Lemongrass is a popular flavoring in Asian cooking, and the oil is commonly used as an air freshener in a diffuser or vaporizer along with geranium or bergamot oil. “Though there are over 50 varieties of lemongrass, not all are edible or ideal for medicinal purposes”- Cymbopogon citratus and Cymbopogom flexuosus are both popularly used for culinary applications and industrial applications such as perfumery4. Numbered research can be viewed in Mercola.com original article.
Lemongrass oil is also known for its ability to repel insects, such as mosquitoes and ants, due to its high citral and geraniol content.6 Spray it around your home, diffuse it or rub a diluted mixture on your skin.
Lemongrass oil’s refreshing scent makes it a valuable aromatherapeutic oil. Its clean and calming aroma helps relieve stress, anxiety, irritability and insomnia, and prevent drowsiness.7,8 Lemongrass oil can also help relax and tone your muscles, as well as relieve muscle pain, rheumatism, period cramps, stomachache, toothache, migraines and headaches.9,10 Here are some ways to use lemongrass oil:
- Make a refreshing foot bath. Add two drops to a bowl of warm water, and soak your feet for 10 minutes. If your feet are aching, add 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts.11
- Make a massage oil by mixing it with sweet almond oil.12
- Kill your dog’s fleas and lice by spraying diluted lemongrass oil all over his coat. You can also soak his collar in it, add it to his final rinse after shampooing, or spray it on his bedding.13 Do not use lemongrass oil on your cat, however, as it can be very toxic to felines, and even cause liver damage to them over a period of time.
- Blend it into your favorite bath products or add it to your bath water.
Composition of Lemongrass Oil – Lemongrass oil’s main compounds include are geranyl acetate, geraniol, myrcene, nerol, myrcene, citronellal, terpineol, methyl heptenone, terpineol, dipentene, geraniol, neral, farnesol, limonene, and citral and farnesol.14 These are known to have antifungal, antiseptic, insecticidal and counterirritant properties.15,16
Citral is known for its antimicrobial effects, and can help kill or suppress the growth of bacteria and fungi. It’s said that lemongrass oil’s quality is generally determined by its citral content.17 Limonene, another one of lemongrass’ beneficial compounds, is known for helping reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.18,19
Is Lemongrass Oil Safe? – Lemongrass oil is generally safe as long as it is used in small quantities (it is one of the strongest-smelling oils in aromatherapy) and properly blended with a carrier oil. Undiluted lemongrass can actually burn and injure your skin due to its high citral content, so it’s best to mix it with a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil.29 I advise doing a patch test before applying lemongrass oil on your skin, to see if you have any adverse reactions to this essential oil.
Skin irritation, discomfort, rashes and a burning sensation are some topical side effects experienced by people with sensitivity to lemongrass oil. Using the oil may also lead to lowered blood glucose, and may have contraindications for people who are taking oral diabetes drugs or anti-hypertensive medications, as well as those who are diabetic and hypoglycemic. I do not recommend children, pregnant women or nursing moms to use lemongrass oil orally. Those with liver or kidney disease and other health conditions should also consult their physician before using lemongrass oil.