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We all know the wonders of superfoods like kale and broccoli, but did you know even lemongrass can benefit your health in so many ways? Yes, this humble herb that has a zesty aroma is often used in Thai curries and cocktails, but you can also use it to shed that stubborn fat or relieve stress.
Interestingly, this tropical plant has been used for generations in India and is a favorite in Ayurvedic practices. Lemongrass has immunity-boosting properties, and you know how important it is to build your body’s defense mechanism, especially during a pandemic.
Lemongrass is an herb that is native to Sri Lanka and South India but now grows in many countries around the world. The plant’s stalks are a common ingredient in Asian cooking, but it is also possible to brew lemongrass to make tea.
The plant has long leaves that are similar to those of seagrasses. While an estimated 55 species of lemongrass exist, only the East Indian and West Indian varieties are suitable for use in cooking.
Several researchers are interested in the health and medicinal benefits of drinking lemongrass tea.
Lemongrass is easy to identify by its pale yellow-green stalks and aromatic citrus scent. It has a resemblance to green onions, with a bulbous bottom but has a woody, tough stalks. The flavor of this citrusy herb is a unique blend of tart lemon with the brightness of mint. When used in cooking, the flavor lifts the dish without overpowering other ingredients.
Now let us talk about quick ways to use lemongrass at home!
Lemongrass is used in multiple ways:
- Added to curry pastes, sauces, and salads. Its lemony flavor stands up to prolonged cooking, making it perfect for slow-cooked stews and curries.
- Infused into teas, soups, and stocks. Lemongrass easily infuses into liquids.
- Added to desserts. In modern cooking, lemongrass is often used in a variety of desserts ranging from cakes and cookies to custards and frozen treats.
Some recipes from lemongrass:
One of the most common ways to use lemongrass is in tisanes, which are often called herbal teas.
Fresh or dried lemongrass can be steeped or boiled to make an herbal infusion or decocation. You can chop the fresh leaves or simply break up dried leaves. Generally speaking, about one teaspoon of lemongrass leaves per cup of boiling water is a good ratio. Lemongrass is also an ingredient in many herbal tea blends.
Green-Curry Thai Paste
This is an authentic Thai paste made by using fresh green herbs and spices. One of the primary ingredients used here is lemongrass which adds flavor to many vegetables to form Thai curries.
You can use this paste for recipes like Thai fried rice, table-top Thai curry, etc.
Lemongrass oil is extracted through the process of steam distillation of dried lemongrass. This is beneficial in not one but many ways. It’s loaded with analgesic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antipyretic, antiseptic, astringent, and bactericidal properties and is a known remedy for muscle and joint pains, for healing wounds, for lowering depression, and for limiting the microbial/bacterial growth in your body. The best part is that it can be made very easily and that too at home.