10 Benefits and Uses Of Lemongrass Essential Oil
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10 Benefits and Uses Of Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass, commonly found in Sri Lanka and Southern India, is an aromatic herb. It has a slight lemony fragrance and is used in foods, oils, drinks, etc. Research has shown that lemongrass has several potential health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, is an effective anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory agent, and is a rich source of flavonoids. No wonder there has been a tremendous interest in this nondescript grass of late.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Oils extracted from plants are called essential oils. These are obtained primarily through a process of steam or water distillation, or both, and mechanical processes like cold pressing. Essential oils are unique because they encapsulate the scent and flavor of the plant. In short, the very “essence” of the plant. Oils obtained through chemical processes are not considered authentic essential oils.

Lemongrass essential oil is obtained from the lemongrass plant, mainly from its stalk and leaves. It has a robust citrus smell, and hence a few drops go a long way. Often it is used in soaps, creams, moisturizers, and other personal care products. In terms of appearance, the oil is pale to bright yellow in color and has a thin consistency.

Benefits Of Lemongrass Essential Oil

Here are several benefits of lemongrass essential oil to improve your mental and physical well-being.

1. Anti-bacterial - Lemongrass essential oil is known to heal wounds and prevent infections. Studies have shown that it is very effective in fighting several multi-drug-resistant bacteria like those that result in pneumonia, gum diseases, skin infections, blood infections, and intestinal infections.

2. Anti-fungal - Anti-fungal properties of lemongrass essential oil help fight against fungal infections like yeast infections and thrush. It also provides relief from jock itch, ringworm, and athlete’s foot. Research states that for the solution to be effective, at least 2.5% should be lemongrass essential oil.

3. Anti-inflammatory - Chronic inflammation is a thing of concern as it can result in health issues like diabetes, arthritis, and even some types of cancers. Lemongrass contains a compound called “citral,” which is anti-inflammatory. Research proves its potent anti-inflammatory effects in mice that had fungal infections. Researchers are hopeful that soon, it will be more widely used in anti-inflammatory products and medicines.

4. Rich In Antioxidants - Antioxidants help fight against the free radicals present in the body, which are responsible for aging and many diseases. A study conducted in 2015 highlighted the potent antioxidant properties of lemongrass essential oil and how it searches out free radicals. Yet another study proved how lemongrass essential oil mouthwash acts as a complementary therapy for gingivitis and non-surgical or non-invasive dental procedures.

5. Alleviates Gastric Issues - Stomach or gastric issues ail many people. In the olden days, lemongrass was used as a remedy for digestive problems, and that too quite successfully. A study conducted a few years back, proved that lemongrass essential oil is successful in preventing and curing gastric ulcers. It also brought to notice that “eugenol,” a component of lemongrass essential oil, can help provide relief from stomach pain and stomach upsets.

6. Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis - People who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis know how excruciating the condition is, and any relief is most welcome. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, lemongrass essential oil can reduce the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. A 2017 study showcased how lemongrass essential oil applied for 30 days brought apparent relief from pain caused due to the disease.

7. Bring Relief From Headaches And Migraine - According to Australian researchers, native Australian lemongrass may relieve the pain of migraines and headaches. According to them, the component “eugenol” found in lemongrass has abilities similar to the popular pain killer medicine Aspirin.

8. Massage And Relaxation - One of the most popular uses of lemongrass essential oil is for massage and relaxation. According to researchers, it reduces diastolic blood pressure, has no effect on systolic blood pressure, and has a harmonizing or soothing effect on the nervous system. In addition, “Eugenol” releases Serotonin, a hormone that aids in regulating sleep, mood, cognitive functions, and appetite.

9. May Help Lower Bad Cholesterol - The risk of heart attack and stroke increases when the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels increase in the body. A 2007 study on mice showed promising results. It brought to light the positive dose-dependent reaction wherein mice fed on a high cholesterol diet still had low cholesterol levels due to lemongrass oil.

10. May Help In Managing Diabetes - A study was conducted on rats in 2007 where they were orally fed a fixed dose of lemongrass for 42 days. At the end of the study period, the rats had significantly low blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the lipid parameters also changed. There was a noticeable increase in good cholesterol (HDL). 

How To Use Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is readily available online. But care should be taken while using it. For example, never apply undiluted oil directly to your skin. It is considered safe by the FDA only when its use is correct. Misuse can cause skin irritation, skin burns, nausea, and even poisoning.

For Massage - The correct way of using lemongrass essential oil is to add it to carrier oil. Then, take a few drops of it and massaging it gently into the skin.

For Inhalation - Add a few drops of the essential oil to hot boiling water. Keep your eyes closed and inhale the steam through your nose. To avoid wastage, cover your head with a towel to contain steam in a limited area.

You can also use lemongrass essential oil in an electric or heat oil diffuser. These are used more for aromatherapy, and the diffuser can be purchased either online or from a store. Although, care must be exercised when using like this as essential oils are known to be inflammable.

Do restrain yourself from using them orally, as one should only do that under the guidance of a doctor or trained healthcare professional.

Side Effects Of Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil, though a natural product, can still have side effects. People who have sensitive skin or suffer from allergies should ideally be more careful. Some of its side effects are:

1. Stinging or smarting of areas around the eyes, mouth, ears, and other mucous membranes. Therefore, do not add it to your bath water or apply it to your face.

2. It can also cause skin irritation like red and patchy skin or itching. Hence, always do a patch test at least 24 hours before using.

Concluding Thoughts

Lemongrass has many health benefits. It helps relieve pain and upset stomach, to name a few. Nevertheless, one must exercise care while using it as its incorrect use can lead to severe health issues.