What Does Lemongrass Essential Oil Do? Benefits & Precautions

What Is Lemongrass Oil?

Lemongrass essential oil is extracted through the process of steam distillation of dried lemongrass, most often the Cymbopogon citratus or Andropogon citratus plants.

The oil has a light and fresh lemony smell with earthy undertones. It is stimulating, relaxing, soothing and balancing. The chemical composition of lemongrass essential oil varies according to the geographical origin; the compounds typically include hydrocarbon terpenes, alcohols, ketones, esters, and mainly aldehydes.

The main constituents of its essential oil are myrcene, citronellal, geranyl acetate, nerol, geraniol, neral, limonene, and citral at about 70 to 80 percent.

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As the name implies, lemongrass smells just like lemons, but it is milder, sweeter, and far less sour. This grass is used in countless beverages (including tea), desserts, and other forms of culinary creations as a flavoring agent when fresh lemon is not available or is not to be used because of its potent flavor.

Where Is Lemongrass Found?

It is native to warm and tropical regions, such as India, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. It is used as a medicinal herb in India and it is common in Asian cuisine. In African and South American countries, it is popularly used for making tea.

Is Lemongrass Oil The Same As Lemon Oil?

Lemongrass oil and lemon oil may both include the word “lemon,” but they are definitely two totally different oils that are derived from totally different plants.

Lemongrass oil comes from the leaves of a lemongrass plant while lemon oil comes from the peel of lemon fruit.

Both lemongrass and lemons along with lemon juice have many culinary uses and all lend a citrusy note to recipes. Both oils, not surprisingly, have a bright citrus scent.

Traditional Uses

One of the main components, citral, is a compound found to act as an antimicrobial (a substance that destroys or suppresses the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi). Lemongrass essential oil also contains limonene, a compound shown to reduce inflammation and knock out bacteria in scientific research.

There are a few ways to use lemongrass essential oils, including topical and internal applications. You can choose to drink diluted lemongrass oil for its anti-inflammatory and hormone-modulating effects or as an additive in teas and beverages as a flavoring agent. You can also topically apply lemongrass oil to the skin, particularly in the case of acne or other skin irritations.

The compounds that makeup lemongrass are known to have antifungal, insecticidal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Lemongrass may prevent the growth of some bacteria and yeast, and it contains antioxidant properties.

It also contains substances that are used to alleviate muscle pain, reduce fever, plus stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow. Lemongrass grows in dense clumps that can grow six feet in height and four feet in width.

Lemongrass oil is an effective cleanser for all skin types; its antiseptic and astringent properties make lemongrass oil perfect for getting even and glowing skin, and thus part of your natural skin care routine.

It can sterilize your pores, serve as a natural toner and strengthen your skin tissues.

By rubbing this oil into your hair, scalp, and body, you can alleviate headaches or muscle pain. Add lemongrass oil to shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, soaps, and lotions.

3 High-Quality Lemongrass Oils

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Certified Organic Lemongrass Essential Oil

Nature’s Oil is USDA Certified Organic with the absence of harmful pesticides and proper oil handling through all stages of production.

Nature’s Oil has become one of the most trusted names in essential oils because they work with the world’s most reputable farms, distillers, and producers. All bottles are GC/MS tested and certified – you can also request test results.

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Art Naturals 100% Pure Lemongrass Essential Oil

Art Natural’s Lemongrass essential oil is 100% pure, unadulterated, therapeutic grade, and GC/MS tested. This oil has zero dilution, additives, and is vegan and cruelty-free.

This oil has a crisp, clean citrus aroma with fresh grassy notes, that you can use to clean infections, deter insects, and brighten the mood of a room. It’s also completely safe to be applied topically.

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Most Reviewed Lemongrass Essential Oil

The most unique and best-smelling lemongrass on the market. If you’re not satisfied with the scent or performance, you can receive a full refund for your purchase.

Healing Solutions uses rigorous quality testing and controls. They also offer of 170 different oils for blending/pairing.

Treatments & Studies

Studies have shown that lemongrass oil has powerful antioxidant activity with the ability to fight off disease-causing free radicals.

A study published in 2009 also demonstrates how one of the main components of lemongrass oil, citral, can inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 in vitro.

The researchers found that blood cholesterol levels were reduced in the group treated with the highest dose of lemongrass oil. Overall, the study concludes that the “findings verified the safety of lemongrass intake at the doses used in folk medicine and indicated the beneficial effect of reducing the blood cholesterol level.”

Lemongrass essential oil may help with a fungal infection called pityriasis versicolor, according to a 2013 study. For the study, participants used as a shampoo and cream containing lemongrass essential oil or 2 percent ketoconazole (a medication used to treat fungal infections).

The shampoo was used three times a week and the cream, twice a day. After 40 days of treatment, the mycological cure rate was 60 percent in those treated with lemongrass essential oil and over 80 percent in those using ketoconazole.

Lemongrass oil may help fight dandruff, according to a 2015 study. Participants in the study, who all had dandruff, used a hair tonic containing lemongrass essential oil (Cymbopogon flexuosus) or a placebo twice a day for 14 days. By the study’s end, participants showed a significant decrease in dandruff after using the hair tonic with lemongrass essential oil.

Lemongrass essential oil has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. One study examined lemongrass as an antibacterial agent. It observed how lemongrass reacted with the bacteria that causes staph infections. The study concluded that lemongrass oil had a significant effect on the inhibition of bacterial growth, therefore preventing infection.

A research study published in 2012 shows how lemongrass essential oil (Cymbopogon citratus) was able to protect the stomachs of animal subjects from gastric damage caused by ethanol and aspirin. The study concludes that lemongrass oil “might serve as a lead compound for the future development of novel therapies that combat nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-associated gastropathy.”

What Are The Side Effects & Precautions?

Side Effects

A few of the common side effects linked to lemongrass use are…

  • Allergic reactions (topical use)
  • Increase amylase
  • Increase bilirubin
  • Toxic alveolitis (inhaled use).

This list doesn’t contain all possible side effects and others may occur, so check with your physician for additional information about lemongrass oils.


Lemongrass has no known severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs. To be safer, compile a list of all the medications you are currently taking and share the information with your doctor to see if anything will conflict.


Lemongrass is a vital essential oil to keep around the home. Through inhalation from a diffuser, it has the ability to freshen a room and induce relaxing effects. Its’ benefits topically and when ingested have minimal (if any) detrimental effects and can help prevent against soreness, infection, and many more illnesses and annoyances.

Written by Chief Health

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