A profile of lemongrass essential oil

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Lemongrass essential oil (Cymbopogon citratus or Cymbopogon flexuosus) is one of my favorite oils and herbs. The fragrance is fresh, sweet and lemony. The oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the beautiful but slightly lethal grass (the edges are razor sharp).

 

Emotionally the lemon fragrance can help brighten your day. It can help you feel less sleepy. Lemongrass would be a good oil to diffuse before meditation to help clear your mind. Diluted in a carrier oil lemongrass can sooth achy joints and assist circulation.

 

Lemongrass also has an interesting ability to repel mosquitoes, but it attracts bees. Beekeepers have been known to use it as a “swarm trap”. I have used it as part of my bug repellent lotions with success.

 

In Florida a common issue with farm animals is a condition called thrush. Thrush is a fungal infection. The humidity and rain cause mud and doesn’t allow the hooves to dry. Like humans developing athlete’s foot from sweaty feet. Lemongrass has been my go to for this condition. The therapeutic properties include: antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. It also can help with inflammation and pain.

 

I am comfortable using this at a 0.5% dilution on large animals but would use more caution with smaller animals. It can be used to repel fleas and ticks, but at a low dilution.

 

The two most prominent chemicals in this are geranial and neral. These components combined are known as citral. Studies have found that citral can cause skin and mucous membrane irritation. It is recommended to use this oil at a 0.7% dilution (Tisserand and Young Pg. 334-335). Due to these precautions use caution with young children.

 

Overall lemongrass is a pleasant smelling essential oil that is best used through inhalation.

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