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Loving Lemongrass More

Posted: March 27, 2008, from the April 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

The health benefits of lemongrass are many, and a variety of them are at their strongest when being used in the spa. It’s no wonder, then, that rich treatments such as this, the Lilikoi Lemongrass Moisture Renewal from the Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Koloa, Hawaii, are so sought-after.
      Read on to learn more about the soothing Lilikoi Lemongrass Moisture Renewal, and check out Sarah Kajonborrirak’s International Trends column, “Loving Lemongrass" to discover more to love about this incredible plant.

Experiencing the treatment
      The lavish Lilikoi Lemongrass Moisture Renewal begins with a polish made of Hawaiian sea salt infused with lemongrass and ginger essential oils to buff and brighten dull skin. In traditional medicine, lemongrass is used to combat anxiety and alleviate skin problems.
      Next, indulge in a full-body massage where a rich blend of cocoa and mango butters is soothingly smoothed on to moisturize newly revitalized skin. Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this moisturizer protects and promotes regeneration.
      Lastly, skin is invigorated with a spritzing tonic of distilled lilikoi, also known for its calming affect, and lemongrass hydrosols, leaving you feeling enlivened with skin as soft as butter.

An energizing mixture
      Lilikoi (Passiflora edulis) has long been known for its calming qualities and its anti-inflammatory properties. Lilikoi also is rich in alkaloids and flavone glycosides, and these ingredients have a sedative and tranquilizing effect. Its resonant effect as an aromatic is one of calming and relaxing the skin, as the organ of absorption, and, consequently, the user.
      Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates) is antimicrobial and antifungal and acts as a central nervous system depressant. Lemongrass is used to relieve skin problems, sore throats and respiratory problems. In traditional medicine, it is used to combat anxiety, insomnia, stomach problems, hypertension and fever and can also be useful in treating circulation, acne and oily skin. Its resonant effect as an aromatic bioresonant phototherapeutic is one of an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and astringent tonic, hence making it excellent for use on the skin to accelerate the healing process.
      Mango butter is a central skin nourisher, because mango moisturizes and protects the skin and promotes the regeneration of damaged, dry skin. The mango butter is a natural antioxidant and rich in natural vitamins and minerals. Mango seeds are cold-pressed to make mango butter, which nourishes skin with beta-carotene and vitamins A and E.
      Cocoa butter, the solid fat expressed from the roasted seed of the cocoa beans, adds its legendary moisturizing and skin care properties. It’s loaded with vitamin E, as well as natural antioxidants and countless nutrients such as calcium, potassium and iron. Cocoa butter is also highly protective to the skin and acts as a water repellent. The bun gets its shiny golden color from the mango but also from olena, a root from the ginger family, which is a natural color additive and also stimulates the skin and increases circulation to the body.
      The lilikoi hydrosol is made from wild-crafted lilikoi, a natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce swelling and puffiness on the skin and eyes, aids in hydration and de-stressing, and increases skin tone and firmness. The organic lemongrass tonic is naturally antimicrobial, antiseptic and astringent, and it helps to clear and clean pores that are exposed to environmental elements.
      The formula also contains terpenoids, which increase the skin’s circulation and gives it a vibrant appearance while minimizing blotchy spots and blemishes, as well as alkaloids and flavone glycosides, which help calm, relax and open the senses, relieving feelings of stress and anxiety. The hydrosol also aids in eliminating mid-day oily skin and keeps free radicals at bay throughout the day, rejuvenating skin’s appearance without the need rewash or reapply.
     
Also, get a taste of Thailand with this delicious recipe for tom yum koong, a sour and spicy lemongrass shrimp soup.

Tom Yum Koong
A traditional Thai dish
Makes two to three servings

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups water, chicken broth or soup stock
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 slices fresh galangal root, smashed
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3/4-pound shrimp, medium to large size, cleaned and de-veined
3 fresh chili peppers, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chili paste with soybean oil (prik pao)
5 straw or oyster mushrooms, drained and rinsed
1 small ripe tomato, cut into wedges
3 small red onions, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh coriander, with leaves separated from stem
1/2 cup coconut milk