Lemongrass belong to grass family poaceae. It is a tall perennial grass that is grown in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. Lemongrass also known as Citronella Grass or
Fever Grass is a tall perennial grass belonging to the Africa and Old Eurasian countries. It is a widely used herb in Asian (particularly Thai, Lao, Khmer and Vietnamese and Caribbean) cooking. The
grass has a lemony flavour.
Indian Name: Bhustrina
Botanical Name: Cymbopogon
Family Name: Poaceae
Parts Used: Leaves
Uses of Lemongrass
Lemongrass spice is very pungent and can be used in varieties of recipes. The grass can be chopped into small pieces and can be used in soups. The grass has mild flavor of lemon hence they can be used successfully with garlic, chilies, and cilantro. Lemongrass spice is mainly used in Indian. Indonesian, Malaysian and Srilankan cuisine. In these countries especially, lemongrass spice is used for cooking savoury dishes and meat, poultry, seafood and vegetable curries. It is also used in teas, pickles and for flavoring marinades.
Lemongrass also posses some medicinal benefits. Lemon grass it is said provides relief in following Health problems:
- Aids in digestion
- Relieve spasms
- Muscle cramps
The Lemongrass herb is widely used in a number of food products and dishes because of its flavor. It is used in soups and curries, in sea food, poultry and fish.
The herb is also used to flavor tea in African countries.
The herb is also used in a number of perfumes for its lemon like fragrance.
Personal Hygiene Products
The herb is also widely used for fragrance in soaps, shampoos, detergents and other household cleaning products.
It is also widely used as a natural insect repellent in candles and in spray form.
The essential oil of lemongrass is used in aromatherapy because of its numerous properties. It is also blended with other essential oils for a better therapeutic effect.
Origin And Distribution
Lemongrass herb is the native of South East Asian countries. Lemongrass is cultivated in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and on the Indonesian islands. The grass has fine lemony taste that is added in various curry pastes. The fine flavor of the grass is utilized to prepare dishes in these countries. In recent years there demand has been growing in USA and European countries.
The lemongrass spice consist of essential that contains citral. Citral further consist of stereoisomeric monterpene aldehydes mixture. Lemon grass also consist of terpenoids including nerol, limonene, linalool and ß-caryophyllene.
Forms of Lemongrass Herb
- Fresh herb
- Dried and powdered herb
Trade in Lemongrass Herb
Lemongrass harb and its derivatives including essential oil are used in a wide range of low grade, inferior quality perfume and household products. The natural lemongrass spice market is growing, but at the same time facing tough competition from the synthetic market. For example the natural essential oil sales have dipped beacuse of comeptition from synthetic oil. India is one of the prime producers of Citronella Grass derivatives, but most of it is used for domestic consumption. Guatemala is a another major exporter of natural oil, followed by China. USA, UK, Japan are the major importing countries.
Lemongrass Spice Description
Lemongrass is a thick grass having solid portion at the end of the root and the leaves at the top. It is the lower portion that is utilized in cooking. Lower solid part is utilized by either slicing it or by pounding it. Spice is normally sold in dried form . The dried spice is sold in different forms like chopped, cut and sifted, powdered, or as an oil.
Lemongrass is a perennial plant whose edge is sharp. The ideal climate for growing lemon grass is tropical or subtropical climate. It is grown by Propagation. Propagation is achieved by dividing the root clump. The plant can be harvested in three to five months.
The temperature required for the cultivation of lemon grass range between 18 to 29 degrees centigrade. The annual precipitation should be around 0.7 to 4.1 meters. For better growth, the climate should be warm and humid.