primary health care requirements of 80% earth’s population relied on traditional medicine. From all of c. 32000 higher plant species, 10 percent or more are used for medical purposes.

Characterization of Cymbopogon Citratus

C. Citratus is a tropical herb, which is testified as an efficient free radical predator and posses therapeutic activities because of its essential oils that have hypothetical pharmacological activities. Freshly cut and dried up leaves are extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is a member to Poaceae, a rather wide-ranging plant family encompassing approximately 500 genus and almost 8,000 species of herbs (generically designated as grasses). They are also consumed as popular remedy for headache, fever, flu, coughs, malaria, hypertension, gingivitis, ophthalmic pneumonia, weight loss, leprosy, nervous, gastrointestinal and vascular disorders. It has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidants activities that prevents from free radicals.

Photochemistry

Cymbopogon Citratus upon steam distillation yields essential oil which includes hydrocarbon terpenoids, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones and esters. Citral which isan integral component of the West Indian lemongrass act as anti-oxidant in many diseases. Bioactive components present in essential oil (EO) from lemongrass’ stalk and leaves. Overall 68 composites were characterized in lemongrass stalk EO whereas; lemongrass leaves EO contained 72 compounds. According to the results of GCMS analysis, it was concluded that the major constituents existing in leaves and stalk’ EO counted in, neral (21.73% and 22.36%), geraniol (7.75% and 5.40%), β-myrcene (2.28% and 2.20%), limonene (5.92% and 5.71%) respectively.

Nutritional importance

They exist as the  Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, or as enzyme schemes like superoxide dismutase, catalase, transition metal binding Proteins, glutathione peroxidase, triterpenes, and saponins .C. Citratus has preventive action in many diseases by acting as antioxidants. They include the plant phenolics mainly pro-anthocyanidins; nitrogen- containing phenyl-propanoids, the polyphenolic compounds such as tannins and flavonoids and compounds including the non-protein amino acids, alkaloids, isothiocyanate, carotenoids, and phytosterols.

Hypoglycemic Effect of C. Citratus

According to estimates of International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in 2013, 382 million people suffered from diabetes globally. This number is prognosticated to increase to 595 million by the year 2035. C. Citratus has been studied to some degree as an anti-diabetic agent. By using in vitro methods, methanol and acetone extract of C. Citratus demonstrates inhibitory activity of a-amylase enzyme, whereas, the hexane crude extricates of C. Citratus exhibit a very potent inhibitory activity (99%) %) of a- Glycosidase at 1 mg/ml.

Anti-oxidant Property of C. Citratus

Reactive oxygen species are responsible for various conditions related to cardio vascularity such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction and heart failure. According to study, C. Citratus has the protective effects on the oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide in the reproductive system. C Citratus is also found to have protective effect against H2O2 induced injury in liver and reduces the oxidative stress-induced pathological changes alterations. Citratus antioxidant activity helps in recovering impaired glucose metabolism through secretion of insulin from the Beta cells of the pancreas and act as hepatoprotective.

Hypolipidemic Effect of C. Citratus

Numerous phytoconsituents such as phenolic content and vitamin C is present in C. Citratus help in reduction of cardiovascular related deaths and cause hypolipidemic action. Polyphenols and vitamin C have an intrinsic capability to lessening the exposure of oxidation aimed on LDL. Phytoconsituents in the C. Citratus reducescholesterol level and destruction triggered by oxidized form of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Flavonoids with polyphenolic compounds present in C. Citratus are stated to hinder the action of HMG CoA reductase.

Anti-Cancerous Effect of Cymbopogon Citratus

According to GLOBOCAN evaluations, approximately 14.1 million new incidents of cancer and 8.2 million mortalities occurred in 2012 globally. Approximately 65% of deaths occur due to cancer, globally. Cymbopogon Citratus have medicinal properties due to its essential oils that have potential biological, pharmacological and anti-cancerous activities. Moreover, citral also has anti mutagenicity activities and has potency to reduce proliferation of cancerous cells.

Authors:

  1. Aarzoo Ashraf, M.Phil. Epidemiology and Public health, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.
  2. Muhammad Sohail Sajid, Chairman Dept. of Parasitology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.

Aarzoo Ashraf

Well ,its Aarzoo Ashraf here (Nutritionist). Currently, I'm a student of M.Phil Epidemiology and Public Health from the University of agriculture Faisalabad.

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