Lemongrass – Culinary and Medicinal
GRASONVILLE, MD – Thursday morning – Lemongrass is a lemony scented flowering grass. It is mostly used as a culinary herb but it also has great medicinal qualities. Lemongrass is easy to grow and is perennial in warm climates. (Here where I am in Maryland it must be brought in the house for the winter.) You can also purchase lemongrass at your local supermarket in most locales. It is best used fresh so plant some in a pot and you can have it all year old. Lemongrass is used to flavor Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indonesian and Thai foods. The tougher outer leaves are used in soups, teas and vinegars. The more tender inner leaves are eaten as a vegetable and added to stir fries, salads, stuffing and sauces.
Medicinally, lemongrass is astringent and antifungal so it is good for treating and preventing colds, flu and fever. As with all culinary herbs, lemongrass is digestive aiding in relieving cramping, gas and diarrhea.
Externally, lemongrass is good for your skin and as it is antifungal and can be used for ringworm. Lemongrass is rich in minerals and beta carotene, and vitamin D.
Lemongrass is also available as an essential oil and is cooling, stimulating and refreshing to mind and body. It is astringent, antibacterial and analgesic so it is great to use in a carrier oil for muscle pain, bruises, skin conditions and respiratory infections. It is also a great insect repellent oil.
Add fresh lemongrass to your cooking and enjoy its medicinal properties and the wonderful uses of lemongrass essential oil for body and mind and spirit.
(treats colic, digestive cramps and gas in children)
Pour one cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped lemongrass leaves. Cover and steep 5 – 7 minutes. Strain and drink. You can also drink this tea iced in warm weather.