Lemongrass essential oil (Cymbopogon citratus) is another scent that you would be familiar with if you were a fan of Southeast Asian cuisines. As its name suggests, lemongrass essential oil shares the scent of lemon essential oil: fresh and citrusy. However, lemongrass oil is considerably sweeter and milder than lemon essential oil.
Keep reading to learn more about the versatility of lemongrass essential oil and its many benefits for your body, pet, and home.
What is Lemongrass Essential Oil Made Of?
Lemongrass essential oil comes from the leaves and stalks of the lemongrass plant — a fast-growing grassy plant. The plant is a genus of about 55 other species of grasses in the Poaceae family of grasses.
Native to tropical and subtropical regions (like India, Southeast Asia, and Oceania), the plant is now abundantly available all over the world.
How is Lemongrass Essential Oil Extracted?
Lemongrass is harvested somewhere between six to nine months after it is planted. The grass is usually harvested in the morning on a dry day. Once harvested, the lemongrass leaves are either dried in a conventional dryer or under the sun. Ideally, the drying period should be short to ensure that the leaves retain their color and aroma.
The lemongrass leaves are then steam distilled — resulting in the lemongrass essential oil that ranges in color from pale yellow to amber. This oil emanates a fresh, sweet, and citrusy smell with earthy undertones.
Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil
1. For stress-relief and to combat fatigue
Lemongrass essential oil’s light and comforting lemony scent with earthy undertones can help to relieve stress. Place a drop of the essential oil onto your pillow or rub a drop or two of the essential oil between your palms and inhale deeply.
If you are using the oil to fight fatigue, mix one or two drops of the essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil. Gently massage the mixture on your forehead and behind the ears.
2. Helps you to catch some z’s and manages insomnia
Besides that, lemongrass essential oil’s soothing and calming nature also helps with insomnia. This is courtesy of the oil’s calming effect on the mind which, in turn, has a sedation effect that brings about a better quality of sleep.
For a good night’s sleep, add a drop or two of the essential oil into your lotion and massage it all over the body. Alternatively, a cup of lemongrass tea could also do the trick.
3. Treats fungal infections
Studies have also shown that the compounds in lemongrass essential oil have strong antifungal properties against various strains of fungus. For example, lemongrass essential oil may help to prevent the growth of Candida albicans — a type of fungus that causes yeast infections and can affect the skin, genitals, throat, and mouth.
Besides that, the oil’s citral and limonene components also kill fungal and bacterial infections including athlete’s foot. In this case, mix a few drops of lemongrass essential oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and apply it to the affected area a few times a day or as needed.
4. Promotes a healthy digestive system
For hundreds of years, people have sip lemongrass tea to help with stomach issues such as diarrhea, gastric pain, ulcers, and indigestion. If you are not one for tea-sipping, opt for lemongrass essential oil, instead.
Just like the tea, the essential oil can help relieve gas, diarrhea, indigestion, and other stomach issues. Simply dilute two drops of lemongrass essential oil with a carrier oil. Then, gently massage the blend into the stomach and abdomen area.
5. Relaxes sore and aching muscles
Sores, aches, knots, pulled muscles, and sprains can all be assuaged and managed by rubbing the affected area with a combination of lemongrass essential oil and a carrier oil.
6. Potent anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation can lead to many conditions including cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and asthma.
Here are some examples of how lemongrass essential oil can help to fight these conditions. Limonene, a compound in the essential oil, is anti-carcinogenic. Then, you also have luteolin (a naturally-occurring flavonoid) to help the body kill cancer cells and fight infections. Another main component in lemongrass essential oil, Citral, meanwhile, inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
7. For overall skin health
Additionally, lemongrass essential oil’s antiseptic and astringent properties are especially helpful in eliminating dirt, grime, and bacteria in the skin. To treat acne with the oil, mix a drop of lemongrass with a little bit of carrier oil and dab the mixture onto your face.
Besides that, lemongrass oil also regulates and controls oil production to prevent clogged pores and dry flaky skin. To take advantage of this benefit, switch out your toner for the essential oil. Another option is to add a drop of lemongrass oil to your toner, serum, or moisturizer.
Not only is the oil great for the face but you can also use lemongrass essential oil as an all-natural substitute to commercial deodorants. All you have to do is add a couple of drops of the oil to your body lotion.
8. Improves hair and scalp conditions
Works wonders for your hair, lemongrass essential oil addresses everything from itchy scalp and dandruff to hair loss and lack of shine.
To treat itchy scalp and fight dandruff, mix a few drops of lemongrass oil with coconut oil. You can also replace the coconut oil with half a cup of apple cider vinegar and a cup of distilled water for a more potent concoction. Massage the mixture onto your scalp and leave it on for approximately half an hour to an hour. Rinse off for shiny and unbelievably soft locks.
9. Effective insect and flea repellent
As a result of its high concentration of citral and geraniol, lemongrass essential oil is popularly used to repel bugs including mosquitoes and ants. Before heading outdoors, apply a few drops of the oil to your clothes. The oil can also be applied directly to the skin once it is diluted with a carrier oil.
Plus, you can even use the lemongrass oil on your pet to kill fleas. Just apply a few drops of the oil on your furkid’s collar. Alternatively, dilute a few drops of the oil with water in a spray bottle and spray it on your pet’s fur.
Mixing Lemongrass Essential Oil with Other Essential Oils
Lemongrass essential oil blends well with citrus oils such as lime, sweet orange, and lemon. Apart from that, lemongrass’ fresh aroma beautifully complements floral scents like lavender, ylang-ylang, and patchouli, too.
For a relaxing blend, the combination of lemongrass and sandalwood works like a charm. If you are looking to brighten and energize your day, give the mixture of lemongrass, orange, and peppermint essential oils a try. On the other hand, if you are desperately in need of a remedy for headache, a blend of lemongrass, peppermint, and lavender essential oils is it.
Other Good-to-Know Information
Lemongrass essential oil is potent and highly concentrated. So, while the oil is generally safe to use, it may cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation in some people. Therefore, a skin patch test should be done before using this (or any) essential oil.
Is Lemongrass Essential Oil Right for You?
With its versatile uses, lemongrass essential oil has a very cult following and is a must-have essential oil for many. Try out the essential oil for yourself and you might find that this is the essential oil for you.