Lemongrass is a versatile and elegant herb that possesses several key properties which help it stand out as a potent antifungal and antimicrobial agent. The historical use of Lemongrass in eastern medicine through the ages has solidified its reputation as worthy complement to modern western medicine.
In a 2003 study of essential oils, it was concluded that among others, Lemongrass Essential Oil was bactericidal against certain pathogens *. Lemongrass extract was a favoured panacea among the ancients and was used as a pesticide and preservative.
Used in modern day preservation, it has been applied to ancient manuscripts found and collected in India. Lemongrass Oil seeps into the palm leaf structure, increasing the natural elasticity of the leaves. The oil keeps manuscripts dry due to its hydrophobic nature, which protects the text from decay caused by humidity.
Beyond the documented historical use of Lemongrass Essential Oil, it is still widely used in traditional Indian healing, Ayurveda, in the symptomatic treatment of infections, fever, indigestion and respiratory complaints.
Where Does Lemongrass Oil Come From?
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a member of the Poaceae family and is a tall perennial grass native to the warm, humid regions of India and tropical Asia. It is used predominantly as a herb in Asian cuisine and has a subtle citrus flavour. Known by the name ‘ Serai ‘ in Malaysia and ‘ Gavati Chaha ‘ in India, Lemongrass Oil is extracted from the fresh or partly dried blades by means of steam distillation, and it takes roughly 200 kilograms of freshly cut flora to create 1 kilogram of Lemongrass Oil.
- Being a strong antifungal, Lemongrass Essential Oil is particularly effective for the treatment of fungal infections pertaining to the skin such as athlete’s foot and acne.
- It reduces oil production; thereby it helps to clear skin that is susceptible to acne breakouts. It also assists in preventing and maintaining greasy hair.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil acts on the blood vessels under your skin, causing them to naturally dilate, resulting in tighter pores and a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles.
- With its antibacterial, expectorant and antiseptic properties, lemongrass Oil is ideal for the treatment of colds, flu, bronchitis and respiratory infections.
- Due to its antispasmodic action, this oil helps sooth tummy spasms making this a suitable remedy for anyone suffering from cramping associated with flatulence.
- As a gastric stimulant, this oil stimulates digestive secretions, in turn aiding in the discomfort caused from sluggish digestion.
- Lemongrass is highly antiseptic and efficiently destroys micro-organisms that carry disease, making it safe to disinfect ailments such as minor cuts and scrapes, cold-sores and insect bites.
- Although Lemon Essential Oil can be considered a nervine and can be used to calm nerves and promote relaxation, it is also a stimulant, opening the sensory system and promoting alertness, hence it is often used to counteract the effects of jetlag and fatigue.
- As a natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory, it can aid in the relief of general muscle aches and spasms, sprains, toothache and headaches.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil is hydrophobic and in conjunction with its diuretic properties, can help prevent and alleviate water retention resulting in less bloating during menstruation.
- Lemongrass Oil is commonly used in India as a remedy to help treat ringworm by combining 2-4 drops of the essential oil with 60 ml of Sweet Almond Oil. Apply the mixture to the affected area regularly until the ringworm has healed.
- To help alleviate pain from aching joints or a sprained muscle, melt 80 ml of Olive Oil and 125 ml of beeswax. Stir in 30 ml of Coconut Oil and 5 ml of Lemongrass Essential Oil and allow to cool. Decant the mixture into a sealable tub and massage over affected area when necessary.
- Lemongrass Oil can help sooth inflamed skin, and being an antiseptic agent, will also prevent further build up of bacteria. Boil a cup of water and allow to cool. Add 2-4 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil and decant into a sealable bottle. After evening cleansing, moisten a cotton ball with the mixture and smooth over your skin.
- Treat athlete’s foot by combining 5 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil, 5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil and 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil with 30 ml of pure Shea butter. Store in a sealable container. After bathing or showering, ensure that your feet are thoroughly dry then rub the cream onto affected area liberally.
Awesome Tip: Insects find the scent of Lemongrass Essential Oil highly unappealing; as a result it makes for a very effective repellent. Fill a spray bottle with water, add 10-15 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil, 8-10 drops of Rose Geranium Essential Oil and mix well. This can be used around your home as well as directly on your skin. As a precaution, test a small amount on the inner wrist first to avoid any possible reaction.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil makes for a wonderfully natural furniture cleaner, plus it adds an invigorating scent and sheen. Combine 4 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil, 6 drops of Lemon essential Oil and 4 drops of Sandalwood Essential Oil with 70 ml of Jojoba Oil. With a soft cloth, wipe lightly and sparingly over wooden furniture.
- Naturally deodorize as well as sanitize your home by adding 4 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil, 3 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil, 2 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and 3 drops of Lemon Essential Oil to a spray bottle filled with 2 cups of warm water. This is an enlivening, brisk aroma for an overall clean, invigorating smell, and is a particularly good blend for freshening cupboards, drawers and bathrooms.
Caution: Lemongrass Essential Oil may irritate sensitive skin. Should you be pregnant or breast feeding, avoid using as a precaution. Because essential oils are concentrated, highly potent substances don’t use undiluted on the skin.
Disclaimer: We are not medically trained in any way; if you suffer from a medical condition, please consult your doctor or homeopath.