We have nice neighbors. So when my lemongrass plantzilla started shading half their yard, it was time to cut it back. Lemongrass is a great permaculture plant- perennial, grows easily, lots of uses but it does get HUGE in Hawaii. There’s no real science to where to cut it on the stalk, I probably could have cut it closer to the ground but my scissors weren’t that sharp so I did the best I could.
It was about a 5 gallon bucket full, if I had a clean bucket. But they are all in use so had to use this basket. (Seriously, where do all the buckets go??)
I chopped it up, using a knife and sometimes scissors and filled my 40 cup stockpot. To keep the boy busy, I had him carry water in cups from inside to fill the pot. Busy hands keep him out of trouble. 😀
Plopped it up on the stove and let it come to a boil while dinner cooked and the scent of lemongrass took over our house. It’s such a lovely smell!
The straining part was a bit more complicated than the cute ladies on the YouTube videos I watched…maybe because in organic gardening you have bugs? Yeah. Lots of bugs that met their demise in the boiling water now needed to be strained out of my nice tea. I tried a regular tea strainer but some holes were still too big so I found a thin cloth that worked really well.
This made a LOT of tea. 😀 I also added some organic Hawaiian honey which really makes it delicious. I gave some to a neighbor and will share some with a friend tomorrow. The rest I full intend to drink because I’ve been battling a sore throat and mild head cold for about week and lemongrass tea has antibacterial properties among many other things.
Lemongrass has been reported to have innumerable therapeutic and other health benefits. Widely used to alleviate certain respiratory conditions including laryngitis and sore throats, lemongrass has earned a reputation for its anti-pyretic property which reduces high fevers. Called fevergrass in some cultures the vapor is inhaled, leading to increased perspiration and eventually the complete removal of fever.
Lemongrass has powerful pain relieving properties. It helps to alleviate muscle spasms by relaxing the muscles thereby leading to the reduction of pain-related symptoms. It is thus useful for all types of pain including abdominal pain, headaches, joint pains, muscle pains, digestive tract spasms, muscle cramps, stomachache and others. This remedy has also been linked to increasing the body’s ability to repair damaged connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments and tendons and is thus recommended for these types of injuries. Another related benefit is for improvements in blood circulation.
As an antifungal and antibacterial, lemongrass inhibits bacteria and yeast growth. For this it is useful for gastrointestinal infections and may also be applied externally to wounds as it fights germs. As an antioxidant lemongrass, contributes to liver and pancreatic health by helping the body to more quickly remove toxins. It has also being linked to lowered or normalized cholesterol levels. It also treat digestive issues including gastro-enteritis and may be helpful in relieving constipation.
Some sources suggest that lemongrass has antidepressant properties and is thus beneficial for nervous and stress-related conditions. It is said to be helpful in alleviating anxiety and depressive symptoms. It helps to strengthen the nervous system and may thus be useful for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
The presence of Vitamin A in lemongrass makes it helpful for skin issues such as acne pimples. It helps to brighten the skin and eyes and clear up oily skin thus improving acne. Its antibacterial property is also valuable for skin infections. Lemongrass may improve poor body odor by controlling excessive sweating.
One research conducted at the Ben Gurion University in Israel has found possible benefits of the citral found in lemongrass on cancer. It reveals that this compound may contribute to the death of cancer cells with no noted negative effect on normal cells.