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Lemongrass Essential Oil: 15 Benefits, Uses, and Interesting Facts

The roughly textured leaves of the lemongrass are usually associated with flavoring delicious bowls of Thai soup and other Asian dishes. But lesser-known is the fact that they are also used to make essential oils. Perhaps that’s because only two lemongrass species out of more than fifty are commonly distilled for a more medicinal incarnation. One of these is the lemongrass species Cymbopogon citratus and the other is Cymbopogon flexuosus.

As one might conjecture from its name, lemongrass shares the scent of lemons, but it is far less sour and has a much milder and sweeter smell. It is a very fast-growing grass which makes cultivating it profitable, and it’s readily and abundantly available almost anywhere.

 

Lemongrass Essential Oil from Lemongrass Leaves Used in Drinks and DishesLemongrass smells like a milder, sweeter, and gentler lemon. Photo Source: Pexels

 

But aside from its many culinary uses as a tea and as a flavoring agent in Asian dishes, this plant also produces an extremely potent substance that has many health-related uses and benefits.

  • Benefits and Uses
    • Aromatherapy and stress relief
    • Alleviating menstrual problems
    • Relaxing sore muscles
    • Headaches and other types of pain
    • Heartburn and indigestion
    • Insomnia and general restlessness
    • Anxiety and depression
    • Skin health and acne
    • Fungal and bacterial diseases
    • Insect and flea repellent
    • Detoxification
    • Reducing fever
    • Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
    • Reducing inflammation
    • Toning the nervous system
  • Precautions
  • Recipes
  • Summary
  • Bibliography

Lemongrass is native to tropical and subtropical regions like India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China, and Cambodia. Due to the rise in its popularity, it eventually made its way to the Americas. The essential oil from this plant is derived through the steam distillation of partially dried lemongrass leaves.

Historically, lemongrass essential oil has been known to aid inflammation, indigestion, and fevers. A drop of lemongrass oil in a sugar cube was given to patients to treat digestive ailments such as gastric irritability, and it was also applied topically to eliminate ringworm, kill skin fungus, and ease joint inflammation. Over time, the oil has been proven to help with many other afflictions. It has since become a common fixture in first aid kits because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties as well as for being a powerful analgesic.

The application of this oil has been known to result in the immediate reduction of pain and inflammation, and its antibacterial function prevents further bacterial growth and helps wounds heal faster.

Lemongrass essential oil can be used in various ways—it can be diffused into the air using a vaporizer, inhaled straight from the bottle, applied directly onto the skin after proper dilution, or ingested after undergoing further processing. The method of use should be chosen based on the condition that needs to be treated. For example, it’s enough to diffuse the oil and let it permeate the room if you want to relieve stress, but you’ll need to add it to a carrier oil and massage it over your skin if you want to relieve muscle or joint pain.

See Aroma Foundry's whole range of pure and and all-natural essential oils.

 

Benefits and Uses of Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is powerful and remarkably therapeutic. This essential oil has the ability to keep your bodily systems balanced and your immune system strong. It is a health tonic in the sense that it can help “tone” the entire body from the inside out, facilitating the absorption of nutrients as it rids the body of harmful substances, thus boosting the immune system. Following is a more detailed list of the many ways lemongrass essential oil can be put to good use.

 

1. Aromatherapy and stress relief

Lemongrass Essential Oil for AromatherapyThe aroma of lemongrass essential oil can help you improve your mood and lift your spirits. Photo Source: Sulen Lee, Flickr

 

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 or vaporizer, or simply by placing a drop onto your pillow or rubbing between your palms to inhale. Want to relieve fatigue? Try mixing a drop or two of lemongrass essential oil with a spoonful of carrier oil like coconut. Gently rub it on your forehead and feel yourself getting significantly better. For extra benefits, you can also try mixing lemongrass with other essential oils like lavender or basil.

Please note that it is not recommended to apply any undiluted essential oil directly onto your skin, so always have a carrier agent handy when you wish to use it topically. To learn more about safety measures when using essential oils, see Precautions.

 

2. Alleviating menstrual problems

Lemongrass oil has been known to stimulate menstrual flow. Tea made from lemongrass has been shown to help menstruating women deal with nausea and cramps. Its calming effects are also an added benefit. Drinking about two cups of lemongrass tea a day can help relieve pain and discomfort associated with menstruation. To benefit from this effect using lemongrass essential oil, dilute a couple of drops in carrier oil and massage over the abdomen.

