- How To Use Lemongrass in Asian Cooking
- How to Choose, Store, and Use Fresh Lemongrass
- Where to Find Fresh Lemongrass
- How to Choose Fresh Lemongrass
- How to Store Fresh Lemongrass
- How to Use Fresh Lemongrass
- Lemongrass Recipes
- Laksa Noodle Soup
- Grilled Lemongrass Pork Kebabs
- The Green Monster Stir-Fry (Vegetable Stir-Fry with Lemongrass-Pistachio Pesto)
- Spicy Lemongrass Chicken Wings
- Eggplant Curry with Lemongrass and Coconut Milk
- Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp Salad
- Fresh Lemongrass Tea
- Lemongrass Squares with Coconut Shortbread Crust
- Related Video: How to Make Bun bo Hue
- How to use lemon grass
- How to use lemongrass
- Lemongrass recipe ideas
- Lemongrass Winter Care: Is Lemongrass Winter Hardy
- Is Lemongrass Winter Hardy?
- Overwintering Lemongrass Plants
- How to Chop Lemongrass
- How to Propagate Lemongrass
- Connect With Us!
- Basic Lemongrass Growing Tips
- Harvesting Lemongrass Stalks
- Preserving Lemongrass
- Tips for Using Lemongrass
- Winter Care of Lemongrass
- Propagating Lemongrass
How To Use Lemongrass in Asian Cooking
This easy-to-understand tutorial explains and shows you how to prepare fresh lemongrass stalk and how to use it in Asian cooking
Lemongrass is an important part of Indonesian cooking and other Southeast Asian countries. We call it “serai / sere” in Indonesian. I’ve mentioned it before in my other post that my dad used to put a whole bunch of lemongrass in the car as air freshener before 🙂 We love the scent of lemongrass. It’s lemony and refreshing.
Many times when recipes call for lemongrass, you might feel intimidated if you have never prepared lemongrass stalk before. The truth is, it’s not that complicated. It may be new to you, but it’s not complicated.
WHERE CAN I FIND FRESH LEMONGRASS STALK?
Lemongrass stalks here in the U.S. are usually located in the refrigerator at the produce section. I’ve seen more and more lemongrass stalks carried by Western grocery stores. It is usually also in the refrigerator section in Asian stores, though location wise varies depends on which stores, majority can be found where fresh veggies and herbs are too.
HOW TO CHOOSE FRESH LEMONGRASS?
I always remember what mom told me, that was to choose the big fat stalks if possible (look at the lower third of the stalks). Usually skinny stalks do not carry as much aroma as the fat stalks.
WHICH PART OF LEMONGRASS STALK IS EDIBLE?
Yes, this is the question people ask the most! Not the entire stalk can be eaten, well, technically you can, but the skinny part of the upper third is just fibrous and tough. The part that carries that amazing aroma is the lower third of the stalks where it is usually the “fattest” and also sort of whitish in color. This part is more tender.
HOW TO PREPARE LEMONGRASS STALKS FOR COOKING?
Rinse the lemongrass briefly with clean water. Pat dry. If you are going to use the stalk, cut the upper third, usually skinny and dry. Then cut the rest into two pieces. I usually do not discard the very bottom part. Some people do, but I don’t. Use a heavy object to bruise the stalk so it releases the aroma during cooking. It’s important that you do that so the aroma or some people say the oil releases and fragrant your dish.
HOW TO USE FRESH LEMONGRASS STALKS?
1. You can use the prepared lemongrass stalks in cooking as is and usually they are discarded at the end of cooking
2. They can also be chopped up and included in the cooking and consumed
3. Finely ground lemongrass by using food processor is a common way to use them in cooking too
HOW TO FINELY CHOP LEMONGRASS STALKS?
Once you have prepared the lemongrass stalk and get to the white tender part of the stalks, use a sharp knife to thinly sliced it across the stalk into rings and then cut it up further into little pieces. Simple as that.
Sliced into rings
HOW TO STORE PREPARE LEMONGRASS
You can store prepared stalks in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap for about 2 weeks. I will do that if I know I’m going to cook it within that week. I usually buy extra to store in the freezer by placing them in freezer bag. When ready to use, just let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or so and they will soften. They store pretty indefinitely in the freezer, but keep in mind that, the longer you store, the aroma will get weaker, but they can still flavor up the dish pretty good, but you may need to use more than what the recipe calls for.
Now are you ready to cook with lemongrass? Here are 20+ recipes using lemongrass in cooking and beverage.
