The Benefits and Uses of Lemongrass Essential Oils

By , Category : Alternative Remedies

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Lemongrass essential oils
Credit: iStock.com/ARISA THEPBANCHORNCHAI

Lemongrass essential oils are oils taken from the perennial plant in the Poaceae grass family, which grows in subtropical areas of Cambodia, Indonesia, India, China, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, and Malaysia. They are used in everything from face masks to bug repellent. But, from a health standpoint, what is the plant oil actually good for?

We are going to thoroughly examine lemongrass oil. From lemongrass essential oil uses and benefits, to the differences between lemon oil and lemongrass oil, we will cover all of the basics of lemongrass oil and what it can do for your health. Is lemongrass essential oil phototoxic? Let’s find out.

Lemongrass Essential Oil Uses

The uses of lemongrass oil are wide-ranging. From household cleaning to digestion disorders, there are so many situations and health conditions that may call for lemongrass essential oils. Here’s a small sampling:

1. Bug Repellent

Lemongrass oil has large amounts of both citral and geraniol, chemical compounds that repel and may even kill certain bugs. Add five drops of the oil to a spray bottle of water, and you’ve got a natural bug repellent that could help keep the mosquitos far away from you. It may also be a safe alternative for your dog, keeping mosquitos and fleas at bay.

However, lemongrass essential oil is said to be toxic to cats. Their livers lack the enzyme needed to process the compounds found in many essential oils. So, be sure to store the oil out of your feline friend’s reach.

2. Natural Deodorizer

Lemongrass oil can help freshen up a room and absorb offensive odors. This can be done by either using a diffuser or adding a few drops to a humidifier. Mixing lemongrass oil with mint oil will not only deodorize a room, but will also give it a nice scent.

3. Muscle-Relaxing Balm

Lemongrass oil could help relax your muscles due to its reported ability to increase blood circulation. Dilute lemongrass oil with water and rub it onto a sore muscle to relieve stiffness and pain. You can also put a few drops in a warm bath.

4. Headache Salve

The same qualities that can make lemongrass oil a great muscle relaxant could also help with headaches, especially those headaches created by muscle tension. A drop or two massaged into the temples when you feel a headache coming on may be able to prevent it from taking place.

5. Stomach Soother

Lemongrass oil may help settle your stomach due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Adding a few drops of lemongrass oil into hot water or tea can help settle your stomach and relieve gas.

6. Scalp Cleanser

If you have an itchy and irritated scalp, lemongrass might be able to help relieve you of those issues and help strengthen your hair. Massage lemongrass oil into your scalp and let it sit for at least two minutes. Afterwards, rinse the lemongrass oil out. Lemongrass oil has anti-fungal properties that could help soothe the scalp and get rid of the fungus that may be responsible for the itch.

7. Skin Cleanser

Because of the antibacterial and antiseptic properties found within lemongrass oil, it may be a great skin cleanser. It’s easily added to products like lathering soap, shampoo, and body wash.

8. Fungus Remover

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that forms on your foot. Lemongrass oil’s anti-fungal properties may be able to help clean out that infection, especially in mild cases. Mix in a few drops of lemongrass oil with coconut oil, apply it to the affected area, and let it sit overnight.

9. Sleep Aid

The scent of lemongrass oil could have a nice calming effect on your mind and body. This sedative effect may help you sleep better and might also help with issues related to insomnia. It can easily be used by putting a few drops in the body product of your choice. Just use it on your body and rinse.

10. Food Ingredient

Unlike many essential oils, the flavor of lemongrass oil blends well with a variety of foods. Therefore, it should be relatively easy to find the right lemongrass essential oil recipe for you. The Lemongrass plant has long been used in cuisines from Asia and India as both a seasoning and health booster.

Benefits of Using Lemongrass Essential Oil

There are a number of benefits of lemongrass essential oil that could improve your health. Some of them, you might not expect.

1. May Fight Cancer

Lemongrass oil contains citral, which is the active component that gives the oil its sweet scent, but according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, lemongrass oil may also be able to help kill cancer cells. According to their research, citral may trigger cell death in cancer cells.

2. Fights Fungal Infections

As mentioned, lemongrass oil may be great for treating fungi of all kinds. From a ringworm fungus on your scalp to an athlete’s foot infection on your toes, lemongrass oil may be able to help you out. This is due to the citral and limonene compounds that lemongrass oil contains.

3. Source of Antioxidants

Antioxidants have multiple health purposes for the human body. These molecules are believed to help protect your body against and eliminate the free radicals that can damage the cells in your body. This could possibly prevent health problems like skin damage and heart disease. The antioxidants in lemongrass oil, in particular, may be useful for assisting cellular regeneration.

4. Fights Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylococcus aureus, also known as staph, is a type of bacteria that causes skin infections, pneumonia, meningitis, and a host of other medical issues. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, lemongrass oil may be specifically good at fighting antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacterium.

5. Acts as Natural Diuretic

Lemongrass and lemongrass oil could also work as natural diuretics. Lemongrass oil helps increase urine production, which, in turn, helps the body flush out excess minerals like potassium. Left unchecked, excess minerals can build up and create other health issues.

Differentiating between Lemon Oil and Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemon oil vs. lemongrass oil. What exactly is the difference? The two oils come from very different places. Lemon oil is distilled from the rinds of the lemon citrus fruit that you are probably familiar with. Lemongrass oil, on the other hand, is distilled from lemongrass, a plant in the grass family. The oils also differ in their purported benefits. Lemon oil is most often used for household cleaning and as a source of additional vitamin C.

Furthermore, lemon oil does not contain the same active compounds that produce the health benefits we’ve listed above. And, as a final note, lemon oil tends to be bitter and slightly sour, much like a lemon. Lemongrass oil has an almost spicy flavor that isn’t sour at all.

Lemongrass Oil May Work for You!

Lemongrass oil is versatile; there are no two ways about it. It could help you cleanse your skin, clear up an athlete’s foot infection, and even deodorize a stinky room. It has many health properties; however, there are some things you should know.

First, the quantities of lemongrass oil that we have suggested for use are relatively small—a few drops here, a few drops there. Using large or excessive amounts of lemongrass oil can result in an upset stomach.

Secondly, you should always dilute lemongrass essential oil with water or carrier oil such as coconut oil, especially before applying directly to the skin. Also, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not take lemongrass oil. If you begin having allergic reactions while using lemongrass oil, stop using it and consult a doctor.

Related Articles:

Citronella Essential Oil: Facts, Health Benefits, Uses, and Recipes

Juniper Berry Essential Oil: Uses, Health Benefits, and Recipes

Thyme Essential Oil: Facts, Benefits, and How to Use


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Brent Chittenden

About the Author, Browse Brent's Articles

Up until the end of 2016, Brent Chittenden had been a freelance researcher and writer, writing about everything from entertainment—including pro wrestling and stand-up comedy—to health and nutrition, to culture and lifestyle. In 2017, he joined the Doctors Health Press full time and couldn’t be happier about it. With a graduate certificate in Radio and Broadcasting, Brent brings extensive experience as a communicator and researcher, adding to the many talented health authorities and professionals on whose expertise Doctors Health Press... Read Full Bio »