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Lemongrass Essential Oil Explained: When Life Gives You Lemongrass…

Published on Mar 28, 2017 in Essential Oils

In the early half of the 20th century, a motivational writer named Dale Carnegie coined a very famous phrase: “When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.” This  was a way of illustrating that life’s setbacks should be seen as opportunities and utilized in such a way that they benefit you as best as possible. A healthy attitude is just as important as a healthy mind and body – it will allow you to gain insights and perspectives into situations that you might otherwise have missed and allow you to open your mind to a range of possible alternative outcomes or solutions you would have been unaware of had you not made a shift in your thinking.

Most of us would agree that utilizing natural products is the best way for you to maintain your body’s health, and that this is becoming the most affordable and realistic solution to large number of health issues that are commonplace in our fast-food, high-stress lifestyle. However, for those of you who have not made the change to a healthier, more natural lifestyle yet, there are a selection of nature’s own products that we highly recommend for their incredible efficiency and affordability that are sure to inspire a change in your thinking. Lemongrass essential oil definitely ranks high up on that list – and I’m going to explain why.

What is Lemongrass Essential Oil?

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass is a plant that is commonly found in Asia, Africa and Australia. It is not actually related to the same genus of the lemon tree, but rather shares a distinct scent with that of the lemon tree. It is commonly used as a herb in cooking dishes with beef, poultry and fish and is used quite often in teas around world. Lemongrass oil is produced from the stems of the lemongrass plant and has amazing properties (but we’ll get into those in just a moment).

Lemongrass oil is produced in an assortment of different ways – from traditional steam extraction (the complicated but effective method) to a variety simple soaking techniques that you can even try at home – although they’re less potent than the pure extracts you might find online or in a store, as they’re generally mixed in a carrier oil which might increase the volume you have, but definitely reduces the effectiveness of the extract if they’re not mixed/blended carefully and precisely. And yes, it is edible!

What is Lemongrass Essential Oil Used For?

Lemongrass Essential Oil For Skin

Lemongrass oil (as well as in it’s natural state) has a variety of different uses in everyday life and has actually become an integral part of many South-East Asian and Indian cultures because of it’s invaluable nature. Other than the aforementioned uses of the herb in cooking food and flavoring teas, lemongrass oil (extract) is frequently used as a means of helping with depression and anxiety. It is said that the extract, when ingested orally or inhaled through steam, can lift your spirits, calm your nerves and help you unwind.

It is also used as a natural analgesic – which means that it can be used to relieve physical pains such as headaches (when ingested or inhaled) and even applied externally on the epidermis to relieve muscle ache and joint pain. Experienced physical therapists almost always have a bottle of lemongrass in their bag or office. The oil acts as a natural moisturizer and won’t dry your skin out when applied or leave it feeling greasy. It’s easily absorbed and smells delicious, so if you’re a runner or workout regularly, be sure to carry some with you wherever you go. Feeling sick, tired and run-down? Lemongrass oil can also be consumed as a way of fighting high fevers and making sure that your body temperature is regulated. This is largely due to lemongrass’ natural antipyretic qualities.

Generally, over-the-counter medicines that act as antipyretics are far from natural and contain many complicated ingredients that generally have lists of harmful or negative side-effects. An example of this would be Ibuprofen. Just some of the side-effects for this drug are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, dizziness or even nervousness (and there are a lot more). Considering this as the general ‘go-to’ solution for a fever or headache should not be normal. To think that you would risk worsening your condition for some quick-fix, silver bullet treatment is largely why some people experience recurring illness or suffer for longer than they should. Natural solutions are always worth the benefit of the doubt in my opinion (depending on the circumstances of course), and should almost always be considered as the first option when treating injuries, illnesses or ailments.

Benefits of Lemongrass Essential Oil For Skin

Lemongrass Essential Oil Can Restore Skin Health

Lemongrass oil also acts as a strong inhibitor of microbial growth in and outside the body. This means that it can be used to help cure or treat internal infections that are often caused by malignant bacteria such as stomach bugs, colon infections (due to a lack of regular cleansing which lemongrass oil contributes to) and even throat infections. This also means that it can be applied externally to combat infections such as athlete’s foot – another reason to keep a bottle in your car or gym bag at all times!

Lemongrass also has strong antibacterial effects and so can be used to treat open or healing wounds and keep them from becoming infected. Lemongrass oil is also an essential natural astringent, which means that it acts to stop the flow of blood cells in your body by contracting the blood vessels, essentially leading to the clotting of blood – very helpful for stopping the blood-flow of open wounds which is an integral part of healing. This also means that it can be used to strengthen hair follicles or applied to the lower gums to prevent teeth from coming loose or falling out. By contracting the blood vessels, the astringent qualities of lemongrass oil also tighten the skin cells, which means it can be used to clean clogged pores of dead skin cells and impurities that our skin is exposed to on a daily basis (pollution in air molecules, excessive sebum oil buildup etc.) and seal those pores afterwards, preventing any further buildup of impurities which generally lead to blackheads and acne.

