How To Use Lemongrass

 

Lemongrass

 (Cymopogon citratus, C.flexuosus)

Have you ever grown lemongrass? Have you ever harvested your plants? It is definitely a labor of love to dig up your lemongrass plants when it is time. You only need one or two plants in the spring because they will grow to gigantic proportions by the end of the summer. Seriously!!! Look –

20140929_143146 (576x1024)

I have been giving it away as friends, students and family come over in hopes that come harvest time – now, it will be easier to get it out of the ground. I wish we had someone taking pictures today at the UGarden where I volunteer with my friend Noelle, of A Fuller Life. We dug up A SINGLE lemongrass plant together, it took awhile and then tried to split it into two plants – HA!!!

We chopped and pulled and pulled and at one point her and I pulled the plant apart with all of our might and she landed on her booty. We laughed so hard – it was awesome! So I get home and think, hmmmm that frost is coming and it really is time to stop slacking and go out and get those lemongrass plants up. Here I go 🙂

I started with the small one.
I started with the small one.
The whole plant
The whole plant

AND THEN…..

The BIG one!!
The BIG one!!
Still trying to get it...
Still trying to get it…
Still smiling but don't think it is going to happen
Still smiling but don’t think it is going to happen
I chopped away and left the rest for another day! :)
I chopped away and left the rest for another day! 🙂

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Beautiful leaves and stalks.

And bundles and bundles!!!

Stalks for cooking and bundles of leaves for tea.
Stalks for cooking and bundles of leaves for tea.

Now you asking, what do WE do with it????

Lemongrass is used in many Asian dishes. You can peel off the rough, papery covering of the lower stalk to reveal a white stem. Slice this into small pieces for cooking in stir fry or you can,as I do, keep it in larger pieces and add to soups. Just remove the stalk before eating if it is a larger piece. There are some recipes below and the Tom Kha Soup is delicious, nutritious and a must for an immune boosting soup this winter.

The leaves can be cut into small pieces and dried for teas. ***Be careful, the leaves when fresh are a bit sharp to handle!***

Benefits of Lemongrass:

#1 – Insect repellent – the essential oil is excellent as a repellent to mosquitos.

#2 – The essential oils are relaxing and uplifting at the same time so use it topically as an infused oil or drink a cup of this aromatic tea. *I blend this with other lemony herbs, see below.

#3 – Add the essential oil to skin salves as an analgesic and an antibacterial property.

#4 – Good for clear skin with its astingent properties – use in acne formulas.

#5 – Helpful for headaches and nervousness.

#6 – In Ayurvedic medicine a preparation of lemon grass with pepper has been used for relief of menstrual troubles and nausea.

#7 – Lemon grass is a mild diuretic and a digestive stimulant that promotes digestion of fats.

#8 – And because it just tastes so darn good. 🙂

 

To Grow – Ahem – easiest plant in the world besides mint!

Cymbopogon citratus is a perennial grass that can be grown either in the garden or as an indoor (or outdoor) potted plant. It thrives in warm weather (it does not do well in extremely cold climates), grows from two to four feet tall, and — when used as a background for other plants — can add a tropical touch to the garden. Lemongrass seldom bears seeds and is almost always propagated from a section of root. That propagation, however, is easy: The plant thrives on nothing more than a sunny spot, rich soil, and plenty of water.
Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/lemongrass-tea-zmaz78sozraw.aspx#ixzz3HjH5YSA9

If you don’t have any growing you can get some here.

Tea Recipes:

Lemony Goodness

2 parts lemongrass

1 part lemon balm

1 part lemon verbena

Mix this up in a jar. Parts can be tablespoons, teaspoons, cups depending on how much you wish to store.

Take two teaspoons of this mixture and add boling water, steep covered 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink, add honey for a more sweeter taste. Also great cold!

Spices and lemongrass dinner tea

Ingredients: Equal parts:

  • Fennel seed
  • lemongrass
  • fresh sliced ginger root
  • and a sprinkle of cardamom
  • Instructions as above.

Alfalfa-nettle daily tonic

Alfalfa and Nettle leaf contain a broad spectrum of nutrients, including considerable quantities of protein, trace mineral and vitamins, dietary fiber and chlorophyll. This blend is great for reducing stress too.

Ingredients: Equal Parts of the cut and dried leaf:

  • Alfalfa
  • Stinging Nettle

Lemongrass to taste

Tom Kha Immune Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 32 fluid oz bone broth soup (learn how to make yours here)
  • 3 cans regular coconut milk (look for BPA free coconut milk)
  • 2 big stalks lemongrass, sliced in large pieces
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pack skinless chicken thighs, cubed in very small pieces (sometimes we use salmon in­stead)
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch bok choy, chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green thai curry paste
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (leave the stems in!)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the bone broth and coconut milk in a large, heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Once the liquids are heated, add the fish sauce, tamari, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, ginger and garlic.
  3. Bring broth to a slow simmer, make sure it doesn’t boil, and do not cover it during cooking.
  4. When the broth is simmering, add the chicken, mushrooms, bok choy, kale, green onions, carrots and green curry paste.
  5. When the chicken is fully cooked and the carrots are tender, add the cilantro. After a minute, taste the soup and add some lime juice if desired.
  6. It’s ready to serve! A cilantro and red pepper garnish is a nice touch.

 

The Creative Herbalist – Rosalee de la Foret – Learning Herbs

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Anne-Marie

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting my Bella Vista Farm.

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4 thoughts on “How To Use Lemongrass

Add yours

  1. I feel so famous to be mentioned on your blog :)!! I had a great time digging up lemongrass with you at the UGArden and also wish we had some pictures. I laughed so hard! This is a great post. I was drooling when I read the recipe for Tom Kha soup. I must make some soon!

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