LEMONGRASS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

A variety of tropical island plant with grass-like leaves, the lemongrass is a herb native to Africa and Asia but has become increasingly popular globally that it is now cultivated worldwide.

Apart from being used as a culinary flavoring in Thai and many other Asian cuisines for its potent flavour and nutritional benefits, it is also traditionally consumed as a herbal tea, with people in India extending its uses into Ayurvedic medicine. With its growing popularity, it is no surprise that lemongrass is also being used as fragrance in soaps and cosmetics for its relaxing scent.

Also known as

  • Barbed wire grass
  • Silky heads
  • Citronella grass
  • Fever grass
  • Tanglad (Philippines)
  • Takraai (Thailand)

Flavour Profile

Lemongrass has a light, fresh, and citrusy aroma resembling that of lemons but has a flavour profile of its own. It is milder and sweeter in taste with earthy undertones which provides an elegant yet intense citrus flavour in dishes. It is refreshing, rejuvenating and stimulating at the same time.

Nutritional Benefits

  • High level of Antioxidants – inherent detox and cleansing properties
  • Rich in Potassium – helps in regulating high blood pressure
  • Helps limits bad cholesterol absorption from the intestines
  • Boosts metabolism and burns fat
  • Good source of vitamin A and C – great for circulatory and immune system, heals cold and flu, promotes healthy hair and skin
  • Aids in digestion – eases bloating, constipation or indigestion

Other Benefits

  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • Pain relieving properties for various ailments, including arthritis, rheumatism, osteoarthritis, gout and other joint pains, muscle relaxant, menstrual cramps
  • Relaxing properties that aids in calming nerves, inducing deep sleep, and reducing insomnia

Choosing and Using your Lemongrass

Generally sold in bunches of stalk in supermarkets, look out for those that appear fresh and feature tight bulbs that have bright green stems and top. It should also have a subtle fragrant scent. Avoid choosing those that look too dried out or yellowish-brown.

Before using lemongrass, trim off about 1 inch from the base and discard. Lightly crush or bend the stalk to release the aroma of lemongrass for use in soups and stews. The bottom bulbous portion is best sliced or chopped for salads or stir-fries.

To prolong the shelf-life of this herb, wrap tightly in cling-wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 6 months.

Consuming Lemongrass

Lemongrass is popularly used in salads, soups, stir fried dishes of Asian cuisines, but are also good as a health beverage to complement a healthy lifestyle.

Brew lemongrass tea by placing lemongrass (bend and tie two stalks with twine) in a cup and steeping them with boiling for 10 minutes, or until tea turns golden brown. Alternatively, add chopped lemongrass pieces into a teapot and let it brew. Ensure that it is well-steeped to enjoy the plant’s benefits in an easily digestible form. Add honey rock sugar to taste (optional).

With modern research suggesting the significant health benefits of lemongrass, it may do well for us to incorporate lemongrass into our daily diet as an alternative or complementary remedy for a wide range of ailments.

** As lemongrass aids in lowering blood sugar level, diabetics should always consult their doctor regarding their consumption.

If you live in Singapore, you’re in luck! We carry these lemongrass right here at our little organic farm’s marketplace. And you can get them delivered to your doorstep! Click here to find out more: I want fresh organic veggies delivered to me!

Sources: WebMD, thekitchn, Livestrong, Spiceography, OrganicFacts, thaifood, top10homeremedies

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