The roughly textured lemongrass leaves are usually associated with the flavoring of delicious bowls of Thai soup and other Asian dishes. But lesser known is the fact that they are also used to make essential oil. Though lemongrass has over 50 known species, only two are commonly used to make the medicinal oils, one of which is Cymbopogan citratus.
Lemongrass smells a lot like lemons, but is far less sour, and actually has a much milder and sweeter smell. It is a very fast growing grass which makes it profitable to grow and is readily and abundantly available. Besides many culinary uses as a flavoring agent in Asian dishes and teas, the oil derived from the plant is an extremely potent substance with many beneficial health uses.
Lemongrass Oil: A Brief History:
Lemongrass oil is native to tropical and subtropical regions like India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China and Cambodia, and due to popularity eventually made its way to the Americas. It is derived through the process of steam distillation of partially dried lemongrass leaves.
Historically, lemongrass essential oil has long been known to aid inflammation, indigestion and fevers. A drop of lemongrass oil in a sugar cube was given to patients to cure digestive complaints such as gastric irritability, and was applied topically to treat ringworm, kill skin fungus and ease joint pain. Over time, the oil has also been proven to help with many other ailments. It has become a common ingredient in first aid kits as it has anti-microbial properties along with being anti-inflammatory and a powerful analgesic. The application of this oil results in an immediate reduction in pain and inflammation, while its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties prevents bacterial growth and keeps wounds from getting infected.
Lemongrass oil can be used in various ways- it can be diffused into the air using a vaporizer, inhaled, applied directly onto the skin (diluted) or ingested. The method of use should be chosen based on the health condition that needs to be treated. For example to use it for stress relief, you can choose to diffuse the oil and inhale it, but for muscle pain and inflammation, you can massage it into your skin in a diluted form.
Lemongrass Oil: Remarkably Therapeutic
Lemongrass is a powerful essential oil that has the ability to keep your bodily systems balanced, and your immune system strong. It is a health tonic in that it tones all the systems functioning in the body, and facilitates absorption of nutrients into the body, thus boosting the immune system.
Precautions before using lemongrass essential oil:
One of the things to note if you are just starting to use this oil is the fact that lemongrass oil needs to be diluted in any carrier oil prior to use on the skin, otherwise it may cause sensitivity or irritation. Undiluted lemongrass has a very high content of a compound called citral which can burn your skin if used at full strength. It should also be kept away from the eyes.
A very rough guideline for dilution is to mix 2 drops of lemongrass oil to 1 teaspoon of the carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil. It is also recommended that a small amount of this diluted oil be tested on the skin first, prior to use. Infinity Jars ultraviolet glass bottles can preserve the freshness of your essential oil blends and will keep it as fresh as the day it was made.
The oil should also be treated like a medicine and kept out of reach of children and pets. Lemongrass oil has also been known to stimulate menstrual flow, so it should not be used by pregnant women, as it may cause a miscarriage.
Here is a detailed list of the more elaborate ways in which lemongrass oil can be used:
1. Aromatherapy and Stress Relief:
Lemongrass oil has a strong lemony scent with earthy undertones. It is light, refreshing, relaxing and balancing. The scent can be enjoyed in an oil diffuser/vaporizer or by adding a drop on your pillow or rubbed on your palms to inhale. Remember, it is not recommended to ever apply lemongrass essential oil directly to the skin. Dilute it in a carrier oil when doing so. It can also be mixed with other essential oils such as lavender or basil oil for extra benefits!
You can also relief fatigue by mixing lemongrass oil with a carrier oil and gently rubbing it into your forehead. This will help you relax and feel better instantly.
2. Menstrual Problems:
Lemongrass oil has been known to stimulate menstrual flow. Tea made with lemongrass has been shown to help menstruating women deal with nausea and cramps. Its calming effects are an added benefit. Drinking about two cups of lemongrass tea a day can help relieve pain and discomfort associated with menstruation.
3. Muscle Relaxant:
Muscles and tendons that tighten up can be treated with lemongrass essential oil. The oil will help improve blood circulation, and will provide immediate pain relief by relieving the muscle spasms. Backaches, muscle knots, pulled muscles and sprains can also immediately benefit by the rubbing in of diluted lemongrass oil due to its anti-inflammatory benefits.
4. Pain and Headache Relief:
Lemongrass oil helps reduce pain in muscles, joints, pain resulting from a viral infection or general muscle pain caused by exercise.
Any kind of headache, whether it originates from allergies, a migraine or any other reason can potentially be lessened or relieved via the use of lemongrass essential oil. Lemongrass essential oil's calming and soothing effect has the power to relieve the pressure and tension that causes headaches. The diluted oil can be gently massaged into the forehead and temples.
5. Wound Treatment:
As lemongrass oil is antiseptic, it prevents both internal and external wounds from getting infected, and is a good application for both. Its analgesic and anti-inflammation properties also help lessen pain and speeds up the healing process.
