A species of grass adapted to warm climatic conditions, lemongrass is a valuable plant for herbalists all across the globe. In alternative medicine, the foliage part of lemongrass is basically used in raw or dried form. Upon steam distillation of dried leaves, we get a yellowish-colored, strongly fragrant liquid called lemongrass oil. Its fragrance is like lemon, but milder and sweeter than pure lemon oil. Just like the plant, uses of lemongrass essential oil are many, which we will discuss in this article.
Properties of Lemongrass Essential Oil
The active ingredients present in lemongrass essential oil are myrcene, limonene, citral, geraniol, citronellol, geranyl acetate, neral, and nerol. While myrcene and limonene are aromatic compounds, citral and geraniol serve as antimicrobial and insecticidal respectively. This oil counteracts fungi, bacteria and also, insects in general.
Likewise, lemongrass oil properties are attributed to its strong chemical composition. It has a sedative effect on the nervous system. For natural skin care, this essential oil is a potent astringent. In addition, it is antipyretic, diuretic, antidepressant, carminative, febrifuge, deodorizing, and galactagogue in action.
Uses of Lemongrass Oil
In the conventional Indian medicine, lemongrass plant has been used directly for treating infectious diseases and several other ailments. While using lemongrass oil for medicinal purposes, make sure that the strength of oil is monitored carefully. Say for instance, an undiluted version can cause skin irritation effects, specially in people who have a very sensitive skin. Also, applying concentrated oil in skin wounds can cause exacerbation of the symptoms. Ideally, one should use the dilute form of pure lemongrass oil. Some of the profound lemongrass essential oil uses are listed below.
Natural Skin Care
Right from tightening skin pores to treating acne and pimple, lemongrass oil is beneficial for skin in a number of ways. For use in skin infections and acne outbreaks, try lemongrass oil recipe to make a diluted solution. Mix 2 drops of oil in ¼ cup warm water, and apply it to the affected skin by using a clean cotton ball.
Applying lemongrass essential oil to hair directly is a sure way to promote hair growth and maintain healthy hair. For this, make sure a diluted oil is used (2 - 4 drops in ½ cup warm water). This essential oil is a valuable component in homemade shampoo recipe as it increases the aroma and quality of shampoo.
Having strong antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, lemongrass oil is applied for treating a wide range of skin infections (both bacterial and fungal). While there is no harm in external application, internal use of this essential oil for curing infections may be associated with adverse effects.
An essential oil with antipyretic and febrifuge properties, lemongrass oil works wonders for treating fever. This oil aids in bringing down body temperature, thereby maintaining it within the healthy range. For curing fever, one can add a safe dose of this oil in tea, and drink many times a day.
One of the main lemongrass essential oil benefits is reducing pain and inflammatory symptoms. Its analgesic property makes it an effectual remedy for combating several medical problems, such as joint pain, muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, headache, migraines, and general body pain.
Treats Digestion Problems
A dilute form of lemongrass essential oil is a much touted remedy for treating bowel problems and digestive disorders. It boosts the functioning of the digestive system and facilitates nutrient assimilation. However, take the advice of a herbalist for deciding the appropriate dosage before ingesting this oil.
Stress and Depression
Similar to other citrus oils, lemongrass essential oil benefits in addressing stress, anxiety, and depression problems. It provides a calming effect to the nerves and nervous system, thereby making the person energized. One can add a few drops of oil in bathing water, or use dilute oil for massaging.
Tonic for Nerves
The tonic property of lemongrass essential oil makes it an ideal stimulator for the brain and nervous system. It is claimed to be an effectual herbal product for combating diseases, whose root cause is malfunctioning of the nervous system. However, more scientific studies need to be done to support this claim.
Other Medicinal Uses
It is used to alleviate intestinal gas and excess gas formation in the body. The diuretic effect of lemongrass oil makes it an excellent home remedy for people having water retention problem. Another medicinal use of this oil is to clot blood, and stop bleeding in skin wounds and injuries. Other lemongrass oil uses are reducing perspiration, improving sleep, increasing milk secretion, and strengthening the immune system.
Lemongrass oil is a preferred ingredient in making home cleaning agents. Simply mix a few drops of pure oil and water in a sprayer, and use the solution for cleaning kitchen cabinets, bathroom walls, and other hard surfaces. Doing so helps in disinfecting the areas, and prevents infestation of microbes.
Mention some of the most popular natural insect repellents, and you really cannot miss lemongrass and lemongrass essential oil. Simply fill the oil in a burner and see the results. One can use the oil alone to repel insects, or mix it with eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and other carrier oils for the same purpose.
Like therapeutic benefits, lemongrass essential oil holds the same value in culinary applications too. While fresh and dried lemongrass leaves are preferred for flavoring foods, this essential oil is used in small amounts to impart sweet lemon aroma in soups and herbal teas. Also, lemongrass oil is a natural food preservative.
These were all about lemongrass essential oil uses. It is also added in a wide range of commercial products, like soaps, skin creams, hair care products, deodorants, perfumes, insecticides, and many more. Though there are no major side effects of lemongrass oil, a word of caution is not to use it for internal treatment without the doctor's approval. For safety concerns, pregnant women and children should refrain from using this essential oil, unless directed by a trusted aromatherapy practitioner.