Botanical name Cymbopogon flexuosus
Processing Method Steam Distillation
Color/Consistency Dark yellow to light brown liquid @22C with a Strong odor
Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma Lemongrass essential oil has a fresh-oily, lemony, tea-like scent.
Blends With Bergamot, Carrot Seed, Cedar wood, Citronella, Fir Needle, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Palmarosa, Pine and Spruce.
Lemongrass, also called fever grass, is a perennial plant with thin, long leaves that is indigenous to many Asian countries. As the name implies, lemongrass smells like lemon, but it tastes milder and sweeter. This herb is used in various Asian cuisines as a flavoring agent due to its potent flavor.
Nutritionally, lemongrass is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and manganese. It also has minute traces of B vitamins.
Lemongrass oil, used as a pesticide and preservative, 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 ofr Pondicherry, the Association for the Preservation of the Saint Thomas Christian Heritage in Kerala, and many other 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
Lemongrass Oil is derived from Lemongrass, which is a fast growing, tall, aromatic perennial grass native to Asia. The oil is extracted from the shoot part of the plant and is yellow to brownish yellow liquid in color. Having good aromatherapy properties, it is used for clearing oily skin, acne, athlete's foot and other ailments including alleviating excessive perspiration.
Although considered safe, the topical use of lemongrass oil or the ingestion of herbal tea made of lemongrass can result in allergic reaction in some people. In the event of any allergic symptoms, it is always advisable to discontinue the use of lemongrass oil and seek immediate medical attention.
Undiluted or concentrated lemongrass oil should not be applied directly on the body as it may result in harmful reactions. It is always advisable to keep pure lemongrass oil out of the reach of children.
It is strongly recommended to consult a health professional before considering lemongrass oil for therapeutic usage; especially during pregnancy when trying to conceive, breastfeeding, and during the course of any ongoing medical treatments.
Geranyl acetate 0.1–4.0%
Caryophyllene oxide 0–1.6%
Quality May be adulterated with synthetic citral.
Hazards Drug interaction; teratogenicity; skin sensitization.
Cautions (all routes) Drugs metabolized by CYP2B6 (Appendix B).
Cautions (oral) Diabetes medication, pregnancy.
Cautions (dermal) Hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin, children under 2 years of age.
Maximum daily oral dose in pregnancy 46 mg
Maximum dermal use level 0.7%
Our safety advice
We recommend a dermal maximum of 0.7% to avoid skin sensitization, and a daily oral maximum in pregnancy of 46 mg. This is based on 90% citral content, with dermal and oral citral limits of 0.6% and 0.6 mg/kg.
Has GRAS status. IFRA recommends a maximum dermal use level for citral of 0.6% for body oils and lotions, in order to avoid skin sensitization.
Adverse skin reactions Undiluted East or West Indian lemongrass oil was moderately irritating to rabbits, and was mildly irritating to mice and pigs; tested at 4% on 25 volunteers it was neither irritating nor sensitizing. It is non-phototoxic. Lemongrass oil tested at 2%, induced allergic responses in 25 of 1,606 consecutive dermatitis patients. In 318 such patients, there were four reactions (1.3%) to 2% East Indian lemongrass oil. There were no irritant or allergic reactions to 1% lemongrass oil in a group of 100 such patients.
Cardiovascular effects Gavage doses of 10, 15 or 20 mg/kg/ day citral for 28 days, dose-dependently lowered plasma insulin levels and increased glucose tolerance in obese rats.
Reproductive toxicity Citral is dose-dependently teratogenic because it inhibits retinoic acid synthesis, and this can affect fetal development.
Acute & subacute toxicity East Indian lemongrass oil acute oral LD50 in rats 5.6 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >2 g/kg. West Indian lemongrass oil acute oral LD50 in rats >5 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg. When West Indian lemongrass oil was administered orally to mice for 21 days at 1, 10 or 100 mg/kg, therewere no significant changes in gross pathology, bodyweight, absolute or relative organ weights, histology, urinalysis or clinical biochemistry in the treated mice relative to the control groups.
Antioxidant/pro-oxidant activity In both egg yolk and rat liver assays, West Indian lemongrass oil showed a strong pro-oxidant activity at all the concentrations tested. West Indian lemongrass oil significantly induced glutathione S-transferase activity in mouse tissues.
Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential When given to mice at 500 mg/kg for six weeks, West Indian lemongrass oil was antigenotoxic, mitigating leukocyte DNA damage induced byMNU. Doses of 100 mg/kg for 3 weeks had no such antigenotoxic effect, but were not genotoxic. East Indian lemongrass oil showed good in vitro cytotoxic activity against 12 human cancer cell lines, representing cancers of the cervix, lung, liver, colon, prostate, mouth and nerves, with IC50 values ranging from 4.2–79.0 mg/mL. Administration of the oil at 200 mg/kg ip in mice, inhibited Ehrlich and Sarcoma-180 tumors from 37–97%, primarily due to apoptosis.
Drug interactions Antidiabetic medication, because of cardiovascular effects, above. Since citral and geraniol inhibit CYP2B6, there is a theoretical risk of interaction between lemongrass.
The validity of the quenching phenomenon is disputed, and sensitization reactions from lemongrass oil are certainly possible. Uter et al reported a good correlation between sensitivity to lemongrass and citral among 1,777 patients tested with both substances. Their data also show four times as many reactions to lemongrass oil in patients suspected of fragrance sensitivity as in consecutive dermatitis patients. There are insufficient data to determinemaximumdermal use levels, but for dermatitis patients this will be below1.0%, possibly in the region of 0.5%. Lemongrass oils are sometimes rectified to produce an oilwith up to 95%citral. A novel chemotype of C. citratus is now being cultivated in Uttarakhand, India, containing 40% geraniol, 24% citronellol, 7% geranial and 5% neral.