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.
Adequate rainfall has helped pick up production in major cultivation areas. The distillation process has been hampered by rain. There has been an increase in demand for the oil. This has resulted in a price surge in the past few months. Production is expected to pick up to meet this increased demand.
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