Collection and harvesting of fruits and leaves of lemongrass
Chinese lemongrass is widely popular among experienced gardeners and this is not surprising. Having a whole range of useful and healing properties, the plant does not lose its qualities even in a dried form. At the same time, it is possible to harvest for the winter not only the fruits, but also the leaves of the plant. In order to continue to enjoy the gifts of your garden, as well as to heal along the way in the cold season, you need to know when and how to properly pick lemongrass and dry it.
The composition of the fruit and leaves of lemongrass
The dried parts of lemongrass contain a number of vitamins and useful substances, so necessary for the body.
Among them are:
- ash - 1.6%;
- water soluble substances - 8.7%;
- starch - about 1%;
- fiber - 2.65%;
- sugar - up to 9.5%;
- citric, tartaric and malic acids;
- essential oils;
- vitamins C, P, E.
In addition, macronutrients are present in the composition:
- K (potassium) - 19.20 mg / g;
- Ca (calcium) - 0.70 mg / g;
- Mg (magnesium) - 1.70 mg / g;
- Fe (iron) - 0.06 mg / g.
And trace elements:
- Mn (manganese) - 0.22 μg / g,
- Cu (copper) - 1.10 μg / g, Zn (zinc) - 0.13 μg / g,
- Cr (chromium) - 0.01 μg / g, Al (aluminum) - 0.02 μg / g,
- Ba (barium) - 31.05 μg / g, Se (selenium) - 33.30 μg / g,
- Ni (nickel) - 0.33 μg / g, Pb (lead) - 0.03 μg / g,
- I (iodine) - 0.09 μg / g.
Did you know? The berries of Chinese magnolia vine belong to a few fruits, the composition of which does not contain a single poisonous compound of plant origin (such as alkaloids, glycosides, and others).
Useful and harmful properties
The main benefits of lemongrass are lignins - organic compounds in the composition of the fruits and leaves of this culture, which have high biological activity. It is due to it that the cells of the human body acquire high resistance to the negative effects of free radicals.
Due to this, fabrics retain elasticity and youth for many years. High acid content (apple, wine, lemon) enables the body to cleanse itself of toxic substances, and also significantly strengthens the immune system. In addition, under the influence of acids, the walls of the vessels expand and, as a result, the toning of the heart muscle.
Vitamins participate in the formation of collagen and act as a protective barrier for body cells, excluding oxidative damage - this greatly speeds up the healing process of wounds and the restoration of damaged bones and cartilage. the work of the cardiovascular system.
Fruit seeds are carriers of fatty oils, anthocyanins, as well as tannic and resinous substances. All of them successfully fight diseases of the respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract. In addition, against the background of constant use of lemongrass, the hormonal background is normalized, and active work is underway to restore the adrenal glands and the thyroid gland.
However, because of the high stimulants that can lead to nervous excitations and disorders of the cardiovascular system, lemongrass can also cause harm to health. Therefore, before use, it is recommended that you carefully read its contraindications.
The healing properties of lemongrass berries
Due to the high healing and healing properties, lemongrass is often used to treat many diseases. This is especially true for chronic diseases that require constant medication. Many are attracted by the possibility of stabilizing their condition without the need to constantly take medications.
Schisandra increases vascular patency, so the infusions from this plant are suitable for people with low blood pressure. A direct indication for use is chronic hypotension.
Important! In order for tea not to lose its medicinal properties, it is recommended to drink it only freshly brewed.
There are many popular recipes, but the following are considered the most popular:
- Berry broth. It will take 15 g of dried fruit and 300 ml of water. In the process of preparation, the fruits are carefully chopped and poured with boiling water. After that, the dishes are put on a slow fire and boiled for about 15 minutes. Further, 15-20 minutes, the broth is infused. After the broth has cooled, it is filtered and taken for 1 tbsp. spoon 3 times a day.
- Also has a good effect of reducing pressure lemongrass tea. Moreover, such a drink has a great taste, delicate aroma and pleasant color. When brewing tea, one should adhere to the proportions: 1 teaspoon of leaves is required for 1 cup of broth.
With a cold
Schisandra berries, providing a stimulating effect on the immune system, are also widely used in the treatment of colds. At the same time, to increase the effect in broths, natural components are additionally used, such as currants (dried berries or branches), linden, elderberry, chamomile and others.
For example, to enhance sweating, drink infusions prepared:
- from 1 part lemongrass berries (pre-ground);
- 2 parts of elderberry (take flowers);
- 2 parts of linden flowers;
- 2 parts of chamomile pharmacy;
- 2 parts of blackthorn flowers;
- 2 parts of willow bark;
- 1 cup boiling water.
For preparation, all ingredients are thoroughly crushed and mixed. For 1 cup of boiling water, 1 teaspoon of the mixture is required, which is infused for 15 minutes. Drink a day should be at least three glasses. Wherein every time you need to brew a fresh infusion.In addition, such infusions are widely used to treat bronchitis (including chronic forms), cough, pharyngitis and even pneumonia.
