Chinese lemongrass (Schisandra chinensis) is a plant with a rich history. Few people know that this culture began to be grown as a medicinal and used for treatment more than two centuries before the birth of Christ in ancient China. Only a few centuries later, this culture began to be cultivated in the Far East, where for a long period of time lemongrass was used exclusively as a tonic, like modern energy drinks.
Currently, lemongrass in natural nature occupies very large areas in China, Japan, North and South Korea. In these regions, the culture prefers to grow in mountainous terrain, is selected on clearings of deciduous forests, and occupies light areas of valley and mixed forests. Favorite growing areas of lemongrass are forest edges, places of fire, valleys of wide streams and small rivers. This culture chooses the soil well-drained, flavored with nutrients, with an acidic or slightly acidic reaction of the medium. What does lemongrass taste like and why it is favored by medicine practitioners? See below.
The extremely medicinal fruits of lemongrass are used in folk and scientific traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic, stimulant for the nervous, respiratory and cardiovascular systems, for the treatment of anemia, nervous exhaustion, depression, and infectious food, narcotic (including alcoholic) poisoning. Lemongrass improves vision, increases concentration and attentiveness, reduces mental and physical fatigue, therefore it is especially useful for office workers, drivers, athletes, teachers, programmers. The greatest effect is achieved when the berries are consumed together with the seeds, biting through them. The thin shell breaks easily, and the core has a strong spicy, slightly bitter and pungent lemongrass taste. That is why in the homeland lemongrass is called “the berry of five tastes”. But you should be careful – an overdose of lemongrass can lead to allergies, insomnia, tachycardia, and hypertension.
Lemongrass fruits are dried, added to tea, syrup is made from fresh berries with sugar. They also make jam, jam, jelly, but the medicinal potential decreases. Healthy tea is also prepared from leaves, bark and shoots of lemongrass.
What does lemongrass taste like?
Lemongrass gives food a specific pungency or astringency, but it is not as hot as pepper, so the dishes have a rather tart sour lemongrass taste. To prevent lemongrass from losing its properties, it is best to use it in its natural form, in meat and fish salads, for example. If there is no fresh lemongrass, you can use dried.
What products do lemongrass go well with, and which ones don’t?
In this paragraph we will show you what does lemongrass taste like best with. The most popular combination among Thais is chicken with lemongrass, even the phrase “kai and takhai” (which translates as “chicken and lemongrass”) sounds like a proverb in Thai.
For example, minced chicken kebabs are very popular, and lemongrass stalks are used as skewers. We need a pound of pure chicken fillet, egg white, grated carrots, and chili, peeled from seeds, garlic, coriander and a tablespoon of vegetable oil. For skewers, you can take four lemongrass sticks and cut each lengthwise into halves to make eight thin skewers. Cut the chicken fillet into pieces in a blender with protein, then add grated carrots and chopped chili peppers with garlic and coriander, a little salt and pepper to the resulting homogeneous minced meat. Mix and cool everything together, then string the minced meat lumps on skewers and grease with oil. We bake on a preheated grill until golden brown (about five minutes), and the kebabs are ready.
Lemongrass with fish and seafood is in second place in popularity. You can prepare the following sauce for fried fish: in a deep frying pan with oil, in which you fried the fish, toss chopped garlic, lemon juice, half a teaspoon of sugar, chopped sorghum, shallots and two chopped chili pods, bring to a boil, after a couple of minutes we remove, water the fish. Quite often, people also add lemongrass to dishes with pork; however, it is practically not used with vegetables.
Medicinal properties of lemongrass
In their natural form, berries are not consumed, since their lemongrass taste is sour and astringent. They are dried, used to make compote, juice, fruit drink, syrup, wine, preserves, jam, and marmalade.
You can store the natural fresh fruit juice in the refrigerator for a long time without losing its beneficial properties. What does lemongrass taste like when you dilute it with water? Like a very pleasant tonic drink of bright red color with a refreshing lemongrass taste and lemon aroma. Juice improves the lemongrass taste of tea; just add 1 teaspoon to a cup.
Tea made from branches and leaves has a golden-yellow color, a very subtle lemon scent and also has tonic properties. You can drink it instead of traditional tea. A soft drink made from leaves is very good; it invigorates and refreshes on a hot day.
However, lemongrass is most valuable as a source of biologically active substances. It is a natural stimulant of the human central nervous system. Its effect on our body is akin to ginseng. It promotes energy production, restores strength after mental and physical exertion. It has a particularly positive effect in the event of a breakdown after stress, operations, and illness. The tonic, refreshing, stimulating effect of Lemongrass helps during intense mental work that requires concentration, attention, and wholeness of perception. Moreover, unlike other stimulants, its action is not accompanied by depletion of nerve cells.
The usefulness of lemongrass, primarily in its medicinal properties. For medicinal purposes, all parts of the plant are used – fruits, leaves, roots, stems. Lemongrass has a pronounced, tonic effect of the central nervous system. Official traditional Chinese medicine recommends it for physical and mental fatigue, hypotension, asthenic and depressive conditions, and loss of strength, in case of poisoning and chronic infections. Lemongrass preparations stimulate the nervous system, tone up the cardiovascular system, increase the sensitivity of the eyes, stimulate the activity of the digestive apparatus, activate metabolism and wound healing. All the properties described make it possible to use lemongrass not only for many diseases, but also for absolutely healthy people and even athletes to improve performance.
Nanai hunters assure that a handful of dry lemongrass berries “gives strength to chase the sable’s trail without eating all day.”