The scent of lemongrass always reminds me of summertime. Its lemony, herbaceous scent makes me think of long summer evenings spent outside with family. And really, it’s no wonder–the lemongrass plant grows in warm climates and the essential oil is often used in homemade bug repellent recipes.
However, lemongrass essential oil isn’t beneficial only in the summertime. It has numerous benefits that make it extremely useful any time of year. Just like other essential oils, lemongrass is wonderfully complex and versatile. In fact, you may be surprised to learn just how versatile it is. Keep reading to learn some of the many benefits of lemongrass essential oil and how to use it.
7 Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil + Ways to Use It
1. Insect Repellent
Probably the most commonly known use of lemongrass essential oil is the fact that it’s an effective insecticidal. Specifically, it is used to repel fleas, tics, lice, ants, and mosquitoes. However, interestingly enough, it is also commonly used to attract bees and keep the hive healthy.
When combined with other insecticidal essential oils such as lemon eucalyptus, citronella, and lavender, lemongrass can make an especially effective bug repellent. You can use it in a bug bite spray or bug-repelling bracelet. Another option would be to simply diffuse lemongrass throughout your home to deter unwanted pests.
2. Fungal Infections
Lemongrass has powerful antifungal properties. This makes it a great choice when dealing with fungal infections. In one study, lemongrass was found to be very effective when used to treat fungal infections caused by Candida. It would also be beneficial when treating other types of fungal infections such as those caused by tinea–ringworm, jock itch, or athlete’s foot. Lemongrass is also a great hair essential oil for dandruff that’s a result of yeast overgrowth.
However, it’s important to note that lemongrass essential oil is considered a skin sensitizer, so it should be used in diluted amounts – no more than 0.7% according to Essential Oil Safety, and it should never be used on damaged or irritated skin.
3. Bacterial Infections
Not only is lemongrass antifungal, it’s also antibacterial as well. It has potent antimicrobial properties and is considered an effective treatment against infections. In fact, this study found that even at lower concentrations, lemongrass was effective against certain drug-resistant organisms.
It can easily be used to help protect the immune system from unwanted pathogens if exposure to illness is suspected or if you simply want to purify the air. You can do this by diffusing it throughout your home periodically or washing your hands with this homemade hand soap.
Next time you’re dealing with a fever, you might try some lemongrass essential oil. Lemongrass is a natural antipyretic, according to The Illustrated Guide to Essential Oils, which means it can help reduce fevers. In fact, in Jamaica lemongrass is referred to as “fever grass” and is commonly consumed as a tea to reduce fevers.
If you don’t have any fresh lemongrass on hand, you can simply diffuse the essential oil or combine 2-3 drops with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil to use in a lukewarm bath to help bring down a fever.
5. Muscle Pain
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, lemongrass is also used as a pain-reliever. This 2014 study found that lemongrass showed considerable anti-inflammatory activity. Considering the fact that inflammation is one of the main causes of pain, it’s no wonder that the anti-inflammatory properties of lemongrass can be helpful when dealing with pain.
For a simple pain-relieving massage oil, simply combine 2-3 drops of lemongrass oil with 1 tablespoon carrier oil and massage in to the sore area. To increase the pain-relieving benefits of this recipe, consider adding other pain-relieving essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, sweet orange, or peppermint.
There are many essential oils that are known to help boost your mood, and lemongrass happens to be one of them. It shouldn’t be surprising, considering the fact that most citrus oils have mood-boosting properties. Lemongrass is especially beneficial for stress-related issues according to The Illustrated Guide to Essential Oils and can help mental exhaustion as well.
For a natural mental pick-me-up, diffuse lemongrass with other mood-boosting essential oils such as bergamot, lemon, lime, lavender, or peppermint. Or try this summer essential oil blend with lemongrass, thyme and rosemary to bring in the smell of fresh summer herbs.
7. Stomach & Digestive Issues
Lemongrass is also considered beneficial for multiple digestive issues. In fact, this study found that lemongrass essential oil has gastroprotective properties when it was used to treat mice that had gastric damage. It’s also beneficial for indigestion, colitis, and other gastrointestinal disorders.
So, next time you’re having stomach issues, try diffusing lemongrass essential oil to help stimulate digestion. Or, combine 2-3 drops of lemongrass with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and use as a massage oil. Simply massage the oil on your abdomen in circular and/or downward motions.
It’s more than just bug spray!
Lemongrass is more than just an essential oil to repel bugs. It is so much more versatile than simply being a pest-repellent. With its diverse therapeutic properties it can be beneficial for a multitude of issues including infections, stress, muscle pain, fevers, digestive issues, and so much more.
And even though it is considered to be a skin-sensitizer, it can still be used in a variety of ways. Diffusing, using topically in low dilutions, and even using it in the bath are all effective ways of using lemongrass essential oil. So, next time you’re dealing with any of the issues I’ve mentioned above, I encourage you to give lemongrass a try. Used correctly, I have no doubt that you’ll see just how effective it can be.232