Lemon Grass Lemongrass is a type of grass that is characterized by its long slender leaves that reach up to 3 feet in height. They are commonly dark green or green-grayish in color. The plant produces a strong lemonish scent and flavor which is why it is commonly used as a flavoring agent in cooking. Lemongrass is quite fragile and does not grow in colder regions. It can be easily cultivated as a pot plant and cultivated indoors or in a greenhouse.
It is easy to cultivate and usually grown from stem cuttings of divisions. The lemon grass stems found in grocery stores can be easily rooted and used as growing cultivars. It should be planted in pots that contain drainage holes, and grown into fertile soil or specially prepared soil mix. It loves full sun location and moist soil, but it does not like to be overwatered as the roots have a tendency to rot. It requires fertilization to indulge its growth. The plant is not frost-resistant and should be protected from low temperatures.
Both stems and leaves can be used for seasoning purposes. It can be used fresh or dried and saved for later use. The tender white portion of the stem is most desirable. It is a great flavoring agent for fish, soups, stews, sauces as well as various drinks, herbal teas, and alcoholic beverages. It is quite a common ingredient used in both Thai and Vietnamese cuisines.
Lemon grass is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. It is also a rich source of citral which is the main compound of its essential oil. Aparat from its culinary uses, lemon grass is also quite significant for the cosmetic and medicinal industries. When used in large amounts can cause skin irritation, dizziness drowsiness, excess urination, or even lead to serious liver damage.
Lemon grass is a popular crop cultivated in China, India, Sri- Lanka, Guatemala, Madagascar, and Zambia. The largest production of this herb takes place in India, where up to 80% of the global crop production takes place.