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What Is Fever Grass?

In India, fever grass is called lemongrass, and is often used in Indian cuisine.
Fever grass may alleviate symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes.
Fever grass is commonly used in Jamaica to help relieve a fever.
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  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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Fever grass goes by many names. The name for the herb is usually contingent on its location. The grass has been commonly used in Jamaica to help a person relieve a fever, which is where the herb gets its name. In addition to relieving a fever, the plant has many other medicinal properties.

In Jamaica, the grass grows in the rural parts of the country and is considered seasonal. Long, slender green leaves characterize the grass. The leaves usually grow directly from the ground or in the form of a bush. The grass has been known to reside in any region considered tropical or subtropical. For example, fever grass can be found in many parts of India.

Some common names for the grass include barbed wire grass, citronella, silky grass, and Gavati Chaha. In India, fever grass is called lemongrass. The grass grows very naturally and is used in the native cuisine in India. As a herb, it is used in dried or powdered form, but it can also be used fresh in cooking.

Research examining the benefits of this herb has continued over the years. In 2006, a research team discovered that the grass could be used to fight cancer. In addition to fighting cancer cells, the grass has also been credited for its nutritional qualities that increase longevity.

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Some believe that fever grass can also be useful in calming the effects of menopause. For example, the grass can be helpful in reducing hot flashes. It's the calmative nature of the grass that helps reduce menopause symptoms.

Fever grass is often consumed in the form of tea. To use the grass as tea, it is boiled in water for around ten minutes. When it is consumed in the form of a tea, the grass is usually sweetened with brown sugar or honey. As tea, the grass is a diuretic that can also be used to fight obesity. It has been known to help overweight individuals stabilize their weight.

A variety of products are made by using oil from this grass. The grass has been used in soaps, candles, insect repellent sprays, and even household disinfectants. Fever grass oil has antiseptic properties, which makes it a good ingredient for disinfectant soaps.

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Discuss this Article

anon301721
Post 13

Lemon grass or fever grass -- I think they are the same. It relaxes you and I think it helps with palpitations, also rosemary. My son is 14 and he loves the taste.

bagley79
Post 12

Reading all these posts about fever grass makes me want to go out and buy some. I had no idea that fever grass and lemongrass were the same thing.

Has anyone ever tried this to help them lose weight? This is what I was most interested in when I was reading all the benefits of this herb.

This is always a battle for me and I wonder if anyone has any success stories with this? I have tried so many things that haven't worked, so don't want to get my hopes up if it doesn't really work well for that.

julies
Post 11

@LisaLou - I am sure you could find lemongrass supplements at most health food stores. I order mine online and they come in the form of a capsule.

With these capsules, you don't get the taste or smell of the lemongrass, but you still get the benefits from it.

I like to use lemongrass supplements for headaches and for digestive issues. This is something I don't take every day, but only when I am struggling with something.

I find it so interesting that the one herb has so many benefits. One of my friends swears by it as an insect repellent.

She puts a few drops of lemongrass essential oil in a spray bottle with water. This is what she sprays herself with instead of all the chemicals. She can sit outside in the evenings and the mosquitoes don't bite her.

She says they might land on her, but once they smell the lemongrass they never bite and fly away. I think it would be worth a try. It would sure smell better than the bug sprays I usually have on hand.

andee
Post 10
@LisaLou - The main reason I started using lemongrass was for hot flashes. Once in a while I still get a hot flash, but not nearly as often as I used to.

Menopause can be hard on your body and I noticed my skin was drier and my nails were brittle. Both of these problems got better after taking lemongrass for a few weeks.

I discovered a lot of benefits to using lemongrass. Sometimes I mix a few drop of essential oil into some coconut oil to help with stiff, sore joints.

This smells a lot better than most of the other arthritis creams I have tried and works just as well, or better.

Lemongrass has a unique, strong scent that is appealing at the same time. I love lemongrass tea, and use it when I cook fish. It enhances the taste of the fish and also doesn't stink up the kitchen so much.

