We can get lemongrass essential oil from several plants in the Cymbopogon genus. These grasses are native to Asia, Africa, and Australia. The two species most commonly used in essential oil production are Cymbopogon citratus and Cymbopogon flexuosus.
Lemongrass grows in clumps and reaches up to six feet in height. It has several stems and produces blade-like bluish-green leaves. When grown in tropical regions, lemongrass will produce flowers. When grown in the colder, northern parts, the flowers will not appear.
When the leaves and stems of lemongrass are bruised, they emit a scent similar to lemon. Its scent is one of the several reasons people extract essential oil from lemongrass. To get the oil, dried lemongrass leaves and stems are processed in a steam distillation process.
Lemongrass Essential Oil Benefits for the Body
Lemongrass essential oil has a variety of beneficial effects on the body. Many of its benefits stem from the oil’s antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
The essential oil of lemongrass can be used to deal with stomach, skin and urinary tract infections and on wounds to prevent infections. The antiseptic and astringent properties of lemongrass oil are also beneficial for treating wounds..
Lemongrass has been traditionally used to fight fevers, even the very high ones. Lemongrass essential oil shows these antipyretic and febrifugal properties as well. The oil also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties.
In the digestive system, the essential oil of lemongrass can prevent several gastrointestinal disorders. It improves digestion and stimulates bowel function as well. Lemongrass oil also acts as a diuretic, which helps detoxify the organism. It also helps in dealing with menstrual cramps.
Lemongrass essential oil is often added to skin care products. It is also often added to massage oils because of its benefits for the skin and muscles.
Lemongrass Essential Oil Benefits for the Mind
Lemongrass essential oil has an invigorating, stimulating, and energizing effect on the mind. It can help revive a sleepy and foggy mind.
The essential oil of lemongrass can help boost concentration. It can also increase awareness. When the mind needs rejuvenating, lemongrass oil will help give it some vitality.
Lemongrass essential oil can clear the head, relieve stress, and fight mental exhaustion. It can also soothe an overactive mind, and remove any feelings of nervousness.
Lemongrass Essential Oil Can Relieve Stress Caused By:
- Nervousness and continual self-doubt
- Over-active mind with mental exhaustion
- Fatigued with lack of vitality and love of life
Blending Lemongrass Essential Oil for Other Causes of Stress:
- Clary Sage and Eucalyptus – Emotional confusion with changeable moods
- Ginger and Lime – fatigued from a tired mind and self-doubt
- Black pepper and Basil – Feeling vulnerable particularly from indecision
Lemongrass in Ancient History
Lemongrass has a long tradition of use in Asia, Africa, and Australia. It has long been used for its ability to reduce fevers and treat wounds. It is an essential ingredient in some Asian cuisines.
Lemongrass in Modern History
Lemongrass found its way to Europe during the Middle Ages where it was used mostly for creating beer and spiced wine. By the late seventeenth century, the import of lemongrass essential oil into Europe began.
In the 19th century, physicians and apothecaries started to notice the medicinal properties of lemongrass. In 1875, Edward John Waring, an English surgeon, wrote about beneficial effects of lemongrass in his book: Remarks on the Uses of Some of the Bazaar Medicines and Common Medical Plants of India:
“Specimens of Lemon-grass Oil met with in India differ somewhat in appearance, but they all partake more or less of the same medical properties, being powerful stimulants whether taken internally or applied externally.”
“In Chronic Rheumatism, Lumbago, Neuralgic Pains, Sprains, and other painful muscular affection, an embrocation of equal parts of this oil and any bland oil, well rubbed in twice daily, has been found useful in many instances.”
Lemongrass Essential Oil Cautions
Lemongrass essential oil can cause skin irritations. Care should be taken when it’s used topically, and it should not be applied to sensitive areas. The use lemongrass essential oil should be avoided during pregnancy or when nursing.