(Natural News) One of the many side effects of taking acetaminophen drugs is liver damage. Keeping the liver healthy is essential because it plays many vital roles in the proper functioning of the whole body. To protect your liver from damage, researchers from the State University of Maringa in Brazil suggest taking lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil.
In their study, the researchers looked at the protective effects of essential oil extracted from lemongrass on the liver. For this purpose, they tested the effects of lemongrass essential oil using an animal model of acute liver injury induced by acetaminophen. They pretreated mice with 125, 250, or 500 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of lemongrass essential oil or 200 mg/kg of a standard drug per day for seven days. Then, they induced liver toxicity by administering 250 mg/kg dose of acetaminophen.
The researchers determined liver disease markers, which included alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gamma-glutamyl transferase, to assess the liver-protective effects of lemongrass essential oil. They also measured the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of lemongrass essential oil.
The results showed that pretreatment with lemongrass essential oil significantly reduced the levels of ALT, AST, and ALP. It also reduced inflammation in the liver and increased antioxidant activity in the liver. In addition, pretreatment with lemongrass essential oil improved of liver lesions in mice.
From these findings, which were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, the Brazilian researchers concluded that lemongrass essential oil has protective effects against liver damage induced by acetaminophen.
How acetaminophen damages the liver
Natural News has previously covered how acetaminophen damages the liver. Acetaminophen, which is sold under the brand name Tylenol, is a widely used over-the-counter drug used for pain relief. When you take acetaminophen, the drug goes in the bloodstream through the gastrointestinal tract, then to the liver. The liver will metabolize and break down the drug, and during this process, acetaminophen releases a toxin called NAPQI (N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine). It can accumulate, and the liver won’t be able to process it effectively. As a result, NAPQI will start damaging liver cells. Statistics show that taking too much acetaminophen is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.
To prevent liver problems, avoid taking pharmaceuticals and try natural alternatives for pain relief instead. Ginger, turmeric, capsaicin from chili peppers, valerian root, magnesium, cat’s claw, Boswellia, and white willow bark are some of the best natural pain relief alternatives you can try.
Other health benefits of lemongrass essential oil
In addition to improving liver health, lemongrass essential oil can also be used to improve your overall wellbeing. Lemongrass essential oil offers the following health benefits:
- Fights bacteria and fungi: Research has shown that lemongrass essential oil effectively fights various drug-resistant bacteria, such as those that cause blood infections, pneumonia, severe intestinal infections, and skin infections. The essential oil was also found to be effective against fungi that cause athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch.
- Regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels: Lemongrass essential oil may be beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes as it helps lower blood sugar levels. In addition to this, it also improves lipids and increases levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or the “good” cholesterol.
- Eases digestive problems: Studies have shown that the essential oil can help treat stomachaches, gastric ulcers, constipation, and diarrhea.
- Relieves stress and anxiety: Lemongrass essential oil can be used in aromatherapy to help relieve stress and anxiety. Research suggests combining lemongrass and sweet almond essential oils, then massaging the mixture into your skin to relieve stress and lower elevated blood pressure.
You can use lemongrass in aromatherapy by mixing up to 12 drops of it with a teaspoon of carrier oil, such as coconut, sweet almond, or jojoba essential oils. Add the mixture to a warm bath or massage it into your skin.
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