Lemongrass is a beautiful citrusy herb commonly used in Southeastern Asian cooking. Beyond being a delicious seasoning, this grass also has many health properties making it one of the most versatile essential oils.
In this article, we’re going to share the top benefits of lemongrass essential oil, including its ability to ward off pests, relieve body aches and pain, and improve skin.
What is lemongrass oil?
Lemongrass essential oil comes from the grasses or leaves of the lemongrass plant. The oil has a fresh lemony smell with earthy undertones and is soothing, balancing, stimulating, and relaxing.
It is also a good source of vitamins A, B, and C and essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus.
Traditionally, lemongrass essential oil was revered for its natural antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anxiolytic (anxiety reducer) properties. In Brazil, lemongrass was often used to treat nervous system disorders and stomach issues. In the Amazon, lemongrass was consumed as tea for its sedative properties, while in Guatemala, people drank lemongrass tea for fevers and flatulence.
Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil
Natural Bug Repellant
Lemongrass oil is most known for its ability to repel bugs, all thanks to its high citral and geraniol content. It’s a perfect natural alternative to chemical-laden bug sprays and can be directly applied to the skin to keep mosquitos, ants, and fleas at bay. This is one of our favorite DIY bug sprays with lemongrass essential oil.
Homemade Bug Repellant
- 2 oz dark glass spray bottle
- 1 oz apple cider vinegar
- 5 drops lemongrass
- 5 drops eucalyptus
- 5 drops peppermint
- 5 drops tea tree
Directions: Add essential oils to vinegar and shake well to combine. Top off with water.
Improve Skin Health
One of the most-loved benefits of lemongrass oil is its skin healing properties. Because of its antiseptic and astringent properties, lemongrass oil can help foster even-tones, radiant skin. It can clean, tone, and tighten pores while also soothing irritations.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Lemongrass’s calming and relaxing aromatherapy is wonderful for relieving anxiety, irritability, and stress.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study that looked at the anti-anxiety effects of lemongrass oil. The study exposed subjects to anxiety-causing situations and then either exposed a group to lemongrass aromatherapy or no aromatherapy. The lemongrass group showed a decrease in anxiety and emotional tension after smelling lemongrass oil.
To use lemongrass oil for anxiety and stress, you can diffuse 5 drops and inhale deeply, rub a drop in the palm of your hands and inhale or you can even dilute 2-3 drops of the oil with a carrier oil and give yourself a massage.
Lemongrass oil’s soothing effects can also be used to relieve tension, pressure, and pain from headaches. To use lemongrass for headaches, dilute 1-2 drops with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil and massage onto your temples. Bonus: breathing in the relaxing aroma will also help relax the mind!
Lemongrass has potent antibacterial properties that make it a go-to essential oil for killing bacterial infections. One study looked at the effects that lemongrass has as an antibacterial. Researchers tested micro-organisms tested via disk diffusion method by adding lemongrass oil to a staph infection. Results showed that lemongrass disrupted the infection.
It’s theorized that lemongrass’ antibacterial properties are owed to its citral and limonene content which can stifle and kill bacteria and fungi. This means that lemongrass oil can be useful for infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot, or other types of fungus.
One study looked at lemongrass oil’s effects on fungal infections and yeast from Candida albicans which can affect the skin, genitals, mouth, throat, and blood. The research showed that lemongrass’ key active component, citral, had the power to reduce fungal infections and specifically those caused by Candida albicans fungus.
You should always consult your doctor first before trying something new for a fungal infection. One of the best ways to use lemongrass oil for candida is to consume the oil internally. Mix 1-2 drops of lemongrass essential oil with raw honey and add to hot water.
Lemongrass oil has powerful therapeutic and antimicrobial properties that can help boost and support immunity. In vitro research has also shown that the oil can minimize pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body, which contribute to illness!
How to Use Lemongrass Essential Oil
Aromatically: you can diffuse lemongrass essential oil for its calming properties or to keep bugs at bay. Add 5 drops of lemongrass oil to a diffuser or vaporizer.
Topically: dilute lemongrass oil before applying it to skin and always patch test before. To use lemongrass oil for skin issues, combine 1-2 drops of lemongrass oil with a teaspoon or so of fractionated coconut oil or a carrier oil of choice and then apply to the area of concern.
Internally: The FDA recognized lemongrass oil as safe for consumption, and for this reason, it is crucial that you make sure you are getting it from a high-quality source. You can add a drop to a veggie capsule with some food-grade oil like coconut oil or EVOO, or you can also mix with raw honey and add to warm water.