 

3. Relaxing sore muscles

Muscles and tendons that tighten up can be eased with lemongrass essential oil. The oil will help improve blood circulation and provide immediate pain relief by soothing muscle spasms. Backaches, muscle knots, pulled muscles, and sprains can also be alleviated after rubbing the problem areas with diluted lemongrass oil because of the active anti-inflammatory agents it contains.

 

4. Headaches and other types of pain

Lemongrass helps reduce pain in muscles and joints, pain resulting from viral infections, and soreness caused by exercise. Any kind of headache, whether its from allergies, migraine, or eye fatigue, can be vastly lessened and perhaps eventually soothed away because lemongrass essential oil’s calming and relaxing effect has the potential to relieve the pressure and tension that causes them. The diluted oil can be safely massaged onto the forehead (strictly away from the eyes and eye sockets), temples, or anywhere else the pain is radiating from.

Lemongrass Essential Oil for Aiding DigestionLemongrass tea also has a wide variety of health benefits, just like the essential oil itself. Photo Source: City Foodsters, Flickr

 

5. Heartburn and indigestion

For centuries, lemongrass in the form of tea has been orally ingested to help relieve issues of the stomach like diarrhea, gastric pain, and ulcers. The essential oil from this plant can also offer these benefits, except you won’t have to ingest it. Just add up to two drops to a massage oil. Diluted in a carrier agent, it can also help with indigestion by being massaged around the stomach.

Lemongrass oil can also help deal with excessive flatulence by providing gas a smooth passage out via the relaxation of the abdominal muscles. In the process, it will also help stop the production of more gas.

 

6. Insomnia and general restlessness

The calming and soothing effects of lemongrass essential oil also lend themselves well to helping with insomnia by first treating anxiety and irritability. Lemongrass oil has been known to calm the mind, which can result in sedation and eventually a much better quality of sleep. You can get this benefit by adding a few drops into your lotion or massage oil and applying all over the body before going to bed. You can also try drinking a warm cup of lemongrass tea to help induce sleep.

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7. Anxiety and depression

The acute calming effect of lemongrass essential oil has been shown to bolster mental strength and contribute to relieving anxiety. Those who are suffering from depression for any reason can also benefit physically from the use of this oil as well as enjoy increased self-esteem and a more positive outlook.

 

8. Skin health and acne

Lemongrass essential oil is a natural antiseptic and astringent. It acts as a skin toner and can also help keep hair and nails healthy and glowing. For overall hair and skin care, add a few drops to your shampoo and lotion. To relieve itchy scalp and help reduce hair loss, massage a few diluted drops onto your scalp for a few minutes, leave it on for half an hour, and rinse off. It will leave your hair looking shiny and smelling fresh.

For acne, add one drop to a small measure of carrier oil and dab the mixture onto your face using a cotton ball. The antibacterial and astringent properties of lemongrass essential oil will help eliminate dirt and bacteria trapped within the skin while also leaving a protective layer to prevent more from getting in. It can also help control excessive oil production without drying out the skin, as is usually the case with astringents made from synthetic chemicals.

Lastly, for an all-natural substitute to toxic deodorants that can damage the skin of your underarms, try mixing a few drops of lemongrass into body lotion and apply.

 

9. Fungal and bacterial diseases

Lemongrass essential oil can help kill fungal and bacterial infections such as athlete’s foot. The best way to use it is to mix a few drops with a carrier oil and rub it on the affected area several times a day. This can prove effective because the oil’s citral and limonene contents target and destroy various types of bacteria and fungi, leaving no room for more growth.

 

10. Insect and flea repellent

Most insects are highly repelled by the smell of lemongrass, and its essential oil can be used for the same purpose during outdoor excursions by applying a few drops directly to your clothes. It can also be applied to the skin after dilution in lotion or in carrier oil. If used on pets as a flea repellent, it is best applied on the collar and not directly on the animal’s skin or fur. If that method proves too weak owing to the size of your pet, you can also make a spray by adding a few drops of lemongrass essential oil in water and misting it over its fur after a thorough shake.