How to Choose, Store, and Use Fresh Lemongrass
Lemongrass is one of those irreplaceable ingredients, often found in Thai, Vietnamese, and other Southeast Asian dishes—if you leave it out, or try to approximate its flavor with other things, you’ll be missing something vital. It lends a uniquely bright, citrusy, and floral-herbal fragrance to anything it touches, from curries and soups to salads and grilled meats, and there’s nothing else quite like it. The good news is, it’s pretty easy to find these days, and while the tough stalk may seem intimidating, it’s not difficult to prepare fresh lemongrass. You just need the right tools, and sometimes a little brute force. Let chefs Joanne Chang and Karen Akunowicz of Myers + Chang in Boston show you the way, and keep reading for more tips.
As the name suggests, this brightly perfumed plant is a tropical member of the grass family. There are several species of lemongrass, many of which have been cultivated for thousands of years in East Asian countries for both medicinal and culinary purposes. It’s been shown to have anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, as well as antioxidants and various vitamins and minerals. It can even be used as a pest repellent, but of course it’s most enjoyable in edible form. The parts used in cooking are the woody stems at the base of the plant (the leaves can be used as well, but unless you’re growing your own lemongrass, you won’t usually find them attached to the stalks).
Fresh lemongrass leaves and stalks, Hook Mountain Growers
Where to Find Fresh Lemongrass
Fresh lemongrass can be found in pretty much any Asian market, and in lots of other supermarkets these days. If you don’t see it in the produce section, check the freezer case—and as a last resort, look for a tube of prepared lemongrass. It’s a pretty decent option if your only other one is doing entirely without, but be sure the label only includes a minimum of ingredients—there will usually always be a few additional preservatives, but you don’t necessarily want things like fish sauce, chiles, garlic, etc. interfering with the lemongrass flavor. You may be able to find dried lemongrass too, which is okay to use in certain applications (mainly infusing broths and sauces, and grinding into highly seasoned curry pastes with lots of other flavorful ingredients, as well as steeping for tea), but it’s generally not as bright or complex as fresh, and doesn’t work well in stir-fries, salads, or any recipes without a lot of liquid to re-hydrate and extract the flavor from it.
How to Choose Fresh Lemongrass
If you’re lucky enough to find fresh lemongrass stalks, choose ones that are aromatic, firm, unblemished, relatively heavy, and anywhere from a creamy, pale yellow to bright green in color. Avoid stalks that have no scent, or are overly bruised, brown, flaky, too light in weight, or where the layers of the stalks are loose, as these are all signs of old, dried-up lemongrass that’s not worth buying.
How to Store Fresh Lemongrass
You can store fresh lemongrass wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for a few weeks, or freeze it (also wrapped in plastic) for up to 6 months.
If you want your own home-grown supply of lemongrass, you can propagate the fresh stalks you buy at the store. Just place a few in a jar with a couple inches of water in it, and set it in a sunny spot. Change the water every day, and within a few weeks, you should see roots sprouting from the bottoms of the stalks. When they’re at least a couple inches long, you can transfer the lemongrass to a well-drained pot or other container with moist potting soil, or plant them right in your garden, in a sunny, well-drained spot. They’re pretty hardy, low-maintenance plants, although they don’t tolerate frost, so you may need to overwinter them indoors. When you want to harvest stalks, choose them from the outer part of the plant and gently bend toward the ground; they should snap off easily. You can use the leaves to make tea. The stalks may be more tender and juicy than what you’d buy at the store, but they’ll be treated the same way.
How to Use Fresh Lemongrass
When you’re ready to cook with your lemongrass, peel away and discard any dry, papery, or bruised outer layers from the stalks, then use a sharp knife or cleaver to trim away the bottom root end, and cut off the woody top two-thirds of each stalk as well so you’re left with 5 or 6 inches. Discard (or compost!) the trimmings. The next step depends on how you want to use your lemongrass…
In Wet Curries, Soups, Stocks, Stews, and Simmered Sauces
If you just want to infuse a liquid with lemongrass flavor, simply cut the trimmed stalks into shorter pieces that will fit well in your pot, smash them with the back of a heavy cleaver, a mallet, or even the bottom of a wine bottle to release the aromatic oils, then toss them in the pot to simmer away, and fish the pieces out just before serving. Try adding them to chicken noodle soup, vegetable stock, or rice as it’s cooking, or boil the pieces with sugar and water to make lemongrass syrup to use in drinks and desserts. (And there’s always classic bun bo hue.)
