The scientific name for lemongrass is cymbopogon, and the species commonly found in parts of Africa is called cymbopogon citratus. Lemongrass (and lemongrass oil) are important herbal remedies in Africa and have been widely studied: the grass is used medicinally to treat illnesses from colds to fever to acne to cancer. It is also said to be an insect and snake repellant. My husband’s mother in Ghana always had fresh lemongrass growing in the garden for tea. He remembers loving it with milk and sugar.
Health considerations aside, it can be enjoyed just for its wonderful delicate citrus flavor. Though it pales in comparison to fresh lemongrass, tea can also be made from dried lemongrass available in health food stores.
Serve plain or add evaporated or other milk and/or sugar or honey to taste. Some people add a little fresh ginger when brewing it. This tea goes well with Twisted Cakes or Ghana-style Doughnuts (Togbei/Bofrot).
Some recipes suggest boiling the lemongrass in the pot with the water, as one would for chai.
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