Have you eaten a dish where your taste buds were singing due to the zing of a lemony flavor? If so, you were probably eating a dish made with the popular Asian herb: lemongrass. Lemongrass, also called ‘ta-khrai’ in the Thai language, not only provides a refreshing and zesty flavor in many curry dishes and soups, but it also provides amazing benefits to your health. You can also use it to add a refreshing and citrusy flavor to your meal. This herb can be brewed as a tea, which is another way you can acquire its health benefits.
The Incredible Health Benefits of Lemongrass
One of the major benefits lemongrass has is the fact that it is naturally an antioxidant. Antioxidants help the body get rid of unwanted waste through a process known as detoxification. If you regularly detox your body, your liver and kidneys will thank you since they have to constantly filter unwanted substances, which can take a toll on the organs overtime. Detoxing also helps the body flush out undesired fat, which makes lemongrass a great herb to use if you’re trying to lose weight. By cleansing the body, your digestive health will also improve and you’ll feel better overall.
If you’re starting to feel sick or you feel as though your immune system is becoming weaker, it is recommended to consume lemongrass. Surprisingly, lemongrass can help strengthen the immune system due to its relationship with cytokines. Cytokines are molecules that transmit messages from the cells in the body to the brain and other cells. By taking a lemongrass extract, the lemongrass health properties help strengthen the communication and nutrients cytokines need.
Not only does lemongrass benefit the immune system, it also helps cure colds and other respiratory diseases. Vitamin C is an active vitamin in lemongrass which helps cure flu symptoms such as nasal blockages, excessive coughing, and other stressful respiratory symptoms. Lemongrass is also considered to be a febrifuge, which is a fancy medical term for a fever reducer. That is why you might hear lemongrass referred to as a “fever grass,” and has been used to treat fevers for hundreds of years.
Cooking with Lemongrass
If you plan on making popular Thai dishes like green curry, Thai yellow chicken curry, or coconut noodle soup, you’ll notice that lemongrass is one of the main ingredients. Yet, there are a few things you need to know if you plan on using it in your everyday cooking. When you first buy lemongrass, you will notice that it comes in 2-4 stalks. The herb almost looks like green onions only harder and thicker.
You’ll first want to peel the outer leaves so you can get to the softer part of the herb. Then you’ll want to cut off the bulb that’s at the bottom of the plant. You can now start slicing the crunchy yellow stalk until you reach the mostly green and dense part of the herb. This part can be saved and used to marinate soups and dishes with a creamy broth. Next, you’ll want to grind the chopped pieces in a food processor until they look like minced garlic. You can then use the lemongrass in your cooking or you can store it in the freezer for later.
Where to Buy Lemongrass in Bangkok
If you’re looking to purchase some lemongrass to cook with or to aid an illness, you can typically find it at an open wet market. This is where they sell many foods to restaurant owners at a wholesale price. One of the best wet markets to go to is the Khlong Toei Market. Not only can you find fresh lemongrass, but you can also find local fruits and vegetables that would be perfect to add to your dish.
If you’re looking to buy a lemongrass tea or ailments with lemongrass in them, you can easily shop for them at Tops Market. Luckily, there’s a Tops Market located in the Robinson Department store in Sukhumvit, close to the Khlong Toei Pier Market. If you’re interested in staying close to the best shopping area, not only for food but also clothes, you should try staying at Centre Point Sukhumvit 10. You’ll be in walking distance to these amazing stores and within reach to local amenities.
We hope you enjoy your trip in Bangkok and we hope you discover the healthy benefits lemongrass provides.