We have a communal herb garden at Darling Street Health and it seems we have more lemongrass then you can throw a lemon at! It has gone crazy, literally taking over the entire space.
The comment has been made many a time that we must “weed” our garden as it’s luscious long streaky stems and leaves stand perennial hiding our mere basil and mint collection.
So ok, what do we do with it? And naturally us Naturopath’s ask – What is it good for?
Lemongrass is a very nondescript plant, looking much like a very tall patch of grass that doesn’t often produce flowers (hence the weed perception). At the base of each group of leaves there is a fat stalk, similar to a spring onion bulb.
The bulb or bottom part of each stalk is used for most cooking purposes, but the rest of the leaves can be used as well. We know Lemongrass mostly for it’s flavoring in Asian style cooking. When added to recipes, the citrus-like flavor of the lemongrass herb powder or dried leaf adds a unique element to the meal. Though lemongrass is more widely known for its use as tea, it may be added to curries, beef, fish, poultry, seafood and soups.
Health Benefits of Lemongrass.
- Pharmacologically, citral compound (the main chemical component of lemongrass) has been used in the synthesis of vitamin A therefore making it useful for skin issues such as acne pimples. It helps to brighten the skin and eyes and clear up oily skin thus improving acne. Its antibacterial property is also valuable for skin infections.
- Lemongrass is one of the favored herbs used in herbal teas. Especially tasty with fresh ginger – which too aids in circulation and warming up your soul.
- As an antifungal and antibacterial, lemongrass inhibits bacteria and yeast growth. For this it is useful for gastrointestinal infections and may also be applied externally to wounds as it fights germs. As an antioxidant lemongrass, contributes to liver and pancreatic health by helping the body to more quickly remove toxins. It has also being linked to lowered or normalized cholesterol levels. It also treat digestive issues including gastro-enteritis and may be helpful in relieving constipation.
- Lemongrass oil when used in aromatherapies revitalizes the body and helps relieves the symptoms of headaches, body-ache, nervous exhaustion, and stress-related conditions.
- Its infusions are widely used to alleviate certain respiratory conditions including laryngitis and sore throats, lemongrass has earned a reputation for its anti-pyretic property which reduces high fevers. Called fevergrass in some cultures the vapor is inhaled, leading to increased perspiration and eventually the complete removal of fever.
So help yourself on your next visit and snip some of this luscious plant to warm up your winter curries or brew and ease your tenacious coughs and colds.