Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), sometimes known as citronella or lemongrass, is a long grass-like ingredient popular in Southeast Asian cuisine. The plant’s lower stalks and bulbs offer a lemony, fresh aroma that is sometimes used in teas, marinades, curries, and broths. Lemongrass and lemongrass essential oil are used for therapeutic purposes and flavoring. Some of these uses are backed up by scientific research.
Lemongrass contains antibacterial and antifungal qualities, according to reports. It’s been used for centuries as a pain reliever and fever reducer. Citral, a natural plant chemical with anti-inflammatory properties, is found in lemongrass. Lemongrass extract is also used in numerous soaps, candles, disinfectants, and insect repellents to give them a fresh aroma. Either professionally prepared or made from fresh lemongrass stalks, Lemongrass tea is the best way to consume it. Fresh lemongrass stalks can be found in Asian grocery stores.
Lemongrass Nutrition Facts
What is Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is a citrus-flavored herb with a distinct scent and flavor. Its scientific name is Cymbopogon citratus, and it is a member of the Poaceae grass family. It’s a tall, perennial grass native to India and Asia’s tropical regions, and it’s also known as Cymbopogon, barbed wire grass, and fever grass. In addition to its culinary uses, this plant has various therapeutic characteristics.
It is in high demand throughout Southeast Asia, Africa, and America due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial capabilities. Iron, calcium, and vitamin C are also found in lemongrass. Hemoglobin, a critical protein that transports oxygen from your lungs to your blood, requires iron as a component.
Health Benefits Of Lemongrass
Lemongrass has been shown to provide several health advantages studies. Lemongrass has a lot of antioxidants in the form of flavonoids and phenolic chemicals. It has antibacterial and antifungal activities and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.
Lemongrass includes quercetin, a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Quercetin inhibits cancer cell proliferation and protects against heart disease by reducing inflammation.
Lemongrass is used to treat coronary heart disease in Africa. According to one study, a seven-day therapy of lemongrass extract on rats resulted in considerable reductions in high cholesterol levels.
When applied topically, lemongrass essential oil possesses antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers investigated the effects of lemongrass oil applied topically on fungal infections and inflammatory skin diseases in mice. More research is needed, even though it promised to treat skin problems.
E. coli infection
If you eat contaminated foods, E. coli bacterial infections can cause food poisoning and cause, pneumonia and urinary tract infections. According to one study, lemongrass extract decreases the toxicity of E. coli cultures and can help cure bacterial infections in the digestive tract.
Is lemongrass a vegetable?
Lemongrass is a well-known vegetable in oriental cuisines, particularly in Indonesia, where this grass family member is known as search. Although there is a tinge of ginger in the stems, the flavor is slightly lemony. They are typically 20 cm long and resemble thick grass blades.
Lemongrass’ color ranges from green (the leaves at the top) to creamy white and pink as it gets closer to the root. The stems aren’t palatable fresh, and the aromatic characteristics of lemongrass aren’t fully realized until it’s cooked. As a result, lemongrass can be classified as a vegetable.
How to Cook With Lemongrass?
Always cut off the lower bulb and remove the stiff outer leaves when using fresh lemongrass in your cuisine. The primary stalk (the yellow portion) is used in Thai cuisine. You have two choices from here. Cut the yellow stalk into 2- to 3-inch pieces, then bend them to “bruise” the portions many times. In addition, make shallow slashes with your knife along these portions to aid release the lemon taste. Serve your soup or curry with these bruised stalks. Remove the lemongrass pieces before serving, or ask your guests to set them away as they eat.
If you want the lemongrass to stay in your food after consuming it, cut the yellow portion of the stalk into thin slices with a sharp knife. Then, combine all these ingredients in a food processor and process them until smooth. When the meal has enough liquid to allow the dried lemongrass to rehydrate and release its flavor, it is added throughout the cooking process. It is frequently strained from liquids or removed before the food is consumed. Lemongrass powder can be used at any time during the cooking process.
Lemongrass is quite fibrous and a touch stringy, so keep that in mind (more like threads, actually). As a result, make sure your Thai meal is thoroughly cooked. For example, if you’re cooking a soup, boil the lemongrass in the broth for at least five to ten minutes to soften it sufficiently.
Where to Buy Lemongrass?
Fresh lemongrass can be found in your local grocery store or Asian market. Look in the freezer aisle for frozen packages if you can’t find lemongrass stems in the fresh vegetable department. Lemongrass can also be purchased frozen and ready to use.
Fresh lemongrass is usually offered in bundles of three to four stalks, held together by an elastic band. Stalks are around one foot long (or more). When buying lemongrass, seek firm stalks rather than mushy or stretchy ones, which indicate that it’s past its prime. Upper stalks should be green, while lower stalks should be pale yellow (nearly white). If the outer leaves are crusty or brown, don’t buy them.
How to Growing Lemongrass on Your Own?
Purchase a few stalks and immerse the bulb end in water. Allow it to soak for a while until roots appear (this may take anywhere from two weeks to a month). Plant your lemongrass in your garden or a pot with plenty of rich soil once the roots are 1/2 inch to 1 inch long. Lemongrass prefers the light and mild temperatures, so place it in a south-facing window if you want to keep it indoors as a houseplant. Lemongrass is a lovely houseplant or decorative garden plant that may also be used in the kitchen.
Fresh lemongrass stalks and leaf buds are available in the local marketplaces e all year. Many East Asian homemakers, on the other hand, collect them fresh from their backyard gardens for use in cooking. If you have to buy fresh lemongrass leaves and stems from the shop, choose fresh leaves and stems with a fresh lemon-like flavor and a trace of rose aroma. Look carefully for yellowed, spotted, or discolored leaves.
When you go home, wash the stems in cool water. Allow airing dry. Remove the leaves and stem from the plant. Because lemongrass tends to spread its taste to other foods, place the stems in a zip pouch and store them separately in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 2-3 weeks. The stems can also be frozen and kept for several months in this state. Lemongrass powder (search powder in Indonesia) is often sold dry in the marketplace and purchased from organically farmed and authorized vending outlets. Dried herbs should be stored in an airtight container in a cold, dark, and dry location where they will last for months.