Scientific Name/Common Name: Cymbopogon citrates / Lemongrass
Part(s) Used: Aerial portions
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Lemongrass contains: 0.2-0.4% essential oil; alpha-camphorene; caprylic acid; caryophyllene; 1,8-cineole; 0.1-0.34% citral; citronellal; citronellic acid; geranic acid; geraniol; isopulegol; isovaleraldehyde; isovaleric acid; limonene; l-linalool; linalyl-acetate; luteolin; luteolin glycoside; methyl heptenol; methyl heptenone; myrcene; neral; nerol; alpha pinene; quercetin; rutin; alpha-terpineol. Fresh lemongrass contains approximately 80% water.
Overview: Lemongrass is a tall, coarse grass with a strong lemon taste used for cooking, medicinal teas, and potpourri. Lemongrass stalks are commonly used in the cuisines of Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Lemongrass is native to Sri Lanka and South India and is now widely cultivated in the tropical areas of America and Asia. Its oil is used as a culinary flavoring, a scent, and medicine. A tea made from the leaves of West Indian lemongrass has been used to treat fevers, colds, and upset stomachs. Lemongrass is also a folk remedy for coughs, consumption, flu, gingivitis, headache, and vascular disorders. Lemongrass is principally taken as a tea to remedy digestive problems, diarrhea, and stomach ache. It relaxes the muscles of the stomach and gut, relieves cramping pains and flatulence, and is particularly suitable for children. In the Caribbean, lemongrass is primarily regarded as a fever-reducing herb. It is also applied externally as a poultice or as diluted essential oil to ease pain and joint stiffness. The tea has diuretic properties and can help with urination difficulties and water retention. Lemongrass oil is also popularly used as a massage oil to relieve sore muscles. Lemongrass essential oil, like many essential oils, has some degree of antimicrobial activity and is used as an insect repellant as well.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: For indigestion, stomach aches, cough and cold, cramps and muscle aches and pains, topically for antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Duke JA. 1992. Handbook of Phytochemical Constituents of GRAS Herbs and Other Economic Plants. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 216.
Soonwera M, Phasomkusolsil S. Efficacy of Thai herbal essential oils as green repellent against mosquito vectors. Acta Trop. 2015 Feb;142:127-30.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.