Tanglad (Cymbopogon citratus), is a native herb from warm regions such as India, Philippines and Malaysia, is widely used in Asian cooking and is an ingredient in many Thai and Vietnamese foods. Tanglad use in cooking has become popular in the Caribbean and in the United States for its aromatic citrus flavor with a trace of ginger.
Tanglad is a member of a specie of grass that grows to as high as 1 meter with leaves of 1 to 1.5 centimeters in width that grows from a stalk of about 30 to 80 cm long with bulbous lower end.
Tanglad is a perennial and tufted grass that is commercially cultivated in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and China. tanglad is also cultivated in United States specifically in California and Florida. Propagation is by dividing the root clumps.
Tanglad oil has a lemony, sweet smell and is dark yellow to amber and reddish in color that is extracted by distillation. Tanglad is also known as 'choomana poolu' and is also referred to as 'Indian Verbena' or 'Indian M`elissa oil'. tanglad oil is a valuable ingredient in cosmetics, perfumes and as fragrances for soaps and insect repellants.
Tanglad is reportedly has a wide variety of therapeutic application and health benefits. With limited research and studies conducted on humans, tanglad's effectiveness is based mainly on the results from animal and laboratory studies as well as its reputation as a folk remedy.
Tanglad Traditional Medicinal Uses:
Tanglad is largely used in traditional herbal medicine for various conditions.
Tanglad as herbal Tea: (Taken 1 cup every 8 hours)
- for gastrointestinal problems stomachaches,
- diarrhea, gas, bowel spasms, vomiting,
- fever, the flu, and headaches
- back pains,
- neuralgia, sprains and
- other body pains.
- used in baths or vapor scents, can revitalize the body and relieve the symptoms of jet lag, headaches, anxiety and stress related exhaustion.
Tanglad is also used in Chinese medicine to treat colds and rheumatism.
To treat circulatory disorders, some authorities recommend rubbing a few drops of tanglad oil on the skin of affected areas; it is believed to work by improving blood flow.
Tanglad has natural anti-microbial properties, is an antiseptic, suitable for use on various types of skin infections, usually as a wash or compress, and is especially effective on ringworm, infected sores. Acne and athlete's foot
Tanglad is effective in killing cancer cells.
It is useful with respiratory infections such as sore throats, laryngitis and fever and helps prevent spreading of infectious diseases.
Tanglad is also used as an insect repellant. It helps to keep pets clean of fleas, ticks and lice.
In Asia and Africa, tanglad is used as antiseptic, antitussive, and anti-rheumatic and to treat backache, sprains, and hemoptysis. Infusions of tanglad leaves are used in alternative medicine as sedative, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory.
In some African countries, Tanglad is used to treat diabetes.
Where can I get or buy tanglad?
Tanglad thrives in the wild even without too much care. It can be grown in pots and gardens. The stalks and leaves are harvested and used. Fresh tanglad can also be bought in most Asian markets by bundles.
Tanglad oil extract can also be bought in most grocery and health foods stores. tanglad comes in various forms, such as powder, dried leaves and essential oil.
Tanglad Tea Preparation
- Pound or cut about 10 leaves of tanglad
- Then add in 2 cups of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes,
- Strain, add sugar and a slice of ginger to taste.
- Let it cool and drink a cup three to four times a day.
- Make new tanglad herbal tea as needed.
Tanglad oil (food grade) can also be used to make tea by diluting 2 teaspoon of tanglad oil to a cup of boiling water.
Tanglad Liniment Preparation
- Boil equal amounts of chopped leaves and roots with freshly made coconut oil
- You can also mix 2 drops of tanglad oil to an ounce of your usual oil used such as coconut oil, olive oil, etc.
Chop about a cup of tanglad leaves to a liter of water. Let it boil and strain. You can add it to your bath or you can use it as herbal compress for skin infections.
Tanglad oil can also be added to a bath or warm water for hot compress. a tablespoon of oil for every 500ml for compress is suggested.
Tanglad Warnings and Side Effects
When cooked and properly prepared, eating tanglad has been proven beneficial even for young children, pregnant women and breast feeding mothers.
Tanglad is not known to be harmful when taken in recommended dosages. However, individuals should always take caution before using any treatment.
Pregnancy and Breast feeding. The essential oil should not be used internally by children, women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Liver or kidney disease. When used for various medication, There are reports of the following:
- Burning sensation(s)
- Skin Irritation, discomfort, and rash
- Lowered blood glucose
- Individuals taking oral diabetes drugs
- Individuals taking anti-hypertensive drugs
- Individuals with diabetes and / or individuals who are hypoglycemic
- Allergies. In rare cases, tanglad essential oil has caused allergic reactions when applied to the skin. To minimize skin irritation, dilute the oil in a carrier oil such as safflower or sunflower seed oil before application. As with all essential oils, small amounts should be used, and only for a limited time.
- Can cause eye irritation. Avoid getting tanglad (herb or oil) in the eyes.
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Source: Medical Health Guide
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