Lemongrass is a tender perennial grass, which is native to India, but also cultivated in other tropical areas, particularly Brazil, Sri Lanka and parts of central Africa. After harvesting, grass is finely chopped to facilitate the extraction of the essential oil by steam distillation.
Lemongrass is widely used as a culinary herb in Asian cuisine and also as a medicinal herb in India. It has a subtle citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. It is commonly used in teas, soups, and curries.
Cymbopogon flexuosus is a fast-growing and lemon-scented grass, which may reach a height of 1 m. It has unusual, dark-green foliage and also produces seeds.
The main chemical component of lemongrass oil is citral.
Towards the end of 2017 there was a deficiency in the supply of synthetic citral. This led to a slight price hike, but the rates have fallen once again. This year material in the market is restricted, though lemongrass production is quite healthy. Current production of citral is average, though demand has decreased since there is a shift in usage of synthetic citral. However, current prices have touched rock bottom in the last three years; and from here can only move up.
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