In Dry Curries, Curry Pastes, Pesto, Dipping Sauces, Marinades, and Dressings
If you want to more fully incorporate your lemongrass, you might need to trim a bit more away. Chop off enough of the top and thick bottom end so that you’re down to the paler, more flexible few middle inches of the stalk, and peel off another outside layer or two if need be (but save these tougher scraps in the fridge or freezer to use another time, as indicated above). Even the paler, more tender portion of the stalk is still plenty fibrous, so make sure your knife is sharp, and watch your fingers. Slice the stalk into thin rounds; if you have a sharp knife but it’s still meeting a lot of resistance, that portion of the stalk is probably too tough to use (except in infusions). You can use these thin, tender rounds as-is (like in the classic Thai salad yum takrai), or chop them even finer, either by hand or in a food processor. You can also grind the pieces to a paste in a mortar and pestle, or use a Microplane to grate the stalk into sauces and marinades. The goal is just to break it down as finely as possible so you don’t end up with stringy, tough bits of plant matter in your finished dish. Try stirring some minced, mashed, or grated lemongrass into anything where you’d normally use lemon zest, like vinaigrette, mayonnaise or aioli, and even baked goods.
Now that you know how to score it, save it, and slice and dice it, check out some delicious ways to cook with lemongrass:
Laksa Noodle Soup
Recipe Tin Eats
Similar to Thai tom kha gai, Malaysian laksa is based on a coconut milk broth rich with aromatics, including lemongrass and galangal (or ginger). Laksa also features thin vermicelli noodles and whatever protein you like. This recipe calls for fried tofu puffs, but you could add or substitute chicken, shrimp, or other seafood, whatever sounds good. Get the Laksa Noodle Soup recipe.
Grilled Lemongrass Pork Kebabs
Grilled lemongrass pork is a staple on Vietnamese restaurant menus, but it’s super-easy to make at home. We went with kebabs, but you could use chops instead, or even another meat entirely—and then you can eat it with rice or in a sandwich for a simple meal, or spend a bit more time making our Rice Paper Banh Mi with Lemongrass Pork for a party. No matter what, it’ll be delicious. Get our Grilled Lemongrass Pork Kebabs recipe.
The Green Monster Stir-Fry (Vegetable Stir-Fry with Lemongrass-Pistachio Pesto)
This hearty and healthy veggie stir-fry can take whatever green things you want to throw into it, making it perfect for all seasons. What stays the same is the lemongrass-pistachio pesto that adds brightness and zest, and is fantastic on pretty much anything, from grilled chicken to baked tofu. Get The Green Monster Stir-Fry recipe.
Spicy Lemongrass Chicken Wings
These addictive chicken wings are marinated in a sweet-spicy-savory-tangy combo of ingredients including lemongrass, chiles, garlic, turmeric, and ginger, then baked until crispy. Dangerously easy to make (and eat). Get the Spicy Lemongrass Chicken Wings recipe.
Eggplant Curry with Lemongrass and Coconut Milk
This vegetarian Thai curry stars silky eggplant that soaks up the rich coconut milk and lemongrass sauce. Serve with steamed rice to catch every last drop. Get our Eggplant Curry with Lemongrass and Coconut Milk recipe.
Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp Salad
Lemongrass vinaigrette elevates even the most common bowl of lettuce, and sliced lemongrass stars in several Thai salads, but in this Vietnamese bowl of goodness, the aromatic herb is blended with garlic, Sriracha, fish sauce, and brown sugar to coat grilled shrimp that perch atop a pile of fresh, crunchy vegetables, slippery noodles, and herbs. Get our recipe.
Fresh Lemongrass Tea
The Wanderlust Kitchen
There are lots of ways to use lemongrass in drinks: you can steep leaves or dried stalks into hot tea, use it to infuse your own bitters, or simmer it in simple syrup for mixing into various cocktails, mocktails, or lemonade. Here, the tough parts of lemongrass stalks are boiled to make a simple, refreshing tea, perfect served chilled in the summer. Get the Fresh Lemongrass Tea recipe.
Lemongrass Squares with Coconut Shortbread Crust
Lemongrass is lovely in desserts as well. You can use the smashed stalks to infuse custards, ice cream, and sorbet, or you can grind lemongrass in a food processor and mix it with sugar, which can be used in pretty much anything, from angel food cake to cookies. Here, it’s stirred into a gooey filling for coconut shortbread bars, for a tropical twist on the classic lemon bars. Get the Lemongrass Squares with Coconut Shortbread Crust recipe.