 

11. Detoxification

Lemongrass Essential Oil Is Extracted from Lemongrass LeavesLemongrass essential oil has antimicrobial, pain-relieving, astringent, and diuretic effects. Photo Source: Pixabay

 

Because lemongrass essential oil is a natural diuretic, it can help reduce bloating by flushing out the accumulated toxic substances from the body through inducing frequent urination. Hence, it has long been used as a detoxifier. Most high blood pressure medications promote the same effect because this is the body’s own way of cleansing itself from within. You can get the same effect by taking lemongrass tea or by applying the diluted oil topically.

 

12. Reducing fever

Lemongrass essential oil is an antipyretic, which means that it can help bring down fevers by inducing profuse sweating which will cool the body down while also flushing out toxins. The other properties of lemongrass oil can also help fight the specific infection that’s causing the fever.

 

13. Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol

Studies have shown that high cholesterol levels in animals were reduced after they’d been administered lemongrass essential oil. When taken orally, this oil can allow the body to maintain healthy levels of triglycerides and possibly reduce bad cholesterol. As a vasodilator, lemongrass oil helps promote the smooth flow of blood to the arteries, which may not only prevent high blood pressure but also protect the body from cardiac diseases.

 

14. Reducing inflammation

Limonene, a compound present in lemongrass essential oil, is what primarily helps it deal with inflammation. Any type of inflammation is dangerous and can be the cause of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure—just to name a few. Limonene is anti-carcinogenic while another compound called luteolin helps the body kill cancer cells as well as fight lung infections.

Lemongrass essential oil also has antioxidant effects on the body. Research has shown that lemongrass has the potential to fight off free radicals. Citral—the lemongrass oil component mentioned earlier—has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and can play a part in the prevention of skin cancer.

 

15. Toning the nervous system

Lemongrass essential oil helps treat nervous system disorders such as vertigo, convulsions, sluggishness, and Parkinson’s disease by stimulating and strengthening the nervous system. And there are many other ways lemongrass oil can help restore and maintain your health: by boosting your immune system, the oil can help your body absorb nutrients better while also toning up the different bodily functions like the digestive and nervous systems.

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Precautions

One of the first things to note if you are new to using essential oils is that almost all types need to be diluted—in water or in various carrier agents—prior to direct use on skin. This is because essential oils in their pure state can be incredibly potent, which may cause sensitivity and irritation. Undiluted lemongrass essential oil, specifically, has a very high content of the compound citral, which can burn your skin if used at full strength. It is also advisable to perform a patch test before any extensive use to check for allergic reactions.

Extra caution should be observed during every use to keep it away from the eyes and from other mucous membranes. In general, essential oils should be treated like any other type of medicine and should be kept out of reach of children and pets. Lemongrass essential oil has also been known to stimulate menstrual flow, so it should not be used by pregnant women as it may cause a miscarriage.

Before ingesting any type of essential oil, please make certain that it is one of those that may be safely administered orally. While lemongrass oil falls under this category, it is still very potent, only up to two drops should be used and never through direct swallowing because it may damage the linings of the mouth and throat. Consult your doctor or a qualified aromatherapy practitioner to learn more.

It’s also important to know that not all oils are created equal, and selecting a good brand is crucial. Aroma Foundry lemongrass essential oil is 100% all-natural and pure. It was sourced from the nearby tropics of Guatemala, where the climate produces some of the most fragrant lemongrass oil found anywhere.

A very rough guideline for dilution is to mix 2 drops of lemongrass oil to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil such as almond or coconut. If you plan to mix a larger amount for long-term use, make sure to store it in light-filtering glass bottles or other such containers. These will help preserve the integrity of your essential oil blends, keeping them as fresh as the day they were made.

 

Recipes

Lemongrass Essential Oil Recipes, Benefits, UsesWhat can you make with lemongrass essential oil? Photo Source: Pexels

 

There are various ways you can use lemongrass essential oil, and if you choose to use it in a diffuser, there is an endless list of blends you could benefit from if you mix lemongrass together with other essential oils. Let us give you a few examples.

 

Soreness soother

Tired after a long, hard day? Achy all over because of too much exercise? Then this body massage oil blend might be perfect for you. You’ll need:

Instructions:

    1. Combine the essential oils in the bottle.
    2. Let it sit and blend together for at least a couple of minutes. For a better meld, wait a bit longer.
    3. Add the carrier oil and shake.

Your massage oil for sore muscles is now ready for use! Apply and work vigorously where needed and feel your mood being uplifted as all the tensions and aches melt away.

