8 December 2021 / Caitlin Devlin
Lemongrass Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits
With citrus and herbal qualities, lemongrass has both cleaning and relaxing properties.
Often compared to citronella for its cleaning, pest-repelling qualities, lemongrass is a 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.
Lemongrass essential oil has strong cleaning properties.
Lemongrass oil is 70-80% citral, which gives it a host of powerful benefits. One of the strongest is its antimicrobial abilities. Lemongrass has been shown to be antibacterial, with its constituents citral and limonene battling a host of bacteria and infections including staph. A study in 2008 also found that lemongrass has powerful antifungal abilities, with an ability to combat the candida fungus.
Lemongrass oil also helps to promote hygiene in the home by repelling pests. The high citral and geraniol content in the oil make lemongrass oil repellent to insects such as mosquitos. Try adding a few drops of lemongrass to a spray bottle of water for a quick and easy home cleaner.
It’s good for the gut.
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. A study in 2012 showed that lemongrass essential oil was able to protect the stomach from gastric damage and prevent the formation of ulcers or other irritations.
It 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.
It soothes both internally and externally.
Lemongrass essential oil can also be applied topically to treat sore muscles and muscular spasms. A study in 2011 found that it is able to have a significant positive effect on muscle pain, and further research in 2014 found that the soothing, anti-inflammatory effects of lemongrass are most likely responsible for this.
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 reduce the appearance of redness whilst also keeping pores clean and free from harmful bacteria. It also has astringent properties, which increase the elasticity of 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.
It can relieve anxiety.
Not only is lemongrass physically soothing, but it has also been found to soothe negative emotions. A study in 2015 found that people exposed to an anxiety-causing situation experienced a decrease in anxiety after smelling lemongrass. 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.
Lemongrass has one of the most extensive lists of benefits 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.