The lemongrass extract can also be used to treat wrinkles and skin elasticity by tightening and moisturizing the affected areas. Over time, and with continued use, you can slow the aging process and reduce the signs of wrinkles on your face, ensuring that you take care to stay out of direct sunlight for long periods of time and stay hydrated. This equally applies to cellulite and stretch marks. Lemongrass oil is great for pregnant women as it can be used externally to treat stretch marks that often occur during the pregnancy and internally as it stimulates galactagogue which is the agent that allows a women to produce milk in their breasts – very important for post-pregnancy feeding of course!

However, we strongly advise that you consult your local doctor before consuming lemongrass oil (or any essential oil extract for that matter) during or directly after a pregnancy due to the fact that this is really potent stuff and even though it is generally safe to use during and after pregnancy, you might suffer from allergies or other issues that could be caused by regular use. Always better to be safe rather than sorry!

How To Apply Lemongrass Essential Oil To Skin

Applying Oil With A Cotton Ball

Lemongrass oil is most commonly used as a supplement or replacement for skin moisturizers or lotions and can be easily massaged into your skin. It is recommended that you mix the lemongrass essential oil with a light, unscented natural carrier oil to improve its absorption into the skin and help penetrate deeper  into your muscles and ligaments in order to relax them and ease pain (if need be). As a general rule of thumb the basic ratio for mixing any essential oil with a carrier oil is 3:1 – 3 parts carrier oil to 1 part essential oil. This ratio is essential in maintaining the essential oils effectiveness.

Although natural lemongrass oil also almost always safe for use, we recommend skin patch testing for 2 or 3 days as a control before applying regularly. Generally, essential oils from reputable suppliers are created from organically sourced produce or sources. However, in the odd chance that they have not been sourced organically, they might have come into contact with harmful pesticides that can actually seep into the essential oils of the plants or trees when they’re out in the field which may in turn filter through to the finished product. It’s very rare though, and doesn’t really happen – but prevention is always better than the cure. So patch test!

We also recommend that you apply the oil onto recently exfoliated skin for maximum results. Obviously this isn’t always an option, but when you can be sure to have a warm shower or bath first. When applying the oil onto your face, remember to wash your face with warm water and dry with a clean towel before applying the oil. In some cases a micro-needle roller or a sonic-infusion skincare device can be used on your skin before (and after) applying the oil. This will allow the oil to penetrate deeper into your skin, allowing the astringent qualities of the oil to really have an effect on your skin and regulate your blood-vessels and skin cells.

Does Using Lemongrass Essential Oil Cause Side Effects?

To date, there are no direct side-effects or negative aspects related to using lemongrass oil on a regulated and non-excessive basis. However, as I mentioned before, it is always a good idea to discuss the topic with a health practitioner before using any essential oil during pregnancy or when administering to a young child. Generally, we do not recommend giving young children extracts (until you have the consent of you doctor) because they’re really potent! Also, when applying the oil to your skin, it’s always a good idea to do patch-testing as a control to make sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction to the stuff.

Again, most of these issues are highly unlikely in most circumstances – but we tend to err on the side of caution. Finally, be sure not to get the oil into your eyes as you might experience some discomfort if you do. We recommend washing your eye out with milk if you do accidentally splash some in your eye. Basically, if you make use of lemongrass oil in a reasonable and non-excessive way, you should be totally fine.

Using Lemongrass Essential Oil For Mosquitoes

The most deadly creature in the world kills more people annually than Great White Sharks, Lions, Snakes and in some cases even kills more people than people do. Yes, I speak of the tiny mosquito. Somewhat harmless and minute, once it becomes infected with the deadly malaria virus it will suck your blood and ultimately transmit the virus directly into bloodstream. If not treated correctly, malaria can lead to death and in some cases will continue to recur throughout your lifetime once you’ve been infected – even if you treat it correctly.

Other than taking anti-malaria tablets (the most sensible and highly recommended means of preventing this terrible disease), using mosquito nets or just staying away from areas or countries that are known for infection, lemongrass oil can also be an effective means of keeping pesky, poisonous mosquitoes at bay. By burning the oil or applying it to your skin, you effectively create a buffer for yourself from the mosquitoes as the strong, citrusy smell drives them away. However, I would highly recommend that you use this in conjunction with a mosquito net and always always take malaria medication when entering an area known for high levels of infection.

Conclusion

Whether you’re trekking through the rain forests of Asia or at home preparing a nice healthy meal for yourself, lemongrass essential oil comes in handy for a wide variety of everyday situations as well as abnormal occurrences.The amazing and fast-acting healing properties of this plant will definitely inspire you to choose the natural route as an effective and sustainable solution to most pains, aches, ailments and illnesses that dangerous over-the-counter medication often fails to treat and generally weighs in at three times the cost – not to mention the countless side-effects!

Lemongrass essential oil has a delicious scent, is easily blend-able, and can be applied to your skin or ingested orally for strengthening your immune system, combating high fevers or helping to treat infections. It’s truly an essential for anyone who’s regularly down at the gym getting sweaty as it can be used as a natural alternative to deodorant and has strong anti-bacterial qualities that help ward off fungal infections and lasting odors. If you aren’t already a firm believer in the effectiveness of natural and organically sourced products – then lemongrass oil will definitely change your mind once and for all!

Looking to learn more about great essential oils? Check out our almond, Witch Hazel, Ylang Ylang, Avocado, and Castor Oil features here at Maple Holistics!