Lemongrass is a superb multifunctional plant that I find essential in my subtropical permaculture garden. It adds great flavour to our food, is an excellent health-boosting tea, and provides lots of biomass in the garden.
There is so much to say about lemongrass, but I think I'll start with using it as a tea. Lemongrass tea is refreshing and healthy - both the leaves and culms can be used. It is great by itself or blended with other herbs and spices.
|I love this blend of Lemongrass tea - with Lemon Myrtle, tulsi with cinnamon, ginger, honey and coriander seed - here's my recipe for this great coffee alternative. |
I grow lots of tea plants in mt garden, but Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) would have to be one of my favourites, along with Rosella, Tulsi, Turmeric and Lemon Myrtle.
Lemongrass tea has so many positive benefits. The leaves contain antioxidants and are high in folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin B and many other active ingredients. It helps to fight colds and build your immune system and offer relief from pain.
Lemongrass Tea is Uplifting
Lemongrass tea is a mood enhancer and a stress reliever. A cup of this tea can help you start the day feeling refreshing, and help you relax and unwind later.
Lemongrass Tea Soothes Headaches
Lemongrass has analgesic properties, so the tea can help with headache relief.
Lemongrass Tea Soothes Colds
Lemongrass tea is used as a remedy for curing nasal and chest congestion, colds and coughs - especially when blended with turmeric, ginger and honey.
Lemongrass Tea Aids Detox
Lemongrass has anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, disinfectant and diuretic properties.
Lemongrass Tea Helps Reduce Stomach Problems
Drinking a daily cup of lemongrass tea can help with with indigestion, stomach cramps and gastroenteritis.
Lemongrass Tea is Safe For Children
If your child regularly suffers from stomach aches or digestion problems, this tea could help.
|Sundried lemongrass from yesterday's harvest. We have several kilograms in process.|
Three of my favourite Lemongrass tea blends...
Lemongrass, Turmeric and Ginger Tea
This is a great blend for a daily immune boost. Sweetened with a bit of raw honey or stevia it makes a delicious drink - hot or cold. If I am feeling the need for a bit of a 'pick me up' I make enough in the morning so I can have a hot cup for breakfast then fill my water bottle and sip throughout the day.
Lemongrass and Tulsi Tea
Lemongrass tulsi tea is another superb combination. Tulsi, Sacred Basil, is an ancient Ayurvedic herb. Tulsi is energising and supports immune system health.
Lemongrass and Rosella Tea
I love the colour and fruity flavour combination of Lemongrass Rosella tea. It's a healthy blend - Rosella is high in vitamin C and lemongrass helps fight colds.
|The kids love this tea too.|
Lemongrass, a native to Southeast Asia, grows into massive clumps here in my garden in the subtropics. One stalk planted quickly becomes 100. In the tropics and subtropics it is a perennial plant. It can be grown in cooler climates but may need to be brought inside during the winter.
In the garden, it helps to repel mosquitos - when brushed past, the leaves release a lovely lemony scent. When we brush cut a contour hedge of it, our whole garden smells amazing.
Just one clump provides most people with enough lemongrass for their tea needs. In warmer climates it is super easy to grow and propagate.
Simply start with one plant then keep dividing the clump and planting out more (or giving away plants).
You can also grow new plants from the stems you buy, as long as they still have their base on. Place these in a jar of water for a few days until new roots form then plant out or pot up.
I often give my lemongrass clumps a haircut to promote fresh new leaf growth - to make the most of the leaves before they brown-off somewhat during winter (we typically have a few frosts). I just did this and have dried a lot for tea. Much more to do. I have so much lemongrass, I am going to do a lot of chop and drop around the food forest to build organic matter.
For culinary uses, I harvest lemongrass at anytime. I just cut off a few leaves from each clump, and take a few side stems if I want to use the base.
(Note: Avoid lemongrass tea if you are pregnant.)
Labels: gardening, health, herbs, perennial basil, perennials, permaculture, sacred basil