Friday, May 20, 2011

Lemony-flavored grass

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is yet another aromatic herb. I saw this grass at my aunt's house, a decade ago or so. She had encouraged me to crush the blade and smell it. Oh, so aromatic! Recently, when I visited her, the plant was missing. During house construction activity, she lost the plant. I told her that I had the plant, and would share it with her. Of course, she smiled, and asked from where I got the plant. Well... :-)

When we drove around the hill stations of South India, we saw hillocks filled with the lemongrass. It's beautiful to watch the grass sway as the wind blows. At the hill stations, the nurseries sell these plants for an affordable price. When we also traveled to remote places in Dakshina Karnataka, we saw houses that had lovely fire-cracker flowers. We stopped to talk to the friendly house owners about the plants, and one of them was so excited that he showed and explained a variety of plants, among which was the lemongrass.
My plant grows in an earthen container. The plant has grown tall and majestic, and had flowers too. This plant's been with me for about two years. And yes, I need to replant it in a bigger container. New rhizomes branching from the parent stem produces new shoots. Just keep the plant in partial Sun (or full Sun), and see how wonderfully it grows. Have a well-drained soil, and feed it once in a while. Do not water the plant in excess. Oh, the plant is excellent for landscaping or for a rock garden!  

All parts of this plant have medicinal properties. I use the grass blades in buttermilk and while cooking plain rice. In Kannada language, this herb is called Majjige-hullu because of its use in buttermilk. Majjige-hullu means Buttermilk Grass. We crush or finely chop the lemongrass blades, and add them to the buttermilk. This helps rectify digestion issues. I also cut a little of this grass, crush it in my palms, and inhale the aroma. Soothes the nerves! The oil is used in aromatherapy. For more details, see

Please grow this plant at your gardens.

Other names:
  • Bhustrina or Sera (India)
  • Karpoorpul
  • Vasanapulla
  • Chae-Kashmiri 
  • Citronella Grass  
  • Fever Grass
  • Serai (Malaysia) 
  • Takrai (Thailand)


  1. Hello.. To add to its medicinal uses, its useful in curing sore throat infections when consumed as hot "kashaya"(herbal drink which can be prepared at home in minutes)..

  2. I need to plant lemon grass in my garden please suggest where do i get it -I stay in Tumkur

    1. Sorry, Supriya. I am not aware of plant nurseries/gardeners at Tumkur.


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