Lemongrass is a tropical variety of grass with a sweet, lemony scent. It is particularly associated with Thai and South East Asian cooking. Most of the flavour is in the thicker bulb end, which can be added whole to dishes, or peeled, then crushed or chopped.
Lemon grass is a perennial plant that is native to India and Nepal; it has a light, lemony scent and flavor, with a hint of ginger. Lemon grass is one of the wondrous herbs; it is very useful as medicinal plant and a delicious food flavoring. Few knows that the other name of Lemon grass is citronella, a popular scent in perfume, candles and soaps. Citronella is known for its calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress. It is also popular as a mild insect repellant.
In a study that was conducted it has shown that every 100g of edible lemon grass, when boiled can contain up to 24.205 micrograms of beta-carotene the powerful anti-oxidant that scientist believe can help prevent cancer. In another study it has shown that lemon grass oil has the potential as topical eye medication against keratomycosis, an inflammation of cornea often associated with burning or blurring of vision. Researchers note that lemongrass oil’s antioxidant qualities and ability to inhibit the enzyme that promotes the growth of cancer cells are promising.
Health Benefits of Lemon Grass:
It contains an antibacterial and antifungal properties
It helps to detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract.
Helps boost the immune system
Helps reduce uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats
It helps alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis.
Helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples
It helps tone the muscle and tissues.
Helps in menstrual troubles
Helps reduce blood pressure and improve blood circulation
Helps reduce cellulite
Act as sedative for the central nervous system.
May help prevent colon cancer.
Helps in reducing fevers
Help in flatulence and colic
Relieves arthritic pain and rheumatism
Lemon grass for Cooking: The leaves and base of lemon grass are used as a food flavoring especially in Southeast Asian dishes. The long thin grey-green leaves are tough and fibrous, the outside leaves and the tips are usually chopped very finely or discarded from the dish before it is served.
How to Use Essential Oil: Apply 2 drops of concentrated lemongrass oil per ounce of organic unrefined almond oil, olive oil or any of you favorite oil. You can use the mixture to your skin as massage oil, lotion and moisturizer. As a relaxing scent add 1 – 2 drops in a cloth and inhale to relax your senses.
How to make Lemon grass Herbal Tea:
Fresh Leaves: Pour 2 cups of water to ¼ cup lemon grass leaves, then boil and simmer for 3minutes. Let is cool and drink.
Dried Leaves: Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried lemon grass leaves. Steep for 5-10 minutes before drinking.
Where to Buy? Lemon grass can be purchased in Asian markets and health food stores and comes fresh, dried and powered. You can also grow lemon grass yourself, either indoors or outdoors in a warm climate. Fresh lemon grass is better than powdered or dried and the most potent form is lemongrass essential oil. Essential oils are 70 times more concentrated than their plant counterparts and have been used throughout history for health and wellness.