(Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon flexuosus)
Family: Gramineae or Poaceae
Description: Lemongrass is a tall, aromatic, perennial, fast-growing grass. The two varieties are distinct species, but share similar properties. The essential oil is steam—distilled from the finely chopped, fresh or partly dried grass.
Countries of origin: Guatemala, India
Characteristics: Lemongrass has pungent, fresh, lemon, hay-like top notes with earthy, green grassy undertones. It blends well with most citruses and. florals, and also with marjoram, black pepper, rosemary, angelica root and ginger.
Main therapeutic properties: Analgesic, anti-depressant, anti-microbial, antiseptic, astringent, bactericide, carminative, deodorant, febrifuge, insecticidal, nervine, tonic.
Lemongrass is called the ‘connective tissue essential oil, because it tightens and tones the skin and connective tissue. This makes it useful in massage and compresses after sports injuries, general strains and sprains, and after dieting when the connective tissues and skin may have lost tone and become slack. Overall, lemongrass is cooling, refreshing and stimulating. Lemongrass has excellent antiseptic
and deodorant properties, which make it a good choice to use in a burner to clear and freshen the air. Lemongrass is a powerful insecticide, and as a local wash or spray for pets it keeps fleas and bad odours at bay. It is soothing for headaches, but should be properly diluted before applying it to the temples, and it is good blended with lavender.
Psychologically, lemongrass is uplifting and energizing. It is especially useful to get you going in the morning, and a few drops sprinkled in the shower surrounds you with fresh, new energy. Lemongrass is also good for concentration and clear thinking, so it is useful in a burner when you are studying or meditating.
Contraindications: Do not use on sensitive or very sensitive skin. Use in moderation no more than 3 drops in the bath and no more than 2 per cent in massage oils.
Lemon gross (Cymbopogon citratus)