11 Health Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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With a refreshing citrusy scent, lemongrass essential oil is popularly used in aromatherapy for beauty and health purposes. Lemongrass is a tall grass that is found in tropical climates and is a native to islands in Southeastern Asia. It is a common seasoning in Indian, Thai, and Chinese cuisine and is also brewed as a tea.

Lemongrass essential oil is used to reduce inflammation, ease digestion, and relieve headaches. Inhaling the scent of the oil or using the oil (infused with carrier oils, body oil, and hair & skin products) is said to have a variety of benefits.

What is Lemongrass Essential Oil?

Lemongrass essential oil is extracted through the process of steam distillation of dried lemongrass. Lemongrass is known by the scientific names Cymbopogon citratus or Andropogon citratus. The main constituents of its essential oil are myrcene, citronellal, geranyl acetate, nerol, geraniol, neral, limonene, and citral.

As the name implies, lemongrass smells just like lemons, but it is milder, sweeter, and far less sour. This grass is used in countless beverages (including tea), desserts, and other forms of culinary creations as a flavouring agent when fresh lemon is not available or is not to be used because of its potent flavour. It is widely used in Chinese and Thai recipes. It grows and spreads very fast like any other grass and fetches a good price in the market, which makes it a profitable and common item in organic and mainstream markets.

3 jars of lemongrass oil with whole and sliced lemongrass on a mat

Lemongrass oil is known for its powerful analgesic properties. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Lemongrass Essential Oil Health Benefits

Lemongrass has many health benefits because of its medicinal properties. Let’s have a look at them in detail.

Relieves Pain

Analgesics reduce pain and inflammation. Lemongrass essential oil helps relieve pain in muscles and joints, as well as toothaches and headaches resulting from viral infections like coughs, colds, influenza, fevers, and various poxes. It also helps reduce general body pain resulting from strenuous activities and athletics.

Reduces Depression

Lemongrass oil boosts self-esteem, confidence, hope, mental strength, and uplifts spirits. This can be very helpful to drive away depression due to failure in career, personal life, insecurity, loneliness, stagnation, death in the family, and many other reasons. It also relieves anxiety. As an antidepressant, lemongrass can be systematically administered to patients with acute depression who are undergoing rehabilitation aftershock.

Inhibits Microbial Growth

Lemongrass has antimicrobial properties which make it an inhibitor of microbial and bacterial growth in the body, both internally and externally. It is also known to be effective in inhibiting bacterial infections in the colon, stomach, urinary tracts, wounds, respiratory system, and other organ systems, while also helping to cure diseases resulting from bacterial infections such as typhoid, food poisoning, skin diseases, body odour, and malaria.

Lowers Fever

An antipyretic is an agent that brings down very high fever. This is quite similar to a febrifuge but it is effective on very high fever as well. This oil brings down fever when it tends to reach dangerous levels. This property of lemongrass, which comes from its essential oils, is widely known and utilized.

Heals Wounds

The antiseptic properties of lemongrass oil make it a good application for external and internal wounds as well as a useful ingredient in antiseptic lotions and creams. The antiseptic properties of this oil do not let the external or internal cuts and wounds become septic.

Astringent Property

An astringent helps the stoppage of blood flow by contraction of the blood vessels. If someone is bleeding profusely, you need to utilize an astringent to speed up clotting of the blood and stop the flow to save their life. It promotes contraction of gums, hair follicles, muscles, skin, and blood vessels, thereby preventing loosening and falling of teeth, hair loss, and it reduces the flow of blood through the vessels.

Deodorant

Lemongrass oil is far better than many of the synthetic deodorants that are a big expense, a heavy impact on the environment, and have limited lasting effects. Also, those types of deodorant can sometimes produce irritation on the skin and can exacerbate certain allergies. In a diluted form, it serves as an efficient deodorant without any side effects. The best thing about it is that it is herbal, so there is no damage to your body or the environment.

Battles Infections

Lemongrass oil helps bring down the fever by battling the infections from which the fever is caused, as well as by increasing perspiration, which induces sweating of toxins. Lemongrass oil has good fungicidal properties and may be used to treat fungal infections, both external and internal.

Promotes Lactation

It is a substance that increases the formation of milk in the breasts. It also enhances the quality of the milk. This property is very helpful for lactating mothers and babies who need this vital source of food. Lemongrass oil is a galactagogue. Apart from increasing milk production, it also helps babies in another way. Babies are prone to infections, so the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of lemongrass oil are also absorbed in the milk, thus indirectly helping the baby avoid such infections.

Treat Nervous Disorders

Lemongrass essential oil acts as a tonic for the nerves and the nervous system in general. It may help treat nervous disorders such as shaking hands or limbs and nervousness. It also helps with convulsions, sluggishness, and lack of reflexes. It strengthens the nerves throughout the body and stimulates them.

Sedative Effect

Being a sedative is perhaps one of the most important and appreciated medicinal properties of lemongrass oil. It has a great soothing, sedating and calming effects on the mind, reduces inflammations, itching of the skin and it relieves tension and anxiety. This feature can help patients with insomnia as well.

Other Benefits

Lemongrass essential oil helps to treat cellulite, fungal infections, and digestive problems, while simultaneously reducing excessive perspiration.

Word of Caution

It is likely to irritate the skin and produce other types of irritations too. Hence it should be avoided during pregnancy and kept away from the eyes.

Blending: Lemongrass essential oil combines beautifully with the essential oils of basil, cedarwood, coriander, geranium, jasmine, lavender, lavandin, and tea tree.

Lemongrass Essential Oil FAQs

How to make lemongrass oil?

Lemongrass oil can be produced relatively easily, through a standard steam distillation process. While it is easier to simply purchase your own pre-distilled variety, you can make lemongrass oil by taking two lemongrass stalks, crushing or mashing them with a mortar and pestle. The oil will be released, and it can be collected in a jar. Place the stalks in the oil mixture and let it sit for at least two days for maximum potency.

What is lemongrass oil good for?

Lemongrass oil has been widely praised by people around the world due to its analgesic, antimicrobial, diuretic, astringent, and nervine effects. It can help to relieve pain, boost mood, protect the integrity of the immune system, speed up wound healing, stop excessive bleeding, prevent body odour, detoxify the body and stimulate the production of milk for breastfeeding women. It can also impact hormone levels and lower fever.

How to use lemongrass essential oil?

There are a few ways to use lemongrass essential oils, including topical and internal applications. You can choose to drink diluted lemongrass oil for its anti-inflammatory and hormone-modulating effects or as an additive in teas and beverages as a flavouring agent. You can also topically apply lemongrass oil to the skin, particularly in the case of acne or other skin irritations.

Where to buy lemongrass oil?

From the smallest natural health suppliers to major big-box stores such as Walmart and Target, you can easily access and purchase lemongrass essential oil. Health stores like GNC and herbalists are also reliable sources to find this beneficial oil.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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