Description : Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus, is a perennial grass in the family Poaceae grown for its fragrant leaves and stalks which are used as a flavoring. The grass grows in dense clumps and has several stiff stems and slender blade-like leaves which droop towards the tips. The leaves are blue-green in color, turning red in the Fall and emit a strong lemon fragrance when damaged. Lemongrass produces large compound flowers on spikes when grown in the tropics, but rarely flowers when grown in more Northern latitudes. Lemon grass can reach a height of 1.8 m (6 ft) and will grow for several years, typically its economical lifespan is 4 years. Lemongrass may also be referred to as ginger grass or citronella grass and likely originates from Sri Lanka or Malaysia although a wild form of the plant is not known.
Uses : Lemongrass is widely used as a culinary herb in Asian cuisine and also as medicinal herb in India. It has a subtle citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. It is commonly used in teas, soups, and curries. It is also suitable for use with poultry, fish, beef, and seafood. It is often used as a tea in African countries such as Togo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Latin American countries such as Mexico. Lemongrass oil is used as a pesticide and a preservative. Research shows that lemongrass oil has antifungal properties. Despite its ability to repel some insects, such as mosquitoes, its oil is commonly used as a “lure” to attract honey bees. “Lemongrass works conveniently as well as the pheromone created by the honeybee’s Nasonov gland, also known as attractant pheromones. Because of this, lemongrass oil can be used as a lure when trapping swarms or attempting to draw the attention of hived bees.”
Lemon grass is also known as gavati chaha, and is used as an addition to tea, and in preparations such as kadha, which is a traditional herbal ‘soup’ used against coughs, colds, etc. It has medicinal properties and is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine. It is supposed to help with relieving cough and nasal congestion.
Health Benefits :
- Antimicrobial and Antibacterial