Botanical Name(s): Cymbopogon Citratus
Family Name: Poaceae
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)
Species: 55 species of grasses
Popular Name(s): Barbed Wire Grass, Silky Heads, Citronella Grass, Fever Grass, Hierba Luisa
Parts Used: Leaves, roots
Habitat: Tropical grasslands
Lemongrass is a thick, tropical and long grass that is native to India and an important ingredient in the Asian cuisine. Its thin, grass-like, grey-green leaves grow up to 6 feet in the tropics, and about 3 feet in more northerly climates. The plant has leaves at the top and a solid portion, several inches long, at the root end. The lower portion is sliced or pounded. It is known with a variety of names, including barbed wire grass, lemongrass, fever grass, silky heads, citronella grass, and hierba luisa.
Lemongrass has dense fibrous roots, with ringed segments and short underground stems. The blades of the grass reach 90 cm in length and 0.5 cm in breadth. The plant emits lemon-like odor and a citrus taste. It can easily be grown from seed or a stalk, with a few roots attached and immersed in water. This can further be transplanted to the garden. Today, lemongrass is grown throughout Southeast Asia, Southern India, Sri Lanka, Central Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, the US and the West Indies, for its medicinal and culinary benefits.
Lemongrass comprises of volatile oil (0.4%), 65- 85% citral (a composition of isomers, geraniol and neral), geraniol, geranic acid, nerolic acid, myrcene (12% to 25%), diterpenes, methylheptenone, citronellol, linalol, farnesol, other alcohols, aldehydes, linalool, terpineol, minor fragrant components. Nonvolatile components of C. citratus consist of luteolins, homo-orientin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, p -coumaric acid, fructose, sucrose, octacosanol, Flavonoids luteolin and 6-C-glucoside.
Uses & Benefits of Lemongrass