Cymbopogon citratus

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates) is a member of the Poaceae family and is also known as fever grass, citronella grass, silky heads, barbed wire grass, lemongrass, Hierba Luisa, cha de Dartigalongue, Gavati Chaha, and several other common names. This perennial genus consists of approximately 55 distinct grass species. Lemongrass is native to India but has naturalised in a number of tropical, warm, and temperate regions around the globe. This plant grows abundantly in the wild; however, it is also cultivated in Chennai (India), Malay, and the West Indies. This genus is used extensively for medicinal, culinary, and other purposes. It has a citrus flavour and can be utilised in fresh, dried, powdered, and crushed forms.

Lemongrass is commonly used in teas, curries, and soups, but its anti-fungal properties make it useful in aromatherapy and other forms of therapy. This plant is high in vitamin C and antioxidants and, as a result, is excellent at combating diseases in the human body. It is commonly used to treat fevers, colds, and coughs, and is also beneficial for skin health and lowering blood cholesterol levels. Additionally, it is an effective preservative. In addition, this plant's potent aroma makes it an effective insect repellent.

During the months of July to January, the essential oil contained within lemongrass can be extracted via distillation. 100 kilogram of lemongrass can yield 21 kilograms of essential oil. In fact, lemongrass essential oil is one of the most widely produced essential oils in the world, with over 2,000 tonnes distilled annually. The oil has a sherry-like hue and a strong lemon-like aroma.

As previously mentioned, 55 plant species belong to the genus Cymbopogon and the family Poaceae. All of these species are perennial and can thrive in both tropical and temperate climates. The dried lemongrass of this species is utilised in teas, soups, and curries in numerous regions of the world. The plant belonging to this genus was given the name lemongrass because of its lemon or citrus flavour. However, lemongrass does not have a sour flavour. In contrast, it has a mild and sweet flavour.

The essential oil contained within lemongrass is extracted by distilling the plant, particularly the Eastern Indian and West Indian varieties. As previously stated, the oil extracted from plants belonging to this genus possesses numerous therapeutic properties, including antibacterial, astringent, and nervous system-soothing properties. This essential oil is commonly used to treat headaches, depression, and even jet lag.

Despite the fact that lemongrass is still associated with its country of origin, India, the plant now grows naturally in other regions of Asia, South America, and Africa. This plant typically produces long, slender leaves that reach a height of one to three metres (three to five feet) (1.5 meters). The essential oil is derived from the plant's leaves. In reality, lemongrass essential oil is extracted via steam distillation. The steam distillation process involves boiling the plants and then condensing the vapour to collect the essential oil. After obtaining the lemongrass essential oil, it is concentrated into a highly potent form. The colour of lemongrass essential oil can range from deep yellow to amber and has a typically watery appearance. Lemongrass essential oil has a distinct lemon-like aroma and is generally considered to be invigorating.

Chemical analysis of the essential oil of lemongrass has revealed that the chemical compounds contained by this plant vary depending on the plant species from which it was extracted. All species of lemongrass plants have been found to contain the chemical compound citral. Citral is the principal constituent of the lemongrass plant and plays the most important role in the production of this aromatic essential oil. This chemical is highly anti-microbial, which explains why lemongrass oil is widely used to treat contagious conditions such as athlete's foot.

In addition to its medicinal properties that are effective in treating a variety of conditions, lemongrass essential oil is an essential component in soaps and perfumes primarily for aesthetic purposes. When applied topically to the skin or utilised in a steamer, this oil helps treat oily skin and fight acne. In addition, lemongrass essential oil is an ingredient in lotions and massage oils and is applied topically to the skin to eliminate cellulite (lumpy fat deposits, especially in the thighs and buttocks). Lemongrass is also prized for its deodorant qualities, which help combat excessive perspiration and foul odour.

Numerous scientific studies have confirmed that lemongrass essential oil is extremely beneficial for the human body, as it provides numerous health benefits. This oil protects the body from ailments such as flatulence, athlete's foot, colds, fevers, and muscle pain. In addition, the essential oil extracted from the long leaves of this genus' plants is extremely beneficial for treating skin conditions such as acne and maintaining healthy skin. However, lemongrass essential oil may be the most effective treatment available for excessive sweating.

The best aspect of lemongrass essential oil is that it is non-toxic and non-hazardous. However, this does not imply that caution is unnecessary when using this essential oil. In fact, lemongrass essential oil is known to irritate the skin, particularly when applied in excess or at high concentrations. Those prone to allergies are especially susceptible to developing sensitivity to this oil. In addition, it is not recommended that pregnant women apply this oil topically.

The benefits provided by lemongrass essential oil far outweigh the oil's aesthetic appeal. Lemongrass essential oil is valued for its effects on the nervous system. This oil is recommended by many herbal medicine practitioners to those suffering from depression, nervous anxiety, and even jet lag. This essential oil is also commonly used to combat colds and bring down fever temperatures. When using this oil for any of the aforementioned purposes, bamboo vaporisers or oil burners are recommended.

