Lemon grass fights headaches

Sydney: Native lemon grass has the potential to relieve headaches and migranes, researchers say.

Griffith University (GU) researchers Lyn Griffiths, Darren Grice and Kelly Rogers have proven that lemon grass plant Cymbopogon Ambiguus may be as good as aspirin.

"Headaches and migraines cause abnormal activities in our bodies such as altering our serotonin levels and interfering with the normal function of our blood platelets," said Grice of the Institute for Glycomics.

Platelets clump together for wound repair, but they can also form life-threatening internal clots, starving the brain of oxygen and causing strokes.

"We tested extracts of the plant on human blood platelets and one fraction showed strong biological activity.

"It was caused by the compound eugenol in the native lemon grass plant, which is a significant find as the compound showed similar activity to aspirin. The compound inhibits platelets clumping together and the release of serotonin," said Grice.

Serotonin regulates mood, appetite, sleep, muscle contraction and some cognitive functions including memory, said a GU release.

"Nature`s medicines hold enormous potential to cure health problems and traditional medicines are a source of good leads for new scientific discovery," Grice said.

These findings were published in the latest edition of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.