To find lemongrass, look in the season or supplement aisle, depending on the store. Lemongrass is a tropical plant that is most commonly used for its medicinal properties. However, sometimes it is used to flavor certain foods or drinks, providing a strong lemon flavor.
It’s perfect for adding a bit of flavor to desserts such as pies or drinks. It’s also utilized as a topical treatment for several conditions.
Since lemongrass has a strong but desirable smell, it’s also used as a fragrance. It has numerous properties in which it can prohibit bacteria’s growth and can even reduce fever, swelling, and more.
What Are Some Benefits of Lemongrass?
Lemongrass contains a very sought after flavonoid: quercetin. Quercetin is used by those who suffer from MCAS due to its exceptional ability to control mast cells, which causes inflammation.
Lemongrass is also an antifungal. Lemongrass oil is best used for this, as it can be applied directly onto the affected area, allowing for ease of symptoms and even treatment. It’s not going to replace an antibiotic in most cases, but it’s still great nevertheless.
Reduces Symptoms of E-coli
E-coli is a serious infection, which can cause minor symptoms or lead to catastrophic events. Lemongrass has proven itself to reduce the toxicity of E-coli, quickening the recovery time and lessening symptoms.
What Are Some Substitutes of Lemongrass?
While not identical in taste, lemon zest can provide similar results when used in a recipe - one that requires lemongrass. You still get much of the “sour” factor and a close tanginess.
Kaffir Lime Leaves
Limes have a very similar taste to lemongrass and will work just fine as an alternative. It’s certainly not identical. However, lime leaves have a flavor that is similar enough to act as a great substitute. Plus, they’re super easy to find in most produce sections!
Lemon Verbena Leaves
Lemon verbena leaves are nearly identical to lemongrass, so these will probably be your favorite. They are much stronger, though, so use a little less in your recipe.
How Can You Use Lemongrass?
Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken
This is a traditional Vietnamese dish and for a good reason. While the minor details will vary among individual recipes, the common factors are the delicious lemongrass marinade that gives the chicken breasts or thighs an unforgettable aroma and taste.
Simple to prepare herbal tea that has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Just pour 1 cup of scalding water over 1 to 3 teaspoons of either fresh or dried lemongrass, then let it steep for about 5 minutes. Strain the tea and enjoy iced or warm.
Here’s one that might come as a surprise. Lemongrass is enjoying increased popularity in adult beverages. One such popular recipe involves a gin and tonic, though there are many more. The fresh stems can even be used as straw or stirrer for your drinks!
Even if you’ve never heard of it before this article, this tropically grown plant boasts several different health benefits. Lemongrass has an extremely fragrant aroma and zesty taste that can be used in multiple ways.
If you’re into Asian cuisine, then don’t sleep on this one. However, lemongrass can be used in much more than only food, from herbal tea to alcoholic drinks. Talk about versatility!