Lemon and grass. It may sound like an unusual combination, but lemongrass happens to be an essential oil that’s often used for cooking. It’s used in aromatherapy for health and beauty too.1
Lemongrass essential oil comes from lemongrass plants, which smell similar to lemon plants, and are part of the Poaceae family, which contains more than 50 different varieties of plant. It’s the Cymbopogon Flexuosus species that’s most commonly used for lemongrass oil.2
Native to Africa, Asia and Australia, lemongrass plant stalks smell just like lemons. Whereas, the scent of lemongrass oil is fresh and light with a hint of lemon.
How is it made?
As with most essential oils, lemongrass oil is extracted from the leaves of lemongrass plants in a number of ways, which usually involves steam distillation.3
How long have people been using lemongrass essential oil for?
Lemongrass has a long and illustrious history. It’s been considered a medicinal herb for some time and in countries such as Thailand, India, and China, it’s widely used in food and beverages.
Meanwhile, in ancient India it was reportedly used to treat fever and diarrhea. The fibrous stalks of the lemongrass herb were steeped in hot water to make a tea. The use of lemongrass in aromatherapy can be traced back to 1905. Ever since then, the popularity of lemongrass oil has soared.4
How can it be used?
There’s so much you can do with lemongrass oil. You can:
Add up to 10 drops to a small spray bottle filled with distilled water and spritz it over carpets, furniture and linens to tackle musty smells.5
You can also use lemongrass to make your own natural mosquito repellent.6
Dilute 5 drops of lemongrass oil with 10ml of Miaroma base oil and gently massage into skin.7
Bathe in it
Run a warm bath and add 4 to 6 drops of lemongrass oil. Then relax in the bath for at least 10 minutes to allow the aroma to work.8
Put 8 to 10 drops into a diffuser and breathe in the refreshing, citrus-herb scent.9
Breathe it in directly from the bottle or sprinkle a couple of drops of it on to a cloth or tissue and gently inhale it.10
Lemongrass essential oil benefits
Lemongrass oil has antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.11
As a result, there are lots of benefits to using it, including these:
- Combats bacteria - research has found that lemongrass essential oil works effectively on bacteria that can cause skin concerns.12
- Calms the senses - according to a 2011 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the eugenol that’s in lemongrass oil impacts neurotransmitter serotonin and blood-platelet action. Both of these things can cause headaches.13
- Eases inflammation – due to the fact that it contains citral, which is a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Keep mosquitos at bay - lemongrass oil is closely related to citronella and can be just as effective a repellent due to its unique smell, which is believed to be unattractive to mosquitos.14 Lemongrass oil can be mixed with lemon eucalyptus oil for an insect repellent than can protect for up to six hours at a time.15
How to use it safely
Always do a patch test to it make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin and always dilute it first with a carrier oil before putting it on your skin. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to use it.16
Some interesting facts about lemongrass/lemongrass oil
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- Lemongrass is called ‘fever grass’ in some cultures because of its ability to help reduce fevers17
- Lemongrass essential oil is closely related to citronella oil, but its odour is much more pungent than sweet18
- Lemongrass oil blends well with geranium, tea tree grapefruit and pine essential oils19
We hope you’ve found this guide to lemongrass oil useful. Want to find out more about how you can incorporate essential oils into your everyday life? This article shares some practical advice, ‘Finding the best essential oil for your home.’
Last updated: 11 September 2020