Lemongrass

Lemongrass

Lemongrass Essential Oil is extensively used as a fragrance, and as an antiseptic component, in many cosmetic products including soaps, creams, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, detergents, perfumes and others. In the food industry, it is used as flavoring in most food categories, including soft drinks and alcohol. It is also used for cooking, and added to a variety of savory dishes. Common names for the plant are Lemon Grass, Lemongrass, British India Lemongrass, Fever Grass, Barbed Wire Grass, Silky Heads, Hierba Luisa, Gavati Chaha, Vervaine Indienne or France Indian Verbena and many others. Cymbopogon (Lemongrass) is a genus of about 55 species of fast growing aromatic perennial grasses (up to 1.5m tall) that produce a network of short roots and rootlets to rapidly exhaust the soil. Out of the several varieties of the plant the East-Indian Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) and the West-Indian Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) are the two most common types. Lemongrass Oil is a volatile liquid ranging from a yellow to amber color and has a light, fresh, invigorating, grassy-lemony aroma. Lemongrass Essential Oil is obtained through the steam distillation of finely chopped, fresh or partially dried leaves (grass) of the plant. The oil usually represents around 0.5% of the total weight of the fresh grass from which it was distilled. Its chemical composition consists of citral (up to 85%), geraniol, methyleugenol, borneol, dipentene, and other minorconstitutes. Lemongrass Essential Oil has analgesic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, antipyretic, antiseptic, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, deodorant, febrifuge, fungicidal, galactagogue, insecticidal, nervine, sedative (nervous) and tonic properties.

History

The oil and the plant have a long history and have been in use for over 5000 years. They have been purposely cultivated in Southeast Asia for the last 2000 years. The plant is used in the traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine to reduce fevers, as an antiseptic and to manage nervous and gastrointestinal disorders. In India, the oil was also used for its sedative properties on the central nervous system. Lemongrass is also extensively used in traditional oriental (Thai, Indian, Indonesian and Malaysian) cuisines that often utilize Lemongrass in meat poultry, vegetable and seafood recipes to give them a pleasant lemony taste. In 1997, scientific researchers in India published the results of their experiments in the “Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences” in which they found that Lemongrass exposure helped fight leukemia cells in both mice and humans.

Geography

The Lemongrass plant is native to Southern India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. It is extensively cultivated in the tropical and subtropical climates of Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. The plant grows well on sandy to clay loam soils. It requires high temperatures (10-33°C), good drainage and substantial rainfall, spread uniformly throughout the year.

Skin & Body Care

Lemongrass is a known essential oil for acne, athlete’s foot, excessive perspiration, insect repellant (fleas, ticks, and lice), opens pores and is a great tissue toner.