Besides being a delicious citrus seasoning in Southeast Asian cuisine, most of us would never guess that this delicious herb has so much healing power within its fibrous stems!
Surprisingly, lemongrass essential oil is used as an aromatherapy to relieve muscle pain, externally to kill bacteria, ward off insects and reduce body aches and internally to help your digestive system. It can also be used to aromatize tea and soups, and adds a pleasant natural fragrance to homemade cosmetics, soaps and deodorants.
It is known that the compounds that make up the essential oil of lemon grass have antifungal, insecticidal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Lemongrass can prevent the growth of some bacteria and yeasts, and contains antioxidant properties. It also contains substances that are used to relieve muscle pain, reduce fever, in addition to stimulating the uterus and menstrual flow.
What is Lemongrass Essential Oil?
Before talking more about lemongrass oil, what is lemongrass? Lemongrass is an herb that belongs to the Poaceae family of grasses. Lemongrass is also known by Cymbopogon; It is a genus of about 55 species of grasses.
Lemongrass grows in dense clumps that can grow six feet high and four feet wide. It is native to warm and tropical regions, such as India, Southeast Asia and Oceania. It is used as a medicinal herb in India and is common in Asian cuisine. In the countries of Africa and South America, it is popularly used to make tea.
Lemongrass oil comes from the leaves or grasses of the lemon grass plant, most often the Cymbopogon flexuosus or Cymbopogon citratus. The oil has a light and fresh smell of lemon with earthy nuances. It is stimulating, relaxing, soothing and balancing. The chemical composition of the essential oil of lemon grass varies according to the geographical origin; The compounds typically include hydrocarbon terpenes, alcohols, ketones, esters and primarily aldehydes. The essentials consist mainly of citral at around 70 to 80 percent.
The essential oil of lemon grass is a source of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate and vitamin C. It also provides essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.
10 Lemongrass Essential Oil Benefits & Uses
What is lemon grass essential oil used for? There are so many potential uses and benefits of lemongrass essential oil, so let’s dive into them now! Some of the most common benefits of lemongrass essential oil include:
1. Natural Deodorizer and Cleaner
Use lemongrass oil as a natural and safe deodorant or air freshener. You can add the oil to the water and use it as steam or use an oil diffuser or vaporizer. By adding other essential oils, such as lavender or tea tree oil, you can customize your own natural fragrance.
Cleaning with lemongrass essential oil is another great idea, since it not only naturally deodorizes your home, but also helps to disinfect it.
2. Skin Health
Is lemon grass oil good for the skin? An important benefit of lemongrass essential oil is its healing properties of the skin. A research study tested the effects of an infusion of lemon grass on the skin of animal subjects; The infusion is made by pouring boiling water on dried leaves of lemongrass. The infusion was used on the legs of the rats to test the lemon grass as a sedative. The analgesic activity suggests that lemon grass can be used to relieve skin irritations.
Add lemongrass oil to shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, soaps and lotions. Lemongrass oil is an effective cleanser for all skin types; Its antiseptic and astringent properties make the lemongrass oil perfect for a smooth and shiny skin, and therefore part of your natural skin care routine. You can sterilize your pores, serve as a natural toner and strengthen skin tissues. By rubbing this oil on hair, scalp and body, it can relieve headaches or muscles.
3. Hair Health
Lemongrass oil can strengthen your hair follicles, so if you are struggling with hair loss or with an irritated and itchy scalp, massage a few drops of lemongrass oil on your scalp for two minutes and then rinse. The soothing and killing properties of bacteria will leave your hair shiny, fresh and odorless.
4. Natural Bug Repellant
Due to its high content of citral and geraniol, it is known that lemongrass oil repels insects such as mosquitoes and ants. This natural repellent has a mild odor and can be sprayed directly on the skin. You can even use lemongrass oil to kill fleas; Add about five drops of oil to the water and create your own spray, then apply the spray to your pet’s coat.
5. Detoxifying Antifungal Abilities
Lemongrass oil or tea has been used as a detoxifier in several countries. It is known to detoxify the digestive tract, liver, kidneys, bladder and pancreas. Because it works as a natural diuretic, consuming lemongrass oil will help you eliminate harmful toxins from your body.
Keep your system clean by adding lemongrass oil to your soup or tea. You can make your own lemongrass tea by infusing lemongrass leaves with boiling water or adding a few drops of essential oil to your tea.
A study was conducted to test the effects that lemongrass oil has on yeast and yeast infections of the Candida albicans species. Candida is a fungal infection that can affect the skin, genitals, throat, mouth and blood. By using disc diffusion tests, lemongrass oil was studied for its antifungal properties and research shows that lemongrass oil has a potent in vitro activity against candida.
This study suggests that lemongrass oil and its key active component, citral, have the power to reduce fungal infections; Specifically those caused by the fungus Candida albicans.
6. Stomach Helper
Lemongrass is anecdotally known as a cure for stomach upset, gastritis and gastric ulcers. Now the research is catching up with this well-known and cured support.
A research study published in 2012 shows how lemon grass essential oil (Cymbopogon citratus) was able to protect the stomachs of animals from gastric damage caused by ethanol and aspirin. The study concludes that lemongrass oil “could serve as a main compound for the future development of new therapies that combat gastropathy associated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs”.
Add lemongrass oil to tea or soup can also help improve stomach aches and diarrhea.
7. Bacteria Killer
A study conducted in 2012 tested the effects of lemongrass as an antibacterial property. The microorganisms were tested with a disc diffusion method; lemongrass essential oil was added to a staphylococcal infection and the results indicated that the lemongrass oil interrupted the infection and functions as an antimicrobial agent (or that kills bacteria).
The content of citral and limonene in lemongrass oil can kill or stifle the growth of bacteria and fungi. This will help you avoid infections such as ringworm, athlete’s foot or other types of fungus. Studies in rats have shown that lemongrass essential oil is an effective antifungal and antibacterial agent. Take advantage of these benefits of lemongrass oil by making your own body scrub or foot scrub; You can find the recipe below.
8. Fever Reducer
With its cooling properties, it is surprising that lemongrass oil has a history of use as a reducer of natural fever. It is known that lemongrass contains substances that are believed to reduce fever and also relieve pain and swelling.
9. Fights the Flu and Colds
According to a scientific article published in 2011, “As a vaporizer, oil works as an effective panacea against bacteria, flu and colds.” Lemongrass oil can fight bacteria and can help fight airborne illnesses like the common cold, especially when used with a vaporizer. If the temperature of your body is higher than normal, lemongrass oil can also have a cooling effect.
The researchers tested whether the vapors of essential oils, composed of lemongrass and geranium, could reduce the levels of bacteria on the surface and in the air. The effects changed depending on the methods used; in a sealed box environment, the growth of bacteria in the sown plates was reduced by 38 percent after 20 hours of exposure to the essential oil combination. In an office environment, there was an 89 percent reduction in bacteria in the air within 15 hours. This study suggests that lemongrass essential oil can be used as a method of air disinfection.
The study also revealed that the vapors of essential oils inhibited the growth of antibiotic-sensitive and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in vitro.
10. Reduces Inflammation
In vitro research has shown that lemongrass oil has powerful anti-inflammatory abilities when used both internally and externally. This is huge when you consider that inflammation is at the root of most diseases.