Common name: lemon grass
Scientific Name: Cymbopogon flexuosus (steud.) Wats.
Lemongrass is an aromatic grass about 210 to 315 cm tall. The leaves are linear, lanceolate (125 x 1.7 cm); panicle very large (30 to 80 cm long), drooping and lax. The color is grayish or grayish green, rarely with a tinge of purple. It is decompound with raceme pairs in dense masses, spreading and slightly hairy. It has low glumes of the sessile spikelets with 1 to 3 definite nerves, shallowly concave with 1 or 2 depressions.
The crop is propagated vegetatively through slips obtained by the splitting up of individual clumps which give about 110 to 150 tiller/clump. Clumps bearing well over 200 slips have been observed.
Ideal spacing in planting lemongrass is 60 cm apart in rows and 90 cm apart each segment. Closely spaced plants yield more grass than wide spaced ones but increase in oil is not as much as the increase in grass yield. Fertilization is encouraged to achieve higher oil content.
- adds flavor to food such as in chicken recipes;
- used as flavoring for drinks such as tea; and
- used as a spice in sherbet.
- Soil Erosion Control
- a good crop for checking soil erosion; and
- used as mulching material for various plants and trees.
- distillation yields commercial lemongrass oil or Indian verbena oil which has a reddish-yellow color with the intense odor and taste of lemons.
- used for isolation of citral for manufacturing Vitamin C. Citral is the starting material for the manufacture of ionones and in preparing food flavoring.
- small amount of oil is used in making soap, detergent and other preparations.
- Fuel – the plant€™s waste after oil extraction is used as fuel for distillation process.
- crushed leaves are applied to the forehead and face as a cure for headache.
- root decoction serves as a diuretic.
- chewed leaves are held in the mouth to alleviate toothache.
- acts as a mild diuretic, promotes perspiration and serves as an emmenagogue (agents that promote the menstrual discharge).
- excellent stomachic (stimulating the function of the stomach) for children.
- with black pepper, it is useful in checking menstrual disorders.
- a carminative and tonic to the intestinal mucus membrane; useful in cases of vomiting and diarrhea.
- lemon grass oil mixed with equal quantity of pure coconut oil makes liniments for lumbago, chronic rheumatism, neuralgia, sprains and other painful afflictions. It is also helpful in treating ringworm.
- when taken internally, oil acts as stimulant and diaphoretic (having the property of promoting perspiration).
Common name: aroma
Scientific Name: Acacia farnesia (L.) Willd.
A small tree reaching a height of about 5 m. The branches are crooked with sharp stipular spines 1 to 4 cm long. The leaves are bipinnate, 5 to 8 cm long. The pinnates are usually 10 to 12 cm long. The leaflets are 15 to 40, oblong 4 to 7 mm long. The inflorescences are axillary, solitary or fascicled, rounded about 1 cm in diameter. The flowers are numerous, yellow and fragrant. The pods are smooth, brown, nearly cylindrical, 5 to 7 cm long, 1 to 15 cm wide, straight or sometimes curved. The seeds are embedded in dry spongy tissue.
Aroma can be propagated through seeds. Seeds can be directly sown in seedbeds or in perforated polyethylene bags filled with compost or garden soil.
Outplanting of seedlings, should be done during the rainy season. Provide mulch to conserve soil moisture and protect the seedling from withering. Weeding should be done regularly. Water the seedlings as often as necessary.
- Perfume manufacture – In France, aroma is grown extensively for the fragrant oil obtained from its flowers. The extracted oil is greenish yellow and sticky. The perfume processed from the oil has a fine odor resembling that of violets which are used in preparing handkerchief bouquets and pomade.
- Tanning and dyeing – In India, dye and tannin are extracted from the bark and pods.
- Aroma bark has astringent properties. In the Philippines, a decoction of the bark is used in cleansing prolapsed rectum. A poultice of the tender leaves is applied to skin ulcers and pores previously washed with the decoction.
- In tropical Africa, the root containing the gum is chewed for sore throat. In India, a decoction of the bark mixed with ginger serves as mouthwash for treating toothache and bleeding gums. In Java, the bark is used as an emetic (any agent that induces vomiting).