Related Video: How to Make Bun bo Hue
Header image courtesy of .
How to use lemon grass
How to use lemongrass
Peel away the tough outer layers to reveal the pale lower section of the stem. Use a sharp knife to trim the base.
Press the stem with the flat side of a knife to bruise and release the flavour. This is essential when infusing soups and syrups.
To prepare lemon grass for stir-frying, cut the pale section across the fibres. Freeze the green ends to infuse milk for custards.
Lemongrass recipe ideas
1 – Lemongrass Tea
Recipe idea: Lemongrass, rosemary and thyme tea
Place 1 rosemary sprig, 2 fresh thyme sprigs and lemongrass stalk (trimmed and quartered) in a 1.5 litre ceramic teapot with lid. Add boiling water. Cover with lid. Set aside for 5 minutes for flavours to develop. Strain. Serve.
2 – Lemongrass larb
Recipe idea: Lemongrass and chilli larb with noodles
3 – Lemongrass curry
Recipe idea: Slow-cooked pork and lemongrass curry
4 – Lemongrass dipping sauce
Recipe idea: Thai beef salad with lemongrass dressing
5 – Lemongrass skewers
Recipe idea: Lemongrass chicken skewers
What does lemongrass taste like
Not surprisingly, lemongrass has a citrus and lemon flavour, with a hint of mint. Its flavour is light and doesn’t take over the other flavours in a meal. Lemongrass also boasts a lovely fragrance, making it ideal for teas and dipping sauces.
Most of the lemongrass we consume has its origins in Asian and India. Look for plants that are firm and not dried out, with a tight base.
Best lemongrass recipes
- Lemongrass beef salad
- Lemongrass chicken rolls
- Lemongrass chicken skewers
- 15 dishes to make with seafood, lemongrass & cucumber
- 20 reasons we go crazy for Asian greens
- 15-minute noodle salads anyone can make
Lemongrass Winter Care: Is Lemongrass Winter Hardy
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a tender perennial that is grown either as an ornamental grass or for its culinary uses. Given that the plant is native to regions with long, hot growing seasons, you may be wondering, “is lemongrass winter hardy?” Read on to learn more.
Is Lemongrass Winter Hardy?
The answer to this is that it really depends on what region you live in. As mentioned, the plant thrives during long, hot growing seasons and if you happen to live in an area with these conditions and very mild winters, you’ll undoubtedly continue growing lemongrass in winter months.
Temperatures must remain consistently over 40 degrees F. (4 C). That said, most of us will have to take some precautions when preparing lemongrass for winter.
Overwintering Lemongrass Plants
Grown for its 2 to 3-foot (.6-1 m.) spiky leaves aromatic with the scent of lemon, lemongrass needs lots of growing space. A single clump will easily increase to a 2-foot (.6 m.) wide plant in a single growing season.
Growing lemongrass in winter is only possible when those months are extremely mild with little temperature fluctuation. When overwintering lemongrass in cool climates, it may be wise to grow the plant in containers. These can then be easily moved into a sheltered area during winter months.
Otherwise, to protect plants grown directly in the garden, lemongrass winter care should include dividing them prior to the onset of cold temps. Pot them and bring them inside to overwinter until the next season, wherein they can be replanted outside.
A delicate plant, lemongrass is easily propagated via stem cuttings or, as mentioned, divisions. In fact, lemongrass purchased from the produce section of the local grocery store can often be rooted.
Container plants should be potted in containers with adequate drainage holes and filled with a good quality prepared soil mix. When growing outside, place in an area of full sun and water as needed but take care not to overwater, which may lead to root rot. Fertilize lemongrass every two weeks with an all-purpose liquid food. Prior to the first frost, move the plants indoors to an area of bright light for lemongrass winter care. Continue to water as needed, but reduce fertilizer during these cool months until it’s time to take the plants outdoors again in the spring.
Harvest as much of the plant as possible for later use if you don’t have a suitable indoor space for growing lemongrass over winter. The leaves can be cut and used fresh or dried for future use while the most desirable tender white interior should be used fresh when its flavor is at its peak. The tough outer parts can be used to infuse lemon flavor to soups or teas, or can be dried to add aromatic scents to potpourri.
