With its fresh citrus aroma, lemongrass essential oil is a type of essential oil that is often used in aromatherapy. It is said that inhaling the aroma of the oil (or the use of oil in transport oils, body oils and products for the hair and skin) offers a variety of benefits.
One of the main components of lemongrass essential oil is citral, a compound that acts as an antimicrobial (a substance that destroys or suppresses the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi). Lemongrass essential oil also contains limonene, a compound that decreases inflammation and eradicates bacteria in scientific research.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
In aromatherapy, it is alleged that inhaling the scent of lemongrass essential oil or absorbing lemongrass essential oil via the skin conveys messages to a region of the brain involved in the control of emotions.
Known as the limbic system, this region of the brain also influences the nervous system. Advocates of aromatherapy propose that essential oils can affect a number of biological factors, such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, stress levels, and immune function.
APPLICATIONS OF LEMONGRASS ESSENTIAL OIL
In aromatherapy, lemongrass essential oil is generally used for the following problems:
- Athlete’s foot
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle pains
In addition, it is said that lemongrass essential oil acts as a natural insect repellent and is used as an air freshener. Lemongrass essential oil is also used to relieve stress and relieve pain.
THE BENEFITS OF LEMONGRASS E
So far, the health effects of the aromatherapeutic use of lemongrass essential oil have been proven in very few scientific studies. Still, some initial research shows that lemongrass essential oil may offer certain benefits.
Lemongrass oil can help fight dandruff, according to a 2015 study. Partakers in the study, who had dandruff, used a hair tonic that encompasses lemongrass essential oil (Cymbopogon flexuosus) or a placebo twice a day for 14 days. At the end of the study, the partakers showed a significant decrease in dandruff after using the hair tonic with lemongrass essential oil.
Numerous studies suggest that lemongrass essential oil can help prevent the growth of certain fungi (such as Candida albicans, a fungus that is known to contribute to fungal infections). However, there is currently a lack of clinical trials to prove the use of lemongrass essential oil to treat any type of fungal infection.
Lemongrass essential oil can help with a fungal infection called pityriasis versicolor, according to a 2013 study. For the study, the partakers used a shampoo and a cream having lemongrass essential oil. The shampoo was used three times a week and the cream twice a day. After forty days of treatment, the mycological cure rate was 60 percent in those treated with lemongrass essential oil and more than 80 percent in those using ketoconazole.
Although there is limited evidence on the efficiency of lemongrass essential oil as an anxiety medicine, an initial study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that brief exposure may have anti-anxiety properties.
Partakers in the study breathe in lemongrass oil (three or six drops), tea tree oil (three drops) or distilled water (three drops). Immediately after inhalation, each study participant took a color and word test. Those who breathe in lemongrass essential oil had a decreasing in anxiety and tension and were more rapidly to recover from anxiety than those who took tea tree oil.
TIPS FOR USING LEMONGRASS ESSENTIAL OIL
When combined with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, sweet almond or avocado), lemongrass essential oil can be applied directly to the skin or added to baths in small quantities.
Lemongrass essential oil can also be inhaled after spraying a drop of the oil on a cloth or tissue or using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF USING LEMONGRASS
Lemongrass essential oil should not be taken inside without the direction of a health expert. The internal use of lemongrass essential oil can have poisonous effects.
In addition, some people may experience irritation when applying lemongrass essential oil to the skin. A skin patch test should be done before using any essential oil.
The oil should always be diluted in a carrier oil before using it on the skin and should not be used on the eyes or mucous membranes. The oil is absorbed by the skin and toxicity can occur if it is used too much.
Pregnant or nursing women, children, and people with liver or kidney disease or other health conditions should consult with their health care providers before using essential oils.
It is also important to keep in mind that self-treatment of a chronic disease with lemongrass essential oil and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.
WHERE TO FIND LEMONGRASS
Widely available online, Lemongrass essential oil is sold in many natural food stores and in stores specializing in self-care products.