Lemongrass or Cymbopogon is one of the many popular ingredients used by many Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam in their cooking. In some African countries, they often use it as a tea. Apart from adding a citrusy flavor to your soups, teas, curries and other culinary delights, its leaves and extracted oil can also be used to make medicines.
Lemongrass is part of the citronella and palmrosa family. It is a type of tropical island plant that is native to Southeast Asian countries. It looks like a gigantic weed with long, thin leaves that can grow to a height of 6 feet and width of 4 feet. There are 55 varieties of lemongrass but not all are safe to ingest or use. It’s particularly known species, Cymbopogon citratus is most often recommended for medicinal purposes.
Lemongrass oil has a sweet, lemony smell. It has a light consistency which is pale to vivid yellow color; however, oil color can change based on many factors such as harvesting and distillation. It’s main chemical components are citronellal, myrcene, geranyl acetate, geraniol, nerol, neral and traces of citral and limonene. When stored properly, it’s shelf life ranges from 2 to 5 years on average.
Lemongrass Essential Oil Benefits
Here are some of the amazing benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil:
- Reduces pain and inflammation
- Relieves anxiety
- Kills germs and bacteria
- Helps protect skin, teeth and prevent hair loss
- Can be used as deodorant
- Helps lower down fever
- Insect repellent
- Can lower the risk of Cancer
- Improves body metabolism
- Fight fungi
Lemongrass Essential Oils Uses
- Lemongrass Essential Oil as Analgesic. Lemongrass Essential Oil has an analgesic action that is proven to help relieve headaches, toothache, muscles and joints pain that may develop from viral infections such as influenza, cough, cold and fever.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil as Antidepressant. It has antidepressant properties that can help relieve anxiety resulting from loneliness, failures in personal life, career, death and many other reasons. It helps boosts confidence, self-esteem and mental strength. It can help relax when taken with tea.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil as Antimicrobial. It can prevent the growth of bacterial infections in wounds and organ systems such as stomach, colon, urinary tracts and respiratory system. It can also combat skin infections.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil as Astringent. Lemongrass Essential Oil promotes contraction of hair follicles, gums, skin, muscles and blood vessels; it helps prevent hair loss, falling out and loosening of teeth.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil as Prevention for Body Odor. The antibacterial properties of lemongrass neutralize germs that cause body odor. Once diluted, it can be a substitute for deodorants that can sometimes bring allergic reaction or irritation on the skin. It is herbal so it won’t cause any harm to your body or the environment.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil as Fever Reducer. According to lab studies, lemongrass oil infusion can help lower down fever because its antibacterial properties fight off the infection from which the fever is caused. It can also help release toxins by increasing perspiration.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil as Insect Repellent. Lemongrass has an aromatic and citrus scent that is an effective natural bug repellent.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil as Anti-Cancer. Its antioxidant activity prevents the oxidation of free radicals which can lower down the risk of Cancer. It attacks cancer cells and protects the normal cells.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil for Weight Loss. It contains diuretic properties that can help lose weight by frequent urination. It also improves metabolism and avoids the accumulation of body fats.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil as Anti-fungal. Lemongrass contains fungicidal properties that fight off internal and external fungal infections.
Lemongrass Oil Side Effects
- Skin allergies. May cause burning sensation and irritation when directly applied to skin.
- Lung problems. Some people have experienced side effects such as difficulty in breathing after inhaling lemongrass.
- Eye irritation. Avoid getting lemongrass in the eyes, may it be herb or oil.
How to Use Lemongrass Essential Oil
Here are different ways of how Lemongrass Oil can be used:
- Topical. A patch test can be done first to determine if you have sensitivity to the oil. Mix 2 drops of lemongrass oil per teaspoon of carrier oil such as jojoba oil, almond oil, grape seed oil and coconut oil. Gently rub to the affected area for relief. Avoid sun exposure for several hours after applying the oil on your skin to avoid rash or irritation.
- Internal. Dilution is very important when taking lemongrass oil internally. You can take the diluted 2-3 drops of lemongrass directly or mix it with a tablespoon of an oil-soluble carrier like goat’s milk, agave nectar or olive oil. To reduce fever, take one cup of lemongrass tea every four hours. For anti-fungal, must be taken one to four cups a day.
- Aromatherapy. Whenever you want to feel relaxed, refreshed and renewed, just put 1 drop of lemongrass oil in the palm of your hand, then rub hands together and inhale softly for 30 seconds or longer. You can also use a diffuser or vaporizer.
How to Make Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass Essential Oil is easily produced through steam distillation, a special type of separation process that takes about an hour to complete for materials sensitive to temperature like natural aromatic compounds. The hot steam will force open the pockets of the plant material where the oil is kept, will evaporate and will lead to condensation once vapors cool off. The liquid and essential oil will then separate.
Lemongrass Essential Oil Recipe
Lemongrass Essential Oil is easy to make.
- Prepare 2 lemongrass stalks, remove the outer layer and release the oil by crushing them roughly with mortar and pestle or a rolling pin.
- Put the crushed stalks inside a jar and cover them with any natural unscented carrier oil of your such as olive oil, rice bran oil and grapeseed oil.
- Strain the lemongrass oil using a fine cheesecloth.
- Repeat the steps as needed until you reach the level of potency you desire. Smell the mixture for you to determine this.
- Put the mixture into dark bottles for storage and make sure to fasten the lids tightly. Store in a cool and dark place away from heat and light.
Where to Buy Lemongrass Essential Oil
You can purchase lemongrass oil from your local natural health supplier, health stores like GNC, major stores like Walmart and also online. Make sure that the sources are reliable and make a research on the production methods used before buying the product.
More Information on Lemongrass Essential Oil
- Not to be used by pregnant women because it might lead to miscarriage or might endanger fetal development.
- Should not be used on or around children before the age of 6 months.
- Should always consult a physician before taking it orally especially people with liver and kidney diseases.
- Should not be used near fire, heat, flame or spark.
- It has high citral content so it must always be diluted before use to avoid burning or irritating your skin.
- It is safe for dogs and cats according to essential oil animal experts when used properly.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil is also well-known as Bella Mira essential oil.