 

Homemade all-natural deodorant

Most of us use deodorants daily even when we don’t really need it… because there’s an off chance that we’re the only ones thinking it’s not necessary. But unlike other skin products we come into contact with daily, deodorants are designed to be left on the skin for hours on end, not to be washed off like, say, soap. This could lead to irritation, pore clogging, and perhaps skin darkening in the long run. No one wants that, but with so few alternatives to chemical deodorants, most of us have to make do.

Well, here’s a little something you can do to change that. Just gather together:

    • 1 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1 tbsp cocoa butter OR shea butter
    • 1 tsp almond oil OR vitamin E
    • 4 drops of tea tree essential oil
    • 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil
    • Up to 4 drops of any floral essential oil of your choice
    • glass cosmetic-style jar for storage

Instructions:

    1. Melt the coconut oil and the cocoa/shea butter over a double boiler, stirring as you go.
    2. Once melted sufficiently, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool down.
    3. Add the almond oil or vitamin E as well as the drops of essential oils. Blend them well.
    4. Transfer the resulting mixture to your glass jar container. When not in use, screw the top tightly. And you’re done!

Notice that what you’ll come up with here is not your typical solid deodorant but one in a cream form. This is a more lighter version compared to when you add beeswax and other coagulants into the mix.

The advantage of a deodorant in a cream state is that it would absorb quickly to the skin. You can gauge the amount you’ll need for each application and not exceed, meaning there’s less of a chance that any excess deodorant would latch on to your clothes and leave a stain. Plus, as it is still technically a liquid, you can adjust the amount of essential oils in case the original amount is not enough for your needs. Best of all, as it doesn’t have any large solids, it would not clog your pores, leaving your skin able to breathe for a fresher feel.

 

Lemongrass diffuser blends

Lemongrass Essential Oil for Diffusion and FragranceThere are many ways to diffuse essential oils. One way is through the use of an oil burner. Photo Source: Max Pixel

 

Sometimes, we just want to enjoy our essential oils in the original way intended. The fresh scent of lemongrass essential oil is a popular choice for those wanting to boost their body’s energy while also calming the mind. To make the most of this effect, try blending lemongrass with the essential oils of:

If you want to bask in a combination of scents that complements each other well, try mixing and matching lemongrass essential oil with:

Your choices for essential oil blends are by no means limited by these examples. The beauty of mixing essential oils is that it can always be adjusted according to the user’s own preferences. As such, the number of drops you put in your diffuser for all the essential oils you’ve chosen is largely dependent on you, but if you’re new to all this, try with adding just one drop from only two types of oil and go from there. Have fun with your blends!


Check out a variety of essential oils you can use in these recipes.

 

Summary

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, lemongrass essential oil has applications literally from a person’s head down to their toes. It can help treat scalp problems, clear and protect the skin from further damage, regulate the body’s various internal systems, ease muscle soreness and other persistent aches, and kill fungal and bacterial infections. It also has qualities that could uplift the spirit and refresh a tired mind. In the same way lemongrass has been a staple flavoring delight for food, its essential oil will make a great mainstay in your medicine cabinet—and it might just prove especially useful for helping you digest all that tasty food you just wolfed down.

Take advantage of these benefits and more by getting your very own bottle. And for the best experience possible, go for an all-natural and 100% pure choice like we have here in Aroma Foundry. Properly sourced and processed for the environment’s protection and yours, our products can always be trusted to adhere to the highest standards of quality.

Bibliography

  1. "10 Recipes with Lemongrass Essential Oil- Cymbopogon Citratus." Suzannerbanks. April 14, 2014. https://suzannerbanks.blog/2014/04/23/10-recipes-with-lemongrass-essential-oil-cymbopogon-citratus/.
  2. "17 Amazing Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil." Organic Facts. January 15, 2018. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lemongrass-essential-oil.html.
  3. Boldt, Ethan. "What Is Lemongrass Essential Oil Good For?" Dr. Axe. August 25, 2017. https://draxe.com/lemongrass-essential-oil/.
  4. K, Beth. "Women's Solid Deodorant." Recipes with Essential Oils. September 14, 2017. https://www.recipeswithessentialoils.com/womens-solid-deodorant/.
  5. Levy, Gaye. "23 Awesome Uses for Lemongrass Essential Oil." Backdoor Survival. February 08, 2018. https://www.backdoorsurvival.com/23-awesome-uses-for-lemongrass-essential-oil/.
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