Lemongrass is the popular name for two different species of perennial plants. Both are tall grasses part of the Poaceae family, which grow in areas with tropical or sub-tropical climates. They can be found mostly in Asian countries like China, Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Indonesia or Sri Lanka, as well as in Guatemala. It has long green leaves with sharp edges and is usually found in thick clumps.
The plant is mainly used as a spice and is very popular in Asian cuisine. It pairs well with fish, seafood, beef or chicken meat and is a common ingredient in soups and curries. Lemongrass tea can be brewed from the fresh leaves.
Cymbopogon citratus and Cymbopogon flexuosus are the two species of lemongrass that are commonly used. They are very similar and lemongrass oil can be extracted from both herbs. However, C. flexuosus is favoured for industrial uses, as a perfume raw material for example, while C. citratus is more popular as a spice and cooking ingredient.
The plant’s leaves can be used to extract lemongrass oil. It is usually yellow or pale and tends to have a light consistency when compared to other oils. However, it has a strong and fresh fragrance, resembling the one of lemons.
Lemongrass oil is a very useful cosmetic ingredient and is commonly added to skin care products like soaps, lotions, deodorants, tonics or shampoos. Lemongrass oil works well when combined with bergamot oil, geranium oil or other essential oils as an air deodorizer, due to the strong and attractive fragrance. Vaporizers, oil burners or diffusers can be used to freshen up the air.
Like most plant essential oils, the one of lemongrass has a rich content of geraniol and citral and can keep away mosquitoes, ants and other insects. You can apply it directly on your skin in diluted form or spray it around your house.
Most essential oils have strong antiseptic effects and lemongrass oil is no exception. It works well both inside and outside the body and counters various strains of bacteria and viruses. It is especially strong against bacterial infections of wounds, colon, stomach, urinary tracts, internal organs or respiratory system. The lemongrass oil can be used to treat any diseases with a bacterial cause, for example food poisoning, skin diseases, body odour, typhoid fever, as well as malaria, which is a major threat in tropical regions.
Lemongrass oil is also known for its ability to make hair follicles stronger. Dilute the oil with water, apply it directly on your scalp and then rinse it well. It can boost the rate of hair growth, prevent baldness and cure other problems such as oily hair.
The lemongrass oil can reduce high fever, so it is classified as an antipyretic. Compounds of this type can counter very high fevers, so they are a lot more effective than normal febrifuges and are used when the fever reaches life-threatening levels. This effect has been known for a very long time and was used in Asian traditional medicine.
Since lemongrass oil kills most types of pathogens, it can be applied to prevent the infection of both internal and external wounds or included in various creams or lotions with antiseptic use. It is a natural method to keep wounds clean and prevent dangerous infections.
The lemongrass oil is also an astringent, which means that it forces blood vessels to contract. This is very useful in case of bleeding, especially when the wounds are very serious. In such a situation, astringents decrease the flow of blood and boost clotting, which can be a life-saver. The astringent effect of lemongrass oil is also active at the level of muscles, skin, blood vessels, gums or hair follicles. As a result, it can be effective against hair loss and stops the teeth from becoming loose and falling off. Many of these properties are very useful in medicine.
Due to its powerful and pleasant smell, lemongrass oil is a great choice as a natural deodorant. Artificial fragrances are often weak but can do a lot of damage to the environment and can irritate the skin or cause allergies due to the chemicals in their composition. Lemongrass oil can have a stronger scent and is a very effective deodorant, without any of these unwanted side effects. It is too concentrated to be used in pure form but can be safely applied after dilution. It protects nature and doesn’t cause any kind of problems to your skin, since it is a natural herbal product.
Lemongrass oil is one of the best counters for fever. It works against it in several ways. It increases sweating, which eliminates most toxins from your body, but also kills the germs that are the root cause of infection in the first place. It is also effective against fungi and can be applied both internally and externally against infections caused by them.