About Lemongrass

The Plant

Lemongrass is a tall, fragrant perennial grass cultivated in two types, known as East-Indian (Cymbopogon flexuosus) and West-Indian (Cymbopogon citratus).   The East Indian variety is native to India and is known as Cochin or Malabar Grass.  West-Indian lemongrass is probably native to Malaysia.  For many purposes they are

used interchangeably.  After the first 6 to 9 months of growing to maturity, cuttings can be taken about three times a year.  Citratus grows almost 2 meters high, and flexuosus to almost 3 meters. 

The Oil

Lemongrass oil is yellow, amber, or reddish-brown and has a fresh, clean, grassy-lemony scent.  The principal aromatic constituent is citral, which represents between 65 and 85 percent of the oil. 

Story Time

Lemongrass has an unusual relationship with humans that most other perfume plants do not—it is frequently invited to dinner!  Fresh lemongrass as a cooking ingredient is growing in popularity worldwide, along with the cuisines that make such good use of it, such as Thai and Vietnamese.  (By way of comparison, the closely-related aromatic grass citronella looks a lot like lemongrass, but tastes terrible.)  You will find lemongrass in soups and curries, salads, and poultry, fish, and seafood dishes. It is also very popular as a tea, served iced or hot.  Lemongrass is so treasured as a spice that several restaurants are named after it.  In addition to being used fresh and whole, oil of lemongrass finds it way into candies, puddings, and baked goods as well.

Current Uses

Lemongrass is used as a fragrance component in soaps, detergents, cosmetics, and perfumes.  It is a flavor ingredient in many food categories, including drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Lemongrass has been used in Ayurvedic medicines for centuries, and modern  research shows that it has antibacterial and antifungal properties—and may reduce cholesterol in some people as well.  There is also evidence that it can act as an analgesic and a sedative.

Like many of the aromatic grasses, lemongrass also has some uses as an insect repellent.

Links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemongrass

http://www.answers.com/topic/cymbopogon

http://www.gardensablaze.com/HerbLemonGrassMed.htm

http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/ingredients/lemongrass.html

 

 

 

Gallery Photos: 
Lemongrass Under Cultivation
Lemongrass Under Cultivation

Comments

Hi!

I should digg your article therefore other folks are able to look at it, really helpful, I had a hard time finding the results searching on the web, thanks.

Essential Oils

very informative

I only discovered lemongrass the other week at my local farmers market. It's incredibly flavorful. Thank you for this informative article.