Lemongrass smells divine, but it has other amazing properties. You probably think of food first – a delicious flavour in Thai and Indian cooking – but with its wonderful smell it turns out to be perfect for all-natural, pure and family-safe products for the home. It has these other magical qualities – refreshing, anti-bacterial, deodorant and ANTI-MOTH (or mosquito or midge or mite, even anti-wasp I discovered this summer).
It began in South India, this love affair with Lemongrass.
I was wandering in the Rose Garden in Ootacamund, a famous hill station once known as Snooty Ooty in the days of the Raj. There are over 3,000 roses old and new, and as I took in the fragrance a small bamboo cart rolled by, stacked with small bottles. It was manned by smiling farmers, part of the local Farmers’ Cooperative, selling dozens of locally grown and distilled Essential Oils – attar of roses of course, and wintergreen, eucalyptus, vetiver, geranium, and among them, Lemongrass Oil.
I imagined I’d be using Lemongrass Oil as an ingredient in my cooking – and indeed I do – but first I discovered there and then that the smell was absolutely wonderful and, sprinkled around, Lemongrass quite absorbed the unwanted odours lurking in the bathroom. The farmers told us that for generations they have used Lemongrass on their crops to keep away pests, and as a deterrent to flies and especially mosquitoes in the home. Back in the UK, I found it worked against those terrible clothes moths – and this summer I found at a picnic that Lemongrass keeps away wasps. As I said, moveover Lavender!