Elements Of Life: Important Information Update!

My newest book,The Elements of Life comes with a wheel that helps you determine your home element(s). Unfortunately, there are mistakes printed on the back of the wheel. Until the publisher can correct them, these are the right dates:
March 8, 1998
March 17, 2003
March 6, 2004

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lemongrass Tea

It is summer and the sales of hot ginger tea at my restaurant have virtually disappeared. This is a good thing. Instead, cool lemongrass tea is selling like hot cakes. My customers cannot get enough of this aromatic herbal tea. It quenches their thirst and calms frayed nerves.
One particular customer who comes regularly for lunch, wearing a fedora hat and carrying a Kindle, always orders lemongrass tea with his meal. He seems like a well-centered, intelligent and quiet man. We speak occasionally and he told me that he loves the tea not only because it tastes good, but also because it somehow makes him feel good as well.
The best lemongrass tea is made with fresh lemongrass. We do this at my restaurant where this aromatic and curative herb grows all year ‘round in our garden. It you live in areas with a temperate climate, as I do in California, lemongrass will grow very well either in the ground or in pots. It is a very low maintenance plant requiring moderate watering and full sun. After the stalk is cut near the base, new shoots will grow again.
A couple of thick and mature lemongrass stalks will make about 4 cups of tea. Once brewed, it will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least 3 to 4 days.
Thai folk doctors claim that eating lemongrass helps to balance our home elements, keeping us centered and in good health regardless of changeable weather. It is a diuretic, calms the nerves, promotes digestion, and eases nausea and insomnia.
If you wonder what home elements are, simply explained, they are your entire physical self that is made up with earth, water, wind and fire elements. For an in-depth explanation, you can learn more about it in my new book, The Elements of Life, A Contemporary Guide to Thai Recipes and Traditions for Healthier Living. It will be available in October, 2009.

Lemongrass Tea
Makes about 4 cups
2 to 3 stalks lemongrass, outer hard parts removed, cut into 3 to 4 inches pieces lengthwise
4 cups drinking water
2 tablespoons or more honey or agave syrup*

Put the lemongrass and water in a saucepan over high heat. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it boil slowly for 30 minutes or until the water turns light brown and the room smells wonderfully of lemongrass. Remove the lemongrass stalks and add your choice of sweetener. Taste before adding more.
Serve lemongrass hot or cool completely before refrigerating. It will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

*It is best to use honey harvested from your area, because it will benefit your immune system. It is sold in local farmers’ markets.
Agave syrup, made from the agave plant, in the cactus family, can be purchased in health food markets. It is naturally processed without additives. A little bit goes a long way.

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