LisaLou
Post 9

Has anybody had good results using fever grass to help with menopause symptoms? These hot flashes are driving me crazy and I am trying to find a natural way to get some releif.

I have tried some natural herbal remedies, but haven't found anything yet that really helps. Fever grass sounds like something that I would be willing to try. It also sounds like it would offer other benefits in addition to helping with hot flashes.

Would the best place to find something like this be at a health food store?

StarJo
Post 8

I have always heard that this grass is good for relieving stress and lightening a person's mood. Since I am naturally prone to stress, I keep it around the house to use in various forms.

I season my rice with it, and I put it inside tea bags so that I can drink it. I have some lemongrass shower gel and a couple of candles with this scent.

It makes me feel instantly happier. I think that is the trick to relieving stress. It seems to free up my mind so that I have space for pleasant things.

OeKc05
Post 7

@lighth0se33 – It can get pretty tall. I've seen clumps that are almost as tall as I am, and I stand at 5'5”.

If you are trying to pull it out of your garden, it can be a nightmare. Each clump has what looks like a bulb at the base. If you pull it up, it resembles a wild onion.

You could never pull an entire bush up with one grasp. I have to dig up the clumps in sections with a shovel.

I leave several fever grass bushes in the garden, because I like the smell of it. Also, I don't have the energy to conquer them all!

lighth0se33
Post 6

I noticed that the article says the grass can be in the form of a bush. How big does this stuff get? Are we talking the size of a rose bush, or more the size of a chrysanthemum bush?

Most grasses where I live never get more than a foot tall if left to grow. The tallest grass I've seen near here is pampas grass, and it gets taller than a person. Does fever grass get that tall?

shell4life
Post 5

I had no idea that citronella, fever grass, and lemongrass were the same thing! I have known about citronella being used as a bug repellent for many years, but I didn't have a clue that it was the same type of grass I was using in my tea!

Citronella has a powerful smell. I have a couple of bug repellant candles made from it, and they work rather well. I suppose the bugs just can't handle the strong aroma.

I use lemongrass to flavor several chicken and rice dishes, and I have a tea with lemongrass in it that is great at soothing a sore throat. I didn't know it could be good for a fever, as well.

burcinc
Post 4

@burcidi-- Yea, fever grass or gavati chaha tea is really good for fevers and colds.

My family is Maharashtrian Indian and gavati chaha is one of the ingredients in our tea. Whenever my brother or I had a fever or cold growing up, my mom would put extra gavati chaha in the tea. It's superb for clearing up phlegm and soothing the throat. It helps you breathe and is very calming too.

I've never had fever grass without black tea in it, but I'm sure it would work equally well if not better. In our recipe, we use black tea and boil it with fever grass, ginger and cardamom in some water and then add milk and sugar to it.

burcidi
Post 3

@ysmina-- I've been wondering that too. One of my favorite soaps from a homemade soap company is the "gavati chaha" soap. It smells slightly lemony and does a great job waking me up in the morning. On the product information, they have translated gavati chaha as lemongrass.

I've also seen pictures of both and they look the same to me. Maybe there might be some slight differences between lemongrass grown in the US and fever grass in Jamaica and gavati chaha in India. But for the most part, I think it's the same grass with different names.

Has anyone tried fever grass for medicinal purposes? My children often get fevers in the winter. What's the best way to use fever grass for colds and fevers? Should I make a tea of it and have them drink it?

ysmina
Post 2

So is lemon grass and fever grass the same then?

I have lemon grass essential oil at home that I use for aromatherapy. I generally mix it in other oils or in lotions. It smells really great, lemony but sweet.

As far as I know, lemongrass essential oil is used to improve mood, for digestion problems and for fevers too. It sounds like lemongrass and fever grass are the same, especially considering that fever grass is actually called "lemongrass" in some places.

Is it okay to use these interchangeably then? Does anyone know if they smell the same?

anon249802
Post 1

I have a fever grass tree in my back yard. I didn't know the benefits. I will start drinking the tea more often. I am a strong believer in herbs.

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