I still recall mom always asking me to go get a piece of fever grass (lemon grass) from the old wash-tub she converted into a gardening pot, where we had a huge patch of lemon grass growing for as long as I could remember. In the dry season they would dry-down with a mound of dirt where the roots were , but with the first drizzle of the rainy season they would be back with vigorous life. It was my job whenever someone had the onset of a fever (high temperature) to go harvest the ‘fever grass’ so mom could make a pot of tea. Yes, lemongrass tea is used as a remedy for fevers in most of the Caribbean, it’s known “Fever Grass” and… it works!
3 stalks lemon grass (aka fever grass)
4-6 cups water
sweetener (honey or sugar)
slices of lemon (optional)
For a more potent tea, try getting grass with a bit of root still attached (or so mom would insist). If you live outside the Caribbean or a region where you can grow fresh lemon grass, try Asian markets as it’s used in cooking many of their delicious recipes. In my case I was able to source both the fresh (a bit dry) and frozen stalks of the lemon grass at a local Asian market.
Using the back of your knife, beat the lemon grass a bit, then place it into a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it go for about 15-20 minutes.
You can now strain and sweeten as you like, but I much prefer to let it steep for a few minutes. I would recommend straining a couple times, then sweeten with sugar or as I like doing, with honey. To really brighten up the finished fever grass tea, I like adding a couple slices of fresh sliced lemon.
Our friends had invited us out to lunch a few years ago to a lovely Vietnamese restaurant. As you’re seated the waiter brings over a piping hot teapot of tea (served cold in the summer months). As my friend poured me a cup, I was immediately taken back to my childhood days with the lovely scent of the lemon grass (fever grass). However, my recollection of this tea was when someone (including myself) had a fever.. yea, not a great way to start of dinner.