Lemongrass is a multipurpose plant that can be easily grown in a pot or garden bed. It is both an ornamental grass as well as a cooking flavor. This herb brings the textural beauty and movement of an ornamental grass to the garden, along with one additional feature: The lemony leaves can be made into tea with a hint of ginger. Lemongrass grows quickly when it is warm. You should watch for fresh stalks to emerge. You can combine lemongrass with cilantro, chili peppers, and garlic for some exciting asian recipes.
While the plant is growing, collect leaves as needed by cutting them at the base. To harvest stalks, cut new stalks when they're roughly 2-1/2 inches long and nearly an inch wide at the base. Lemongrass requires liquids to extract its essential oils so steep leaves in hot water for a refreshing tea, or use it to season soups, stews, or marinades. Chop excess stalks and freeze for up to one year, and freeze leaf pieces for up to five months. You can also preserve leaves by hanging them upside down in a dark place to dry.
Lemongrass is used for treating stomachache, achy joints (rheumatism), fever, the common cold, and exhaustion. It is also used to kill germs and as a mild astringent. Some people apply lemongrass and its essential oil directly to the skin for headache, stomachache, abdominal pain, and muscle pain.
By inhalation, the essential oil of lemongrass is used as aromatherapy for muscle pain.