To obtain lemongrass essential oil, you must first dehydrate the plant's leaves and then subject them to steam distillation. The chemical analysis of lemongrass essential oil revealed that it contains citronellol, myrcene, and geranyl acetate, among others. In addition, this oil contains a high concentration of vitamin A as well as neral, nerol, geraniol, limonene, and citral. In normal conditions, lemongrass essential oil has a yellowish hue and is more watery than other essential oils. The medicinal and other properties of lemongrass are responsible for the herb's beneficial effects. The lemongrass essential oil is anti-microbial, anti-depressant, anti-pyretic (a medication that prevents or controls fever), astringent, antiseptic, deodorant, anti-bacterial, diuretic, galactagogue (a drug that increases breast milk secretion), fungicidal, sedative, nervine (any drug that helps to relieve nerve disorders), insecticidal, tonic, and stimulant. This oil's therapeutic properties have made it popular among both herbal medicine practitioners and the general public, who use it extensively to treat a variety of conditions. There are numerous applications for lemongrass essential oil, a few of which will be discussed below.

As a result of its ability to alleviate aches and inflammation, lemongrass essential oil is frequently used as a massage oil to alleviate aching muscles and joints. This oil is used to alleviate headaches caused by viral infections. Additionally, it provides relief from toothaches.

The immune system is strengthened by lemongrass essential oil, enabling the body to combat harmful microbes. It acts by inhibiting their internal and external expansion. This oil is said to inhibit bacterial contagions, including urinary tract infections and stomach, colon, and respiratory infections. In addition, the anti-fungal properties of lemongrass essential oil make it an effective treatment for both internal and external fungal infections.

When used for this purpose, lemongrass essential oil's antidepressant properties aid in the recovery of mental strength and self-esteem or confidence. This essential oil is widely employed in the treatment of nervous anxiety and severe cases of depression. In addition, it is employed as a stimulant to strengthen the nerves and make them more active. This is especially true in cases of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. Lemongrass essential oil has the potential to treat additional nervous disorders, such as vertigo, convulsions, and hand or limb trembling.

As a result of its antiseptic properties, lemongrass essential oil is a key component in many antiseptic creams intended for external use. It has also been discovered that tea made from lemongrass is effective for treating internal wounds. In addition, it has been demonstrated that lemongrass essential oil is effective in reducing fever temperatures; hence, it is also known as fever grass. The astringent nature of lemongrass essential oil aids in stopping bleeding from open wounds. This oil functions by promoting the formation of blood clots.

The diuretic property of lemongrass essential oil stimulates urination and, as a result, aids in lowering high blood pressure and removing waste and toxins from the body. The essential oil extracted from lemongrass is also galactagogue and promotes the production and secretion of breast milk. Additionally, the presence of lemongrass essential oil in the mother's breast milk helps infants fight infections and prevents them from contracting various contagious diseases.

Numerous individuals hold lemongrass essential oil in high regard due to its exceptional sedative properties. In addition, many individuals favour lemongrass essential oil for insect control due to its highly effective insecticidal properties.

The citrus-like aroma and non-acidic nature of lemongrass essential oil make it one of the most popular oils for aromatherapy. The lemony aroma of lemongrass essential oil induces a feeling of relaxation. Lemongrass oil is highly concentrated in its natural state; therefore, it should be diluted before use. High concentrations of lemongrass essential oil are likely to irritate the skin, particularly in individuals with sensitive skin.

Lemongrass essential oil has a wonderfully fresh, earthy, and lemon-like aroma, which is appreciated by many. This oil is ideal for providing relaxation and comfort to a tired body. As previously stated, lemongrass essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the plant's dried leaves. Under normal conditions, lemongrass essential oil is in a state resembling water and is therefore quite unstable.

In India, the lemongrass plant is commonly referred to as 'choomana poolu' The plant is frequently used to refer to 'Indian Melissa oil,' which is widely employed in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system. In Ayurveda, traditional physicians use lemongrass essential oil to bring down feverish patients' body temperatures. In addition, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine use this essential oil to treat infectious diseases. It is believed that lemongrass oil is highly effective in treating various infectious diseases caused by microbes, such as bacteria and fungi. In addition to being an important component in numerous medications, lemongrass essential oil is also used to create citrus- or lemon-scented soaps and perfumes.

General properties


Combines well with

General uses

ringworm athlete's foot


fluid retention indigestion

lack of in milk of nursing mothers

greasy skin enlarged pores scabies

insect repellent


Like other essential oils, lemongrass essential oil is extremely beneficial for the human body, but excessive use or lack of caution may result in adverse effects. Before using this oil to treat any condition, it is essential to consult a qualified aromatherapist. Intriguingly, lemongrass essential oil is occasionally used by unscrupulous individuals to impart to other oils an aroma resembling that of verbena or rose. In addition, topical application of lemongrass essential oil has frequently been reported to irritate the skin. Therefore, it is advised that pregnant women avoid using this lemongrass oil or the herb in any form.

Despite claims that lemongrass essential oil is non-toxic and safe for use, it has the potential to sensitise the skin of those with sensitive or damaged skin. This oil is also dangerous for allergy-prone individuals, who should therefore avoid using it. This is also the primary reason why people should use lemongrass essential oil with caution. In addition, this oil should not be applied to the skin of young children, whose skin is typically extremely sensitive.

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