Lemongrass, a fresh, sweet, grassy and citrus-like essential oil – Sanfern Downs

Lemongrass, a fresh, sweet, grassy and citrus-like essential oil


Cymbopogan citratus

Lemongrass is one of approximately 55 other species of grasses in the Poaceae family of grasses.  The Lemongrass herb has stalks that are fibrous and smell simmilar to lemons. In an essential oil, the scent of Lemongrass is fresh, sweet, grassy and light with a hint of lemon.


 The name Cymbopogon is derived from the Greek words “kymbe” (boat) and “pogon” (beard), referring to the flower spike arrangement.  Lemongrass has been used in medicine in India for more than 2000 years. Lemongrass has a history of medicinal use among several cultures worldwide for a variety of conditions.

In East India and Sri Lanka, Lemongrass was historically used to make soups, curries, and a local drink called “fever tea,” which was intended to treat not only fevers but also diarrhoea
While the commercial distillation of lemongrass essential oil for export reportedly began in the 17th century in the Philippines, lemongrass wasn’t widely distributed until the last hundred years or so.

The oldest known text about lemon grass oil had been found from the Philippines in 17th century. It had been introduced to Jamaica in 1799 and to Haiti and USA in 1917. First commercial cultivation of lemon grass was reported in Florida, USA and Haiti in 1947.

Lemongrass oil, can be used as a pesticide and preservative, and is put on the ancient palm-leaf manuscripts  found in India as a preservative. It is used at the Oriental Research Institute Mysore, the French Institute of Pondicherry, the Association for the Preservation of the Saint Thomas Christian Heritage in Kerala, and many other ancient manuscript collections in India. The oil also injects natural fluidity into the brittle palm leaves, and the hydrophobic nature of the oil keeps the manuscripts dry so the text is not lost to decay due to humidity.



How to use Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass is also used as flavouring for  beverages, prepared dishes, and baked goods, and the essential oil has been used to preserve food due to its antimicrobial activities. It is also known as "Fever Grass" due to its ability to bring down fevers.

Mixed with carrier oil you can use lemongrass essential oil to relieve pain in muscles and joints. It helps treat arthritis, rheumatism, osteoarthritis, gout and other types of joint pain. Use this blend by massaging it or rubbing it onto the body. This is due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties

In a burner and in a steamer it can be used to treat headaches resulting
from a cold or the flu.  It can also be effective in breaking down mucus and phlegm build-up, which can alleviate problems with breathing. This is mainly beneficial when suffering from bronchitis or asthma.
 The essential oil when used in aromatherapy can also activate the release of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that combats depression. As a result it relieves anxiety, boosts self-esteem, uplifts spirits, gives confidence and improves mental strength. The oil is excellent to use in a burner for children who need to concentrate in a classroom or home schooling environment. It also contains citronella, which is well known for its calming effect on the mind and body. It also assists with better sleep.

It can be used as a pesticide in natural insecticide blends and insect repellent in a burner to keep the mosquitoes away.

The essential oil can be used in cosmetics such as soaps, body creams, shampoos, homemade deodorants  and as a fragrance in candle making.


Properties of Lemongrass

Anti-septic, Anti parasitic in colon, Antimicrobial. The anti-cholesterol and the anti-atherosclerosis action of lemongrass helps to reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine. Plus, it helps in the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol in the blood, which in turn helps prevent atherosclerotic plaque build-up. Increases blood circulation. It relaxes smooth muscles. Apoptosis in cancer cells, antioxidant. Anti-inflammatory and astringent

A few recipes to use Lemongrass Essential Oil in.

Antiseptic Vinegar
15 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
15 drops African Wormwood Essential oil
15 drops Rose Geranium Essential oil
15 drops of Rosemary Essential oil
1 Liter of vinegar
Add all the essential oils to the vinegar. Pour into a glass bottle with tight fitting non-metal lids.
This makes an effective anti-viral, anti-septic , anti-bacterial  and anti-fungal mixture to use on surfaces.

Mosquito Repellent
5 drops African Wormwood Essential oil
5 drops Lemon Grass Essential oil
5 drops Rose Geranium oil
Mix all of the above essential oils into a dark glass bottle.
Place approximately a table spoon of water into the top of an essential oil burner. Add three drops of the above blend. Light the candle and keep topping up the water and the oil blend as and when needed.
This will help in keeping mosquitoes out of the room.

Rheumatism Relief Oil Blend
4 tbps of Sweet Almond Oil
5 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
5 drops Black Pepper Essential Oil
5 drops Clove Bud Essential Oil
5 drops Ginger Essential Oil
2 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
2 drops Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil
Blend all the ingredients in a brown glass bottle with a cap. Use to rub onto the aching joints when needed.

For more information on Lemongrass Essential Oil go to




1. DO NOT USE WHEN PREGNANT- because it contains two compounds, citral and myrcene, that can cause birth defects and miscarriages, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre

2.Although it is widely considered safe, ingestion of lemongrass in some people, can result in allergic reactions.

3.Topical application of pure lemongrass oil can also cause skin irritation and rash in some individuals.


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