Native Lemon Grass (cymbopogon ambiguus) is seriously our favourite ingredient of them all. Not just for their sherbet bomb flavour, but because it is like natures paracetamol. This plant is found widely throughout Australia except in the cool temperate regions.
It is a fantastic digestive. It’s well known for its calming effects and aiding in anxiety and stress. In the kitchen, it makes a wonderful addition to teas and cool drinks as well as broths and soups. Delicious for both sweet and savoury uses.
Not as juicy as the lemongrass you might be used to. The stalks are study grass with fluffy tops and are a very pale straw-like colour. Aside from being excellent bush medicine in the treatment of things like colds and headaches, it has a beautiful lemon sherbet flavour. We use it in our Aussie Lemon Tea but it is can be used in broths, to stuff meat or infused into all kinds of sweet treats.
◎ Common Name: Native Lemon Grass
◎ Scientific or Latin Name: Cymbopogon ambiguus
◎ Comparison: Lemongrass
◎ Seasonality: All year dried
◎ Region: Widely grown
◎ Taste Profile: Native Lemongrass is an aromatic grass, with a strong citrus odour and a lemon sherbet flavour.
◎ Types: It is one of 1,300 different types of Australian grasses and very adaptable to a variety of soils. We offer Native Lemon Grass in two dried varieties, powdered and whole.
Dried & Powdered: Perfect for teas, broths, and flavouring meat dishes. The powder comes in a resealable 50g bag.
Dried & Whole: Ideal for use in both sweet and savoury teas, or as herb seasoning on meat. The dried whole grass comes in a resealable 50g bag.
- Has a calming and soothing effect on digestion and stress.
- It is a natural paracetamol.
- It can be used to treat muscle cramps, scabies, various skin sores, headaches, fever and respiratory tract infections.
- Aids digestion and freshens the palette.
Traditional Aboriginal Food and Uses
Called 'Aherre-aherre' by the Arrernte people, traditionally this native lemon grass was used in Aboriginal medicine to treat flu symptoms, chest infections and skin sores.
Western & Modern
Today native lemon grass should become a staple in your pantry. The stalks and leaves may be used in tea or as a fragrant flavouring ingredient in soups, curries, sauces, marinades and cakes.
Their essential oils can be found in a variety of skincare and beauty products like shampoos, soaps, scrubs and moisturisers.
As a medical herb, the leaves and roots of the Native Lemon Grass can be combined with hot water as a steam inhalation remedy for colds and chest congestion.
They may also be rubbed on the body to help treat aches, pains and skin sores.
Recent research from Griffith University in New South Wales has confirmed that Native Lemongrass is comparable to aspirin in its effectiveness at treating headaches and inflammation.
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Native Lemon Grass is featured in these recipes in Warndu Mai:
- Iced Tea Recipes
- Chocolate Truffles
Warndu Products featuring Native Lemon Grass
If you love lemon flavours then our Native Lemon Grass, dried as a powder or whole leaf, is just what you need to add to your pantry! You can also feel the health benefits of this natural Australian bush medicine by drinking our Australian Native Three Lemon Loose Tea, or make cleaning up a delight with the aroma of our Lemon Myrtle, Native Lemongrass & Kakadu Plum Dishwashing Soap Bar.
Note: The term 'Bush Tucker' and 'Bush Food' are not Warndu's preferred terms for Australian Native Ingredients or Australian Botanicals.
Images: © Luisa Brimble