Most kids with Asian moms, especially those who grew up with Asian grandparents, can back me up on this: Coughing? Fresh oregano juice. Skin burn or bruises? Pounded guava leaf.
It’s not because our “forefathers” defy modern medication, they are just smart and practical enough to make most out of the beneficial products from our bountiful soil and tropical weather. Out of thousands of holy grail plants, let’s highlight one of my personal favorites growing up: Lemongrass.
Here in Thailand, all markets sell Lemongrass because it is one of the key ingredients for Tom Yum Goong or the famous sour-spicy Thai soup. But in this little Chiang Mai countryside where I currently live, where ratio of fields to structures is 1:5, Lemongrass can be easily planted and be readily picked sooner than later. All it needs is sun, soil, and right amount of water then voila–dense nutrition straight from the backyard!
Lemongrass is a perennial plant with linear, long leaves that is indigenous to many Asian countries. It grows in thick bushes, emerging from a strong base and standing for about 3 meters in height.
So why is Lemongrass widely used as herbal medicine? Because it helps treat various ailments like digestive tract spasms, stomachache, high blood pressure, convulsions, pain, vomiting, cough, achy joints (rheumatism), fever, the common cold, and exhaustion. In India, Lemongrass is an essential ingredient in Ayurveda medicine.
Dubbed as the “fever plant”, Lemongrass is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, and it also has traces of B vitamins. Interestingly, Lemongrass has anti-microbial properties that help prevent the growth of germs. It also a good source of antioxidants.
Now that you know Lemongrass is not just any other bushy plant, it’s time to maximize its benefits by brewing it!
Preparation: 15 mins
|3 pcs||Lemongrass stalks|
|1.5 cups||Hot water|
|As desired||Sweetener (Honey, Stevia, Muscovado, etc.)|
- Wash lemongrass thoroughly. Cut the stalks into bits (an inch).
- Place in a glass then pour two cups of hot water. Alternatively, you can also boil the lemongrass for 5-10 mins.
- Add sweetener of your choice. It can be honey, stevia, muscovado, etc., but for this drink I used organic honey.
- Stir and enjoy!
Note: Lemongrass brew is generally considered safe and without side effects, although if you are pregnant or taking other medicines, including chemotherapy drugs, it is advised to discuss drinking lemongrass tea with your doctor first.
For other health benefits of Lemongrass, check out this list posted by Top 10 Home Remedies.
Drink your nutrients,