With the help of lemongrass, the excretory system, namely, the kidneys, is also treated. In addition to normalizing their work, the regular use of these fruits can relieve inflammation of organs, as well as relieve pain.
For example, The following recipe is widely distributed among traditional healers: Dried berries with seeds are carefully ground, after which they are taken daily until relief occurs. At the same time, 2 g of crushed product will be required for one day, which must be divided into 4 equal parts and swallowed (you can drink it with water) half an hour before eating.
Despite the large number of useful properties, lemongrass has many contraindications, which you need to carefully familiarize yourself with before using it.
- So, this plant is not recommended for people suffering from:
- acute infections;
- an ulcer of the stomach or duodenum;
- impaired liver and kidney function;
- overexcitation state.
Important! In view of the extensive list of contraindications, before using lemongrass as a medicine, you should definitely consult a doctor.
Also this the product is not recommended for children under 12 years of age, pregnant women and women during lactation. Berries of lemongrass can cause an allergic reaction of the body, and therefore require preliminary samples of the product in small quantities. Separately, it is worth noting that lemongrass should never be used by people with high blood pressure, since it can provoke a hypertensive crisis, migraine and large pressure drops.
When and how to collect
Despite the fact that almost all parts of lemongrass are equally good for health, most often the fruits of this plant and its leaves are harvested for the winter.However, in order to preserve all the healing properties, collection and drying should be carried out in a strictly established manner.
The optimal time for harvesting lemongrass leaves can be determined by their appearance: the surface should acquire a glossy texture.
As for the time, any period between the end of flowering and until the fall (yellowing of the foliage) is suitable. It should be borne in mind that more succulent foliage can be obtained from the shaded side of lemongrass.
The most suitable branches for harvesting raw materials will be unproductive vines prepared for pruning. Thus, you can "kill two birds with one stone" at the same time: make blanks and not weaken the plant.
The picking of lemongrass berries is best done in late August - early September. At this time, they acquire a bright red color, become soft and transparent. Fruits should be cut immediately in clusters with scissors.
The wicker basket, as well as wooden or plastic crates, will be the best container for collection, since the fruits are distinguished by a thin skin and immediately secrete juice, the acid of which can react with a metal product and lead to the formation of unhealthy compounds. Exactly for this reason, the berries are also dried with brushes, without breaking them beforehand.
When to dry berries and leaves
Drying should begin immediately after the collection of berries, as well as leaves that previously require fermentation.
So, the berries can be dried as follows:
- With a small yield, the brushes with fruits are hung on wire hooks until completely dried.
- With a large number - the fruits are dried for one week on wooden boards or in special dryers. After the berries are tied, they can be sent for drying in an oven or an electric dryer.
The fruits of lemongrass, brought to readiness, acquire a dark burgundy, almost black color, and also wrinkle during drying.At this stage, you can get rid of the stalks. Suitable dishes for storing dried berries are containers made of wood or cardboard boxes. Such materials are least susceptible to mold.
How to prepare lemongrass leaves
Before starting to dry the leaves, it is recommended to carry out fermentation - a procedure that helps to maximize the aroma, as well as get a more saturated taste and color.
Did you know? Schisandra is called a berry of five flavors. This is due to the fact that the peel and the berry itself are generally distinguished by an acidic hue of taste, flesh — sweet, seeds — bitter, and after drying, the fruits acquire a salty aftertaste.
The process consists of several steps:
- The collected leaves are thoroughly washed and dried.
- Each sheet is separately twisted into a tube so as to crumple them a little, thereby violating the structure. This will lead to the release of juice and essential oils.
- Prepared tubes are laid on the bottom of the container (it is best to use clay or enameled dishes), and the thickness of the laid layer should be no more than 10 cm.
- Then they crush the leaves with a crush until the juice is released, after which they put it in a warm place for fermentation (fermentation).
- The optimum temperature regime is from +23 to + 26 ° С. Time - from 6 to 8 hours.
Immediately after fermentation, you can start drying the leaves. This process is also not difficult: each of them is cut into pieces with a thickness of about 5 mm, after which the resulting mass is laid out on a baking sheet, which should then be put in the oven.
- At a temperature of + 100 ° C it will take about 1.5 hours.
- Bring to a state of fragility of the tea leaves at +50 ... + 60 ° С (30 min.).
- Next, the leaves will need to be air dried in a fabric bag.
At the end of the procedure, the dryer is poured into any sealed container and allowed to infuse for one month.
Many inexperienced gardeners use lemongrass for decorative purposes only and this is fundamentally the wrong approach. Its fruits and leaves (as well as other parts of the plant) have truly magical properties and are able to saturate the body with the necessary useful substances. This is especially important in the cold season. And therefore, the preparation and drying of lemongrass should be a mandatory autumn procedure in every area where this crop grows.