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Lemongrass is a hearty grass that’s adored for its citrusy scent, lemony taste, and golden hue when steeped as a tea. While it possesses the ability to relieve digestive distress and uplift the spirit, we choose to incorporate lemongrass in our formulas at low enough amounts to simply impart its natural flavor and fragrance benefits.*

Common Name Barbed wire grass, citronella grass, cochin grass, fever grass, Malabar grass
Family Name Poaceae
Parts Used Whole plant: heart of young shoots and leaves
Herbal Actions Antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, nervine
Health Benefits Digestion, Relaxation, Stress Relief

“Lemongrass" originates from its lemon-like aroma and resemblance to grass.

What are the benefits of Lemongrass?

This citrusy green grass packs a zing in many Southeast Asian dishes, like green curry and tom kha gai. However, it’s more than a culinary treat; it’s been used traditionally in folk medicine in India, Thailand, Brazil, and beyond for centuries.

Lemongrass is aromatic, slightly bitter, and cooling. It increases perspiration, hence its common name, “fever grass,” and is often used to ease stress, digestive tension, and cramping.*

The essential oil of lemongrass is incredibly popular and contains citral and citronellal, both known for their relaxing qualities. Many use lemongrass, or its sister plant citronella, in candles or diffused as an essential oil to repel insects and pesky mosquitos. While repelling to insects, it’s allure to humans makes it a common ingredient in soaps, oils, hair products, and perfumery for its light and uplifting aroma.

Folklore & Historical Use of Lemongrass

Native to Maritime Southeast Asia, this botanical thrives in tropical climates and is synonymous with traditional tropical Asian cuisines. Curries, soups, stews, slow-cooked meats, fish, rice, and teas are commonly infused with the hearts of the young shoots or stalks of lemongrass. It’s often paired with coconut milk, ginger, and chili—and its bright and citrusy taste makes any dish more exciting.

Lemongrass gained international popularity during the early spice trade era when it became beloved and grown outside its home in the Southeast Asian tropics. It’s now used as a tea to boost immunity in the Caribbean and to ease anxiety in Brazilian folk medicine. In Hoodoo, it’s the primary ingredient in van van oil and is used to clear energy and bring the wearer good luck.

Botany, Species, Habitat

Lemongrass is native to Southeast Asia, most likely India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It thrives in tropical grasslands and USDA Zones 9 – 10 but can easily be grown in pots and brought indoors in cooler climates. This perennial green is incredibly hearty, making it a popular plant for creating a natural border, ground cover, and erosion control. It prefers rainy climates, moisture-retentive and well-drained soil, and full sun. If you’re growing it outside its ideal range, give it fertile soil and little to no shade for the best results.

When To Use Lemongrass

Stress Relief

Anytime to brighten your day.


Before or after meals to relax the GI tract & ease cramping.

The Business of Sustainable Plants

Our business is rooted in plants, and for us, it’s a business imperative that we care for the ecosystems where these plants live and thrive. We believe that everything is interconnected, which means supporting ecosystems and the farmers and collectors who harvest and gather our herbs. Finding opportunities to reduce or eliminate emissions at the source, we support organic and regenerative farming practices as well as voluntary certifications like Organic and FairWild. These ensure the absence of pesticides, herbicides, as well as the ongoing sustainability of wild collection, and the health and livelihoods of the collectors who forage. Josef Brinckmann, Traditional Medicinals’ Research Fellow, Medicinal Plants and Botanical Supply, asserts, “Everyone has a role to play in preserving biological diversity. One way of doing that is by equitably supporting the local people to serve as stewards of the land.”

It Starts with Organic

We choose to source organic because we believe in the positive impacts it has on environmental sustainability, biodiversity, and overall ecosystem health. Organic helps us increase transparency while prioritizing consumer well-being and farmer success, which is key to producing the high-quality herbs we source. In 2021, we procured 2.73 million pounds of certified organic herbs, over 99.7% of our total botanical herbs purchased. Volumes were down slightly from FY20 due to timing of inventories received.

The impact from organic farming creates a vital ecosystem through improved soil health, water quality, pollinator habitats, and biodiversity. Organic farms also have increased carbon sequestration potential through long-term carbon storage in the soil, helping to mitigate climate change.

One of the benefits of organic that we most value is farmer health. We care deeply about the people who produce our herbs, ensuring that they are not exposed to synthetic chemicals found in conventional agriculture.

Fair Trade

We believe that everyone deserves a fair wage for hard work. That’s one of the reasons why we’re committed to fair trade. Traditional Medicinals® is a registered Fair Trade “brand holder”, “licensee” and “manufacturer,” and our products are certified by Fair Trade USA, an independent third-party certifier. We were an early adopter of Fair Trade, having launched our first fair trade tea product in 1998, just one year after Fairtrade International (FLO) was established. We continue to work closely with our network of producers to help them to implement fair trade standards and get certified.

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Additional Information

Legal Disclaimer
The information and other content in this article are designed to provide a general overview of the botany, cultural history, and traditional uses of this herb. It is not intended and should not be construed as health advice. Every person is unique and you should consult with your health care provider before using any herbal product or supplement.