Why did I start this blog? I have been having episodes of inflammation in my hands and fingers, feet and toes, and joints for some time now. I’ve consulted the doctor and have had tests done. It’s not rheumatoid arthritis and my uric acid is normal (tho at times borderline normal). In an effort to determine which food triggers the inflammation, I have been systematically eliminating certain foods from my diet and then bringing them back. After several years, I have now come to the conclusion that I seem to be reacting to animal protein in general (like some sort of allergic reaction). Different animal proteins affect me to different degrees; some cause inflammation faster than others. So I have decided to reduce my intake of meat. No, I am not going vegetarian; maybe semi-vegetarian if there is such a thing. I will be adding interesting and not too difficult recipes here as I find them. I will also include arthritis management tips that have worked for me.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tanglad (Lemon grass)

Tanglad (Andropogon citratus DC.), also known as lemon grass or citronella, is a popular ingredient in herbal teas and herbal soaps. It is highly regarded as a flavoring to enhance the taste of food. It is traditionally used to help reduce blood pressure and improve circulation, in reducing fevers, to help in flatulence, for the relief of arthritic pain and rheumatism and as a sedative and anti-emetic. Studies have shown that lemon grass possesses antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Tufted and perennial grass. Leaves grow to a length of up to 1 meter, about 1-1.5 cm wide, scabrous, flate, long-acuminate, and smooth. Panicles0 are 30-80 cm long, with noding branches and branchlets. Spikelets are linear-lanceolate and pointed, about 6 mm long.

Cultivated commercially for its fragrant leaves.

Chemical constituents and characteristics
Distillation yields lemon-grass oil, verbena and Indian Molissa oil. The oils are reddish-yellow with an intense odor and taste of lemons. Plant contains small amounts of methyl heptenone and terpenes (limonene and dipentene). Contains citral, an aldehyde found in lemon peel oil and other natural essential oils. Carminative, tonic, stimulant, diuretic, purgative, sudorific.

Parts utilized: Leaves

Folkloric Uses

For Diarrhea: Boil 10 leaves in 2 glasses of water for 10 minutes; add a tablespoon of sugar and one small piece of crushed ginger.

For adults: 1 cup, 3 times daily and after each loose bowel movement.

Children: (Babies) 1 tablespoon 3 times daily and after each loose bowel movement; 2-6 years, 1/4 cup 3 times daily and after each loose bowel movement; 7-12 years, 1/2 cup three times daily and after each loose bowel movement.

Suob: One of the 10 herbal ingredients in the decoction/bath in the post-partum ritual of suob.

Hot decoction of roots for toothaches. Roots also used as a diuretic.

The oil, mixed with equal amounts of coconut oil, is used as a liniment for back pains, rheumatic complains, neuralgia, sprains and other painful afflictions.

Decoction of leaves used as stomachic, diuretic, and refrigerant.

In Cuban folk medicine, used to lower blood pressure and as anti-inflammatory.

In Brazil, used as sedative, for gastrointestinal maladies, and as febrifuge.

In Malaya, used as a potion after childbirth.

In various folk medicinal use: oil used for cough, cold, hemoptysis, rheumatism, back pain, bladder problems

Culinary Uses

· Commonly used as a stuffing ingredient in pig spit-roasting to improve the flavor and decrease the grease-taste.

· Also used to flavor wines, sauces and spices.

· The roots have a ginger-like flavor and used as a condiment and adding fragrance to gogo hair-washes.

Other Uses

· Volatile oil, called Lemon grass oil, consists mainly of citral and used in perfume and toilet soap manufacture.

· In India, cultivated around houses to repel snakes.

· Scavon Vet Spray: Andropogon citratus is one of the ingredients in a spray used for parasitic mite, Demodex bovis, that causes demodectic mange in cattle.

· Recent uses and preparations: Stomach discomfort, toothache, sprain, vomiting and ringworm

Liniment: Boil equal amounts of chopped leaves and roots with freshly made coconut oil. Also use as insect repellant.
Infusion: Mix four ounces of the grass to one pint of boiling water.

· To keep away mosquitos, plant it around your house or place crushed leaves on your window sills.


· Antibacterial / Antifungal: Studies have shown antibacterial activity, comparable to penicillin.

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