6. Heartburn and Indigestion:
For centuries, lemongrass essential oil has been orally ingested to relieve stomach issues such as diarrhea, gastric pain , ulcers and any other kind of stomach distress. Lemongrass essential oil diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut oil and massaged into the stomach area can also help with indigestion.
Lemongrass essential oil can also help deal with excessive flatulence by providing excess gas a smooth passage and exit via the relaxation of abdominal muscles. It can also stop the production of excess gas.
The calming and soothing effect of lemongrass essential oil also lends it to being great at relieving insomnia by treating anxiety and irritability. It has been proven to help calm the mind. This can result in sedation as well as a much better quality of sleep. You can use this by mixing with your bed time body lotion or massage oil and applying it to skin. You can also try drinking a warm cup of lemongrass tea to help induce sleep.
Lemongrass oil has an acute calming effect and has been shown to bolster mental strength and contribute to relieving anxiety. Those who are suffering from depression for any reason, can greatly benefit from the use of this oil, as well as enjoy increased levels of self esteem and confidence.
9. Skin Health and Acne:
Lemongrass oil is a natural antiseptic and astringent. It acts as a natural toner, and helps keep skin, hair and nails healthy and glowing. For overall skin care, you can add a few drops to skin products like shampoo or lotion and apply. For acne care, you can add one drop to a carrier oil and dab on your face with a ball of cotton.
To prevent an itchy scalp or hair loss, you can massage a few drops of the oil onto your scalp for a few minutes and then wash off. Your hair will be left shiny and fresh.
The astringent properties of lemongrass can also help control excessively oily skin without drying out the skin too much, as would happen with synthetic chemical astringents.
Lastly, if you do not want to use deodorants made from toxic chemicals, lemongrass essential oil mixed in with some body lotion will work just as well.
10. Combats Fungal and Bacterial Diseases:
Lemongrass oil can help kill internal and external fungal and bacterial infections such as athlete’s foot. The best way to use it is to mix it with a carrier oil and rub it on your feet several times a day. This is because bacteria and fungi get destroyed by the citral and limonene content in lemongrass essential oil.
11. Insect/Flea Repellent:
Most insects are highly repelled by the smell of lemongrass. The oil can be used for any kind of outdoor excursion by applying a few drops directly to clothing. If being applied directly to skin, it must not be applied without being diluted in a carrier oil first.
If being used for pets as flea repellent, it is also best to be applied to a collar, and not directly to the animal's skin or fur. However, if you do choose to apply directly to skin, you can use it in a spray by adding a few drops of lemongrass essential oil in water, and spraying onto the skin.
As lemongrass oil is a diuretic, it can help reduce bloating by flushing out toxic wastes from the body by increasing the frequency and quantity of urination. Hence it has long been used as a detoxifier, and known to detoxify the digestive system. Most high blood pressure medications promote the same effect of increasing urination, as this helps clean the kidneys and lowers blood pressure.
You can use it by ingesting it through lemongrass tea, or via a topical application.
13: Fever Reducer:
Lemongrass essential is an antipyretic, which means that it is able to help bring down fevers. It can be consumed in a tea, or a few drops can be added to water for consumption. It will cause excessive perspiration which will relieve the fever symptoms and induce the sweating out of toxins as well. The lemongrass oil will also help fight the infection that is causing the fever.
14. Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol:
Studies have shown that high cholesterol levels in animals were reduced after being administered lemongrass oil. When taken orally, this oil allows the body to maintain healthy levels of triglycerides and reduces the bad cholesterol in the body.
As a vasodilator, lemongrass oil promotes the smooth flow of blood to the arteries and thus not only prevents high blood pressure, but also protects the body from cardiac diseases.
15. Reduces Inflammation:
A compound present in lemongrass oil called limolene is what helps with inflammation in the body. Inflammation is very dangerous and the cause of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure just to name a few. Limolene is anti-carcinogenic, whereas another compound called luteolin helps the body kill cancer cells as well as fight lung infections.
Lemongrass oil also has antioxidant effects on the body. Studies have shown that lemongrass oil has the ability to fight off free radicals. Citral (the component inlemongrass essential oil mentioned earlier) has been known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and can play a part in the prevention of skin cancer.
16. Tones the Nervous System:
Lemongrass essential oil helps cure nervous system disorders such as vertigo, convulsions, sluggishness and Parkinson's disease. It stimulates and strengthens the nervous system.
Lemongrass essential oil can help restore your health in many ways. By boosting your immune system, the oil can help your body absorb proper nutrients and tone up all the bodily systems such as the digestive system, the nervous system, etc.
Add this amazing oil into your health regimen today and enjoy its powerful benefits!
"What is Lemongrass Essential Oil good for?" Dr. Axe, https://draxe.com/lemongrass-essential-oil/.
"Health Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil" Organicfacts.net, https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lemongrass-essential-oil.html.
- “23 Awesome Uses for Lemongrass Essential Oil” Backdoorsurvival.com, http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/23-awesome-uses-for-lemongrass-essential-oil/.