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8 December 2021 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Lemongrass Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

With citrus and herbal qualities, lemongrass has both cleaning and relaxing properties.

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Lemongrass plant taken from a birds eye view.

Often compared to citronella for its cleaning and pest-repelling qualities, lemongrass is packed full of other benefits, many of which have been celebrated for centuries.

First appearing in East Indian, Sri Lankan and Chinese medicine, the oil was most famously used to treat fever, earning the name ‘fever grass’.

However, the uses of lemongrass didn’t end there – it was also used to cure complaints such as irregular periods, stomach pains, diarrhoea and skin infections.

These days it is used in many parts of the world as a digestive aid and an antiseptic.

What is Lemongrass Essential Oil?

Extracted via steam distillation from the lemongrass herb, native to India and Southeast Asia, lemongrass essential oil’s refreshing citrus scent has long been revered in aromatherapy, despite being so heavily compared to other oils of its kind.

Also known by the botanical name Cymbopogon Citratus, this herby, refreshing plant is commonly used for its culinary purposes, however the oil itself is also a common ingredient in health and beauty products.

Lemongrass essential oil is pale yellow in colour, with a gentle scent of lemon that provides close ties with the soothing properties of the oil, as well as its benefits for cleaning.

What are the health benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil?

Despite its similar properties to  and essential oils, lemongrass oil contains a host of impactful benefits all on its own. The benefits of lemongrass essential oil include:

  • Cleaning and antibacterial properties
  • Pest and insect repellent
  • Improvements to gut health
  • Ability to soothe sore muscles
  • Anti-inflammatory and astringent properties to help skin and hair
  • Anxiety relief
Lemongrass plant

    Is lemongrass essential oil good for cleaning?

    Lemongrass oil is 70-80% citral, a chemical compound that gives it a host of powerful benefits - one of the strongest being its antimicrobial abilities.

    Lemongrass essential oil has been shown to be antibacterial, with its constituents citral and limonene helping to battle a host of bacteria and infections, including staph.

    also found that lemongrass has powerful antifungal abilities, with an ability to combat candida fungus.

    Can lemongrass oil repel pests?

    Much like its oil relative citronella, lemongrass oil can also help to promote hygiene in the home by repelling unwanted pests.

    The high citral and geraniol content in the oil make lemongrass repellent to insects such as mosquitos. A even found that a combination of lemongrass oil and a vegetable-based carrier oil can provide 98.5% protection against house mosquitos.

    Try adding a few drops of lemongrass to a spray bottle of water for a quick and easy home cleaner.

    Does lemongrass essential oil improve gut health?

    Whilst you should always contact a medical professional before deciding to take essential oils internally, diffusing lemongrass oil or applying a diluted amount topically to the abdomen can provide some great benefits to the digestive system.

    showed that lemongrass essential oil was able to protect the stomach from gastric damage and prevent the formation of ulcers or other irritations.

    Lemongrass oil has also been found to have anti-diarrhoeal effects and is a known anti-inflammatory, both of which help it to promote comfort and health in the gut.

    Using lemongrass oil to soothe muscle ache

    Lemongrass essential oil can also be applied topically to treat sore muscles and muscular spasms.

    found that it is able to have a significant positive effect on muscle pain, and  found that the soothing, anti-inflammatory effects of lemongrass are most likely responsible for this.

    Can lemongrass essential oil be used for skin and hair?

    Not only is lemongrass able to soothe internally, but it is also able to treat irritations externally and create brighter, healthier skin.

    Lemongrass has long been used to treat irritated, swollen skin due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

    It is able to help reduce the appearance of redness whilst also keeping pores clean and free from harmful bacteria.

    Lemongrass oil also has astringent properties, which can help increase the elasticity of the skin and leave it looking tighter and more youthful.

    The soothing properties of lemongrass oil can also benefit the scalp, relieving itchiness and symptoms of dandruff for cleaner, healthier hair.

    How do I use lemongrass essential oil for anxiety?

    Not only is lemongrass physically soothing, but it has also been found to soothe negative emotions.

    found that people exposed to an anxiety-causing situation experienced a decrease in these symptoms after smelling lemongrass oil.

    The oil also allowed them to recover immediately after the stressful situation, unlike the control group who found it harder to get their anxiety under control.

    How to use Lemongrass Essential Oil


    Many of the essential oil benefits found within lemongrass can be unlocked through the common practice of aromatherapy.

    Diffusing this citrusy and refreshing scent throughout your home can help relieve symptoms of anxiety, prevent your home from pests and help fight against airborne bacteria.

    Combine 5-7 drops of the oil with water and add to an oil burner or diffuser for a gentle and herbaceous aroma.

    Alternatively, you can simply hold a bottle of lemongrass essential oil to your nose and gently inhale, or add a few drops to a tissue or cotton ball for on-the-go aromatherapy.


    Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, lemongrass essential oil makes for a great at-home massage remedy for stubborn muscular aches and spasms as well as inflamed areas of the skin.

    Dilute 5 drops of lemongrass to 10ml of your chosen carrier oil (such as or  oil) and massage evenly into the skin.

    We always advise performing a patch test before applying lemongrass essential oil to the skin.


    Add 6-8 drops of lemongrass essential oil to warm bathwater for a relaxing, refreshing experience for the body.

    Adding lemongrass oil to your bath can carry many of the same therapeutic benefits as aromatherapy, as the scent will carry through and fill the air with a gentle, lemony aroma.

    This is also a great option for moments of anxiety, as lemongrass oil can help to lift stressed moods and provide a soothing atmosphere.


    Add a couple of drops of lemongrass essential oil to a carrier oil (such as sweet almond or jojoba oil) or your chosen lotion and spread evenly, or onto affected areas.

    Lemongrass is a great choice for skincare, as its astringent properties can help to improve the skin’s elasticity, as well as create a more youthful appearance.

    This oil can also be used to help treat irritated or swollen skin.

    We always advise performing a patch test before using lemongrass essential oil on the skin.

    Soap & Candles 

    Suitable for soap making and candle making. We recommend following a tested recipe.


    Looking for creative ways to use your lemongrass essential oil? Discover a number of fun candle and soap recipes in our Make at Home blog section.

    History of Lemongrass Essential Oil

    The use of lemongrass can be traced as far back as ancient Greek and Roman times, and it has been suggested that the oil was a very integral part of the perfumery trade in the early 17th century for its gentle, uplifting scent.

    Lemongrass oil began to spread quickly in popularity in 1905, when Sri Lankan researcher J.F. Jovit acquired several of the plants to create a farm for research purposes.

      The benefits of diffusing Lemongrass essential oil are some of most extensive out of any oil, and since the research into these benefits is ongoing, it is likely that there are many left to discover.

      Combine this long list with its gentle lemony scent, and you may just want to include it in every soap, candle and diffuser blend you make.

      Shop our lemongrass essential oil here.

      Product Name

      100% Pure Lemongrass Essential Oil
      Botanical Name Cymbopogon Citratus
      Scent Type Citrus
      Benefits & Uses Antibacterial, Insect Repellent, Calming
      Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this lemongrass essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
      Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this lemongrass essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
      Extraction Method Steam Distillation
      Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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