Fresh lemongrass can be kept in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days wrapped in a damp paper towel or you may decide to freeze it. To freeze lemongrass, wash it, trim it and chop it up. Then it can be frozen right away in a resealable plastic bag, or freeze it first with a small amount of water in ice cube trays and then transfer to resealable plastic bags. Frozen lemongrass will keep for at least four to six months and allow you a longer window in which to use this delightful, delicious lemony addition.
How to Chop Lemongrass
As I’ve mentioned several times, developing great knife skills saves you a ton of time and effort in the kitchen. Here’s a quick cooking video showing you how to chop lemongrass. Lemongrass, as its name would suggest has a fragrant lemony sent to it, and can be a great addition to a lot of dishes. I use it in a lot of my Asian cooking, as well as lot of soups.
Lemongrass can be fairly woody and tough so I generally like to cut if very finely, so that it blends into the dish and almost melts away. Giving off it’s great flavor and aroma, but blending right into the food.
How to chop lemongrass:
- Remove the outside one or two layers; these are generally the most tough, and are often marked up with blemishes
- Remove the end (root end) and discard along with the outer layers
- Use a knife to cut the lemongrass in half the long way, so that you have two pieces that each have a flat side
- Place that flat side of the piece on the cutting board, and keeping the tip of your knife on the board, and the claw grip, chop along the length of lemongrass very finely
- If needed, gather the chopped pieces together, and chop through them a few more times to get very small pieces
How to Propagate Lemongrass
I do a lot of Vietnamese cooking at home, and the unique flavor of lemongrass is one of my absolute favorites. When I discovered you can propagate lemongrass from stalks bought at the grocery store, I drove right down to my local Asian market and picked up six fresh stalks to root in water.
This method is pretty much fool-proof. The stalks you buy don’t need to have roots at the bottom, but they do need to have the entire stem intact.
I cut off the foliage, leaving only an inch above the stem. Choose a sunny location like a south-facing windowsill, put the stalks in water, change the water every day, and watch as new leaves begin growing almost immediately. The roots start emerging after a week, and the stalk eventually divides itself (via offshoot stalks) after a few weeks. Once the roots reach a sizable length (at least three inches), the stalks are ready to go in the ground.
In the first week, new leaves form at the top.
Roots after one week.
Roots after two weeks.
And finally, three weeks later with sizable roots and new foliage growth, the lemongrass stalks are ready for the garden.
I planted three stalks together for a larger yield, but if growing in a container, one stalk will do. Under ideal conditions, lemongrass will grow into a very hefty shrub, about five feet tall and wide, or even more. It can become so dense that some people even grow lemongrass as a screen or hedge… so pick a spacious permanent area in your garden for it.
Lemongrass is a perennial that likes moist soil, a warm climate, and sunny location (picture its native tropical conditions) and overwinters in my Sunset climate zone 24. The stalks should be ready for harvest in two to four months, and will grow back if you snap off or cut the stalk about an inch above the ground. You can also cut the stalk away from the plant (with rootstock intact) to propagate more plants. Share them with your friends!
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PHOTO: graibeard/Flickrby Elizabeth Scholl September 26, 2018
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a culinary and medicinal herb native to Southern India and Sri Lanka. While there are 55 varieties of lemongrass, only two are used in cooking: East Indian Lemongrass (also known as Cochin or Malabar Grass) and West Indian Lemongrass. It’s commonly cultivated in the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos for use in curries, soups, salads and other regional dishes, but the essential oil can be extracted for use in soaps, lotions, perfumes and deodorants, as well.
Fast-growing and easy to care for, the herb can be a delightful addition to your kitchen garden or home landscape. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Basic Lemongrass Growing Tips
In the garden, lemongrass usually grows 2 to 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide, but in tropical areas, it can grow to as tall as 9 feet. As a tropical grass, it’s hardy to USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11, though the roots may be hardy to zone 8. In cooler growing zones, lemongrass is often grown as an annual or can be overwintered indoors in pots.
Lemongrass prefers fertile, loose, well-drained loam soil that is moist but not too wet. It will tolerate average soil if it has enough moisture and good drainage, but does best in soil with a pH of 6 to 7.8. Site it in a location with full sun or at least 6 hours of sun per day.
Like other grasses, lemongrass needs great deal of nitrogen. During the growing season, feed it a half-strength solution of a balanced soluble fertilizer—once per week if in a pot and once per month if in the ground. Non-chemical fertilizers that are high in nitrogen include composted chicken manure, blood meal and feather meal.
