Lemongrass is an aromatic tropical plant with long, slender blades that can grow to a height of 5 ft (1.5m). Believed to have a wide range of therapeutic effects, the herb has been used for centuries in South America and India. It has also become popular in the United States. Aside from folk medicine, lemongrass is a favourite ingredient in Thai cuisine and dishes that boasts a tangy Asian flavour.
While there are several species of lemongrass, Cymbopogon Citratus is the variety most often recommended for medicinal purposes. Native to Southeast Asia, lemongrass can also be found growing in India, South America, Africa, Australia and the United States. The essential oil is derived from only select, fresh dried leaves of the lemongrass. Cymbopogon Citratus, which belongs to the Poaceae family of plants, is also referred to as West Indian lemongrass.