Common Name: Lemongrass
Scientific Name: Cymbopogon citratus
Family: Gramineae or Poaceae
Origin: India, Guatemala, Madagascar, the Comoros Islands, Brazil, Malaysia and Vietnam
Synonyms: Cymbopogon flexuosus
Essential Oil Properties and Characteristics
Lemongrass essential oil is a yellow or amber-coloured somewhat viscous liquid with a very strong, fresh grassy, herbaceous and citrus odour.
Origin and History
Lemongrass was originally used as a food flavouring in Asia. The fresh leaves are crushed in water and used as a hair wash and toilet water in India.
The leaves can also be used as a source of cellulose and paper production. A majority of the essential oil is used for citral production which is used either for perfumery or flavour use and for pharmaceutical use in the synthesis of vitamin A.
West Indian lemongrass is used in TCM to treat colds, headache, stomach ache, abdominal pain and rheumatic pain.
Method of Extraction
Lemongrass essential oil is steam-distilled from fresh or partly dried leaves of C. citratus or C. flexuosus.
Precautions During Use (Contraindications)
Lemongrass essential oil is non-toxic, possible dermal irritation and/or sensitisation in some individuals.
Lemongrass has antiseptic, antibacterial, deodorising and stimulating properties. Lemon grass essential oil is a stimulating tonic for the skin and excellent for revitalising and energising tired bodies and minds.
Lemongrass essential oil enlivens the senses and focuses the mind. It has a fresh, lemony-citrus and grass-like aroma.
Lemongrass essential oil blends well with geranium, bergamot, lemon, orange, lime and grapefruit.
Source: Battaglia, S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, 2003, ISBN 0-6464-2896-9