Limited Pest and Disease Risks
Because of its high essential-oil concentration, lemongrass is generally pest-free and, in fact, is commonly used as an ingredient in natural insect repellents. Once established, it also outcompetes weeds, though young plants may still require some weeding. Grown indoors, lemongrass is occasionally susceptible to spider mites, though overall, you’ll find this a delightful, easy plant to keep. foam/Flickr
Harvesting Lemongrass Stalks
Lemongrass is harvested for both the stalk and foliage. You can begin harvesting lemongrass as soon as the plant is about a foot tall. Cut, twist or break off a stalk that is at least 1/4 inch thick. The most tender part is at the bottom, so remove it as close to the ground as possible. Once you have harvested the number of stalks you want, remove the woody outer portion and the leaves. Save the leaves to dry, or compost them. Slice the tender part of the stalk, and add as needed to your recipe. Extra lemongrass can be refrigerated or frozen.
In colder regions where lemongrass is grown as an annual, harvest the remainder plant in the fall, before the first frost sets in. Cut the foliage down to the lighter-colored stalks, and then cut or break them off, discarding the roots and any discolored portions.
If you harvest more lemongrass than you need for one recipe or you have an ample supply leftover from an end-of-season harvest, you can freeze or dry the stalks and leaves for use throughout the winter.
Freezing Lemongrass Stalks
Lemongrass stalks can be frozen whole or in smaller pieces for about 6 months. For easy use in cooking, portion out the stalks in amounts that you’d use them in your favorite recipes. Place them in a freezer bag or container labeled with the date and amount stored.
Drying Lemongrass Stalks and Leaves
To dry the stalks or leaves, cut them into pieces while the plant is still fresh, as they can become crumbly and difficult to cut when dry. Separate the leaves from the stalks, and lay them on paper towels or on a screen in a dry area out of direct sun. When completely dry, store in a jar in a cool, dark place. Dried lemongrass can be used for up to a year. Inga Munsinger Cotton/Flickr
Tips for Using Lemongrass
You’ll have just about as much fun using your lemongrass as you will growing it. Here are some suggestions for making it a staple in your kitchen.
- Lemongrass tea: This is the perfect way to use the parts of the lemongrass plant that is not flavorful enough for cooking. Steep a few pieces (cut into 1- or 2-inch lengths) of the fresh or dried leaves and/or outer woody stalks in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes, or longer if you desire a stronger brew. Add honey or sugar to taste. Lemongrass tea is delicious hot or iced.
- Ginger substitute: Substituting lemongrass for ginger will result a milder flavor profile for any dish.
- Salad topping or garnish: Mince the more tender pieces of the stalk for this purpose.
- Lemon juice substitute: Lemongrass can be used in cream sauces in place of lemon juice, without the risk of the sauce curdling.
- Seasoning for broths, sauces and other dishes: Lemongrass stalks or leaves can be added to any dish that would be enhanced by a mild, lemony flavor. Use it the way a bay leaf would be used, and remove prior to serving.
Medicinal Uses of Lemongrass
Lemongrass is regarded in herbal medicine as a diuretic, mild sedative, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, stomachic, anti-parisitcal and anti-microbial. Both the whole herb and the extracted essential oil have been traditionally used to treat:
- circulatory problems
- sore throats
- bacterial infections
Lemongrass is also used in natural deodorants and insect repellents.
Winter Care of Lemongrass
As a tender, tropical plant, lemongrass will not survive cold temperatures outdoors. It may be treated as an annual, or overwintered indoors. If you’ve grown lemongrass in the ground, you can dig it up before the first frost, cut back the foliage and stalks to just a few inches tall, and plant it in one large pot or into several smaller pots. Keep your potted lemongrass as a houseplant near a bright, sunny window, ideally with southern exposure; in a heated greenhouse; or under artificial lights.
Indoor lemongrass plants will benefit from regular feedings every two weeks, as they will quickly use up the nutrients in the potting soil. Keep the plants moist, but do not overwater them, as potted plants are subject to root rot if the soil remains soggy. The plants can be put back in the ground after the danger of frost has passed.
If you want to increase your lemongrass supply or simply start over production in the spring, you can propagate the plant from a stalk harvested from a plant or purchased from a grocery store or Asian market. Cut the leaves down to about 1 inch above the base of the stalk, and place it in a dish or glass of fresh water—roots do not need to be attached. Set the dish near a sunny window, and change the water daily. After a few days, your stalk should begin to grow roots. In two weeks, if you see good root growth, plant it in soil either outdoors or in a pot.